Network Analysis: Indigenous Women and Girls
Understanding that the greatest energy and wisdom in a network lies in its edges, Netcentric Campaigns worked in partnership with the Spirit Aligned Leadership Program to better understand the network of connections between Indigenous women and girls across the United States and Canada.
Netcentric Campaigns supported the Spirit Aligned Leadership Program for Indigenous Women and Girls in 2016 and 2017 through listening and mapping work examining the existing connections in the network of Indigenous women and girls. This work included:
- Landscape Research: Using social media tools and website analytic software, Netcentric Campaigns reviewed content across digital media to explore existing networks, connections and conversations.
- Network Mapping Analysis: Netcentric Campaigns supported the Leadership Program in sending out a three-phase Inquiry to better understand the shape of the existing network of women leaders. The response to the Inquiry further included the skills, expertise and resources they could contribute to other Indigenous women and girls, and which skills, expertise and resources they’d most like to receive.
- Presentation and Strategy Session: Netcentric Campaigns presented the results from this initial analysis with all the women who participated in the work.
The questions that guided the work were:
- Where does the edge of the current network lie?
- How closely connected are the women across the movement?
- Does the content online reflect what we hear from personal outreach?
- How can we build and strengthen bonds with those on the edge in support of the whole network?
Topline Takeaways and Recommendations
Netcentric Campaigns gathered data and insights that we summarized into three themes:
- There are opportunities to deepen and grow the bonds between Indigenous women and girls across geography, generation, technology and tribe.
- Sources for information are widely scattered and have a low reach, indicating an opportunity to better amplify the voices of the leaders across communities.
- There is a shared vision for the next generation of women and a common desire to share knowledge and experiences as a way to strengthen the bonds between Indigenous women and girls.
These opportunities are part of a larger vision to build bridges so women and girls who have been historically on the “edges” of networks can connect more with those at the center. As bridges are formed, bonds strengthen and these women encourage each other to exercise their innate power and spread the influence of power more equitiably. Such connections among them amplify their strengths and resources from each other across the network and become part of the capacity of all.
The information from this network landscaping of connections of Indigenous women helped the Spirit Aligned Leadership Program as they worked to design and launch the fellowship program. The program exists to elevate the lives, voices and dreams of Indigenous Elder women who are working to heal, strengthen and restore the balance of Indigenous communities.