Native American Rural Community Digital Divide: Student Insights

Outlet Title

AMCIS 2023 Proceedings

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



The digital divide continues to be an issue for many Native American individuals in rural tribal areas. This research used a qualitative grounded theory method from the data collection of semi-structured interviews with Native American university students. The open coding of the transcribed responses was used to analyze the text data from individual Native American experiences. The data analysis codes included cost, location, access, digital literacy, and technology knowledge as continuing issues. The coding also shows limited technical support or training availability in the communities. The absence of technology use increases the need to understand factors that remain digital divide barriers for Native American communities. The digital divide - individual experiences model (DD-IEM) is based on three main categories: community, education, and home environments. Six propositions produced the DD-IEM that encompasses digital environments within the three settings that are unique to each individual.