The Kuh-ke-nah Network of Smart First Nations presentation to the audience attending the Native Investment and Trade Association conference in Vancouver is now on-line in a PDF format (639K). As well, John Rowlandson, KO former Telehealth Project Manager presentation about KO's telehealth services is also available (1.2M PDF)
The technicians in Vancouver were able to get their equipment working with the hotel's IP connection and the video conference from KO's Sioux Lookout office was able to take place a day late. The slides could not be seen on the receiving end because the software being used would not accept that data. The video portion seems to have worked so most of the information was presented orally.
Thanks to the conference organizers and the folks at AlterNet Systems Inc for making this connection possible for us to share our story about connecting remote First Nations to broadband.
Broadband connectivity provides a "highway" that carries IP video conferencing, IP telephony and IP data traffic within a managed environment. These IP services work great when everyone understands the limitations and conditions being placed on that highway. Some call these the "rules of the road" – in this case, the ‘digital highway’.
On Monday, April 14, I was suppose to do a presentation to an audience attending theNative Investment and Trade Association’s Nexus Tech 2003 conference, entitled "Aboriginal High Technology & Telecommunications" in Vancouver (the conference event brochure is available online). The plan was to deliver the presentation entitled, "Supporting First Nation Residents to Invest in their Communities" by video-conference from our office in Sioux Lookout. My presentation addressed the need to keep available dollars in the local economy as long as possible through local capacity building using ICTs instead of paying outside agencies for items such as consulting, travel, etc. I hoped to share the success stories surrounding the Kuh-ke-nah Network of Smart First Nations that we are developing using these ICTs and broadband connectivity.
During the early planning stages for this conference event, K-Net staff recommended that ISDN lines be installed at the conference site and a video conferencing unit be borrowed to facilitate the video conference session. This is the usual way to ensure we have a dedicated connection for the presentation and a way to provide some Quality of Service for the video session. The conference organizers placed the responsibility for the connections in the hands of a firm that wanted to use an IP connection for the video session.
The connection tests were done from another site the week before the event. Everything worked as well as can be expected when one uses the public internet for the connection. Unfortunately the day of the event it was discovered that the folks providing the high speed connection to the conference site had a firewall that would not support the receipt of audio and video traffic over their internet service. So another planned video-conference connection did not take place, even though this session and connection had been advertised. Before the event, a few people wrote and phoned me about this presentation so I was anxious to see everything work the way it should have.
Does this failed attempt to demonstrate the importance of video conferencing mean that we should not be using these communication tools for these types of events? Does this type of experience set back the efforts of people to develop broadband opportunities in First Nations? I hope not!
I would suggest that there are lots of lessons learned from these types of experiences. The challenge is to ensure that everyone is getting the correct information whenever these types of situations occur. This is the third time that I have worked with different events where the "video conference" solution failed to provide the type of connection required for true two-way interactive video communication. Even with the ordering of ISDN lines, we have found problems with the local service in some locations. There is no fail-safe solution to avoid every problem BUT there are steps that should be taken to ensure a successful for everyone, especially the audience.
Some of the lessons, I take from these experiences include:
I do hope everyone is able to gain from these experiences, even when they do not work completely as intended. I was able to meet some new people through this experience and learn about some products and resources that I never knew about before. Therefore I feel I learned some more things and that is important.
The application deadline for the next Native Teacher Education Program has been extended to Friday, April 18th. Call Brian toll free at 1-877-636-0667, ext. 25 for further information. Leave a message and he will call you back.
See K-News Article for NTEP qualifications.
Keewaytinook Hockey League finally finished their first year of action in a tournament style of play. The tournament was held in Sandy Lake on April 3 to 6, 2003.
Sandy Lake Storm of the Keewaytinook Hockey League (KHL) went undefeated in KHL's inaugeral season. Storm finished off the regular season with a record of 24-0, scoring 359 goals and only allowing 69 goals.
Sandy Lake Storm continued their domination over the other KHL teams that they faced in the play-offs and Championship game. The first team they faced was Kitchinoomaykoosib Icehawks (KI Icehawks) in a best out of three format. Sandy Lake went on to defeat KI Icehawks two straight games.
Storm then met the Kasabonika Jr. Kings in the Championship Bear Cup. Kasabonika had defeated Wunnimun Whiskeyjack in a hard fought play-off series that had to go to the deciding third game.
In the Championship game Sandy Lake Storm had a battling team to contend with. At the end of the first period the game was tied at 3 a piece and by the end of second period the score was 10-5. But the score did not indicate the closeness of the game. Storm held their composure and kept pounding the Kasabonika netminder with shot after shot. The eventual final score was 16 to 8 for Sandy Lake Storm.
Check out: www.sandylake.firstnation.ca for more info, pictures and trophy presentations.
Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education and Training Institute presented Certificates of Recognition to the students of the Aboriginal Community Services Worker Program on March 27, 2003. The celebration took place at Confederation College in Thunder Bay. Congradulations to all! Check out the pictures at http://photos.knet.ca/albun20
Wendy Johnson, Education Policy Analyst from the Chiefs of Ontario Office distributed a briefing note to First Nation education advisors concerning recent developments and opportunities to work together. The document includes updates on:
Community update for off reserve Cat Lake band numbers and for interested people:
New Chief: Wilfred Wesley - 95 votes
Keewaytinook Okimakanak's Telehealth team produced a new information brochure for circulation. It is available on-line (650K PDF file).
NISHNAWBE ASKI NATION
Employment Opportunity (23K PDF)
Nishnawbe Aski Nation is offering an exciting, and challenging opportunity for a results-oriented Mining Coordinator to plan and oversee the overall operations of the Lands & Resources Secretariat, Mines and Mineral Unit. The Mining Coordinator will offer technical advice and advocacy to the NAN First Nations to enable them to develop goals, capacity and activities for mining in their territories. The Mining Coordinator will also review, research, analyze and develop policy recommendations related to the mines and minerals sector.
The position is available for a possible three-year period up to March 31, 2005 and will require extensive travel to the northern First Nation communities.
LOCATION: Thunder Bay, Ontario
SALARY: $45,000 to $60,000, per year based on experience.
DEADLINE: April 22, 2003
If you require a copy of the job description please contact NAN Lands and Resources Department. Applications will be accepted by fax providing the original copy is forwarded with three references to:
NISHNAWBE ASKI NATION
100 Backstreet Road, Unit #200
* Only those applicants considered for an interview will be contacted.
On Saturday April 5, 2003 at 6:00 pm, we held a feast in Deer Lake to honour my father's memory. It has been three years since he went to heaven. He remains much in our memory of course. Here is a litte something:
If I could live one day again,
I know the one I'd choose.
It'd be the last day I saw my dad,
And I'd say again, "I Love You."
I'd wrap my arms around him,
And pray to God above,
To hold him in His loving arms,
And shower him in His love.
I'd also pray and let God know,
How thankful I have been,
To have had that man as my dad,
And how proud I am of him.
He faced his fate with a mighty strength.
You don't see in many men.
He stood tall and never failed,
To hold us up instead.
One of the saddest things on earth
Is to hear that someone's passed.
And finally go to heaven above,
To see God's face at last.
If I could live one day again,
I know the one I'd choose.
It'd be the day I said, "Good Bye"
And said again, "I Love You."
The family of the late Morley Meekis would like to thank the following for their donations and their help: