High school students in Attawapiskat attending Vezina Secondary School are now sharing the limited space available at the local elementary school due to flooding caused by a broken water pipe. The elementary school consists of portables that have been in place for four years, ever since the local elementary school was closed due to contaminants at that site were making the students sick. Click here to read the story posted in the Timmins' Daily Press.
This is the fourth First Nation school closing reported this fall. Fort Severn First Nation students have been without a school since May, 2004 due to extensive mould contamination. Pikangikum First Nation had to close their school due to roofing problems and over crowded conditions. Neskantaga First Nation had to close their school due to polluted drinking water.
Carolyn Anderson, from the provinicial South Australia government, was in Ottawa last week as participating in a federal government sponsored event. Meetings were arranged with Industry Canada's First Nations SchoolNet program to discuss how the federal government is supporting First Nations to develop broadband infrastructure and local applications. On her return trip, she was able to spend a day in Toronto meeting with NORTH Network and the KO Telehealth project in the morning. In the afternoon, she met with the Education Network of Ontario and the K-Net team to discuss the network and educational applications.
Her co-worker in Australia had read the "The K-Net Story, Community ICT Development Work" in the current issue of the Community Informatics Journal (www.ci-journal.net). She began writing to K-Net asking questions about our work. Her comments and the responses can be read at the end of the article in the COMMENTS section. The South Australia Government is interested in investing in the development of broadband infrastructure for the remote and rural communities across their region. Wendy pointed us to an information web site about some of the Aboriginal communities in her region at www.wangkawilurrara.com.
Thanks to our partners at NORTH Network and the Education Network of Ontario for being such great hosts on such short notice and for including Keewaytinook Okimakanak in this opportunity to share our story.