Jean-Francois Delorme (JF), with the Kativik Regional Government office in Kuujjuaq, arrived at K-Net's office in Sioux Lookout on April 28 and left on May 5. He spent the week working with Dan and Adi on the satellite portion of the Kuhkenah Network. JF and the K-Net team worked together to establish the necessary protocols and procedures for maintaining and supporting our respective partner communities and resources.
Sharing both technical and network development strategies is making it possible for these satellite-served, remote communities in two different regions of Canada (Northern Ontario and Northern Quebec) to share both the hub and network infrastructure as well as the technical expertise required to operate this satellite network. KRG recently was allocated 11mhz of bandwidth on Industry Canada's second public benefit transponder made available by Telesat as part of their agreement for specific orbital spectrum space. Click here to see the news story about this announcement.
The fourteen communities served by the Kativik Regional Government are each served by a C-Band satellite earthstation. They are receive their data connection through the K-Net earth station located in Sioux Lookout. Over the past two years, KRG has been building their network and applications using the K-Net portion of Industry Canada's C-band satellite public benefit resource (see http://smart.knet.ca/satellite for more information about this resource). With the addition of the KRG allocation along with our other partner (Keewatin Tribal Council) in Northern Manitoba, the combined satellite bandwidth resource will be able to be utilized to serve many of the different broadband applications being developed in the communities and these different regions (telehealth, education, justice, administration, etc).
George Ferreira, PhD Candidate, Rural Studies Program at the University of Guelph submitted his thesis Research Proposal to his committee for their review. George is proposing to work with Keewaytinook Okimakanak to complete his research entitled "VIDEO AS THE ORGANIZING STRUCTURE: A PROCESS MODEL FOR INTERACTIVE POLICY EVALUATION IN NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO’S REMOTE ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES".
George also invited Brian Walmark, KO’s Policy Analyst who is working to develop the KO Research Institute to sit on this Thesis review committee.
From his thesis proposal ...
"… Conventional policy evaluation approaches may not capture the reality of life on the ground especially when one takes into account how much time it may take for change in livelihoods to become evident. Surveys, questionnaires and quantitative analysis designed for more homogenous urban and rural communities cannot meaningfully address the nature of change that policy decisions have in these disparate remote communities. This research focuses on developing new tools to enhance the evaluation process in order to provide policy makers with a better understanding of the local impacts of their decisions while simultaneously allowing the communities themselves to become active participants in the policy process by giving them the tools to tell their own stories. …
… As part of the SMART evaluation process, Industry Canada agreed to allow the use of video recordings and short documentary video productions into the evaluation process. New digital video technology allows remote communities, typically overlooked in the policy development process, a medium in which to collectively communicate their experiences with policy makers. …
… Video is a valuable tool for remote communities because it provides a means for contextualized, locally tailored messages in the absence of lobbying influence or access to mainstream media and advocacy. Video also offers a unique way of capturing interim changes in the context of long term policy-driven changes that are in progress yet defy quantification in the short term. For example, a survey may reveal that a certain proportion of households in a community is connected and go on to describe the types of internet applications being used. However, conventional methods fall short in their ability to predict medium and long term changes that will occur as a result of that particular practice. The SMART case in northwestern Ontario took place over three years in which time aspirations and future plans changed dramatically as applications due to connectivity, in virtually every sector of community life, were revealed and explored. Video, with its ability to record and relay contextualized human experiences allows policy makers a more tangible understanding of the real-life impacts of their decisions and initiatives.
… in the KO communities, a more community based, bottom-up approach is being pursued. In addition to the gathering of local stories around the connectivity experience as they relate to such subjects as health, education, economic development and community development, a training component was included so that the capacity to manipulate the medium was left in the community. Workshops in video production were conducted in each community’s e-centre with participation open to any interested community members. In addition, KO provided video cameras and multi-media editing stations to the communities to foster the ongoing production of video material by and about the communities. Communities have already begun producing their own stories and an online video archive site is presently under construction to provide them a global distribution system. …
RESEARCH QUESTIONS & OBJECTIVES
The research design set forth is inherently constructivist. Key to the constructivist approach is an acknowledgement that no single research question can guide the research without being modified as the researcher uncovers layers of previously hidden reality. The research question ensures that with each learning cycle the abstract conceptualizations contained therein remain within the realm of co-generalization.
Research Question: How does the introduction of ICTs to aboriginal communities empower them to change relationships with policy-makers, other aboriginal communities and each other?
Collectively, the objectives seek to describe the implications of ICTs and video as a tool for interactive policy making. The conditions required for participants (from the community level up to and including policy-makers) to view the use of video, not merely for the delivery of a pre-determined media product, but as a catalyst for community capacity building and interactive policy development will also be explored. The implications of locally directed media on the self-perception of aboriginal communities in relation to the larger dominant culture and policy-makers whose decisions rarely take into account the reality of life in these communities is particularly significant.
Objective 1: Determine the conditions under which of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), in particular video can be used to develop capacity in aboriginal communities
Objective 2: Identify the processes that aboriginal communities develop and engage in order to produce communication materials to build capacity.
Objective 3: Determine how access to and control of ICTs and new media tools change the self-perception of remote aboriginal communities
Objective 4: Determine how access and control of ICTs and new media tools change relationship between remote aboriginal communities and urban policy makers.
Objective 5: Explore how policy makers identify the significance of new media tools and products to change their relationship with remote aboriginal communities.