Keewaytinook Okimakanak's K-Net team is working with 13 First Natons across northern Ontario along with the Kativik Regional Government (KRG) representing 15 remote communities in northern Quebec and Keewatin Tribal Council representing 16 satellite seved communities in northern Manitoba. Together, these three organizations and 44 remote communities established the Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network (NICSN) to secure, manage and share satellite bandwidth to deliver a full suite of online services including telehealth, e-learning, e-justice, video conferencing, VOIP, etc in each partner community. For more information about this consortium, visit http://smart.knet.ca/satellite
Today's announcement from Infrastructure Canada is a result of more than 10 years of development work that began back in 1997 when Keewaytinook Okimakanak staff began meeting with Industry Canada's FedNor program about providing equitable access to bandwidth in satellite-served communities as that enjoyed by other Canadians.
Click here to watch the video of the webcast announcement (Windows Media, 33 minutes)
August 24, 2007
Canada’s Government Provides $20.65M for Wider Broadband Access to 43 Northern Communities
Kuujjuaq, Quebec - Residents of 43 northern communities in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba can soon expect wider access to broadband service and its benefits thanks to a commitment from Canada’s New Government to provide up to $20.65 million to purchase new satellite infrastructure.
The announcement was made today by the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and Ms. Maggie Emudluk, Chairperson of the Kativik Regional Government, representing the Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network (NICSN). The NICSN involves a partnership among three Organizations: the Kativik Regional Government (KRG) in Quebec; the Keewatin Tribal Council (KTC) in Manitoba; and the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Tribal Council (KO) in Ontario.
“Broadband is a key piece of infrastructure for 21st Century communities to help support their economic growth and prosperity,” said Minister Cannon. “Canada’s New Government is pleased to partner with the Kativik Regional Government and the Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network on this initiative that will provide residents with improved access to a wide range of services and will help stimulate economic development and enhance people’s quality of life. E-health and tele-eduation are just two services this investment will open up.”
“With the ever increasing use of technology in a very short period of time, we have witnessed an increased consumption of broadband use to the point that important services such as tele-health and tele-education could not benefit from this technology. Therefore, this announcement will allow us to provide these important services to the region,” said Ms. Emudluk.
Canada’s Government is contributing up to $20.65 million, or 75 per cent of the $27.5 million cost, for the procurement of two satellite transponders and the required earth station and local access network upgrades. The funding is made available through the Government of Canada’s National Satellite Initiative (NSI). The remaining 25 per cent ($6.88 million) will come from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund ($1.8 million), the Government of Québec’s Villages branchés program ($2.2 million) and Telesat Canada ($2.88 million).
This project complements an initiative of the first round of the NSI, which allocated one Public Benefit Transponder (PBT) to NICSN to provide service to public institutions in the 43 communities. The funding announced today will enable the provision of broadband services to all members of the community.
Financial support for this project is conditional on meeting applicable federal requirements, including the successful completion of environmental assessments required under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and the successful negotiation of a contribution agreement.
This is the first NSI project to be announced in Quebec. Two other NSI projects have received funding to date: one in Nunavut, and the other in the Northwest Territories.
Through its unprecedented $33-billion “Building Canada” plan, Canada’s New Government will help meet infrastructure needs across Canada through long-term, stable and predictable funding. “Building Canada” will support a stronger, safer and better country, through infrastructure projects that support cleaner air and water, a stronger economy, and a better quality of life for our communities.
Press Secretary to the Honourable Lawrence Cannon
Communications and Promotion
Assistant-Director Administration Department, IT section
Kativik Regional Government
Montreal: 514-745-8880 ext. 246
Kuujjuaq: 819-964-2961 ext. 2343
Canada’s New Government is contributing up to $20.65 million, up to 75 per cent of the $27.5 million cost, for this multi-jurisdictional project that will provide additional bandwidth to 43 communities in the northern regions of Québec, Manitoba and Ontario, serving over 46,000 people.
These communities currently have access to limited bandwidth that can not meet current or future community needs. The project announced today involves the provision of two satellite transponders that will provide bandwidth not only to public institutions, but to the entire communities they serve. To support this bandwidth, the project will also upgrade the satellite earth stations and local access networks within the communities where required.
This additional bandwidth will enable enhanced delivery of government services through e-governance; improved delivery of justice, education and healthcare services with the use of videoconferencing; and improved economic development and e-commerce for communities.
Canada’s New Government will provide this funding to the Kativik Regional Government (KRG) on behalf of the Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network (NICSN). The NICSN involves a partnership among three organizations: the Kativik Regional Government (KRG) in Quebec; the Keewatin Tribal Council (KTC) in Manitoba; and the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Tribal Council (KO) in Ontario.
NICSN currently operates a satellite network that provides the 43 communities with broadband capacity for public institutions. Each of these communities is equipped with a state of the art satellite earth station. A master earth station located in Sioux Lookout, Ontario serves as the Internet gateway and network management center.
The remaining 25 per cent of the funding for this project ($6.88 million) will come from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund ($1.8 million), the Government of Québec’s Villages branchés program ($2.2 million) and Telesat Canada ($2.88 million).
This project will enable the provision of broadband services to all members of the 43 communities. Through this project, increased access to broadband will help to improve quality of life and social development. It will also increase the potential for innovation and economic development in Canada’s communities by connecting Canadians and improving the electronic delivery of public services such as health, education and government services.
Government of Canada Funding Sources
Funding for this broadband project falls under the National Satellite Initiative (NSI), which was launched by Industry Canada in partnership with Infrastructure Canada, and the Canadian Space Agency. NSI was created to make available affordable satellite capacity for the deployment of broadband services (such as tele-health, tele-education, e-commerce, etc.) to communities in the far to mid-north, and in isolated and remote areas of Canada, where satellite technology is the only practical solution.
ROUND 1: The Industry Canada Component (C-Band Credit), which is now completed, consisted of providing satellite capacity from Telesat Canada’s Public Benefit Transponder (PBT), valued at $20 million over 15 years, to deploy public and community-based services to remote communities.
Under Round 1, one PBT was allocated to NICSN to provide service to public institutions in the 43 communities. The PBT provides NICSN with 36 MHz of satellite capacity supporting 31 Mbps of usable bandwidth.
ROUND 2: The Government of Canada’s Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund allocated $85 million to the NSI to fund the acquisition of satellite capacity and common ground infrastructure for satellite-based broadband projects in isolated and remote communities across Canada.
Under Round 2, up to $20.65 million is being provided to fund two satellite transponders and to upgrade the satellite earth stations and local access networks for 43 communities in the northern regions of Québec, Manitoba and Ontario.
Two other projects have been announced under the NSI to date from Round 2:
Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network Communities
Barren Lands FN
Garden Hill FN
Manto Sipi Cree Nation
God’s Lake FN
Northlands Dene FN
Bunibonibee Cree FN
Poplar River FN
Mathias Colomb Cree Nation
Shamattawa First Nation
Sayisi Dene FN
Ste Theresa Point FN
Red Sucker Lake FN
Mosakahikan Cree Nation
Attawapiskat First Nation
Cat Lake First Nation
From the Toronto Star ...
Backpedalling on native rights
Carol Goar - Aug 22, 2007
Canada is one of seven countries blocking the quest for a universal declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. The other holdouts are Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, Russia, Australia and New Zealand.
Most members of the United Nations would like to see the charter, which has been under discussion for 20 years, adopted by the General Assembly at its fall session.
Sixty-seven states are co-sponsoring it. The UN Human Rights Council approved it last summer (over Canada's objections). Former foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy calls it a test of "Canada's influence as a credible and influential voice for the protection of human rights."
As the vote approaches, native and human rights groups are appealing to Ottawa not to thwart the declaration. They've sent an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper urging him to uphold the rights of the world's most marginalized and vulnerable people.
"Canada must abandon its campaign against the declaration before further harm is done to the safety and well-being of indigenous peoples worldwide and to Canada's reputation as a principled defender of human rights," the signatories say. They include Phil Fontaine, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations; Beverly Jacobs, president of the Native Women's Association of Canada; Alex Neve, secretary-general of Amnesty International Canada; Ed Bianchi, aboriginal rights co-ordinator for a church consortium called KAIROS and a number of regional chiefs.
The government's position is that the declaration is too vague to be effective.
It also maintains that some of its provisions could be interpreted in ways that are inconsistent with Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs cites six specific concerns:
This is nonsense, Axworthy says. International human rights declarations have never been legally binding. Moreover, this one has an explicit clause – included at Canada's insistence – stating that it must be interpreted in accordance with existing domestic laws.
Until recently, Canada was one of the leaders in rallying support for the declaration.
In the early years of the negotiations, some states wanted nothing to do with it, fearing it would give indigenous peoples rights and powers that would undermine their authority and drain their budgets.
Canada worked tirelessly to bring these countries on board, explaining and defending the concept of aboriginal self-determination. Craig Benjamin of Amnesty International sat in on some of those talks. "Canada was instrumental in breaking the deadlock between state governments and indigenous peoples. We acknowledged the right to self-government. We said we don't find it threatening."
Shortly after Prime Minister Stephen Harper was elected, Canada's stance changed.
It voted against the declaration – with Russia – at the UN Human Rights Council on June 29, 2006. It is now lobbying other countries to join its call for a re-negotiation of all the substantive provisions of the document. So far, it has found six allies. Several African countries are wavering.
"We have grave concerns that Canada is encouraging states with appalling records on human rights to take positions against the recognition and protection of indigenous people's human rights," the petitioners say in their public letter to Harper.
There is still time for Canada to change course.
For more than a century, we have failed our original citizens abysmally. We have ignored their needs and stunted their development.
The least we can do now is offer them the tools to do better.
Kwayaciiwin Education Resource Centre is proud to present Sagatay Band live in concert at the Legion Hall in Sioux Lookout.
The concert will be held August 29 8PM- 12AM
For further information contact
Kwayaciiwin Education Resource Centre