KO works with others to research the use of videoconferencing in First Nations

VIDEOCOM Research Project  (Video Communications on Broadband Networks) is a collaborative research initiative lead by the Susan O'Donnell from the National Research Centre and Sonja Berley from the University of New Brunswick.

VIDEOCOM is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council's Standard Research Grants 2006-2009, with in-kind contributions from the National Research Council, Keewaytinook Okimakanak, and Atlantic Canada's First Nations Help Desk. 

VIDEOCOM is investigating video communications on broadband in First Nations communities, looking specifically at the social inclusion and citizen engagement aspects.

From the project overview ....

Video Communications on Broadband: Social Inclusion and Citizen Engagement

Every year, more Aboriginal communities across the country gain the capacity to use broadband for video communications. There is potential for Aboriginal communities to use video communications on broadband not only for distance learning and telehealth but also for becoming active producers of video content - for example collaborating on community-designed videoconferences sessions that build collective knowledge and producing collective videos to disseminate community views and information. 

Key First Nations organizations are playing a leading role in developing, using and facilitating video communications in Canada. For example, the Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO) tribal council and K-Net in Northern Ontario use multi-site videoconferencing to conduct meetings, and they webstream the archived sessions for later use. KO uses broadband for an Internet High School that allows students to remain longer in their remote First Nations communities, and for various telehealth uses such as remote diagnosing of common health complaints that reduces the need for expensive and disruptive trips by air to hospitals in larger urban centres. Atlantic Canada's First Nations Helpdesk uses multi-site videoconferencing to facilitate communications between students in First Nations schools and webstreaming to disseminate videos created by students. 

The VIDEOCOM project is led by Dr. Susan O'Donnell of the National Research Council and the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, working with community research partners KO / K-Net / KORI in Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay, Ontario and Atlantic Canada's First Nations Help Desk in Sydney, Nova Scotia. The project is funded by SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) from 2006 to 2009, with in-kind contributions by the research partners. 

VIDEOCOM will develop case studies of these two community organizations - KO/K-Net and Atlantic Canada's First Nations Help Desk - to explore how they are using video communications to facilitate the inclusion and engagement of Aboriginal communities and especially of groups such as Aboriginal women and Aboriginal youth. 

The research will be designed to assist the two organizations and their communities to continue to develop their capacity to conduct research and to use video communications to support their local inclusion and engagement activities.

Click here to read a paper entitled "Broadband Video Communication Research in First Nation Communities" by Susan O'Donnell and Sonja Berley that was presented at the Canadian Communication Association Annual Conference in Toronto this spring.