K-Net staff network at Global Community Networking Congress

Raymond Mason, Keewaywin First Nation e-Centre Manager and Brian Beaton, K-Net Services Coordinator traveled to Montreal o­n October 9 to attend the

Global Community Networking Conference. The conference theme "Empowering communities: Innovation, Proposals, Action" is indicative of a process of knowledge transfer in which the world's community networks, their partners and the general public participated. Community networks in the digital era embody the desire of communities and civic organizations to take their rightful place in the developing information society.

Brian delivered two presentations. The first o­ne under the first theme:

The Future of Community Networking: Civic Empowerment through Broadband Initiatives, Wireless, Mixed Media, etc. - Community Networks in Local Information and Communications Technologies Strategy was called "Connecting Remote First Nations to Broadband - Best Practices and Lessons Learned" (pdf version).

The second presentation highlighted some of the cultural and language work completed by Jesse Fiddler, K-Net's Multi-Media Coordinator. This presentation was under the theme:

Cultural Diversity: Multiculturalismo and Multilinguisme o­n the Internet and was called Protection and Maintenance of the Original Languages of This Land (pdf version) - also available as the powerpoint presentation with the links for the audio. This presentation was based o­n a paper entitled LIVING SMART IN TWO WORLDS: Maintaining and Protecting First Nation Culture for Future Generations (pdf version).

The international coalition known as GlobalCN was founded in Barcelona in November 2000 following the first international meeting of community networks, christened GlobalCN 2000, which brought together 700 delegates from all continents and included representatives from government, international institutions and the private sector. Following GlobalCN 2001 (Buenos Aires), GlobalCN 2002 took place at a strategic moment in the process of international coordination of world communication policies carried out in parallel by the G8 countries and the United Nations system. The process will culminate in 2003 and 2005 with the

UN World Summit o­n the Information Society.

The GlobalCN coalition has been invited to participate in this international process. o­ne of the main objectives of the Montreal 2002 Congress was to develop a common platform representing the positions of community networks in the run-up to the World Summit. GlobalCN 2002 also served as a showcase for the wealth and diversity of Canadian expertise in connectivity and the grassroots use of technologies for community empowerment.