Nathan Taylor, Project Officer with HRDC’s Office of Learning Technologies’ Community Learning Networks (OLT / CLN) program arrived in Red Lake on Oct 1 to meet with members of the Smart project team. As part of the visit, Nathan met with the KO Finance team (Penny Carpenter and Kevin Houghton) to complete an audit of the OLT / CLN reports submitted to their office. Today, Nathan and Brian Beaton are flying to Deer Lake to meet with community members and the local Smart team in that community.
In the fall of 1999, KO received a grant from OLT/CLN to assist in the preparation of a business case to develop the "Centre of Expertise for Indigenous Learning Communities". One component of this initial grant was the planning and consultation workshop held in Red Lake in November 1999. KO engaged four resource people from the Telecommons Development Group (Drs. Don Richardson and Ricardo Ramirez) along with Florence Woolner and John Rowlandson to work with KO in the development of this business case.
During the November Red Lake Workshop, KO was contacted by Industry Canada that they were one of five selected from 19 other Aboriginal applications, to prepare a comprehensive business case to become Industry Canada’s Aboriginal Smart Communities demonstration project. A second part of the community consultations into how the KO First Nations wished to utilize Information and Communication Technologies included one community workshop in Fort Severn First Nation in December 1999. These early consultation and planning workshops assisted in the preparation of the winning submission to make Keewaytinook Okimakanak Industry Canada’s Smart Communities Demonstration Project (announced in May 2000). Be sure to check out the "rich pictures" prepared during the Fort Severn Workshop describing how Fort Severn community members wanted to utilize ICTs in their community in the development of better local government, improve their education system and their local health services.
With the successful Smart Communities designation, KO then worked the different government agencies and programs to secure the necessary matching funds to complete the work as present in the business case. In August 2001, a three year contract was signed with HRDC’s OLT/CLN program to develop the "Centre of Expertise for Indigenous Learning Communities" as an integral component of the Smart Communities Demonstration project.
From the proposal ...
The goal of this project is to demonstrate how Keewaytinook Okimakanak First Nations can collaboratively use ICTs to re-determine their relationship with Canada and the world. This goal is embedded in meeting three primary objectives. New learning and information technologies must facilitate new opportunities for lifelong learning and community well-being; they must support community autonomy, self-determination and governance; and, ICTs must enhance local capacity for sustainable cultural and economic development.
Work on this project has progressed over the past two years, with the successful completion of all the deliverables outlined in the original proposal. These include:
Empower Keewaytinook Okimakanak First Nations to take control of the ways that electronic information and communication technologies are used in their lives.