Winnipeg Psychiatrist Visits Keewaywin

Dr Edye, a psychiatrist from Winnipeg MB arrived in Keewaywin Monday morning on March 4th. She is working with the Northern Chiefs in the telehealth project which is a new program to improve health services to the northern communities. She will be working out of Winnipeg and will personally meet with the individuals before she actually starts seeing patients via teleconferencing. She has worked with the Nodin Counselling Services visiting other remote communities and as a consultant for Northern Chiefs. She was also involved with the Northern Chiefs in a pilot Mental Health project with Poplar Hill and North Spirit Lake. People from these two communities were able to access professional services through the use of video conferencing. Community people did not have to leave their communities to get some professional counselling. This technology that has come into the communities enabling the people to stay in their communities avoiding all the stress involved in taking a trip out of town. This project will commence sometime in April for Keewaywin. The Mental Health Worker will keep the community updated via the local E-center and the K-Net news. Check out the photos

Koocheching connects to Keewaywin by winter road.

Last week the Koocheching community had their winter road open. They are now connected to Keewaywin and are able to drive the winter road by vehicle. It's a little easier for Koocheching people to bring in their supplies. Shopping will be easier for them. Coming to Keewaywin for their doctors appointments will also be cheaper and more convenient than having a charter flying back and forth. It also makes the connection easier for the communities and families to visit each other.

Sandy Lake Youth runs for Band Council.

Anthony Bekintis, a twenty year old man is running for Band Council in 2002 March elections. He was nominated on March 04th, 2002. His vision. To promote young people to get involved with the Band Council. To produce a junior postion within the Sandy Lake Band Council that will always be open to the youth/ young people. Their will be five catagories always in place; chief, deputy chief, councillors, elders council and a junior councillor (youth intern). So that the young people will always have a position within the Sandy Lake Band Council. We, the young people are the future of our community and therefore should always have a say in what goes on in our community. Experiences/Background he has worked in a number of workplaces since the age of 15. Some of his previous occupation include being a councillor in training(C.I.T) at the YMCA in Sault.Ste.Marie, ontario. An operator for the ministry of transportation working on the winter road project for the Sandy Lake Community Development Services and also a supervisor for the Adowgamick Enterprises where he learned about business and computer skills. He entered and completed a leadership course at the Bark Lake Leadership Center in Toronto. He was forced to leave high school to support his growing family, but understands and is also upgrading through independant learning courses. If you would like to contact Anthony, please email him at

Telehealth has arrived in KO First Nations!

Deer Lake, Fort Severn, North Spirit Lake, Keewaywin and Poplar Hill now have telehealth workstations completely installed and operating at their clinic or nursing station! Community telehealth coordinators have been hired and trained to operate the workstations and will use cameras, telephones, and the workstations to improve community access to health care. The workstations will enable each community to communicate with doctors and other health professionals at distant locations such as the Sioux Lookout Zone Hospital, Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre and Thunder Bay hospitals. Telehealth services will also include family videoconferencing with relatives in hospitals, telepsychiatry, patient education programs, and continuing education for local health workers and health professionals. Telehealth is the first of its kind for the KO region and is a welcomed addition to other services made available under the Smart Communities Demonstration Project which is connecting northern communities to help improve personal and community well-being through the use of ICTs. For pictures of the equipment being used in: * Poplar Hill visit; * Keewaywin visit; * North Spirit Lake visit; * Deer Lake visit

Poplar Hill Suicide Prevention Workshop

Release A Suicide Prevention Workshop was held in Poplar Hill this week. Micheal MORRISON (Nishnawabe-Aski Nation, Marlie SQUIRELS (Nishnawbe-Aski Police) and Dan MCLEOD (Northwest Patrol Unit,Ontario Provential Police) presented the 3 day workshop at the community's "E Centre". The workshop focused on helping the community to reconize signals of suicide and ways to prevent and to deal with suicidal persons. The main focus of the workshop was to inform participants that SUICIDE IS NOT ABOUT DYING, IT'S ABOUT STOPPING THE PAIN. The participants learned some of the SIGNALS OF SUICIDE, three of which are: i) giving away prized possessions (i.e such as a CD collection) ii) saying good bye in an important manner (i.e a letter saying they're going away) iii) correcting past mistakes (i.e making apoloyies, paying old debts) They also learned THE THREE STEPS TO PREVENTING SUICIDE which are: i) Ask directly if he or she is thinking about suicide. ii) Listen, don't judge. And don't say things will get better. iii) Get them HELP. NAN has the lead role in the cooperative effort netween themselves and other agencies that includes Nodin, Tikanigan Child and Family Services,OPP, RCMP, Mattawa and Delico. NAN is presently scheduling training sessions for Nothern Communities. If First Nations are interested in having a workshop in thier community the should contact Micheal Morrison, NAN at (807) 623-8228.

Keewaywin gets cable hook up for High Speed Data Service

Keewaywin is getting their cable system hooked up to the hydro poles this week. The work began last week (Feb 1) and the crew from Blair Electronics are still hooking up the cable lines. It is amazing to watch how they attach the cable lines and use the telephone cable to piggy back on. I have been following them around and am being trained to hook up the houses and get internet access into the homes. I have been taking pictures to show you how they are doing this. We have our Computer Technician follow them around and another Band employee to see how they are hooking up the cable lines. Each of us are taking part in the training so there is always someone available to hook up the next new building to this broadband service. See the pictures of the cable system installation in Keewaywin

Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra Visits PFFHS

On Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2002, the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra (T.B.S.O.) came to Pelican Falls First Nations High School to perform for the students. The Niiwi Pines drum group from Lac Seul were there as well to welcome their guests to their traditional territory. The show was great. Everyone was awed by the performance. After the show was finished a luncheon was served in the main side of the school. Watch for the story in the coming weeks of Wawatay News. Hopefully the pictures work out so they can be published.

First Nations in Quebec (SOCAM) learn about K-Net

Dan Pellerin, K-Net’s Network Manager, attended a two day ICT conference hosted by SOCAM (Société de Communication Atkamekw-Montagnais) in Quebec City on Jan 30, 31, 2002. He wrote the attached report from Quebec. Interesting two days here, lots of presenters, politics, optimism and aspirations. K-Net was referred to time and time again as the model to aspire to. The video conference went well. People saw and talked with Brian Beaton and watched him jump when I called up the IP phone sitting beside him on the table. Discussions were held concerning how K-Net uses the network and how they see others participating and creating networks. Unfortunately the Fort Severn site had technical problems so Chief George Kakekaspan was not able to participate. Everyone hoped to be able to talk to them to understand their local network. Next time. Telehealth applications were shown by Christine Penner-Polle and Donna Williams from their health office in Balmertown. A shot of the inside of Donna's ear was seen on a 15 foot screen.. (way too much detail for me..), as well as a scar using the patient camera. The document camera was used to transmit an image. Raymond Mason and Darrin Potter talked about the the KIHS program and about changes to the community. People at the conference were able to ask questions throughout each live session. Great work everyone and apologies to those who were unable to get on as we ran out of time... *actually went into other people's time*. Other presentations at the conference were made by RamTel corporation and by Industry Canada representatives. At the beginning of day two there was a mixup in the travel schedules so Ernie Dal Grande was unable to attend to do a presentation. However.... Ernie was brought in via Video Conference so he was able to discuss his work at FNHIB and the telehealth initiatives. Yay to video. INAC representative Alain Drolet explained how he and a colleague were acting as technology conduits and helping communities with IT issues and bringing the private sector to the table. Their version of Carl Seibel at FedNor. Had a meeting with SOCAM and the Industry Canada representative to discuss and animate a meeting about a development strategy and to get to know who the players are at both the Federal and Provincial level. Some items learnt from attending this gathering are: * the challenges are very similar as in the NAN region, with multiple telcos to deal with... * People are looking at K-Net and hoping to create what we have done. There was discussion with the provincial Min of Education and Health about the network they were going to build. People listened and one fellow really did a passionate and eloquent piece on the aggregated model, even drew out a picture I made for him showing him the difference between aggregated and thin pipes. Later they discussed a structure to manage this.. (legal council brought this up). When the discussion started going around in circles, one fellow said... "Yesterday I watched the K-Net network ... there was telehealth, schools, people using a network and having opportunities. This is what I want for our communities. Let’s concentrate on this and worry about governance structures later." Very nice compliment for us. Imitation is the best form of compliment. Everyone is to be congratulated on the hard work and for carrying out the vision. Makes me proud to be an ambassador for K-Net.

Fort Severn ICT Planning Worshop - Day 3

The third day of the workshop dealt with Band Administration and Economic Development. The turnout was exceptionally well. They discussed various topics throughout the day. View the pictures. Lots of ideas were thrown back and forth as the day progressed. GREAT IDEAS!!!

Feast in Fort Severn hosted by KO

The Feast hosted by Keewaytinook Okimakanak in Fort Severn was a success. The turnout was more than we expected, seats filled up quickly. But there was plenty of food to go around. View the pictures.