Poplar Hill is building their Smart Business Centre

Poplar Hill First Nation is working with a number of partners to construct their new Smart Business Centre. Wawatay News (June 28 edition) carried a story about how Poplar Hill's new business centre is being supported. Plans include wiring all the Hotel rooms so people will have high speed Internet access when they visit the community.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation mourns the passing of leader, Bill Mamakeesic

With the sudden death of Bill Mamakeesic on Wednesday, July 11 in Thunder Bay, Nishnawbe Aski Nation has lost another well known leader. Bill was the first Chief of Keewaywin First Nation in the late 1980's. Bill worked hard with the elders and community members to begin building a new community on the traditional lands of the people in that region. Later as Deputy Grand Chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Bill expanded his vision across NAN for strong and healthy communities in each of the portfolios and especially in education for which he was responsible.

During his second term as Chief of Keewaywin in the mid 1990's, Bill worked with the other Chiefs of Keewaytinook Okimakanak supporting the development of K-Net. He always looked for ways to ensure that the communities could prosper and grow. Bill worked to protect the Native language and encourage young people to contribute to their communities. The vision he shared with Keewaytinook Okimakanak involved providing the tools for the people to have meaningful lives wherever they chose to live.

Geordi Kakepetum recalls how “Bill always advocated for more services, activities and opportunities that would benefit the young people in his community and across Nishnawbe Aski Nation. Everyone remembers different accomplishments and efforts that Bill put forth on behalf of the Nishnawbe Aski.” One recent effort included Bill's representation of the Chiefs of Keewaytinook Okimakanak on the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council Board of Directors for the past several years.

Keewaytinook Okimakanak extends its sympathy to Bill's family, the people of Keewaywin First Nation and across Nishnawbe Aski Nation, as we honour and remember Bill.

News coverage of the Launch of the Kuh-ke-nah Network

Various local and regional newspapers and radio stations provided coverage of the launch of the Kuh-ke-nah Network of Smart First Nations. Read the on-line July 7 article in the Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal entitled "Red Lake-area First Nations to get 'connected'" and the July 11 front page story in the Sioux Bulletin "Northern Chiefs launch Smart First Nations Project". Other stories are available in the Red Lake District News (July 4 and 11 issues) and are being written for the Northern Ontario Business and Windspeaker. Wawatay News (July 12 issue) published an article about the launch entitled "Kuh-ke-nah Network Grand Opening".

Thanks to everyone for making this event so successful! Be sure to watch the Launch web site for more information about this event.


Several weeks ago, our primary file server died! The motherboard needed replacement and unfortunately the parts were going to take more that a few days. Fortunately our server had hot swappable drives so, with the support KNET staff, we removed one of the drives and placed it into one of the extra KNET servers. I built the server using Windows NT to mimic our primary server while it was down. In addition, with a conversion over to the KNET network to access broadband (which we were going to do eventually), we were able to share out this drive within a virtual private network and have Windigo staff access all of their data. It worked incredibly well and provided an off-site location for our data. Thanks to the KNET staff for their help in ensuring our staff were up and running with minimal delay! Allan Morrison

New Life Campmeeting 2001

New Life Campmeeting 2001

Where: Weagamow Lake, Ontario
When: July 19, 20, 21, 22, 2001
Guest Speaker... Peggy Kennedy
She well be Ministering in the Word This Year... For more Info Please Send your emails To

Celebrating the Launch of the Kuh-ke-nah Network of SMART First Nations

On Friday July 6, Keewaytinook Okimakanak First Nations will be celebrating the launch of the Kuh-ke-nah Network of SMART First Nations. See the invitation to attend the celebration at our Balmertown office

Similar celebrations will be occurring in each of the Keewaytinook Okimakanak First Nations (Deer Lake, Fort Severn, Keewaywin, North Spirit Lake and Poplar Hill). The offices in each community will be connecting with each other using the video conferencing services over the Kuh-ke-nah Network. Everyone is invited to stop by the office in your community to participate in the celebration of this launch.

The Kuh-ke-nah SMART project is a three year initiative that officially began in April 2001. The project will demonstrate how Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) are being used by the communities to support their economic and social development. Funding for this multi-million dollar project is being provided by Industry Canada's Smart Communities and FedNor programs, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, Office of Learning Technologies (HRDC) and the Sioux Lookout Area Aboriginal Management Board (SLAAMB).

Partnerships with a number of different corporations, businesses, organizations and governments are making this project a nationally recognized undertaking. Representatives from many of these groups will be attending the gathering in Balmertown. Watch the K-Net web site for further updates on this launch.

“Kuh-ke-nah” is the Oji-Cree word for “everybody” in English. Keewaytinook Okimakanak Chiefs and staff want to invite everybody to work with us and share in this exciting development.

National Aboriginal Day at Pakwash Park

Northern Chiefs Office in Balmertown celebrated National Aboriginal Day at Pakwash Park, which is located just south of Red Lake. Several of the staff and their families camped overnight at the campground, while other staff and families arrived at the park for breakfast and lunch on June 21st. The children had a wonderful time fishing and playing in the water, while the rest of the people enjoyed the beautiful weather by relaxing in the sun, hiking in the park, and thoroughly enjoying this special day. Check out the pictures of this gathering.

Elizabeth Pahkala
Health Secretary

Our First Graduation at Gawiianiniiganiitamagoyak Children's Centre.

On Monday, June 18, 2001, we held the first graduation ceremony at our new Children's Centre.Ten children, 4 years of age, have graduated. They have began their education towards becoming our Future Leaders.

Wellington School Grade 8's Celebrate their graduation

Pictures of the students and some of the families at the Wellington School Grade 8 Graduation ceremonies held on Tuesday, June 19, 2001 can be seen at

Slate Falls prepares for Broadband Services and KIHS

On Tuesday, June 12, Dan Pellerin and Al Morrison were able to get on a Windigo First Nations Council charter to go and complete a site survey for the new satellite dish that is being installed in Slate Falls First Nation. Slate Falls First Nation is preparing to offer a Grade 9 and 10 program for their students in partnership with the Keewaytinook Internet High School starting in September 2001. See the pictures that Dan took on this trip.