Keewaytinook Okimakanak

University of Vienna doctoral candidate visits KO & First Nations about homepages

Philipp Budka, a doctoral candidate at the University of Vienna, is back in Sioux Lookout (click here to see previous KNEWS story about Philipp's 2006 visit).

He arrived by train on Wednesday after attending the CRACIN workshop in Montreal where he presented a paper on Over the next two months Philipp is hoping to meet with as many people as possible to discuss their interest and use of

He is interested in travelling to as many First Nations as possible across the region to gather stories and meet the people who are users. Next week, Philipp will be travelling to Mishkeegogamang with Tina Kakepetum-Schultz.

Philipp created an online meeting space at to share information about his research and to gather feedback and stories. EVERYONE is invited to join in these discussions and to help us better understand why is important to the people who use this online resource.

Please visit this online meeting space and joining into the discussions about Click here to go directly to the discussion forums that have been started (everyone can start their own discussion thread).

KO produces video with First Nation leaders sharing thoughts about ICTs

During the June 12-14 Chiefs of Ontario meeting that took place at Pelican Falls First Nations High School in Sioux Lookout, Cal Kenny interviewed a number of people to get their opinions about the use of communication technologies in First Nations. From the video footage obtained, Cal put together a 5 minute video entitled "Talking about ICTs with First Nation Leaders".

This short video is available online at (requires Windows Media).

Cal Kenny is K-Net's Multi-media Production Manager. He can be reached at His personal web site can be seen at

Keewaytinook Okimakanak receives Safer and Vital Communities funds from Ontario

The following press release describes the grant that will presented to KO today at 1 pm CDT via video conferencing. The web cast of this event can be watched by visiting

KORI press release ...


Thunder Bay, June 19, 2007 - Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay – Superior North, was pleased to announce today that the McGuinty government under its Safer and Vital Communities Grant program is awarding $19,500 to the Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO), a tribal council serving First Nations in Northwestern Ontario.

“Working together with police services and community groups, our goal is to help make a real difference in making our Northwestern Ontario communities safer,” said Gravelle. “We need to support activities such as KO in order build safe communities for our children, our youth and our seniors. We will continue to support community organizations in their efforts to prevent crime.”

The Keewaytinook Okimakanak Research Institute (KORI), a department within Keewaytinook Okimakanak, located in Thunder Bay, will adminnister the grant by seeking to facilitate eight online workshops to promote public safety awareness in Nishnawbe-Aski Nation First Nations communities. The workshops will be broadcast via IP videoconference and streaming video.  Each workshop will be archived on the project website. Topics will include: creating job opportunities on-reserve for youth; helping teachers, parents and youth in their response to youth gangs and violence; and developing skills in mentoring and leadership among youth. The workshops will run for one to two hours with a presentation, followed by a question and answer and discussion period. The objective is to engage youth in public safety awareness and have them supported by parents, elders, teachers and community.

Geordi Kakepetum, Executive Director of Keewaytinook Okimakanak, is pleased with the announcement.  “KO is the leader in First Nations connectivity, telecommunications and community-based applications.  We welcome the opportunity to work with the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services  to promote discussion and dialogue among First Nations community members on community safety through the use of IP videoconferencing,” he said. 

Funding was provided as part of the Safer and Vital Communities Grant program that supports the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services goal of working with partners to promote a safer Ontario. The program provides $792,800 province-wide to fund local crime prevention projects in areas such as youth crime, seniors’ safety, and protecting young Ontarians from Internet luring and child pornography. The grant program was made available to not-for-profit organizations and First Nations Band Councils.

Michael Gravelle, the Member of Provincial Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North will present Keewaytinook Okimakanak with the cheque on Wednesday, June 19th at 2 pm Eastern Standard Time at 216 Algoma Street south in Thunder Bay.  Media is invited.  RSVP

Keewaytinook Okimakanak's display and tours at Chiefs of Ontario gathering

Keewaytinook Okimakanak is setting up an information display at the Chiefs of Ontario meeting being held this week at Pelican Falls First Nations High School in Sioux Lookout.

The KO team will be providing the Chiefs of Ontario First Nations with information and demonstrations about the different programs and services being supported in their communities. These include:

  • Kuhkenah Network (K-Net) - video conferencing services, network development, youth employment, First Nations SchoolNet, webcasting, etc
  • Keewaytinook Okimakanak Telemedicine (KOTM) - telehealth services, health education, etc
  • Keewaytinook Okimakanak Water Plant Operator Training
  • Keewaytinook Internet High School
  • Keewaytinook Okimakanak Research Institute
  • other tribal council programs and services (Public Works, Health, Finance, Economic Development, etc)

The highlight of the week will be a Fish Fry at Lac Seul First Nation's Makwa Lodge that will include a tour of the new Health Centre at Kejick Bay, a telemedicine demonstration along with a ceremony to honour the new telebaby and those involved in the birthing process that took place on June 19 (click here to see the KNEWS story).

Tours of K-Net along with meetings and discussions will be supported throughout the week. Cal Kenny, K-Net's Multi-media Coordinator, will be inviting community leaders and guests to share their stories about their community networks and their dreams for connections in their communities. Watch for pictures and webcasts from the meeting space ...

Everyone is invited to stop by the Keewaytinook Okimakanak display that will be located in the school library, just down the hall from the meeting area.

KO team visits First Nations setting up equipment and broadband connections

Keewaytinook Okimakanak's Kuhkenak Network (K-Net - Coordinator is travelling to First Nations along Highway 11 and 17 over the next two weeks to meet with community leaders, education and health directors and local technicians. The meetings are an opportunity to discuss the development of local broadband connections and partnerships.

The journey began on Thursday, April 19 with the evening drive to Thunder Bay.

Friday (April 20):

Meetings began with breakfast with Carl Seibel, FedNor Telecom Officer and later with Brian Walmark to discuss upcoming projects and work to completed. The regularly scheduled INAC's First Nations SchoolNet meeting with Suzanne Lebeau took place from the KORI ( A chance drop-in visit with Carmen Blais, Dilico Health Director provided an opportunity to connect via video conference her with Penny Carpenter to discuss K-Net's work with Ontario's Smart Systems for Health Agency (SSHA) and getting all the Aboriginal health centres and programs connected to that network. Meetings with KORI staff provided an update on the Thunder Bay Meet-me project and other potential developments in the areas of economic development and online gathering session facilitation. Meetings with Jamie Ray provided an opportunity to discuss and further plan the development of the First Nations libraries connectivity strategy.

Weekend (Sunday, April 22):

A short visit at the Red Rock First Nation near Nipissing provided information about the health programs being offered at the local Band office. Their Dilico health programs are available out of the health office located in Nipissing.

A quick drive into Rocky Bay First Nation and Sandpoint First Nation provided some pictures of the locations of the health and administration buildings serving those community members.

Continued driving to Long Lac, passing the turn-offs to Aroland, Long Lac 58 and Gingogaming. These communities were visited this past winter by Jamie Ray, with their local schools, health centres and band offices connected into the network and being supported by Matawa First Nations Management.

Monday (April 23):

Drove from Long Lac to Constance Lake First Nation (, spending the day with Jacob Moore, the local Network Technician. Got to briefly meet with Chief Arthur Moore, Raymond Ferris (Councillor), Terry John-George (Executive Director), Monica Peunish (Acting Director), Hannah Myers (Health Director) and Elizabeth Moore (Eagle's Earth Administrator). Was gifted with a wonderful tour of the band's new Eagle's Earth development - Set up a video conferencing unit at the radio station and introduced Jacob to the K-Net team in Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay. Constance Lake First Nation has a 10M fibre connection installed by Northern Tel under a K-Net contract that was funded by FedNor.

Drove to Cochrane for the night.

Tuesday (April 23):

From Cochrane, drove to Taykwa Tagamou (New Post) where a 10M fibre connection was installed by Northern Telephone under the FedNor funded e-Community 2 initiative. Worked with the Health Centre staff and a community volunteer (Kevin Archibald) to run network cable from the 10M connection over to the health centre telecom room and into their patch panel. Set up the video conferencing equipment in the health centre's public education room. New Post has a 10M fibre connection installed by Northern Tel under a K-Net contract that was funded by FedNor. Did some training with the local team before leaving at the end of the day for Matheson.

Wednesday, April 25:

From Matheson, drove to Wahgoshig First Nation to meet with Chris St. Germain, the community's GIS/GPS Technician as well as their IT Technician. Met with members of the Lands and Resources, Health, Education and Band Administration teams. Working with Chris, we were able to get the video conferencing equipment working in the Health Centre as well as in the Band Office. Wahgoshig First Nation has a 10M wireless connection installed by Northern Tel under a K-Net contract that was funded by FedNor. Left Wahgoshig in the evening and drove to Kirkland Lake.

Thursday, April 26:

Job Opportunity - KO Director of Operations in Balmertown


Keewaytinook Okimakanak is seeking to hire a full time Director of Operations who will have the overall responsibility to the organization, direction and operations of the administration office.


  1. Administration and Financial Management
  2. Implementation of Workplans, Resolutions and Directions
  3. Reporting of Tasks and Activities Completed
  4. Chiefs Meetings Coordination


  • Demonstrated personal commitment to improve the lives and protect the rights of the First Nations people.
  • A post Secondary degree in business administration, political science or management related fields; and/or a minimum of (5) years of senior management experience in a First Nation or government organization,.
  • Competency in understanding financial statements and cash flow projections.
  • Demonstrated skill in the area in issues of staff management.
  • Excellent communication skills in the area of report/brief preparations, proposal development and general information sharing.
  • Demonstrated skill in the area of computers; Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.
  • Ability to speak/write Ojicree, Cree and Ojibway will be considered an asset.


The salary is negotiable based on experience and qualifications.

To Apply

Submit your resume, 3 professional references and a cover letter outlining your qualifications no later than the closing date, April 30, 2007, at noon to:

Geordi Kakepetum, Executive Director
Keewaytinook Okimakanak
P.O. Box 340, 8 Mine Road
Balmertown, Ontario
P0V 1C0

For more info, please call 1-807-735-1381, ask for Geordi Kakepetum

Have YOUR say - How important is Connectivity in Aboriginal communities?

A roundtable discussion is being held today in Sioux Lookout in the SLAAMB boardroom "about the impacts of connectivity and social capital in Aboriginal communities in Canada. The goal of this work is to produce a document that reflects the potential of connectivity and information and communication technology in relation to social capital in Aboriginal communities in Canada."

Everyone is invited to contribute to this final document by:

  • joining the discussions either today (Monday, April 16) or tomorrow in the boardroom in Sioux Lookout (video conferencing connections are available - just call Lyle at 877-737-KNET (5638) ext 1387 to join the session); OR
  • sharing your thoughts in the online discussion forum at the K-Net Meeting Place at

From the study's Meeting Place web site at ...

The study "Increasing Aboriginal Social Capital" is being conducted by the University of Manitoba in partnership with Crossing Boundaries National Council, and is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

This study seeks to examine the idea of social capital from an Aboriginal perspective, specifically in relation to the potential of information and communication technology.

Discussions are welcomed related to how connectivity is impacting Aboriginal communities. As well, sharing experiences about the issues and challenges around the implementation and sustainability of the new technologies and networks. Personal experiences are especially welcomed. This site can also be used as a means through which to share work and research material on related topics. 

Feedback and comments of the Preliminary Paper (available on the web site) are welcome and can be send to

Social capital characterizes a community based on the degree that its resources are socially invested, that it presents an ethos of trust, norms of reciprocity, collective action, and participation, and that it possesses inclusive, flexible and diverse networks.  Social capital of a community is assessed through a combination of its bonding (within group relations), bridging (inter-community ties), and linking (relations with formal institutions) dimensions.

A link to a discussion forum where you can post any questions or thoughts you may have regarding the topic or where you can respond to and add your input to discussion topics posted by others. To access this discussion forum click on IASC.

The study "Increasing Aboriginal Social Capital" is being conducted in partnership with the Crossing Boudaries National Council which recently conducted the Aboriginal Voice project.

The Aboriginal Voice initiative focused on:

  • creating a forum for Aboriginal communities and organizations to have dialouges around e-government and e-democracy in a multi-stakeholder context;
  • raising the profile of Aboriginal ICT opportunities and challenges at both the national and regional levels; and
  • enriching and informing the dialogue and agenda of the Crossing Boundaries National Council by raising their awareness of Aboriginal specific e-issues.

Click here to access the final report of the Aboriginal Voice National Recommendations "From Digital Divide to Digital Opportunity".

National Research Centre researcher visits KO team in T.Bay and Sioux Lookout

Susan O'Donnell ( travelled from Frederiction, New Brunswick to Thunder Bay where she met with KO staff at the KO Research Institute. Visits KO partners at the Metis Nation of Ontario, Oshki and Fort William First Nation KIHS classroom provided Susan with the opportunity to meet with people using video conferencing to support program and service delivery.

Susan is working with KORI and K-Net team members to examine how video conferencing and online video material is supporting Keewaytinook Okimakanak and our partners in developing and supporting their programs and services. For more information about the Videocom research initiative, visit its web site at (you must log into the K-Net Meeting Place).

Susan works at the National Research Council (, a Canadian national research agency. She is a researcher specializing in the communications and social aspects of ICT (information and communication technologies). Her positions include:

  • Research Officer, People-Centred Technologies Group, National Research Council Institute for Information Technology
  • Adjunct Professor, Sociology, University of New Brunswick

Her work analyzes:

  • Communications aspects of ICT (primarily how people and groups use the Internet to communicate)
  • Social aspects of ICT (social, economic, political, cultural issues surrounding ICT) 

Her research builds:

  • Understanding (social science analysis leading to improved policies and use of ICT)
  • Technology (social science analysis as part of a multi-disciplinary technology development team)

Chiefs of Keewaytinook Okimakanak meet in Thunder Bay with Bell Canada

The Chiefs of Keewaytinook Okimakanak met together several times throughout the past week to discuss various issues requiring their attention as directors of the organizations.

Most of the meetings took place at the KO office building in Thunder Bay at 216 Algoma Street. The finance and budget meeting took place on Tuesday evening at the Travelodge Inn.

On Wednesday afternoon, a delegation from Bell Aliant including Mark Hanlon, the Chief Operating Officer, Ontario met with the chiefs and staff at the KORI office. Video conferencing connections with Balmertown, Weagamow and Saugeen Nation provided everyone with an update about KOTH and KIHS.

Network technicians for satellite-served First Nations meet in Sioux Lookout

Network technicians from remote First Nations in northern  Manitoba and Ontario are meeting in Sioux Lookout to discuss the operation and maintenance of their local satellite earth stations and community broadband network connections.

The technicians are meeting together to share local experiences and challenges; learn about the C-Band satellite network; obtain experience in the maintenance and operation of the equipment involved in sustaining their network connection; meet and network with other community technicians working with similar equipment in other communities; and to meet the network helpdesk staff from K-Net and Keewatin Tribal Council who are working together to support the provision of broadband services in these remote First Nations.

The training session is being supported by the First Nations SchoolNet program and each of the participating First Nations and organizations.