Keewaytinook Okimakanak

New K-Net News Site

We have a new K-Net News site which should make submitting your News Stories much easier.  Included is a new HTML editor and the ability to add pictures to your news stories.

Keewaytinook Okimakanak meets with Cisco Systems Networking Academy

Two representatives from Cisco Systems Networking Academy travelled to Sioux Lookout o­n September 30, 2002 to meet with K-Net staff. Anne Miller, Canadian Education Marketing Manager and Jane Brooke, Senior Education Technical Specialist are exploring strategies to deliver their training programs in rural and remote First Nations. Anne and Jane are working with a number of First Nation organizations across Canada to partner in the development and delivery a training program delivery strategy that will best serve learners located in rural and remote First Nations. For more information o­n Cisco Career Certifications visit and check out the pictures of the visit.

NAN Day of Prayer at Keewaytinook Okimakanak

The Keewaytinook Okimakanak staff participated in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation Day of Prayer today in the Balmertown office.  Time was set aside this afternoon to pray for all the families who have lost youth to suicide.  With the Keewaytinook Okimakanak staff assembled in the boardroom, brief introductions and welcoming remarks were made by Orpah McKenzie and Peter Campbell.  An opening prayer was then offered by Cello and Sapina Meekis of Deer Lake.  Henry Hostetler and his wife, Mary Jane, from Red Lake continued with prayers of hope and guidance for all the families affected by this throughout the Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Canada.

Keewaytinook Okimakanak presents at international virtual conference

On Tuesday, September 10, Keewaytinook Okimakanak presented information about the Kuh-ke-nah project at the international, on-line “ICT, Social Enterprise and Sustainable Development” virtual conference.

The Powerpoint Presentation Archives from the virtual conference are now available for viewing at Over the next few days, the conference coordinator, David Wortley will be digitizing the audio presentations to create full multimedia versions accessible by broadband users (the KO presentation is up for those with broadband connections at - be sure to click on PLAY on the left hand side after it loads)

David combines a number of traditional and contemporary ICT tools to broadcast and distribution information about ICT developments from around the world. Archives of other on-line conferences facilitated by David can be found at

In distributing follow up information about the “ICT, Social Enterprise and Sustainable Development” virtual conference, David writes:

The presentations on September 10th were very interesting and varied. I have grouped them together in the following summaries :-


Three of the presentations examined the global impact of the internet on society and sustainability. All 3 presentations identified the fact that we are at a very critical time in the history of mankind. My presentation on the theme of Societal fission or fusion drew an analogy with the processes involved in nuclear reaction to make the point that with ICT we have unleashed a powerful force on society which we need to understand how to harness for the benefit of mankind, otherwise we may not be able to control its potential for destruction.

Earl Mardle of Technology Empowerment Network (TEN) spoke of similar potent forces and draw an analogy between the early stages of the life of the internet and the birth of the universe - powerful energy and great unpredictability. He went on to describe how TEN is creating a network to help harness these forces to the benefit of mankind.

Thomas Schauer's presentation focused on how ICT may have opened a Pandora's box of increasing consumption in a world of finite resources. He has done some excellent research on the impact of technology on bio-diversity and it seems clear that further research is necessary if we are to understand how to control the forces we have unleashed.

It is interesting to note that all 3 presenters developed a common strand but come from different backgrounds - commercial, NGO and academic.


The presentations from Brian Beaton of K-Net in Canada and Leone Wheeler in Australia were on the theme of community networks.

The K-Net project for the First Nations in Canada is a wonderful example of how a community can shape their future through the creative use of ICT. In particular, they have a very good model for bringing access to remote rural communities through a mixture of broadband, wireless and satellite technologies.

The Victoria Regional Learning Network is a more traditional community ICT program built around lifelong learning and community ICT centres. The project highlighted the sustainability problems projects of this type across the world seem to encounter when revenue funding runs out.


The digital divide is a frequently used term which was at the heart of five of the presentations. Sue Webb of Women Connect perhaps expressed the true nature of the digital divide when she talked about the social divide between men and women and it seemed clear from all of these four presentations that ICT can empower disadvantaged groups, provided society has a commitment to tackle these social divides.

Sue Webb's presentation was on Women and ICT and it drew attention to the role that women can play in shaping a better society through their application of ICT. Sue stressed the need to develop ICT applications that are "women friendly" if we are to harness the true potential of women.

Barbara Fillip's presentation covered her model for e-learning in developing nations. She describes its success in bringing education in a practical way to these countries, but also draws attention to the need to make these facilities sustainable. Like many social entrepreneurs (myself included) she currently subsidises her social enterprise with commercial work. More research is needed into the phenomena of social enterprise and the need to connect risks to rewards if these activities are to be sustained.

Marc Cowgill's presentation was on ICT and Mental Health Empowerment. He describes the value of ICT to people with mental health issues with his mental health empowerment project. When the full multimedia version of the presentation is available, you must listen to the professional way in which Marc makes his presentation.

Richard Blows of Quest-Net described their model for making information more accessible to disadvantaged groups. The commercial sector is very familiar with "information overload" and Quest-Net is a portal site and services portfolio designed for "information-underload"

Simon Stevens is a social entrepreneur who happens be disabled. He spoke about Disability and Wealth Creation - the Interdependency model. Simon's presentation was a shining example of good communication practice. His presentation slides delivered his message with the greatest eloquence and he made the point that disabled people should have more control within the industries that depend on them. It made me even more aware of the need to harness the potential in every human being, whatever their background or ability.

My thanks go out to all the presenters for their efforts - please watch out for the full multimedia versions of the presentations over the next few days.


David Wortley
Mass Mitec
Creative Collaborative Communications
Tel: +44(0)1858 410366

Kuh-ke-nah Smart Demonstration Project Annual Report (2001 - 2002)

Keewaytinook Okimakanak published the Annual Report that covers the developmental work of the Kuh-ke-nah Network of Smart First Nations Demonstration Project from January 2001. The report is available as a PDF document in the K-Net Library - Annual Report 2001-2002.

K-Net Gets Its Own Block of Internet Numbers from ARIN

K-Net has been approved for a /19 (32 blocks of class C IP addresses) from the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN). This address space allows us to start managing and assigning IP numbers, creating our own routing strategies and working with additional service providers. Some of the questions I asked of Adi and Dan (the folks creating this opportunity for K-Net and the ones going to be taking care it) include: Q: Will the new routing efforts require a lot of work on your part? RESPONSE: I am afraid so. I will have to make arrangements to peer our new address space with ENO. The internal routing for the new address space will have to be BGP. I have a 500+ page book about BGP that will require reading. All of our communities, servers, computers will have to be migrated to the new address space. This will require significant changes and a good action plan to have all the changes go smoothly without breaking connectivity, especially on the cable systems where IP lease times are 1 week. Q: I wonder why it went thru this time and not the last time we applied for these numbers? RESPONSE: We are now utilizing a /20 (16 class C's) worth of address space using ENO numbers. Because we are an ISP, we assign these numbers to other organizations. Every time we bring a community online I actually submit a form to ARIN telling them who received which IP space. ARIN uses this information to determine how much IP space we are actually utilizing. The requirement from ARIN is that at least 80% of /20 are utilized. We met that requirement. We also met the requirements for additional address space to bring the satellite communities online, build the Thunder Bay network, etc. Q: How long do you think this /19 will last (I am not clear what this means or how many numbers/devices it actually supports)? RESPONSE: A /19 is 32 class C blocks or 32*255 IP numbers. In the application with ARIN I justified the use of 27 class C's including the space we are utilizing from ENO. I guess it depends how fast the network grows. The initial cost for the /19 is US$2500.00. The annual renewal fee is US$2250.00. ARIN charges fixed fees for specific block sizes, if we outgrow the /19 the fees will increase (double).

Chiefs of Keewaytinook Okimakanak meet in Balmertown

Wednesday’s (July 17) Keewaytinook Okimakanak board meeting was attended by Chief Royal Meekis (Deer Lake), Councillor Silas Kakegamic (Keewaywin), Chief Eli James (McDowell Lake), Chief Isaac Linklater (North Spirit Lake) and Chief Patrick Owen (Poplar Hill). Chief George Kakekaspan is in Sioux Lookout attending the Special Education planning meeting. Items discussed included: * information arising from previous minutes (Orpah McKenzie provided a brief update on the telehealth application to Health Canada and the Nursing Situation in KO First Nations) * finance update (this is Penny Carpenter’s last week before her maternity leave) * all-weather road strategy development (guests Margaret Thompson and John Erickson) * forest management strategy (David Neegan) * K-Net’s application to Industry Canada to be the Ontario Regional Management Organization to support First Nation schools (Brian Beaton) * a brief update on the Keewaytinook Internet High School (Brian Beaton). Throughout the meeting, the community leaders were dealing with issues relating to the forest fire situation across the region.

Sioux Lookout Chamber of Commerce members visit KO office

Local chamber President Christine Hoey, members of the executive and the general membership arranged for a meeting at Keewaytinook Okimakanak’s Sioux Lookout office on Friday, July 5. There is an interest to learn about the work that K-Net is doing and to explore ways that the Chamber members might benefit from broadband connectivity to further develop partnerships with the First Nations in the north. Theresa Stephens from the local Ministry of Northern Development and Mines spoke about the Smart Demonstration project and what it means to have this national and international project located in Northwestern Ontario. Marney Hoey spoke about the potential of broadband connectivity for the community and the region. Kathy Davidson and others asked questions about their own high speed connections and how they might be able to get broadband services for their businesses. Ralph Ireland was happy to see the developments that are reaching the far north. We had a chance to drop in on the e-Centre in Deer Lake and have a brief tour of their facility and meet the staff there. Thanks to Oscar, Arlene and Jeremy for giving everyone a short tour of your space. Sorry for the unannounced intrusion but sometimes it is more impressive for first time users of video equipment to be able to see what it is like to be able to do a virtual “drop in”, unplanned tour in another community. Plans were made for hosting a workshop or series of sessions around Industry Canada’s Innovation Strategy and how local businesses and community members can contribute to this new strategic direction for our own community and Canada.

Kuh-ke-nah Network (K-Net) Success Stories on Industry Canada web site

Three success stories about the work being done in Keewaytinook Okimakanak First Nations were produced by Industry Canada and recently posted on their web site. The three stories include: 1. New Infrastructure Provides A Wealth Of Innovative Services In the isolated Aboriginal communities of Northern Ontario, new technology is changing the landscape. More>> 2. Internet High School Offers The Best Of Both Worlds After they finished eighth grade, most of Reggie Kakekagumick's friends left the remote community of Keewaywin in northern Ontario to attend high school in Sioux Lookout or Thunder Bay. More>> 3. Telehealth offers a cure for isolated First Nations in northern Ontario In Poplar Hill, a remote community in northern Ontario, a community nurse is only available some of the time to take care of the day-to-day health concerns of the approximately 300 residents. More>> Check out all the good things that are happening across the country at each of the Smart Community Demonstration projects (lots of GREAT ideas for EVERY First Nation in the country).

I.C. Associate ADM of IHAD, FedNor and Telesat Officials visit K-Net

David Fransen, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of the Information Highway Applications Branch of Industry Canada, Paul Bush, Vice President, Corporate Development Telesat Canada and Carl Seibel, Telecommunication Projects Officer at FedNor came to visit K-Net Services in Sioux Lookout on Wednesday, June 20. Meetings began as soon as they stepped off the plane in Sioux Lookout. Kevin Burton and JR Isadore from the Atlantic Provinces First Nation Helpdesk were able to meet briefly with David and Paul in the airport before they caught their plane back to Cape Breton. Upon their arrival at the K-Net offices they met several of the other First Nation Helpdesk representatives (Ian and Diane Cameron from the BC/Alberta Helpdesk and Tim Whiteduck from the Quebec Helpdesk). Rachel Roy, Jacques Drouin, Kathleen Schroeder and Will Dubitsky from the First Nations Schoolnet Program also were able to stay to meet with David and Paul. See the story about the Industry Canada First Nation Schoolnet Program meeting that took place in Sioux Lookout from June 16 to 20. A video conference between Fort Severn First Nation Chief George Kakekaspan, his councillors (Moses, Robert and Chip) along with their local Smart team (Madeleine Stoney, Angus Miles and Barney Turtle) and the folks in the Sioux Lookout office to discuss the importance of broadband connectivity in Fort Severn. Moses spoke about his role on the KiHS Advisory Board and the importance of the KiHS program for their young people. Robert Thomas spoke about the telehealth initiative and the work that is happening to make this service an important part of health delivery in Fort Severn. George talked about the economic impact that broadband connectivity has meant in his community. A working lunch with the discussion concentrating on the development of these services in conjunction with the introduction of the various Industry Canada programs, in partnership with other government programs (HRDC’s Stay-In-School initiative, INAC’s EDI and education programs, Schoolnet, CAP, FedNor, Smart, etc). Then it was right off to Matt Air Service to catch our charter to Slate Falls. Pictures of this trip are posted in the K-Net Photo Gallery at After a great ride north (a map can be seen at of Sioux Lookout, we were met at the dock by Chief Lawrence Masakayash and Michael Loon. Everyone rode in Lawrence’s truck up to the Slate Falls KiHS building and a meeting with the teacher and some of the students. The students did up powerpoint presentations containing their thoughts about the first year of KiHS in Slate Falls. Samantha Loon sent her presentation over to be shared with others. From there everyone went over to the Band office to meet with other staff and council members. A video conference with Dan Pellerin and John Moreau in our Sioux Lookout office also provided an opportunity to discuss several of the issues / opportunities that still have to be developed in that community and across the region. The return flight got us into Sioux Lookout before 6 and everyone agreed to meet for supper at 6:30 so Ian and Diane could get off to Winnipeg before it got too late. Even dinner that evening proved to another learning opportunity for everyone with a lot of sharing of ideas and experiences. The group broke up after 9, agreeing to meet again at 7:30 for a breakfast meeting. This meeting proved to be an opportunity to further discuss development strategies and explore various community / regional networking options. This proved to be a challenging, yet lively discussion because everyone (David, Carl, Paul, Dan and Brian) had different priorities and experiences to address. Afterwards, David was able to tell us that the prime minister had announced that morning that the broadband connectivity work would be advanced to begin this year rather than waiting till 2004. Back at the office, discussions centred around the work that was being done under the Smart Communities demonstration initiative. In particular, our education and health initiatives were thoroughly reviewed and understood. As well, questions and brief overviews about our data warehouse work, our portal, the e-Centres and the project sustainability work were presented and discussed. Gibbet Stevens, from the KO Telehealth team, stopped by and was able to provide more information about this project. A copy of the Telehealth Business Case for the Sioux Lookout Zone is being forwarded over to David for his review so he can work with Michael Binder to approach Health Canada’s ADM to discuss this project. Again lunch proved to be a busy time with discussions around the communities and the challenges they are addressing in all sectors. After lunch, a tour of the telehealth services at the Zone Hospital proved to be a great opportunity for Barbara Roche, the Zone’s Telehealth Coordinator, to demonstrate the equipment that is now in place in each of the Keewaytinook Okimakanak First Nation Health Centres. Linking the two units at the Zone together with Rita Wassaykeesic at the Poplar Hill Health Centre also provided an opportunity to discuss some of the health applications and situations being addressed with these tools. Back at the K-Net office, Jesse Fiddler was able to show David the on-line tools and strategies being used to collect data and complete the community engagement aspects of the Smart Communities project. Then around 4, it was off to the airport for David and Paul to catch their return flight to Ottawa. Later that evening, after a supper and more discussions, Carl caught his flight back to Thunder Bay.