Keewaytinook Okimakanak

First Nation SchoolNet Helpdesk Reps Meet at K-Net

Industry Canada's First Nations SchoolNet program held their annual Helpdesk meeting in Sioux Lookout the week of June 16. All the Helpdesks were represented from across Canada at this gathering. Pictures of the two and half day gathering are available at JR Isadore and Kevin Burton of the Atlantic Regional Helpdesk arrived on Saturday morning. Taking a tour of their web site and the interactive work that JR and Kevin are putting on-line to support First Nation schools and communities in using and developing the Micmac Aboriginal Language is a rich experience. Check out the Lessons, Vocabulary, Songs, Wli-Nuelewi CD, Talking Books, Prayers and their Talking Dictionary resource material. These on-line resources provide an exciting challenge and model for all First Nation communities to do likewise. Everyone else arrived on Sunday. Tim Whiteduck. from the Quebec Helpdesk along with the four folks from Industry Canada’s FN Schoolnet program in Ottawa (Rachel Roy, Kathleen Schroeder, Will Dubitsky and Jacques Drouin) were met at the Sioux Lookout airport in the afternoon. Tim works with the Kitigan Zibi Education Council in the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community which is located approximately 130 km north of Hull/Ottawa and adjacent to the town of Maniwaki. Their Learning Algonquin website is a great on-line resource / model for sharing their language. Jeff Cappo of the Saskatchewan Helpdesk flew in that evening from Regina. Jeff has his own IT company (TP Technologies) that provides a variety of services for clients both Saskatchewan and in other parts of the country. Corey Vokey drove in from Winnipeg where he works with Taiga Communications as the Manitoba Helpdesk coordinator. Diane and Ian Cameron (NO Limits, Inc) drove 3 hours from their home in Kamloops, BC to the airport, flew to Winnipeg and then drove to Sioux Lookout. The two and half day meeting was held in the Sioux Lookout Area Aboriginal Management Board conference room at the Keewaytinook Okimakanak office building in Sioux Lookout. The first morning was spent sharing information about each of the regions and the work / challenges that everyone is addressing in their function as the regional helpdesk. A video conference connection was established with the Schoolnet folks in Ottawa so they too could hear about the work being done by the helpdesks across the country. Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning had the Industry Canada folks introducing the upcoming changes that will be taking place within their department. The biggest challenge involves developing a strategy to support First Nation schools as the access to the subsidized DirecPC resource is removed by December 2003. As well, discussions focused around the challenges and opportunities to migrate to and fund broadband connectivity solutions that the First Nation schools can utilize wherever possible. On Tuesday afternoon one group took a charter into Slate Falls First Nation to visit with the Chief and Council and learn about the importance of connectivity in this type of environment. A visit to the local Keewaytinook Internet High School classroom provided everyone with a chance to meet some of the students that are benefitting from being able to access their high school courses from their home community. Slate Falls First Nation is a member of Windigo First Nations Council, a partner with Keewaytinook Okimakanak bringing broadband connectivity into their member First Nations. The other group drove out to visit Pelican Falls First Nation High School and met with Lance Redbourne to discuss the KU-Band high speed connectivity trial. Then the group drove to the Frenchman's Head KiHS classroom to meet with Marlene McKay (KiHS Teacher), Andrea Ignace (Teacher Assistant) and Richard Morris (Education Director). Wednesday morning, Carl Seibel from FedNor joined the group and was able to share how their regional economic development program provided funding support to establish broadband connectivity solutions for remote First Nations in Northern Ontario. A video conference session with the Fort Severn First Nation Chief and Council and their Smart team members was able to provide some additional information about the importance of having broadband connectivity in these First Nations. As well, discussions around working with K-Net staff to plan and coordinate a national Aboriginal Smart Communities conference this fall with regional gatherings in each part of the country linking together promises to be an exciting challenge and opportunity to demonstrate broadband applications at their best! Finally, just before this meeting ended David Fransen the Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of IHAD and Paul Bush Telesat Vice-President of Corporate Relations arrived and was able to meet most of the meeting participants. Even the brief meeting with Kevin and JR at the airport was valuable for everyone to learn about their important work in the Atlantic Region. The meeting ended much like it began with everyone leaving at different times by different means. The great thing about these communication tools is no one has to say good-bye anymore but rather ... “Until we meet again on-line”. Thanks to everyone for taking the time from their busy schedules to attend this important gathering of like-minded people ... what a team!!

Kuh-ke-nah Network is Profiled in June Issue of Telemanagement

The headline reads, "K-Net Brings Broadband to Northwestern Ontario, pages 13-15", in the latest issue of Telemanagement - The Angus Report on Business Telecommunications in Canada (June 2002, Number 196). Read the stories at (posted with permission from Telemanagement) The first paragraph ... "Four years ago, the residents of North Spirit Lake, Ontario, had no telephone service and no Internet access. Today they have both - and the Internet came first." The story goes on to describe the steps taken since 1994 by Keewaytinook Okimakanak to bring broadband services into the KO First Nations and the region. The last section of the story summarizes the work being done by so many groups and individuals in this region and is worth sharing. It is a story about partnerships and what can happen with the right combination, as in the case of K-Net and all our partners (and the list continues to grow)! "K-Net and the five northern Community Broadband Networks (CBNs) we reviewed last month, demonstrate that it is possible to deploy broadband networks now in rural and remote parts of Canada. What it seems to take is a combination of "bottom up" and "top down" initiatives. It takes determination and commitment in the community itself. It also takes government funding programs, to bridge the gap between what communities need and the willingness of private carriers to meet those needs. It also takes champions: individuals in local communities and at the top levels of government, and at every level in between, who have both a vision of what broadband networks can accomplish, and the dogged determination to make it happen. None of those, by itself, can achieve the desired result. Governments can't roll out networks by fiat; communities can't create networks single-handedly; champions by themselves are powerless. But put them all together - combine a relatively small amount of public funding with a lot of local ingenuity, hard work and resolve - and almost anything can be achieved."

Deadline Date for Submission - July 15/02 OAEDP

Ontario Aborigonal Economic Development Program is now accepting applications for business and economic development activities. The deadeline date for submission are July 15/02. If you have any questions, please call David Neegan @ 1-800-387-3740 Background The Ontario Aboriginal Economic Development Program (OAEDP) is designed to promote economic development in Aboriginal communities throughout Ontario. The Program operates under funding provided by the Ontario Native Affairs Secretariat (ONAS). Program Principles The Program will promote Aboriginal self-reliance and sustainable economic growth. The Program will strive to address the economic development needs of Aboriginal communities. The Program will maximize accessibility to funding by Aboriginal communities in Ontario. Program funding will be distributed on a fair and equitable basis. Program objectives The objectives of the Ontario Aboriginal Economic Development Program are: to increase community economic activity; to increase the capacity of Aboriginal communities to participate in the economy; to support the business development needs of Aboriginal communities; and to strengthen Aboriginal Communities through initiatives that develop / enhance Aboriginal structures. Program Guidelines: OAEDP has three components of program funding: Organizational Development: maximum funding of $15,000.00 Economic Capacity Building: maximum funding of $25,000.00 Business Development: maximum funding of $50,000.00 OAEDP has 2 proposal calls per year: 1st Request for Proposals deadline: JULY 15, 2002 2nd Request for Proposals deadline: DECEMBER 02, 2002 For more information, please visit Ontario Aboriginal Economic Development Program

KO staff participate in Canada’s Innovation Strategy consultation process

On Thursday, June 6, Dan Pellerin and Brian Beaton participated in the Thunder Bay Innovation Summit hosted by FedNor. This event proved to be a well organized and well attended event bringing together a wide cross section of business, industry, academic, government and organizations from across the region. The format provided everyone with the opportunity to contribute to the four challenges set out in the document “Achieving Excellence” as they relate to Northwestern Ontario: * creating new knowledge and bringing it to market more quickly * developing skills for the new economy * setting the right business and regulatory environment * strengthening communities across Canada. Ensuring that First Nations, remote and rural communities are recognized as leaders in innovation was a key purpose in participating in these summits. The challenges facing these communities and the people who live and work in these environments demand innovation and respect from all sectors. The majority of the Canadian population, industry, corporate and government sector continue to enjoy the benefits obtained through the contributions and sacrifices made by First Nations, remote and rural communities. A fair and equitable balance of resources and services must be available for the people in these communities to ensure their innovative and sustainable existence is maintained and appreciated by the rest of the country. The detailed report from all 35 summits will be posted on the Innovations Strategy web site under Publications and Reports. In conjunction with these sessions, FedNor hosted a Small Business Info-Fair with displays from a variety of Federal government departments along with local organizations such as NADF and some municipalities. The Rural Innovation Summit was hosted by the Rural Secretariat in Portage la Prairie. This gathering opened on Thursday evening with a challenging presentation by Arthur Bull who recognized that rural Canada is already the most innovative environment in the country. The workshop format the next day involved smaller working groups attempting to contribute to the questions presented in the Workbook for Rural Participation. This session seemed to be more of a sharing and collecting of information on the successes and challenges that exist in the rural sector across the country. I hope the authors of the final report will be able to provide some recommendations that can contribute the formation of government policy that will support the continued development and strengthening of the innovative qualities of First Nations, remote and rural communities across the country. The challenge still exists to make sure every individual and every community in Canada has the opportunity to contribute to the development of the policies and programs that will support Innovation in all communities across the country. The DO-IT-YOURSELF KIT on the Innovation Strategy web site provides a guide for everyone to contribute to this process. Please consider taking a look at the web site and sharing your thoughts on this important issue. Better still, get a group of people together to work through the information and provide a community perspective on local opportunities and needs. Of course, access to broadband connectivity sure would make it easier for everyone to participate in this effort. GET INVOLVED ... MAKE SURE FIRST NATIONS, REMOTE AND RURAL COMMUNITIES ARE INCLUDED IN THIS IMPORTANT PROCESS!!

K-Net Server Receives 2 MILLION Hits in one month

Congratulations to the ENTIRE K-Net On-line Community. We broke the 2 million hits mark in the month of May! This is the first time we reached this many hits in one month. I just checked our monthly server usage stats at and saw that we achieved the highest level of usage in ONE month yet. The actual number of hits was 2,005,737. is our main web site from where all of the pages and different services are linked and accessed. Other on-line servers / services include: * Server (our e-learning server) had 131,058 hits on the main page in May * Server (our mail server) had 700,623 hits * Server (the server that we provide for other organizations to host their web site) had 44,953 hits * Server (personal web page site) had 812,272 hits For a total of 3,694,643 hits in May (and this does not even include the K-Net Chat service)!! Thanks to everyone who uses K-Net for making this an important virtual place to be!!

Bear visits K.O. Office

Bear found at K.O. office on Saturday afternoon! Take a look at:

Community Economic Development Program - Reports

It is that time of year again for the Community Economic Development Program reports to be submitted. The deadline date for the reports is June 30/2002. If you need any assistance in completing the reports, please contact David Neegan @ 1-800-387-3750 The information can be viewed @

Web Site to support Community Satellite Broadband Connectivity launched

Keewaytinook Okimakanak is acting as an agent of Industry Canada supporting the deployment of a portion of a C-Band satellite transponder to deliver broadband connectivity in First Nations, rural and remote communities across Canada. A new web site is now in place to encourage and support local community champions in satellite served communities to develop broadband connectivity solutions and appropriate applications. Check out and join in the sharing and developing efforts with folks from all regions of Canada.

Final Report for First Nations Connect Conference is now on-line

The conference report summarizing the organization and results of the First Nations Connect conference is now available on-line at

Minister Nault meets with KO Chiefs and staff in Balmertown

On Saturday, March 23, the Honourable Robert Nault and Patti Skillen joined the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Chiefs and staff for breakfast at the Balmertown office. After breakfast, the Chiefs and staff discussed some of the different initiatives underway in the Keewaytinook Okimakanak First Nations. Eight briefing papers were presented outlining the work and requirements for a number of different initiatives being developed in the Keewaytinook Okimakanak First Nations. These included: 1. The All-Weather Road north of Red Lake 2. Health Services (physician, nursing and client services) in Red Lake 3. Water Plant Operators Training Centre in Red Lake 4. Telehealth Services 5. Kuh-ke-nah Network development work 6. First Nations Governance Consultations 7. Economic and Resource development work 8. Keewaytinook Internet High School See the pictures at