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  • Guide: Federal Funding for Indigenous Broadband | FirstMile
    needs and requirements While some programs are well publicized and broadband specific others include broadband as one aspect of a broad program or may fund ICT development as helping to achieve other program objectives such as socio economic development or delivery of health applications Broadband funding programs are also diffused across different points in time Some end or change abruptly as funding priorities shift or governments change sometimes despite positive evaluations from government funders as was the case with the Community Access Program and First Nations SchoolNet when administered by ISED Institutional memories within funding bodies are in constant flux As employees with historical knowledge of a particular program transition into different jobs newer recruits do not always learn the historical context of their programs Therefore as an Appendix we include an overview of past inactive federal funding programs as well as links to funding programs administered by provincial and territorial governments These complex characteristics make up a funding landscape for broadband in Indigenous territories that is in flux and inadequate The nature of the project based funding landscape makes it difficult for Indigenous community based organizations to engage in long term strategic planning thereby threatening the long term sustainability of the services and infrastructures they manage and operate To this end during its interventions in the Review of basic telecommunications services CRTC 2015 134 the FMCC is advocating the CRTC to play a coordinating role in this area The FMCC proposes that the CRTC establish a new Northern Services and Infrastructure Fund NISF to support the ongoing work of community based Indigenous providers and complement other existing federal funding initiatives The FMCC suggests that the CRTC as an administrative tribunal with technical expertise and insight into the Canadian communications environment unavailable elsewhere in government could play a leadership role

    Original URL path: http://firstmile.ca/guide-federal-funding-for-indigenous-broadband/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Report: Digital Technology Adoption in Northern and Remote Indigenous Communities in Canada | FirstMile
    family members However local training is required to help some residents develop basic digital literacies and assist others in applications such as e commerce and online marketing for local entrepreneurship and local content development Affordability remains a major constraint with numerous participants stating that surcharges for exceeding usage caps made it difficult to take full advantage of Internet access Basic monthly subscription charges are beyond the means of low income households Community access to the Internet including public Wi Fi hot spots is sometimes made available at band offices and community centres Limited staffing limits public access for residents at schools or school operated libraries in some communities Quality of service QoS poses major constraints where local terrestrial and satellite networks do not have sufficient bandwidth and reliability for applications such as videoconferencing for telehealth and professional development for teachers and online videos or webinars in schools for continuing education and classroom instruction In many cases remote and rural communities are left without mobile services because their isolation and small populations are seen as not having a business case by the incumbent telcos however alternative mobile services such as Keewaytinook Mobile and Ice Wireless have been successful in these environments Regional broadband networks using legacy microwave and satellite equipment lack the transport capacity or cost too much for example the high cost of satellite bandwidth to support increased data usage in these communities Aging digital technologies and networks require ongoing maintenance and upgrades to provide the bandwidth and quality of service that northern communities require Regional fixed network incumbent providers often upgrade their facilities only if communities can help raise the funds required or if other subsidies are available to complete construction projects Recommendations This project included an extensive literature review an identification of primary and secondary data sources two completed pilot studies conducted using telecommunications and a plan for conducting an in person pilot study in the coming months Based on this work we present recommendations in two parts 1 conducting research methods and approaches and 2 addressing constraints and barriers to digital technology adoption These are listed below and discussed in detail in the recommendations section of the report 1 Conducting research on digital technology adoption in remote and northern Indigenous communities 1 1 More research is needed data and information about digital technology adoption in northern and remote Indigenous communities is significantly limited compared to that from other communities in Canada 1 2 Plan the research to represent and distinguish among Inuit First Nation and Métis nations and communities Given that the current project conducted pilot studies with First Nations we recommend working with an Inuit community for the next phase of the project 1 3 Respect and follow the appropriate research ethics and data governance protocols 1 4 Partner with regional Indigenous organizations that can act as intermediaries between researchers and involved Indigenous communities 1 5 Develop a strong working relationship with each unique Indigenous community involved in the research 1 6 Online or virtual research

    Original URL path: http://firstmile.ca/report-digital-technology-adoption-in-northern-and-remote-indigenous-communities-in-canada/ (2016-04-30)
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  • MWC gets SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis grant for literature review | FirstMile
    of agency leadership decision making and diplomacy Using a critical settler colonialism lens our project will synthesize and critically analyze research on how digital technologies can support learning and preservation of Indigenous cultures and languages We will also examine how digital technologies can support Indigenous control of these processes Our critical analysis will link these processes to the ongoing decolonization work and in particular how new digital opportunities support the ability of Indigenous community members to stay on the land Beaton and Carpenter 2014 Indigenous peoples are negotiating settler colonialism and Western discourses by strengthening their traditional knowledge systems Battiste 2013 Grande 2004 Wilson 2008 and Indigenous academics are turning to resurgence responsibility renewal and relationships to counter damage centered research Corntassel 2012 Tuck 2009 Creation stories and oral storytelling are keeping Indigenous traditions knowledges cultures and languages alive Sable and Francis 2012 Simpson 2011 Indigenous community members of all ages are currently using digital technologies in particular social media for cultural resurgence and Indigenous youth have a hunger for reconnecting with their languages and cultures Molyneaux O Donnell Kakekaspan Walmark Budka Gibson 2014 However the integration of technologies into Indigenous cultural and language programs is lagging far behind Our project will provide knowledge to support the development of more appropriate Indigenous learning and training programs Technology is a two edged sword Using technology to maintain recover and reclaim language culture and identity may support bridging the gap between fluent speakers and non speakers of Indigenous languages Technology offers the opportunity to share Indigenous digital resources language applications and linguistic dictionaries Digital technologies can deliver Indigenous language teaching and learning programs over distance to Indigenous communities and off reserve peoples They can be a tool to confront linguistic genocide Perley 2011 and foster community wellness O Donnell et al 2010

    Original URL path: http://firstmile.ca/mwc-gets-sshrc-knowledge-synthesis-grant-for-literature-review/ (2016-04-30)
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  • FMCC team presents at CRTC BSO hearings | FirstMile
    retaining control of their broadband development and operations said Tim Whiteduck IT Director with the First Nations Education Council in Quebec They should not simply hand over these assets including revenue rights of way or political support for the privilege of becoming customers of companies that have no stake in the long term sustainable development of their regions and communities Prof Rob McMahon of the University of Alberta outlined the FMCC s proposal for creation of a new Northern Infrastructure and Services Fund NISF This fund would enable community based organizations to upgrade operate and maintain telecommunications facilities in the North as well as to provide training and support for northern residents McMahon stressed that FMCC s members demonstrate that Indigenous people can be providers and not just consumers of broadband and other communications services They provide networks for telemedicine distance education and other public services as well as Internet and other retail services for community residents Expert witness Professor Heather Hudson stated I know of no other country or region where Indigenous people have developed such expertise and taken on such responsibilities for their own telecommunications FMCC is a non profit association of First Nation service providers involved in research public outreach and policy advocacy Our research reports and community case studies are available at www firstmile ca For more information please contact Tim Whiteduck IT Director First Nations Education Council and FMCC Chair 855 842 7672 or TWhiteduck cepn fnec com Penny Carpenter Manager K Net 807 737 1135 or pennycarpenter knet ca Rob McMahon Coordinator FMCC 780 288 7151 or info firstmile ca For a WORD copy of the presentations click on the names of each of the presenters below Tim Whiteduck FNEC IT Director President of FMCC Rob McMahon Assistant Professor UofAlberta Coordinator of FMCC Penny

    Original URL path: http://firstmile.ca/fmcc-team-presents-at-crtc-bso-hearings/ (2016-04-30)
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  • IsumaTV Builds Innovative Digital Systems to Share High-Def Streaming Video in Low Speed Remote Communities | FirstMile
    around development by capturing and archiving a host of relevant content such as consultation meetings between Indigenous communities and resource companies This provides a more accountable record of promises and negotiations in a format understood by all involved parties For example an IsumaTV production team filmed the Final Public Hearings on the environmental impact statement of the Baffinland Iron Mine Corporation in three communities that video was put onto IsumaTV They spend millions of dollars making their submissions to environmental impact boards You can spend a few thousand dollars to finance transparency regarding these decisions This illustrates the business model for this technology and how it could be useful throughout Indigenous regions in Canada said Cohn Besides the important job of encouraging transparency and local input in resource development decision making and consultations IsumaTV plays an important role in the preservation of language and the traditional way of life Television programming in these communities typically involves watching whatever is on the cable television in the living room likely news from Detroit or a show from Vancouver or Montreal These programs are likely in French or English In communities like Igloolik with 55 cable channels available only one channel APTN provides Indigenous programming where people can watch only three hours a week in Inuktitut While APTN s Aboriginal broadcasting is a much needed service to all Canadians the diversity of Indigenous languages and cultures across Canada paired with the limited schedule and production resources of APTN means that some content falls through the gaps IsumaTV helps address this need It provides a library of Indigenous content with more than 6 000 films and videos in 80 languages over 1 300 videos in Inuktitut along with live streaming and video uploading capabilities and makes this material available through a TV channel on the local cable system and through Wi Fi networks connected to people s homes The channel is programmed by a local station manager In Igloolik that person is Carol Kunnuk They watch it IsumaTV a lot Whenever you go into someone s house you can see that they are actually on the channel watching Kunnuk told FirstMile ca Each week she makes a playlist of programs selected from the more than 6 000 videos hosted on the IsumaTV server which runs 24 7 on one of the 55 cable channels available on local TV As the operators for the playlist we go over the videos what s new what is a good video to show for the week and also we get requests from our community viewers and we put them on the playlist said Kunnuk IsumaTV has been an important resource for some younger Inuit members of the community Kunnuk said that some community members are reticent in approaching Elders for help with traditional tasks like treating caribou or seal skins That is because they sometimes feel embarrassed because they think it should be something they already know how to do IsumaTV s production team has created videos about

    Original URL path: http://firstmile.ca/isumatv-builds-innovative-digital-infrastructure-to-share-high-def-streaming-video-in-remote-communities/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Community-Managed Wi-Fi Network Bridges Digital Divides in Fisher River Cree Nation | FirstMile
    through proprietary commercial components can run into the tens of thousands of dollars In comparison he says that a Router built with a cheap computer using free open source software such as Pfsense costs only a few hundred dollars to set up Krywenko says that the open source system in Fisher Lake will have a comparable Firewall NIDS NIPS network intrusion detection system network intrusion prevention system and other features that rival those offered through proprietary commercial equipment but at near zero cost Another benefit of using open source components is the large and vibrant community of users who are willing to provide information and help Access to such freely available technical supports make it easier for communities like Fisher River to build up local capacity to run their own networks down the road The faster bandwidth now available in Fisher River came about not only due to the adoption of the Ubiquiti equipment and other open source network components It is also possible because the capacity of the MTS backhaul link has significantly increased since it was first installed in 2009 From its original 2MB connection the backhaul jumped to 100MB today and has the capacity to go up to 300MB To access the 100MB link that is distributed by Fisher River Internet Company through the community the local organization pays a monthly fee Due to a non disclosure agreement Krywenko cannot share with us the amount In their homes residents pay for and use their monthly Internet service the same way they would with a traditional telecom company with one key difference the money stays in the community Although Fisher River Internet Company was setup as as a business it is basically run as non profit since the majority of revenues cover operating expenses and equipment and network upgrades People living in Fisher River benefit in many ways from the applications that the improved community network makes possible Upgrades led to the introduction of Smart board technology in the school remote learning opportunities a community radio station with content now streaming online and access to electronic medical charts and telehealth services Communication applications like Skype and streaming HD movies are a benefit for daily life in this remote community Krywneko admits there are limitations to the community network For example bad weather can mean a flaky connection Some community members live in such deep woods that they cannot connect to the Fisher River system easily Due to recently introduced local competition consumers now have several connectivity options MTS recently brought a DSL plan to the community offering 39 month plan compared to 50 for Fisher River Xplornet offers an 80 a month satellite plan While these options are available in the community Krywenko points to the faster speeds local employment and revenue opportunities of the local service Fisher River Internet Company also offers unlimited downloads a rare service for customers in a remote community As with all shared broadband heavy users can put a strain on the system

    Original URL path: http://firstmile.ca/community-managed-wi-fi-network-bridges-digital-divides-in-fisher-river-cree-nation/ (2016-04-30)
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  • 2015-2016 Industry Canada: Research on Digital Technology Adoption | FirstMile
    and exploring and testing different methodologies for measuring digital technology adoption These results will be useful not only for policy makers but also for FMCC members and any organization providing broadband services and digital connectivity in northern and remote communities We will make the results available on our website buy a term paper college This entry was posted in Current and Recent Activities FMCC News Bookmark the permalink Post navigation On Haida Gwaii Creative Locals Push Digital Innovation Community Managed Wi Fi Network Bridges Digital Divides in Fisher River Cree Nation Search for Latest News Guide Federal Funding for Indigenous Broadband Report Digital Technology Adoption in Northern and Remote Indigenous Communities in Canada MWC gets SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis grant for literature review FMCC team presents at CRTC BSO hearings IsumaTV Builds Innovative Digital Systems to Share High Def Streaming Video in Low Speed Remote Communities Recent Comments Archives Archives Select Month April 2016 March 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 December 2013 October 2013 July 2013 June 2013 March 2013 February 2013 December 2012 October

    Original URL path: http://firstmile.ca/2016-industry-canada-research-on-digital-technology-adoption/ (2016-04-30)
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  • On Haida Gwaii, Creative Locals Push Digital Innovation | FirstMile
    than 5 000 not too long ago but now at 4 300 a loss of about 15 percent it s clear that something has to change to entice residents to stay True to the self sufficient character of the island population the communities are working to come up with an innovative solution themselves GwaiiTel is one piece of that puzzle Created as a not for profit society made up of three municipalities two Band councils two unincorporated areas and the Council of the Haida Nation GwaiiTel worked to find funding to build the infrastructure that would bring a broadband signal from a tower in Prince Rupert 185 km away on B C s northern coast Today GwaiiTel brings broadband to those two islands through this connection as the provider and aggregator of wholesale transport bandwidth services The society then resells this bandwidth to local Internet Service Providers ISPs which service homes and businesses Network map of GwaiiTel Courtesy Carol Kulesha The Mayor of Queen Charlotte city at the time and GwaiiTel Chair Carol Kulesha was one member of GwaiiTel Society working towards securing project funds She reached out to the GwaiiTrust Society a fund whose goal of developing a sustainable island life includes infrastructure projects like broadband as well as to provincial and federal grant programs As with most projects in Haida Gwaii Kulesha explained the islands communities had to collaborate to find a solution to the connectivity problem We are not an easy place to build we are spread out we don t have a lot of people we have a challenging topography Just trying to cross the Hecate Straight with a signal is huge Trying to connect communities when you have mountains and trees and in some places another body of water is hugely difficult she said Many people on the islands work remotely Kulesha said For example a forestry company can be based in Haida Gwaii yet be remotely involved in planning projects in Africa With limited bandwidth it is hard for them to stay because things like maps and photographs are too hard to send but as we get better Internet more of them can stay and work here We have been steadily losing people and we are losing our children we need to be able to ensure they have a way to make a living where we are Shannon said most young people who leave Haida Gwaii for school never return He recalled how when he did come back to Skidegate he had to give up many of his Vancouver clients because he couldn t send videos or photographs over the Internet Instead he had to physically send these materials through the mail In Haida Gwaii mail only leaves the islands twice a week sometimes even less often if weather delays the ferry A photo of a beach in Skidegate Courtesy Patrick Shannon While the connection is improving Shannon says the bottlenecks still make his work challenging during peak hours of the day But he

    Original URL path: http://firstmile.ca/creative-locals-push-digital-innovation-on-haida-gwaii/ (2016-04-30)
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