First Nations in Quebec (SOCAM) learn about K-Net

Dan Pellerin, K-Net’s Network Manager, attended a two day ICT conference hosted by SOCAM (Société de Communication Atkamekw-Montagnais) in Quebec City on Jan 30, 31, 2002. He wrote the attached report from Quebec. Interesting two days here, lots of presenters, politics, optimism and aspirations. K-Net was referred to time and time again as the model to aspire to. The video conference went well. People saw and talked with Brian Beaton and watched him jump when I called up the IP phone sitting beside him on the table. Discussions were held concerning how K-Net uses the network and how they see others participating and creating networks. Unfortunately the Fort Severn site had technical problems so Chief George Kakekaspan was not able to participate. Everyone hoped to be able to talk to them to understand their local network. Next time. Telehealth applications were shown by Christine Penner-Polle and Donna Williams from their health office in Balmertown. A shot of the inside of Donna's ear was seen on a 15 foot screen.. (way too much detail for me..), as well as a scar using the patient camera. The document camera was used to transmit an image. Raymond Mason and Darrin Potter talked about the the KIHS program and about changes to the community. People at the conference were able to ask questions throughout each live session. Great work everyone and apologies to those who were unable to get on as we ran out of time... *actually went into other people's time*. Other presentations at the conference were made by RamTel corporation and by Industry Canada representatives. At the beginning of day two there was a mixup in the travel schedules so Ernie Dal Grande was unable to attend to do a presentation. However.... Ernie was brought in via Video Conference so he was able to discuss his work at FNHIB and the telehealth initiatives. Yay to video. INAC representative Alain Drolet explained how he and a colleague were acting as technology conduits and helping communities with IT issues and bringing the private sector to the table. Their version of Carl Seibel at FedNor. Had a meeting with SOCAM and the Industry Canada representative to discuss and animate a meeting about a development strategy and to get to know who the players are at both the Federal and Provincial level. Some items learnt from attending this gathering are: * the challenges are very similar as in the NAN region, with multiple telcos to deal with... * People are looking at K-Net and hoping to create what we have done. There was discussion with the provincial Min of Education and Health about the network they were going to build. People listened and one fellow really did a passionate and eloquent piece on the aggregated model, even drew out a picture I made for him showing him the difference between aggregated and thin pipes. Later they discussed a structure to manage this.. (legal council brought this up). When the discussion started going around in circles, one fellow said... "Yesterday I watched the K-Net network ... there was telehealth, schools, people using a network and having opportunities. This is what I want for our communities. Let’s concentrate on this and worry about governance structures later." Very nice compliment for us. Imitation is the best form of compliment. Everyone is to be congratulated on the hard work and for carrying out the vision. Makes me proud to be an ambassador for K-Net.