Keewaytinook Okimakanak | Media.Knet.Ca

Keewaytinook Okimakanak

Planned Downtime for

Submitter Name: 
Jesse Fiddler
Submitters Email: will be down from 6:30-9:30 pm Tuesday February 17,2009 for maintenance.


Malaysia E-Bario / UNDP workshop report from K-Net rep's perspective

Submitter Name: 
Jesse Fiddler
Submitters Email:

The eBario Knowledge Fair occurred on the days of Dec 6-9, 2007 in the small village of Bario, Sarawak, Malaysia.

The United Nation Development Program (UNDP) invited K-Net and Jesse Fiddler was sent to give a presentation on our work in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) here in Northern Ontario, Canada.

The Knowledge Fair had 2 concurrent workshop themes with one focusing on the local Bario ICT accomplishments and challenges, and the other focusing on the UNDP gathering to examine Asian Indigenous ICT and Media issues.

Chiefs of Keewaytinook Okimakanak and managers meet to map future directions and priorities

Submitter Name: 
Brian Beaton
Submitters Email:

The leadership of Keewaytinook Okimakanak is meeting this week in Sioux Narrows to discuss future directions and opportunities for the organization.

The information gathered from the 3 day workshop is being put together by Mel Stewart of Stewart Communications for presentation to the First Nation membership and staff of Keewaytinook Okimakanak.

As well, the chiefs are meeting to discuss board matters and the managers are meeting to share developments and work plans.

KO's K-Net funded by NOHFC for pilot cellular project in 2 First Nations

MNDM News Release ...
September 04, 2007 
Ontario Invests Over $17 Million In Northern Telecom Expansion - Projects Enhance Economic Opportunities And Quality Of Life Across North

SUDBURY – McGuinty government investments in cellular telephone and broadband Internet services will deliver new opportunities for community growth and a better quality of life for northerners, Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci announced today. 

“Our communities need access to reliable telecommunications infrastructure that will allow them to share in the benefits of modern technology,” said Bartolucci, who also chairs the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).  “By expanding services to many more northern communities, these projects open up possibilities in education, health care, culture and business.”

The NOHFC is providing $17.4 million in support of 12 projects that will enhance telecommunications infrastructure across the North.  The projects will provide almost continuous cellular coverage along major highways from Sault Ste. Marie to the Manitoba border and deliver almost complete broadband coverage within that area.  In addition, they will extend coverage to hard-to-service locations such as the James Bay Coast and the remote Far North.  In all, the residents of more than 130 northern communities will benefit from new and enhanced services.  

“These improvements will greatly enhance the lives of residents in affected northern communities by providing them with access to a whole new range of products, services, information and activities,” said Bartolucci.  “The expansion of telecommunications infrastructure will help ensure that all northerners have an opportunity to participate in the global information society.”

Today’s investment is just one more example of how, working together, Ontarians have achieved results in the North.  Other examples include:

• Contributing $250,000 to help Algoma University College establish a computer gaming technology centre on campus
• Investing $2.5 million over four years in the production of Météo Plus, a new television series to be filmed and produced in the Sudbury area
• Providing $67,500 to Geraldton Community Forest Inc. to do preparatory work for an online interactive mapping application that will provide users with a comprehensive view of all the tourism values, natural features and recreational activities Northern Ontario has to offer.

These initiatives are part of the government’s Northern Prosperity Plan for building stronger northern communities. The plan has four pillars: Strengthening the North and its Communities; Listening to and Serving Northerners Better; Competing Globally; and Providing Opportunities for All.




Twelve new projects will deliver expanded telecommunications services to the residents of more than 130 communities throughout Northern Ontario.

Under its Public Sector Emerging Technology program, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation is investing in the following 10 proposals from partnerships and alliances of municipalities, private sector businesses and organizations, federal government and other government-related agencies: 

• The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre:

- $1,650,000 to build on a partnership with Thunder Bay Telephone and FedNor to enhance services for more than 1,000 customers along 210 kilometres of highway in the Red Lake area
- $967,000 to extend and enhance services to residents along Highway 17 west from Thunder Bay to Vermillion Bay and from Thunder Bay south to the U.S. border
- $2,500,000 to provide broadband and telecommunications services to 37 communities and enhance services to another 28 communities along 1,100 kilometres of highways 11, 71 and 17
- $3,400,000 to implement enhanced cellular telephone services affecting up to 11,000 residents in more than 20 communities along 360 kilometres of Highway 17 between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie

• City of Kenora – $1,913,847 to expand cellular coverage to the communities of Minaki, Redditt, Whitedog First Nation, Wauzhushik Onigum First Nation and Pine, and to provide high speed wireless Internet service in the currently unserved communities of Sunnyside, Blindfold Lake, Echo Bay and Black Sturgeon East

• Rainy River Future Development Corporation – $2,500,000 to complete gaps in cellular and broadband Internet services along Highway 11 in the Rainy River-to-Shabaqua area

• Town of Cochrane – $113,423, in conjunction with Cochrane Telecom Services, to offer services to 57 occupied lots in the Silver Queen Lake area of the municipality

K-Net Services, through Keewaytinook Okimakanak Northern Chiefs Council –  $1,000,000 construct and pilot a cellular demonstration telecommunications infrastructure initiative in Keewaywin and Weagamow First Nations

• Mushkegowuk Council –  $1,000,000 to bring high-speed Internet connectivity to Attawapiskat, Kashechewan and Fort Albany

• Blue Sky Economic Growth Corporation –  $331,615 to increase access to high speed Internet in Ardbeg, Bayfield Inlet, Bear Lake, Carling Township, Dokis, Marten River, Nobel, Otter, Pointe Au Baril, Shawanaga and Tilden Lake

The NOHFC’s Infrastructure and Community Development program will assist two projects that rely on effective partnerships to create jobs and improve economic prospects in the North through improvements to infrastructure.  Contributions include:

• $1,000,000 to the recently formed Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission to assist in the development of the Whalen Information and Communications Technology cluster in Thunder Bay’s downtown north core, an effort that is expected to attract inbound sectoral investment around the city-owned Whalen building

• $1,000,000 to Confederation College’s Advanced Technology for Learning Project (the Learning Commons) to produce learning spaces and electronic access across the region in support of the NOHFC’s investment in expanded northern broadband capacity.

A vital component of the Northern Prosperity Plan, the NOHFC works through six unique programs to foster private sector job creation while supporting critical infrastructure and community development projects that build a foundation for future economic growth and enhanced quality of life.



Ron St. Louis
Communications Services Branch
MNDM – Sudbury
(705) 564-7120

Wendy Parker
Communications Services Branch
MNDM – Toronto
(416) 327-0620

Randy McAllister
Northern Development Advisor
MNDM – Thunder Bay
(807) 475-1210

K-Net team works with Hydro One and SSHA to support First Nation health connections

Meetings on Tuesday, Aug 28, with representatives from Hydro One Telecom in the morning and then with Smart Systems for Health Agency (SSHA - in the afternoon helped to identify a strategy for Ontario First Nations to begin exploring ways to access SSHA secure health applications.

Penny Carpenter, K-Net's Business Manager and Brian Beaton, K-Net Coordinator, met with the people involved in setting up these network connections and who help decide how and when these connections will be established. Carl Seibel, FedNor's Telecom Officer, joined both meeting via telephone.

If you require any information concerning K-Net's work with SSHA, please contact Penny Carpenter at the K-Net office.

Site visits completed in four First Nations to prepare for broadband connections

The First Nations of Bearskin Lake, Kingfisher Lake, Koocheching and Wawakepewin received visitors from Blair Electronics, Keewaytinook Okimakanak, Shibogama and Windigo on Thursday and Friday of this past week.

Site visits are required to complete the equipment, site plans and community consultations in preparation for the construction of the local broadband connectivity solutions proposed for each community.

This construction work, described below, is being funded by Northern Ontario Heritage Fund (NOHFC), Industry Canada's FedNor and INAC's First Nations SchoolNet. This Keewaytinook Okimakanak (K-Net) led project is being completed in partnership with the nine First Nations as well as Shibogama and Windigo First Nation.

The team from Blair Electronics was selected as the winning contractor to complete this construction work after a public Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued last month.

From the Request for Proposals that was posted on MERX on July 4, 2007 (click here to see a copy of the RFP) ...

The purpose of the broadband initiative for the nine remote First Nations, which comprise of

  • Bearskin Lake,
  • Cat Lake,
  • Kasabonika,
  • Kingfisher Lake,
  • Koocheching,
  • North Caribou Lake (Weagamow),
  • Peawanuck,
  • Sachigo Lake,
  • Wawakepewin

is to facilitate the installation and delivery of affordable broadband telecommunications infrastructure to the residents, businesses, and public institutions. This service will fulfill the unique needs of these First Nations and will be a partnership that will also take into consideration the training, support and sustainability issues of the project.  This service will be at a minimum, equal to what is considered broadband to the home commonly known as cable/modem or DSL service for the residents of each community. The final solution should be capable of providing and offering competitive monthly rates for users ($39 -$59) and higher end online services for local business and organizations, such as videoconferencing, VOIP,  telemedicine, etc.

This service will allow residents access to services not previously possible with dial up services. Telehealth, distance education, online research and file transfer will now be possible for those that utilize the service. For small business and public institutions remote access to centralized systems, application service providers and tele-work will be possible.

Remote Aboriginal communities collaborate to access additional satellite bandwidth

Keewaytinook Okimakanak's K-Net team is working with 13 First Natons across northern Ontario along with the Kativik Regional Government (KRG) representing 15 remote communities in northern Quebec and Keewatin Tribal Council representing 16 satellite seved communities in northern Manitoba. Together, these three organizations and 44 remote communities established the Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network (NICSN) to secure, manage and share satellite bandwidth to deliver a full suite of online services including telehealth, e-learning, e-justice, video conferencing, VOIP, etc in each partner community. For more information about this consortium, visit

Today's announcement from Infrastructure Canada is a result of more than 10 years of development work that began back in 1997 when Keewaytinook Okimakanak staff began meeting with Industry Canada's FedNor program about providing equitable access to bandwidth in satellite-served communities as that enjoyed by other Canadians.

Click here to watch the video of the webcast announcement (Windows Media, 33 minutes)

Infrastructure Canada News Release ...

August 24, 2007

Canada’s Government Provides $20.65M for Wider Broadband Access to 43 Northern Communities

Kuujjuaq, Quebec - Residents of 43 northern communities in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba can soon expect wider access to broadband service and its benefits thanks to a commitment from Canada’s New Government to provide up to $20.65 million to purchase new satellite infrastructure.

The announcement was made today by the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and Ms. Maggie Emudluk, Chairperson of the Kativik Regional Government, representing the Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network (NICSN). The NICSN involves a partnership among three Organizations: the Kativik Regional Government (KRG) in Quebec; the Keewatin Tribal Council (KTC) in Manitoba; and the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Tribal Council (KO) in Ontario.

“Broadband is a key piece of infrastructure for 21st Century communities to help support their economic growth and prosperity,” said Minister Cannon. “Canada’s New Government is pleased to partner with the Kativik Regional Government and the Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network on this initiative that will provide residents with improved access to a wide range of services and will help stimulate economic development and enhance people’s quality of life. E-health and tele-eduation are just two services this investment will open up.”

“With the ever increasing use of technology in a very short period of time, we have witnessed an increased consumption of broadband use to the point that important services such as tele-health and tele-education could not benefit from this technology. Therefore, this announcement will allow us to provide these important services to the region,” said Ms. Emudluk.

Canada’s Government is contributing up to $20.65 million, or 75 per cent of the $27.5 million cost, for the procurement of two satellite transponders and the required earth station and local access network upgrades. The funding is made available through the Government of Canada’s National Satellite Initiative (NSI). The remaining 25 per cent ($6.88 million) will come from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund ($1.8 million), the Government of Québec’s Villages branchés program ($2.2 million) and Telesat Canada ($2.88 million).

This project complements an initiative of the first round of the NSI, which allocated one Public Benefit Transponder (PBT) to NICSN to provide service to public institutions in the 43 communities. The funding announced today will enable the provision of broadband services to all members of the community.

Financial support for this project is conditional on meeting applicable federal requirements, including the successful completion of environmental assessments required under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and the successful negotiation of a contribution agreement.

This is the first NSI project to be announced in Quebec. Two other NSI projects have received funding to date: one in Nunavut, and the other in the Northwest Territories.

Through its unprecedented $33-billion “Building Canada” plan, Canada’s New Government will help meet infrastructure needs across Canada through long-term, stable and predictable funding. “Building Canada” will support a stronger, safer and better country, through infrastructure projects that support cleaner air and water, a stronger economy, and a better quality of life for our communities.


Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary to the Honourable Lawrence Cannon

Infrastructure Canada
Communications and Promotion

Jean-Francois Dumoulin
Assistant-Director Administration Department, IT section
Kativik Regional Government
Montreal: 514-745-8880 ext. 246
Kuujjuaq: 819-964-2961 ext. 2343


Project Description
Canada’s New Government is contributing up to $20.65 million, up to 75 per cent of the $27.5 million cost, for this multi-jurisdictional project that will provide additional bandwidth to 43 communities in the northern regions of Québec, Manitoba and Ontario, serving over 46,000 people.

These communities currently have access to limited bandwidth that can not meet current or future community needs. The project announced today involves the provision of two satellite transponders that will provide bandwidth not only to public institutions, but to the entire communities they serve. To support this bandwidth, the project will also upgrade the satellite earth stations and local access networks within the communities where required.

This additional bandwidth will enable enhanced delivery of government services through e-governance; improved delivery of justice, education and healthcare services with the use of videoconferencing; and improved economic development and e-commerce for communities.

Canada’s New Government will provide this funding to the Kativik Regional Government (KRG) on behalf of the Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network (NICSN). The NICSN involves a partnership among three organizations: the Kativik Regional Government (KRG) in Quebec; the Keewatin Tribal Council (KTC) in Manitoba; and the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Tribal Council (KO) in Ontario.

NICSN currently operates a satellite network that provides the 43 communities with broadband capacity for public institutions. Each of these communities is equipped with a state of the art satellite earth station. A master earth station located in Sioux Lookout, Ontario serves as the Internet gateway and network management center.

The remaining 25 per cent of the funding for this project ($6.88 million) will come from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund ($1.8 million), the Government of Québec’s Villages branchés program ($2.2 million) and Telesat Canada ($2.88 million).

Project Benefits
This project will enable the provision of broadband services to all members of the 43 communities. Through this project, increased access to broadband will help to improve quality of life and social development. It will also increase the potential for innovation and economic development in Canada’s communities by connecting Canadians and improving the electronic delivery of public services such as health, education and government services.

Government of Canada Funding Sources
Funding for this broadband project falls under the National Satellite Initiative (NSI), which was launched by Industry Canada in partnership with Infrastructure Canada, and the Canadian Space Agency. NSI was created to make available affordable satellite capacity for the deployment of broadband services (such as tele-health, tele-education, e-commerce, etc.) to communities in the far to mid-north, and in isolated and remote areas of Canada, where satellite technology is the only practical solution.

ROUND 1: The Industry Canada Component (C-Band Credit), which is now completed, consisted of providing satellite capacity from Telesat Canada’s Public Benefit Transponder (PBT), valued at $20 million over 15 years, to deploy public and community-based services to remote communities.

Under Round 1, one PBT was allocated to NICSN to provide service to public institutions in the 43 communities. The PBT provides NICSN with 36 MHz of satellite capacity supporting 31 Mbps of usable bandwidth.

ROUND 2: The Government of Canada’s Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund allocated $85 million to the NSI to fund the acquisition of satellite capacity and common ground infrastructure for satellite-based broadband projects in isolated and remote communities across Canada.

Under Round 2, up to $20.65 million is being provided to fund two satellite transponders and to upgrade the satellite earth stations and local access networks for 43 communities in the northern regions of Québec, Manitoba and Ontario.

Two other projects have been announced under the NSI to date from Round 2:

  • Nunavut – $7.83M to provide broadband service via satellite to all 25 communities in Nunavut
  • Northwest Territories – $7.0M to provide broadband service via satellite to 31 communities in the Northwest Territories

Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network Communities


Barren Lands FN
Garden Hill FN  
Manto Sipi Cree Nation              
God’s Lake FN
Northlands Dene FN
Bunibonibee Cree FN
Poplar River FN
Mathias Colomb Cree Nation      
Shamattawa First Nation           
Sayisi Dene FN
Ste Theresa Point FN
Red Sucker Lake FN
Berens River
Mosakahikan Cree Nation          
Bloodvein FN


Attawapiskat First Nation
Cat Lake First Nation
Fort Severn
Fort Hope
Kasabonika Lake
Lansdowne House
Marten Falls
Muskrat Dam
Sachigo Lake   
Slate Falls
Weagamow Lake




KO's work in developing broadband opportunities highlighted in research papers

In December 2006, the Information and Information Technology Strategy Group in the Ontario Ministry of Government Services issued a “Call for Working Papers” to provide a state-of-the-art look at supporting the utilization of broadband for social and economic development in the Ontario context.  The papers are to be an integral part of a process of “open dialogue where interested community, academic, government and private sector partners can share perspectives, raise questions, discuss strategies for growth, and consider the challenges for public policy, government service delivery and economic and community development.”

The resulting papers are now online under the title "Toward a Broadband Research Agenda for Ontario". They include:

Cultivating Innovation in Farm Families and Rural Communities: Capacity Development for Broadband Use in Southern Ontario [abstract] [paper]

  • Helen Hambly, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph
  • Laxmi Pant, Ph.D. Candidate, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph
  • Peter Sykanda, M.Sc.
  • John Fitzsimons, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph  

Broadband as a Commons [abstract] [paper]

  • Ricardo Ramirez, Ph.D., Communication Consultant and Adjunct Professor, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph
  • Garth Graham, Independent Consultant, Telecommunities Canada, Victoria, BC
  • Fred G. Bigham, Independent Consultant; Former CRTC staff member, Ottawa
  • Dan Pellerin, Principal Consultant, Innovative Community Technologies. Sioux Lookout, ON

The K-Net Deployment Model: How a Community-Based Network Integrates Public, Private and Not-for-Profit Sectors to Support Remote and Under-Served Communities in Ontario [abstract] [paper]

  • Adam Fiser, Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto
  • Andrew Clement, Ph.D., Professor, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto  

Broadband Technology and Urban Sustainability: An Interpretive Review [abstract] [paper]

  • Ron N. Buliung, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Toronto at Mississauga  

Learning from the Leaders: Understanding the Benefits of Broadband [abstract] [paper]

  • Catherine A. Middleton, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Information Technology Management, Faculty of Business, Ryerson University  

Social Network Transactional Geomatics Services for Participatory Democracy and Sustainable Development: Opportunities, Issues and Design Implications [abstract] [paper]

  • Tom Brenner, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Renison College, University of Waterloo
  • Donald D. Cowan, Ph.D., Director, The Computer Systems Group, School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo
  • Brian Harvey, Ph.D., Chair, School of Business, Conestoga College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
  • Fred McGarry, CEO, The Centre for Community Mapping, Cambridge, Ontario
  • Dan D. P. McCarthy Ph.D., Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo
  • Stephen D. Murphy, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo  

Broadband Infrastructure: Identity Management Strategies for Appropriate Access [abstract]

  • Todd W. Sands, B.Sc., Ph.D., Executive Director & Technology Strategist, Centre for Smart Community Innovation, University of Windsor
  • Jorgen S. Moller, B.Sc. (Electronics & Telecommunications), President, Advanced Network Technology Corporation
  • Darren W. Durocher, BCS, Network & Systems Specialist, Centre for Smart Community Innovation, University of Windsor  

'Network Neutrality' vs 'Network Diversity': Survey of the Debate and Implications for Broadband as an Essential Service for Ontarians [abstract] [paper]

  • Graham Longford, Ph.D., Canadian Research Alliance for Community Innovation and Networking (CRACIN), Community Wireless Infrastructure Research Project (CWIRP), Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto  

Broadband for the Growth Research Agenda [abstract] [paper]

  • Charles H. Davis, Ph.D., E.S., Rogers Sr. Research Chair, Faculty of Communication and Rogers Communications Centre, Ryerson University
  • Florin Vladica, MBA, Doctoral Student, Joint Program, Rogers Communications Centre, Ryerson University

NOHFC executive director, board member and staff visits K-Net

Aime Dimatteo, Executive Director from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation office in Sault Ste Marie visited Keewaytinook Okimakanak's Sioux Lookout office on Wednesday, August 15. Accompanying him were Diane Martin, NOHFC board member from Sioux Lookout and Florence Bailey, NDM staff in Sioux Lookout.

A tour of the K-Net Network Operations centre and of the different network facilities provided Mr. Dimatteo with an opportunity to learn about how the Kuhkenah Network is managed and supported.

Along with the tour, discussions included:

  • an update on the recently NOHFC funded $2.8 million local community infrastructure development initiative and satellite bandwidth purchase; and
  • the Keewaytinook Okimakanak proposal to establish a cellular/mobile phone pilot project service in Keewaywin and North Caribou Lake First Nations.

Online survey about homepage users to gather information for research

An online survey is collecting information about the people who are using for their homepages. We are hoping that EVERYONE will take a few moments to complete this short survey.


Welcome to the online survey on! 

This survey is set up and maintained by Philipp Budka, a PhD student of the University of Vienna, Austria. Philipp is working with K-Net over the past two years.

He is particularly interested in

  • how homepages are used to share stories, pictures, and music with families, friends, and communities;
  • how people use their homepages to connect with family members, friends, and like-minded people.

To learn about as many MyKnet stories as possible, Philipp created this short online survey that he is asking all users to complete.

It would be great if you could promote this online survey among your friends, relatives and co-workers by sending everyone the link of the survey or simply by referring to the main page.

All information gathered within this survey is kept confidential and for scientific use only. Send your feedback and questions to

Thank you very much for supporting the survey,

Philipp Budka

For more information about Philipp's work, visit his web site at