Community Engagement


Identify who you have consulted, and in what capacity, to assess your needs and to identify your priorities, and outline the results of these consultations.

As the lead agency in the First Nations Telecommunications Steering Committee - a coalition of Indigenous communities and organizations sharing an aim to improve the quality and level of telecommunications services - KNET has prepared and submitted numerous research reports and submissions. These include broadly-based work such as its report to the CRTC's High-Cost Service Areas hearings, the North of Red Lake Study, and a NAN-wide Telecommunications Study. KNET has also developed focused needs research for its member communities such as the KuhKeNah Tele-Health Network Study and the Broadband Networking Study (in progress).

The latter study co-funded by HRDC, FedNor, and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund includes a community-based assessment of need and demand for network applications. The Community consultation, completed in May and June of this year, describes how the Deer Lake, Fort Severn, Keewaywin, North Spirit Lake, and Poplar Hill First Nations have prepared themselves to introduce local access to electronic services in a shared network environment.

The consultations drew on information gathered at meetings held in each community, structured interviews conducted with residents and stakeholders, local technology inventories and consultant observations. The consultation documents community readiness for the introduction of broadband networks - functional community networks, base of service users - and broadly identifies community well-being as a primary objective for the introduction of new services.

Specifically, community respondents indicated that new employment opportunities (telework, computer repair, and web development) and service delivery - particularly health (teleconsults, health information systems, and CME) and education (skills upgrading, post-secondary, and professional development) applications are high priorities. The community consultations also indicate local needs for coordinated delivery of support services and for the development of local community-based facilities - Information Technology Centres -- where broadband services will converge and be delivered.

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