Highlights of the Opening of NICSN (the Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network)
January 19-20, 2005 Sioux Lookout, Ontario
Geordi Kakepetum, Executive Director of Keewaytinook Okimakanak, brought greetings to the conference by video from his office in Balmertown , Ontario.
The Honourable Joe Comuzzi, Minister of State for FedNor, celebrated the network as a leading example in northern assistance from the government of Canada. - Part 1
The Honorable Joe Comuzzi, Minister of State for FedNor - Part 2
Minister Comuzzi then invited M.P. Roger Valley to announce $2.3 million in FedNor funding for the C-Band satellite earth station and other applications.
NAN Deputy Grand Chief Goyce Kakegamic spoke about the benefits in education, economic development and health for First Nations people that the network would facilitate.
Howard Hampton, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River, congratulated the Chiefs for their vision in "going out on a limb" to support the development of these new technologies in their communities for the past 10 years. He said there were many partners who have worked together to achieve this network, but the Chief deserve special recognition for continuing their support for this work through many years.
Grand Chief Arnold Ouskan, of War Lake First Nation, reminded the gathering that the information flow facilitated by the NICSN network goes in both directions – that not only can the communities benefit from the information now made available, but their own richness can now be made available to the world.
Padlayat Ezekiel, municipal councillor elected to the Kativik Regional Government, brought greetings from Northern Quebec . On behalf of KRG, Mr. Ezekiel presented gifts of artwork from his region to Keewatin Tribal Council and Keewaytinook Okimakanak.
Presentation of Gifts
The Chiefs of KO acknowledged and thanked the morning's presenters and those who had helped make NICSN a reality.
Left to right: MPP Howard Hampton, Pierre Marin (Privy Council), Minister Comuzzi, Goyce Kakegamick, MP Roger Valley , and Sioux Lookout Mayor Cathy Kiepek open handcrafted gifts from the Keewaytinook Okimakanak region. Also thanked with gifts were Paul Bush (in absentia), Arnold Ouskan, Padalyat Ezekiel, Dan Pellerin and Carl Seibel (FedNor Telecommunications Officer).
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Dish
Deputy Grand Chief Goyce Kakegamic, Mayor Cathy Kiepek, Councillor Padlayat Ezekiel, Councillor Albert James, Chief Jimmy Rae, MPP Howard Hampton, Minister Joe Comuzzi, MP Roger Valley , Chief Patrick Owen, Grand Chief Arnold Ouskan and Assistant Director Peter Campbell lined up to cut the ribbon in front of the satellite earth station in Sioux Lookout. The Honourable Joseph Comuzzi is missing from this picture.
FedNor Telecommunications Officer Carl Seibel, Minister Joe Comuzzi, and K-Net Services Coordinator Brian Beaton at the satellite earth station.
Kativik Regional Government representatives Padlayat Ezekiel and Joë Lance at the earth station site.
Hungry delegates lined up to help themselves to a banquet catered by the Pelican Falls First Nation High School travel club, led by social counsellor Florence Sanderson. Delegates enjoyed a meal of bannock, goose, moose, caribou, pickerel and blueberry pies
Reflections on the development of Native communications
Lac Seul journalist Garnet Angeconeb, left, and Muskrat Dam Chief Frank Beardy, right, traced the development of Native communications in Northern Ontario , from trail radios to broadband.