Ktunaxa Nation Network

On March 22, representatives from the Ktunaxa Nation, Industry Canada, First Nations Technology Council, Columbia Basin Trust, Network BC, Kootenay Rockies Innovation Council, Fibre Net Services, Telus, local government, British Columbia Community Connectivity Coop (BC3), and CMON were on hand to make the last network connection marking the official launch of the Ktunaxa Nation Network and broadband access for rural East Kootenay residents. The Ktunaxa Nation Council owned Nation Network is one of the first open networks of its kind in Canada, and was first envisioned in 2001 as a tool for Nation Members to preserve the critically endangered Ktunaxa language through the use of high-speed video conferencing and online training.

A few of the Traditional Knowledge & Language projects that are to be available and benefit all Nation members include:

Ktunaxa: I Remember
  A web portal where members can share and comment on stories within the Ktunaxa Nation. A record of past memories, as well as new ones; which includes such things as traditional teachings. These consist of audio & video files as well, that would not be viewable via dial-up.
First Voices: www.firstvoices.ca
  An online resource to be able to hear the Ktunaxa language, spoken by our current elders. In order to learn a language, you need to be able to hear it. Now with broadband all Nation members will be able to utilize the 5 years of audio archiving of the endangered Ktunaxa Language.
Ktunaxa Language Distribution
  Currently developing a language curriculum with the College of the Rockies, this be available online, which will be available to all Nation members regardless of location.
Ktunaxa Community Learning Centres (KCLC)
  A physical space for community members to access high-speed internet for education (ex online language class), health, research, and technical assistance.
And many more to come!

The $7.7 million network has been constructed along with partners such as the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) and $3.8 million dollars in funding from Industry Canada’s Broadband for Rural and Northern Development Pilot Program. This network consists of a series of towers to provide wireless service and fibre to the user (FTTU) in an area of 17,871 square kilometres in East Kootenay. This also opens the door for many opportunities beyond language training, as there are economic, educational, and healthcare options that either never existed, or were much more difficult to access before. These benefits also extend to many of the neighbouring non-first nation communities who will be able to access the Nation Network and have download speeds up to one-hundred times faster than dial-up.

The Ktunaxa Nation would like to give a big thanks to our major funder, Industry Canada!  Without their support, this project would not of been possible.  Thank you to everyone who has helped make this possible.

Communities within the Ktunaxa Nation Network which can receive service:

St. Mary’s Indian Band
Akisqnuk First Nation
Lower Kootenay Indian Band
Tobacco Plains Indian Band
Cokato/Fernie Rural
Invermere Rural/Athalmer
Columbia Lake
Dutch Creek Rural
Columbia Ridge
Juniper Heights
Toby Benches
Lakeview Meadows
Westside Road
Dry Gulch
Timber Ridge
Colemere Park Rural
Spur Valley/Luxor
Golden Rural
Windermere Rural
Fairmont Rural
Kimberley Rural
Cranbrook Rural

For more information on service areas and getting connected, contact the Internet Service Provider: FlexiNET Broadband.

Internet Service Providers:

FlexiNET Broadband

412 Cranbrook St. N.

Cranbrook, BC, V1C 4C6

Ph: 250.489.FLEX (3539)
Toll Free: 1.877.789.FLEX. (3539)

Website: www.flexinet.ca

Nation Network

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