The K-Net Story: Community ICT
Keewaytinook Okimakanak (K-Net)
The Kuhkenah Network (K-Net)
provides information and communication technologies (ICTs), telecommunication
infrastructure and application support in First Nation communities across a
vast, remote region of north-western Ontario as well as in other remote regions
in Canada. This private telecommunications network supports the development of
online applications that combine video, voice and data services requiring
broadband and high-speed connectivity solutions. K-Net is a program of
Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO), a First Nations tribal council established by the
leaderships of Deer Lake, Fort Severn, Keewaywin, McDowell Lake, North Spirit
Lake and Poplar Hill bands to provide a variety of second level support services
for their communities. Kuhkenah is an Oji-Cree term for everyone,
The KO First Nation communities
are part of Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), located in northern
across an area roughly the size of
includes a total population of approximately 25,000 people. The majority of
this population is aboriginal and lives in remote communities with 300-900
inhabitants. For most of these communities, the only year-round access into or
out of their area is by small airplane.
The accompanying video provides a brief overview of some of the work that
has gone into building and sustaining the regional network that supports local
community based networks (CBNs). The video was produced by members of the K-Net
team working in partnership with George Ferreira, a PhD candidate at the
University of Guelph who is completing his thesis work using video material as a
medium to present evaluation documentation as well as influence policy and
program development (Ferreira, 2004).
This video was created as part of
a larger collection of video material that is being used for a variety of
applications. On a Saturday morning in December, we went for a drive around my
community of Sioux Lookout and spent time to talk about our work, our partners
and our understanding about how these networks can develop and why they are
important in remote and rural communities. In the video there is a scene where
the base of the new 7.3 metre satellite earth station is being built. Today that
satellite dish is operational and the pictures and the video story documenting
the construction of this infrastructure are now on-line at
The production of these videos
resulted in several other significant multi-media presentations being produced
and shared on-line. The resulting work and presentations are helping others
around the world understand the potential and the possibilities for these types
of local ICT developments in their own communities. One important product of
this work was a multi-media presentation that was produced with the Institute
for Connectivity of Americas (http://icamericas.net)
and other partners and presented at the World Summit of the Information Society
The entire presentation is available on-line at
http://smart.knet.ca/kuhkenah_flash.html and consists of a collection of
case studies that include an Introduction to K-Net and four specialized case
studies covering Network Development, Education, Health and Economic
Development, along with accompanying video material for each chapter of the
and need have been the driving forces behind K-Net’s development. The results
impact local communities and the entire region’s health, education and economic
opportunities. These video productions provide an explanation of the network’s
history, some of the key players, partners and accomplishments to date. The
videos and accompanying print material demonstrate how First Nations people are
finding ways to harness these new technologies to strengthen and support the
entire community, including their traditions, language and cultural heritage.
The KO First Nation communities
have experienced an impressive amount of development in a relatively short time
period. Two of the communities have gone from having one phone for 400 people
four years ago, to accessing broadband services from individual homes today.
This rapid development of K-Net’s technical infrastructure and services, and its
impact on local health, education, and economic development is introduced in
these videos. The K-Net experience and the stories from the communities and the
people involved in this work demonstrate how local needs and demands can drive
technology and network infrastructure development.
Beaton, B. &
Fiddler, J. (1999, 13-16 October).
Living Smart in Two Worlds: Maintaining and Protecting First nation Culture for
Local Knowledge/Global Challenge: Smart Community Development.
Prince Edward Island,
Ferreira, G., Ramirez, R., Walmark,
B. (2004, 18 September). Connectivity in Canada’s Far North: Participatory
Evaluation in Ontario’s Aboriginal Communities. Measuring the Information
Society: What, How, for Whom and What? Workshop.
Keewaytinook Okimakanak - Northern
Chief Council. (1999) The Kuh-Ke-Nah
Network of Smart First Nations. Sioux lookout,
http://smart.knet.ca - additional K-Net video stories are available at
Fort Severn traditional land use videos
Here is a web tour with annotations for those who would like to appreciate
the full range of innovations of the K-net project team.
The K-net project infrastructure is based on broadband satellite technology and
details are available at their many web sites.
They officially launched
the 'Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network" Jan. 19th, 2005 Check it out at
This web tour will focus on their community software innovations. Many of their
innovations are based on an open source content management system (CMS) called 'postnuke.'
The term "open source" means the software is free and that anyone can change the
software in any way they want. As a result programmers worldwide are
simultaneously innovating and improving the software. The purpose of a CMS is to
make it as easy as possible for many people without technical skills to
contribute content in many formats to benefits others. The K-net project has
created simple tutorials, offers both community and personal CMSs along with
well-developed tutorials. The key innovation is that many tribal communities
have embraced the potential and are using these systems to demonstrate
innovative personal and community applications. CMS site are based on modules
for posting articles, photogalleries, online discussions, etc. There are
literally hundreds of modules available - including modules for Internet TV and
K-Net Case Studies and Project
Here are video overviews of the main
componsents of the Knet project including
a collection of case studies that include an Introduction to K-Net and
four specialized case studies covering Network Development, Education, Health
and Economic Development, along with accompanying video material for each
chapter of the production.
Main K-Net Sites
K-Net Home Page
Telehealth on-line environment
The Internet high school environment
The on-line space for Canadian First Nation schools http://firstnationschools.ca
A Sample School Site
A Sample School Site
classrooms across the province.
An Online International Conference
An online international conference involving online presenters from other global
indigenous ICT projects. Video and audio presentations have been archived and
Preserving and Teaching Indigenous Language
Examples of using modern technology
Community Sites offered free to First Nation
communities, but are also offered to other communities for $300 for installation
and a small monthly maintenance free. Custom graphics, additional modules and
other technical enhancements are also available. Inquire at
community sites use the firstnation.ca domain which we purchase and renew each
Includes a great archive of traditional ceremonies, stories, pictures ...
and this is just one of the remote First Nations in this region of Northern
Individual Sites MyKnet offers free CMS
sites to individuals. There are probably 40 or 50 of these using the free
http://myknet.org environment) 60 million hits a month demonstrate
that individuals are using these sites!
comes to individuals, there are also many people who stand out ...
Harvey Yesno's video clip is good too ... he is another great resource
Macromedia Breeze Multimedia Presentations
This tool is offered to all K-Net participants so they can host their own
instructional presentations with video, audio, powerpoint, and more. A sample
presentation is at
http://breeze.knet.ca/p49035793 (you might
need to say yes to downloading the required plug-ins). This tool is
available for others to use at K-Net. We are always looking for new partners
who want to promote and develop this service (especially those who work with
First Nations and deal with remote and rural community economic and social
To see Macromedia Breeze multimedia instructional presentation demo go to
and accept the offered download.Concerning
the Breeze presentation platform,
another nice feature that you can use during your presentation is to
"share screen" which allows you to bring up you web site connections so
you can do a live tour of your site. Similarily you might do the same
thing for your mining of the K-Net site ... A good example of this is
Jesse Fiddler's presentation at
Brian Beaton Writes:
Not too sure about time to write a one pager
trying to capture 11 years of work [smiles] ... but I would once again
suggest the on-line video clips do tell the story better than any one
pager could. I have given a number of presentations over the years about
our work and the one that I think had a big impact was to a group of
university librarians at an event called Access 2002 [smiles] ... the
presentation can be seen at
Tutorials on Learning to Build Content at Your Personal or Community
Jesse produced a number
of training resources that are available on-line at
Click on GET HELP FOR YOUR WEBSITE! (in the upper left box under
Free Online Services). The online help desk is an on-line Breeze
service that Jesse and Cal use to support users to develop their CMS
web sites as required.
Select first Flash Tutorial and also see the Dummies Guide to Postnuke.
Both are excellent.
More soon and I learn more from my own exploring!
END KNET RESOURCES
extensive collected resources on global indigenous
innovations. Australian Aboriginal resources at
The following links are my personal
collection for review listings and hence they are quite
Photo essays, lang. revitalization using foxfire type
grantee, bering strait, eskimo cultural
www.developmentgateway.org review indigenous resources
Jamaica auction sites?
Take a look at www.jiva.org
they are doing a lot of interesting things. Steve
working in India with them and now he's part time in NJ. He can answer
you might have.
Indigenous webpage that
belongs to the Ashaninka Community of Marankiari Bajo,
in the Central Jungle:
(click on the spears in the middle of the page). They
have pictures, products that they are trying to
market, and newspaper articles about their website
that have been published in some of Peru's major
office of the NT minister
WALTAYLOR When I discussed this issue
with Jose Figeures the previous Presiden tof Costa Rica and the person who
Kofi Annan has appointed to head up the ICT4D for the UN at the recent
Salzburg Seminar on Digital Inclusion (see
he suggested that a pincer movement which involved building alliances with
the private sector and the international funders was the only way he had
been able to achieve success and that his experience with the WSIS process
reinforced this view.
So I really hope that you get invited back to have
some inputs here and that you can manage treading the line between not
biting the hand that feeds you and getting some change in attitude. In
terms of what we have been doing, I have been working on a number of
international fronts. Firstly, I am involved in the recently funded ($CAD
900 000, SSHRC)CRACIN (Canadian Research Alliance form Innovative and
Community Networking) project which provides funds to revisit the CAP
and plan for the future. Secondly, we have established a Community
INformatics Research Alliance (CIRN)which involves a number of the ussual
international suspects to raise the profile of evaluation, process and
policy in this area. Thirdly, I have developed soem strong linkages as a
result of my involvement with the Salzburg Seminar on Digital Inclusion.
(see the following site for some background on those behind the Salzburg
http://www.digitalinclusion.net/) As a result of this Microsoft has
funded a company to develop a brand for Digital Inclusion which can be
used free on all digital inclusion projects around the globe so that we
can lift the profile of this type of work and provide some sort of
verifiable independence which sends messages to funders.
Wal Taylor (PhD)
COIN Internet Academy
Faculty of Informatics and Communication
Central Queensland University
Ph +61 7 4923 2568 Fax + 61 7 4927 0700
Mob +61 (0) 409 456 115
You may wish to view the recently published books:
'Using Community Informatics to Transform Regions' Eds. Marshall, Taylor
'Closing the Digital Divide' Eds. Marshall, Taylor & Yu
'Current IT Issues in Education' Ed. Tanya McGill
the new documentary titled "Vis A Vis -
Techno Tribal" shown tonight on Australia SBS Television (Special
Broadcasting Services) and I believe soon to be aired on US
Barbara Braided Hair's email address is:
bbraidedhair@FIB.com. I don't
have Dr. Manley Begay's or Dr. Stephen Cornell"s, but I
believe they have a
website for their organization, The Udall Center at the
http://www.akvillage.com/index.html tom harris
AK building knowledge based economies
Pricilla Hensley, Alaskan Native Art Foundation, met with World Bank,
brokers native art, Joseph's brother in law started
www.eziba.com an online catalog of
Brave Rock Whitford Gallery Custom Beadwork
POB 2175, Browning, MT 59417
PH 338-3373, 460-0388
Andre Way Sacred
and Native American Carvings
610 N 1st, suite5-303 Hamilton MT 59840 406 375 2461
see http://warriorbiz.com youth omaha
Founded in 1998, the National Association of Tribal Historic
Preservation Officers (NATHPO) is a national, not-for-profit
organization formed to support and assist tribal governmental efforts to
preserve, maintain and revitalize their cultures and traditions. NATHPO
is currently comprised of 46 tribes. The preservation officers are
working to encourage the tribes to utilize heritage tourism as a way to
stimulate jobs and economic growth. They have prepared a tribal
tourism toolkit that is available online to educate how as well as to
highlight resources to support tourism initiatives. The toolkit can be
found at NATHPO's Web site at
http://www.akvillage.com/index.html tom harris
AK building knowledge based economies
http://heartbuttetradingpost.com Janet Runningcrane
Many more in Tachyon email folder,
From: "George Lessard" <email@example.com>
To: "Creative Radio List" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2004 10:47 PM
Subject: [creative-radio] "THIS DAY IN ALASKA NATIVE HISTORY" begins
airing - KNBA E-Update - June 2004
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2004 17:46:58 -0700
Subject: KNBA E-Update - June 2004
From: "KNBA 90.3 FM" <email@example.com>
Welcome to the KNBA E-Update June 2004 Issue!
THIS DAY IN ALASKA NATIVE HISTORY BEGINS AIRING
A new module called "This Day in Alaska Native History"
began airing on June 2. This program is a two minute
module focusing on historical events in Alaska Native
history. It now airs at 7:58 a.m., 11:58 a.m., and 5:58 p.m.
Thank you those who have helped make this program possible:
ConocoPhillips Alaska, The CIRI Foundation, Alaska Humanities
Forum, and those who contributed to the Cultural Program
Fund during the 2004 Alaska Native Art Auction.
KNBA WELCOMES NEW MORNING SHOW HOST
KNBA welcomes its newest on air announcer, Danny Preston.
Danny most recently worked with KMBQ in Wasilla where he
was Program Director and morning show talent. A long time
Alaskan broadcaster, Danny Preston has been recognized over
his career with several Goldie Awards presented by the Alaska
Broadcasters Association including Best Comedy features,
Best Promotional Series and he was awarded as the 2000 ABA
Broadcast employee of the year. He was also a finalist in
2000 and 2002 for the National Association of Broadcasters
Marconi Award for small market Personality of the Year.
A recent graduate of Mat-Su College, he is active in many
Valley non-profit and charitable events and organizations.
His many years of broadcast experience have taken him through
several musical genres giving him a great depth of artist
reference and appreciation including the latest releases
enjoyed by KNBA listeners.
KNBA is very glad that Danny is joining our team and looks
forward to building a morning show on KNBA with a goal to
increase the amount of Native and South-Central voices and
topics to be heard on KNBA. Tune into to the new and
improved Morning Line on KNBA soon!
see other career opportunities currently available at
Koahnic Broadcast Corporation.
MEMBERSHIP GIFTS - QUICK UPDATE
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you gifts have been ordered, and about 1/2 of them have
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you at KNBA.
KNBA Camping Dry Bags
Some CDs (including: Mary Youngblood, Mindy Smith, Los Lobos,
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What?s Not In Yet:
Some CDs (including: Toots & the Maytals, and other CDs)
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Thank you to the following restaurants who contributed to the Spring
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Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 15:49:17 +0530
From: Vickram Crishna <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: [GKD] Community Learning by Radio and the Internet
On 5/26/04, John Hibbs wrote:
> What would happen if micro radio would be so ubiquitous (and
> that children everywhere would have a frequent opportunity to be
> own content developers? broadcasters? Wouldn't this activity
> the piano recital? Christmas play? soccer game? How much value
> when the speaker knows that her grandmother is listening? or even
> mayor? what "internal" value comes to those who have "been on the
What does it take to organise a reference demonstration of this simple
Not much really - except that it would be quite illegal in most
countries, due to the same kind of thinking that has paralysed South
Africa (cf the article posted by bridges.org very recently on this
on the subject of WiFi and VoIP.
Here are the building blocks of micro-radio:
* An inexpensive low power transmitter
* Recording device
* Editing device
* Playback device (may be the same as the recording device)
As I write this, I am listening to jazz on the radio, broadcast on the
input jack of a tiny FM transmitter with a rudimentary antenna (their
d-i-y designs can be downloaded conveniently from
of IRs 200 to assemble, and the long-life rechargeable 12V battery
powers it cost IRs 90. FYI, Rs 300 is approximately USD 6.5 these
The signal is just powerful enough to reach every room in the house.
For one account of what "internal value" really means, browse through
our website (Radiophony is promoted by Dr Arun Mehta and myself, both
us are present on this list), where we describe the experience of
setting up India's first rural radio station (later shut down by some
bureaucrats). There are really no words to describe the thrill so
visible on the faces of villagers as they heard their voices on their
radio (in fact, they later named their station Mana Radio, which means
Our Radio in the local - Telugu - language). The station was powered
a similar transmitter as the one I am listening through now, and with
suitably placed antenna, every home (within half a kilometer from the
antenna mast) could tune in to their own village station.
But to return to the question raised by John Hibbs, what would it take
to 'scientifically' demonstrate the internal value? What would it take
to make radio ubiquitous and affordable?
By international agreement, the frequencies from 87.5 MHz to 108 MHz
reserved for public broadcasting over FM. This fact has had a very
useful outcome, in that consumer FM radio receivers are
cheap in most parts of the world. This means that FM radio listening
affordable, for the most part, but at the same time, the restricted
of frequencies for the purpose has led to a commonly expressed fear
psychosis that the spectrum is a scarce commodity. Market forces
ensure that scarcity drives up prices, and in the case of FM broadcast
license fees or spectrum usage charges, this is true.
In the US, one of the world's heaviest users of spectrum in the FM
prices are sky-high, and the government has been stepping back from
protectionist measures that secured a place for public service radio.
Most public service radio frequencies are held by well-funded
organisations, while commercial radio has become massively dominated
a very few media companies, and there does not seem to be much scope
nindependent micro-radio to flourish, on the surface.
the reality is somewhat different.
Actually there are many 'pirate' stations that broadcast independent
content, and a groundswell movement that seeks to open the spectrum
more micro-radio. The FCC has been forced to take note of the
hearing on Localism in Broadcasting will take place today (May 26) in
Rapid City, South Dakota. Sen John McCain is also expected to
a legislation shortly to mandate bandwidth for low power radio.
Much more can be done to make the technology easily available.
The circuit on our website is not ideally temperature stable nor
filtered to a very high quality (US standards militate towards a
separation of 200 KHz between stations) - it was designed for low cost
and easy component availability.
What is needed is a handy circuit that can be easily tuned to lock
frequencies 200 KHz apart, encased in a simple, cheap and hardy box,
an accompanying range of easy to build and tune antennae, so that
thousands of little stations can be set up within a few hundred meters
of each other, without the need for expensive one time use
It won't take much to upgrade the technology of consumer level devices
to achieve the specifications outlined above - but someone must get
and fine-tune them, and someone else must work out the best low cost
solution that can be mass-produced like cheap and durable toys. This
could be done through an online discussion, or a physical workshop
both the technology and the means of its dissemination can be pinned
down. Is anyone ready to bell the cat? --
***GKD is solely supported by EDC, a Non-Profit Organization***
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Information & Media Specialist
MSN: MediaMentor (video cam & audio capable)
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
Kia ora all,
I have a request from a broadcasting friend. Does anyone know of
broadcasters in Australia, Canada, or North America.
Particularly, Indigenous television, tribal-based production, and
Digital Story Telling
www.storycenter.org/memvoice/pages/cookbook.html I think the
idea of digital story telling is a wonderful way for students to
present and publish their “stories.” This website gives
step-by-step directions on how to implement this with your class.
Radio KSKO in McGrath, Alaska
Robyn Kamira @ PI wrote:
>Kia ora all,
>I have a request from a broadcasting friend. Does anyone know of
>broadcasters in Australia, Canada, or North America.
>Particularly, Indigenous television, tribal-based production, and
How are you doing? I visited Montreal months ago and I found very
interesting the work of SAT with the inuits in Quebec.. Let me
Martin Chartrand. He is head of innovation of SAT. Here you can
Hi Martin, let me introduce Robyn Kamira from New Zeland working
the area of community networking. I met her several times during
organiization of Global CN Partnership.
I've also fund interesting the tv channel of aboriginal people I
the cable system of the hotel in Montreal. It is called ..APTN,
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network..
This is the area I'm working now, a platform for languages and
based on advance Internet, starting with the catalan culture, :-)
Indigenous broadcasters in australia
Two examples that might be of interest...
Koori Radio (Australia)
CTV (Community TV Australia) - Not 100% indigenous however a
portion of the content is Koori. IMHO an excellent example of
Robyn ... In Canada... I work with the folks at Wawatay Native
television departments as well as print working out of Sioux
web site is mainly promoting the print side of things. The
division is mainly producing material for the national
working out of Winnipeg and Toronto.
A recent aboriginal radio broadcast came on-line a few months
ago out of
Toronto and they seem to be doing neat things with plans to
scale up into
There are other aboriginal radio and television groups working
on a regional
and national level in Canada but I am not aware of these ...
K-Net / ON-RMO Coordinator
Box 1439, 115 King Street
Sioux Lookout, ON, P8T 1B9
Tel: 807-737-1135, Toll-Free: 877-737-KNET (5638) ext 51251
Video Conferencing and video bridging services available
Australian Community Foods <http://www.communityfoods.org.au>
Currently, your mates at DoCITA are asking for comment on the idea
indigenous broadcasting network.
I'm working as part of a couple of larger Community Informatics research
consortia with Brian Beaton of K-net, the outstanding aboriginal ICT hub
Brian has presented a challenge to the researchers involved in these
consortia to take the issues of "communty based" Informatics research"
seriously and to "walk the talk" as below...
"I would like to suggest researching best practices for engaging
Aboriginal (MG: and non-aboriginal Communities) communities in the
effective use of ICTs to train and support local Aboriginal youth and
others to identify local projects requiring evaluation components,
create local data collection strategies, prepare presentations of the
findings and utilize the information in local decision making and
reporting. One outcome of such a collaborative effort would be to
support the development of local employment opportunities in Aboriginal
communities as well as transfer valuable skills and results to local
initiatives and individuals."
This follows along from the exceptional document that Hannah Beardon
participatory (ethnogoraphic) action research (PAR) approach being
promoted by UNESCO