SIOUX LOOKOUT – Greg Rickford, Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages and the Member of Parliament for Kenora, on behalf of the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for FedNor, today announced that the Government of Canada is investing $929,000 in the Keewaytinook Okimakanak/Northern Chiefs Council.
The funds will be used to upgrade its satellite-based broadband infrastructure that services 14 First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario.
“This funding is a strategic investment by our Government to ensure remote Northern First Nation communities can effectively function and compete in today’s economy,” said MP Rickford. “Congratulations to KO and all of the FN communities and I look forward to working with them as this project gets underway.”
The FedNor investment will be used to improve network reliability and stability, which will help expand user access and enable a broader range of applications. The initiative will enhance videoconferencing, telemedicine, mobile phone and distance education capabilities, where these services exist.
“Our Economic Action Plan has created an environment where existing businesses can expand and where entrepreneurs can capitalize on emerging opportunities,” added Minister Clement. “This initiative will provide First Nation communities with the tools they need to realize their economic potential.”
“We are excited about the possibilities that these upgrades will afford our communities,” said Geordi Kakepetum, Executive Director of Keewaytinook Okimakanak/Northern Chiefs Council. “Not only will this funding help address some of the challenges of geographic isolation, it will also support local business development and growth.”