Community technology development and use in K'atl'odeeche First Nation

Regions: Dehcho Region, South Slave Region

Tags: community engagement, technology, First Nations, communication

Principal Investigator: O'Donnell, Susan (2)
Licence Number: 15362
Organization: University of New Brunswick
Licensed Year(s): 2014 2013
Issued: Nov 15, 2013
Project Team: Rob McMahon (Researcher, University of New Brunswick), Lyle Fabian (IT Manager, K'atl'odeeche First Nation, K'atl'odeeche First Nation)

Objective(s): To study and document the development of the K’atl’odeeche First Nation (KFN) Community Network. It will introduce the history of technology development and use in KFN, including broader social, political, cultural, and economic contexts.

Project Description: This collaborative research project aims to study and document the development of the K’atl’odeeche First Nation (KFN) Community Network. It will introduce the history of technology development and use in KFN, including broader social, political, cultural, and economic contexts. The project focuses on KFN's community technology development initiatives, and specifically the KFN Community Network. It will explore how KFN is leveraging this project as a means for community and economic development. It may consider some of the implications of technology development and information management for ongoing self-government initiatives undertaken by KFN. This research will provide a baseline for other First Nations Community Network initiatives in the NWT, and across Canada's far North. Potential outputs can include:

* The primary objective for the First Nation Innovation project (FNIP) is to develop an academic research paper about community information and communication technology (ICT) development and use in KFN. This paper will be co-authored with a community member(s). The topic, focus, argument, and goal of the paper will be determined in consultation with the community.
* Contribute to a community ICT plan or business case for KFN (developed with CanNor).
* Data gathered in research may be used to help develop programs in KFN.
* Digital media (short videos, PPT, etc) can showcase technology development and use in KFN. Potential audiences include community members (to explore ways to use technology to its full potential), government funders and industry (as communications materials), and/or other Aboriginal communities and organizations (as an example of a First Nation Community Network).

A maximum of 20 interviews with KFN community members and others involved with the KFN Community Network. Questions consider how individuals and organizations use information and communication technology (ICT) and how ICT can be improved for community development. Participants will be asked to provide comments and opinions and discuss experiences using ICT. A trained researcher will conduct the interviews. They will take from 30 minutes to one hour.
Data from the interviews will be summarized and analyzed to provide overall findings for the research team.

This research project is being shaped in collaboration with Lyle Fabian, IT Manager at K'atl'odeeche First Nation (KFN). The focus is on how public and community service providers are shaping and using digital technologies and fibre optic networks to meet community needs. Part of the proposed research involves documenting the development of the community's fibre optic network project. This can help inform a business case or community ICT plan for future economic and community development initiatives. The researcher may also assist in training and education initiatives in the community. The FNIP makes funding available to support a community guide to assist in coordinating local interviews and meetings. Finally, the researcher may work with local community members to produce digital media documenting the community's connectivity story and history of technology development.

The researcher will work closely with the community IT Manager to shape this research project to meet KFN's needs. He will travel to the community to meet with community members, participate in local training and education initiatives (to be determined). The First Nations Innovation publication policy requires all community-based research publications to have at least one co-author from the community. The principal researcher may also work with community members to develop digital media content that document KFN's technology development story. The researcher will also provide copies of articles, PowerPoint presentations, and other research deliverables to the community. Participants are welcome to contact the researcher to request publicly available documents that are published about this research.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from November 15, 2013 to December 31, 2013.