Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation to benefit from broadband funding announcement
Tim Brody - Editor
Keewaytinook Okimakanak is receiving $179,040 through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to purchase and install two 200-foot broadband towers, which will help increase broadband access and affordability for Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation community members.
Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, made the announcement on Feb. 11.
A Government of Ontario news release explained, “Keewaytinook Okimakanak, through its Kuhkenah Network (K-Net) Computer Services department, will help improve broadband capacity in the community. The stronger network will benefit homes and businesses as well as important services and facilities, including the e-learning centre, band office, community centre and health centre telemedicine office.”
“As a part of our plan to build Ontario together, our government is proud to invest in broadband infrastructure projects that are strengthening communication networks
across the north,” Rickford said. “By improving broadband access in the Mishkeegogamang community, Keewaytinook Okimakanak's broadband project will bring new economic and educational opportunities and help build a safer and connected community.”
“On behalf of my Council and the entire membership, we wish to express our appreciation to the Ontario Government, especially NOHFC and the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, for providing the funding required to upgrade our internet capacity,” stated Chief David Masakeyash, Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation. “We are better positioned for tomorrow to compete for business and other opportunities that are now possible with this modernizing of our communications."
“The NOHFC promotes and supports economic development across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects - big and small, rural and urban - that stimulate growth, job creation and develop a skilled workforce,” the news release explained, adding that the Government of Ontario is working to develop new NOHFC programs that:
- Make it easier for more people and businesses to apply
- Support more projects in rural northern communities
- Target both existing and emerging market opportunities
- Provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people
- Address the skilled labour shortage in the north.
“We have heard from northerners who want NOHFC programs to be open to a broader range of businesses and workers so that the unique needs of Northern Ontario communities are met,” Rickford said. “Through these proposed changes, Ontario's government will continue to build strong and resilient communities while supporting an environment where businesses can thrive, grow and create good jobs.”