Originally launched in 2014 by Cisco Canada and now led by TakingITGlobal (TIG), the Connected North program uses Cisco TelePresence videoconferencing to link students in remote Indigenous communities to a range of virtual education and youth mental health promotion, virtual field trips, educators, Indigenous mentors and peers across Canada. The Next 150 campaign launched as Canada commemorates its 150th anniversary of confederation in 2017 aims to raise $300,000 by the end of the year to expand the scope and breadth of the program. Cisco Canada aims to help shape the country's next 150 years by establishing a lasting digital legacy that will directly impact future generations of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
The Next 150 campaign will help accelerate the growth of Connected North and ensure that it continues to be a link for Indigenous communities across Canada to unique educational and health and wellness opportunities, co-developed in collaboration with schools and communities, and grounded in Indigenous knowledge and culture.
A new digital model for learning
"This program is a breakthrough in Canada as a powerful means to reach schools in remote communities with resources otherwise unavailable and to strengthen resilience in students," said Willa Black, Corporate Affairs Director, Cisco Canada. "It truly is a new digital model for learning, training and capacity building in the North; more than just a network to deliver 21st century learning opportunities, it is a network of hope.”
Collectively with TIG, Cisco Canada's end-goal is to build capacity in the schools to help move them to sustainability, and bring the new model for real-time, experiential learning to the many communities that are eager to join the network.
"We are grateful for the opportunity to work together in partnership with community leaders, teachers, elders and students from the Yukon to Nunavut," said Jennifer Corriero, Executive Director, TakingITGlobal. "Their support and collaboration keeps us all focused on what is most important - creating opportunities for students to develop their talents, and realize their dreams, hopes and aspirations for the future."
To watch a video about the program (or to donate towards the cause), visit The Next 150 campaign page.
This article is from the Council's Compassionate Cities initiative which highlights how city leaders and other stakeholders can leverage smart technologies to end suffering in their communities and give all citizens a route out of poverty. Click the Compassionate Cities box on our registration page to receive our weekly newsletter.
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