CIRA awards $ 1.25M to Indigenous people,



OTTAWA, July 29, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – At a time when Internet access has never been more important, CIRA, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, today announced the granting of grants of $ 1.25 million to support communities across the country where the need is greatest. For 2021, CIRA’s Community Investment Program grants initiative has placed particular emphasis on grants for Internet-related projects in Indigenous and rural communities, as well as initiatives that benefit students.

From improving connectivity in the Ermineskin Cree Nation in Alberta to providing laptops and cybersecurity courses at Regent Park in Toronto, the Community Investment Program funds a wide variety of projects that will help support the new broadband infrastructure, digital literacy, civic engagement and cybersecurity skills for students and Indigenous, rural and remote communities across the country. These CIRA-funded community projects will help provide Canadians with faster Internet access and the skills they need to stay safe online. You can find the full list of projects below.

For this year’s grant program, CIRA saw a record number of applications for infrastructure projects, which is not surprising given our growing reliance on the Internet during the pandemic. And there has been a wave of interest from indigenous communities.

“It’s inspiring to see communities across the country taking control of Internet access,” said Byron Holland, President and CEO of CIRA. “More than ever, this is an essential service and CIRA is committed to helping improve access for all. This year’s recipients all have great ideas for helping their communities and we are proud to support them.

“We appreciate the opportunity to create a new Internet infrastructure project with the help of CIRA,” said Derrick Houle, CEO of the Mamawapowin Technology Society. “For years we have had a dream and a desire to improve our country’s connectivity. We look forward to presenting them with new opportunities that otherwise would not have been available.

Thanks to a previous grant from CIRA in 2019, the Mamawapowin Technology Society was able to strengthen the DIY network it built to serve the Samson Cree Nation in central Alberta. With this year’s support, the organization will expand its network to the neighboring community of 2,500 people of the Ermineskin Cree Nation.

CIRA’s Community Investment Program provides grants to fund innovative community Internet projects to create a resilient, reliable and secure Internet for all Canadians. Since 2014, CIRA has provided $ 9.2 million for 185 projects across Canada.

Here is how the list of 14 grant recipients this year breaks down:

  • 8 (57 percent of) funded projects benefit Indigenous communities
  • 5 (35%) benefit communities in Northern Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia
  • 4 (28 percent) benefit residents living in rural communities
  • 6 (43 percent) are primarily focused on student service
  • This year’s areas of focus are digital literacy, infrastructure, cybersecurity, and community leadership.

2021 Community Investment Program grant recipients
Mamawapowin Technology Society (MTS) | Infrastructure

MTS will leverage its existing network in the Samson Cree Nation to provide high-speed and reliable connectivity to the neighboring Ermineskin Cree Nation of 2,500 residents.

British Columbia
First Nations Technology Council (CFPN) | Community leadership

The FNTC will co-create a digital equity roadmap for leaders of First Nations communities to mobilize their communities towards the achievement of digital equity in 6 areas: connectivity and infrastructure, policies and legislation, skills development , employment and business development, leadership in technology and innovation, and governance and self-determination.

Great Bear Initiative Society (Coastal First Nations) | Infrastructure

The Connected Coastal Nations project seeks to leverage federal and provincial funding to help ISPs belonging to the Coastal First Nations community provide high-speed Internet access throughout the region. CIRA’s funding will cover 10% of the funding required to increase network performance between nations to meet the CRTC’s basic service target of 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download speed, 10 Mbps download speed. download.

Tsilhqot’in National Government (GTN) | Infrastructure

TNG, I-Valley and Rock Networks have partnered to evaluate, design and implement a cellular and broadband network in the Tsilhqot’in Nation. This project would create a functional pilot project to lay the foundations for a network owned and managed by the Tsilhqot’in and identify next stages of development.

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association | Digital literacy

The BCCLA will create lesson plans, fact sheets and informative videos to provide young Canadians aged 14 to 24 with an understanding of their digital rights on smartphones in relation to state entities, such as what the strengths of order can use from their smart phones during an investigation.

Minto communications company | Infrastructure

Minto Communications Society will invest in last mile broadband access infrastructure to improve service speeds and capacity limits on the existing network at Bridge River Valley.

CatalystsX Network Communities Inc. | Digital literacy

CatalystsX will create a resource toolkit to meet the unique digital literacy needs of four Northern First Nations communities to help their community members and business owners (a) develop digital literacy skills, (b) to adopt remote working technologies, and (c) to defend the necessary infrastructures.

Long Lake First Nation # 58 | Cyber ​​security

This project is part of the Communications Connection & Security project of LL58. It will ensure that LL58 has a secure Internet infrastructure to prevent cyber attacks and protect data, develop an Internet and information security policy to ensure good governance of their information assets, and provide Internet security training to administrative staff and community members on safe internet use and government governance policies.

McMaster University, Aboriginal Student Services | Infrastructure

This project will create a pilot “pop-up” learning hub in the Six Nations of the Grand River to provide Indigenous post-secondary students at McMaster University, Mohawk College and Six Nations Polytechnic with a local site. off campus to access high-speed Internet and connect with student support staff.

Canadian Association of Journalists | Digital literacy

The CAJ will offer 13 training sessions (one in each province / territory) to post-secondary students and create a research guide and a how-to manual on how to spot disinformation and disinformation online. Their goal is for the national guide to become a benchmark for detecting and combating disinformation and disinformation.

Center for the Institute of Social Innovation | Digital literacy

The Tech Lending Library will provide youth and schoolchildren in Toronto’s Regent Park neighborhood with access to internet devices and training in cybersecurity and devices. They will be able to use the access to attend school online, socialize and find opportunities for secure online activities and services that they need.

Duff-Court Neighborhood Life Committee (COVIQ) | Infrastructure

COVIQ will provide affordable high-speed Internet access through a shared infrastructure strategy to low-income tenants of the main building of the Place-Lachine subsidized housing complex, 1830 Duff-Court.

Techno Culture Club | Digital literacy

It’s Just Online aims to provide teens with access to tools, resources and support in the form of workshops, toolkits and online resources, to help them become empowered digital citizens.

The northern village of Île-à-la-Crosse | Digital literacy

The mayor, the school division and the DEPtH laboratory will coordinate to develop and integrate a digital literacy program based on citizen science in the programs of the Île-à-la-Cross school division in order to allow students to contribute to digital initiatives long term currently in place.

About CIRA and CIRA Grants
CIRA is the best-known national non-profit organization managing the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians. The organization also provides professional-grade registry, DNS and cybersecurity services to organizations in Canada and around the world. As a mission-driven, member-based non-profit organization, CIRA also has a much broader goal of promoting a trusted Internet for Canadians. CIRA’s grants are one of our most valuable contributions to this goal and fund projects in the areas of infrastructure, digital literacy, cybersecurity and community leadership. Every registered or renewed .CA domain name contributes to this program.

Media contact
Josh tabish
Public Affairs Manager, CIRA
[email protected]



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