A step towards Digital Sovereignty for Na-Cho Nyäk Dun
The First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun and the Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Development Corporation welcome members of the Indigenous Connectivity Institute to our Traditional Territory for the kickoff of a community-owned internet service provider (ISP) pilot project.
This initiative will welcome the installation of 10 residential and 10 commercial units that will form an affordable and independent telecommunications network using open-sourced hardware and software. The network will be owned and maintained by the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, and will create an opportunity for community members to further access telecommunications skills and knowledge.
This project seeks to not only bring quality, reliable internet connectivity to Mayo, but to achieve the core principles of digital sovereignty, an important contemporary component of self-determination.
The Broadband Bootcamp Workshop
During this installation process, the Indigenous Connectivity Institute is inviting community members to participate in a Broadband Bootcamp workshop running throughout the week. Here, participants will have the opportunity to learn:
The fundamentals of how the internet works, and how we physically access it
The social and governmental aspects of how internet is structured and managed in Canada
What a “community network” is vs. a “traditional network”
How to physically build a community network
This workshop ran October 2-5, 2023.
Technical Background of the Independent ISP
The network will be built using a combination of wireless technologies. A network of high-bandwidth Ubiquiti airMAX radios will connect the residential/commercial units to each other, and also to a base location. In turn, the base location will use a satellite dish to connect the network to the rest of the Internet (this is known as “backhaul”). Users in any of these locations will be able to access the network through a regular WiFi router.
This network will be different from “traditional” internet in several key ways. First and foremost, its usage of a satellite dish will ensure that the network stays up and operational despite any potential cuts or damage to physical fiber lines in the region. Second, the additional bandwidth provided by the airMAX radios should provide fast speeds that far exceed current offerings. Third, the community ownership model is built upon principles of accessibility and affordability.
About the Project Partners
Indigenous Connectivity Institute
The Indigenous Connectivity Institute is a community of leaders working to close this digital divide by sharing knowledge, shaping policy, and helping people learn the skills to build and run their own internet networks. The Indigenous Connectivity Institute works to scale the support, knowledge, and financial resources that Indigenous people need to build digital equity in their communities and on their own terms. https://connecthumanity.fund/indigenous-connectivity/
First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun
The self-governing First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, whose Traditional Territory spans north central Yukon and unceded territory in NWT, is part of the Northern Tutchone language group with government headquarters based near Mayo, Yukon.
Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Development Corporation
The active business arm of the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun. Committed to fostering economic self-determination and the wellbeing for our people, lands, and waters.