We recognize that if our research is kept within academia it will have only a limited impact in remote and rural First Nations. We also need to ensure that our work supports evidence-based policy-making in the policy environments that shape how broadband networks and ICT are developed and used in these communities.
For these reasons we continue to extend our research beyond the partner organizations and academia. The First Nation partner organizations on the project work closely with the remote and rural First Nations on their networks, and they have facilitated our research engagement with the communities. Support from the partners and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) through several outreach grants has allowed us to work in collaboration with communities and with policy makers.
The most evident example of our outreach work is our publication policy that guides and supports our work with First Nation authors on all our publications. Click on the link below for our paper discussing practical ways that researchers can collaborate with community co-authors:
Another example of recent outreach work is the collaboration with Fort Severn First Nation to co-produce an online information resource highlighting the leadership demonstrated by the community with technology development:
Our plans to increase outreach activities over the life of the First Nations Innovation project include developing stories in collaboration with First Nations media. This will ensure that the many stories and examples First Nations leadership in broadband development are widely disseminated in communities.
To date the partners and researchers have been working in conjunction with the Assembly of First Nation IT Working Group to ensure that our activities support national First Nation policies related to broadband development. See this website section on First Mile and e-Community for more information about these First Nation approaches and policies.