Published: August 21st, 2014

A remote Aboriginal community in Northern Ontario now has access to cutting edge technology, thanks to a project spearheaded by a Canadian solution provider.

The Neskantaga Training Centre in Neskantaga Territory, Ont. celebrated its grand opening earlier this week. It’s a multi-purpose facility outfitted with state of the art technology including Cisco TelePresence, high-definition two-way video communication and collaboration technology, a 70” Smart Board, a 70” LED HDTV, high-speed satellite broadband connectivity and individual laptops.

“The partnerships formed to build this facility, along with all of the hard work, have culminated in a facility that will have a positive impact on the people of Neskantaga for many years to come,” said Chief Peter Moonias of Neskantaga First Nation, in a statement.  “This is an integral step in the right direction – providing access to higher learning directly in our community so that our youth have the opportunity to succeed.”

Toronto-based solution provider Aecon led the project, in collaboration with the Matawa First Nations’ Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services, and support from ATCO Structures & Logistics, Bell Canada, Cisco Canada, Galaxy Satellite, Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario and Confederation College.

“The development of this innovative concept was made possible through the collaboration and contributions from best-in-class companies and organizations that have the combined objective to create a sustainable solution for training in remote communities,” said Teri McKibbon, Aecon’s president and CEO, in a statement.  “Training and education are keys to success and we are very proud to be a part of bringing such opportunities to Matawa First Nation communities.”

Funding came from the Province of Ontario, and the facility is owned and operated by the Matawa First Nations.

“I’m thrilled the province could play a role in this collaborative project. By improving access to education and training, the Neskantaga Training Centre will open up new doors to a world of possibilities for learners in Neskantaga. Everyone involved in this initiative should be immensely proud,” said David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, in a statement.