Canada – -Canada
Wednesday, 6 March 2013, 04:03 PM
On January 30th 2013, Atlantic Canada’s First Nation Help Desk andKO-KNET facilitated a videoconference to share information about the Idle No More movement in Canada. Occupy Canada mirrored the online event, attracting participants from 41 countries across the world. In total, approximately 5,790 unique webstream connections accessed the event. Since many of the videoconference and webstream connections reached classrooms and other sites where many people saw the presentation, the total audience approached 10,000 live viewers.
Watch the Idle No More Videoconference
The conference included over fifty videoconference sites across Canada, with many inside high school and university classrooms. Some participants and at least one of the original Idle No More organizers did not have access to a “real” (physical) videoconference unit. Instead, they joined the conference through the Polycom CMA (Converged Management Application) using webcams, laptops, iPads, or smart phones.
Three videoconferencing bridges “cascaded” (joined) in this effort. KO-KNET utilized their streaming server to send the signal out to the open Internet. To overcome bandwidth limitations, Bell Aliant and their Community One partner provided the wide-pipe streaming portal so that thousands of people could view the high-quality web stream on regular Internet connections. This service was provided at no cost and did not include advertising.
Shelley Young and Molly Peters are First Nations activists from Nova Scotia who are coordinators of the East Coast Idle No More group. They organized the videoconference to reach out to students in First Nation schools across Canada. The intention of the event was to engage and empower First Nation youth to discuss the issues associated with Idle No More.
Learn more about Idle No More
Guest speakers on the videoconference call included Chief Isador Day, Tanya Kappo and Taiaiake Alfred. Chief Day from Serpent River First Nation, a long term advocate for treaty rights, has been involved in numerous grassroots movements. He helped bring the Idle No More movement to national attention. Tanya Kappo was the first person to use the #IdleNoMore hashtag on Twitter on November 30th 2012. She is also involved in educating people about the implications of Bill C-45. Taiaiake Alfred is a Professor of indigenous governance at the University of Victoria, and is a highly regarded First Nations scholar.
During the videoconference event, each of these presenters spoke to the importance of action and of educating others about the Idle No More movement.
Other speakers on the call included youth involved in grassroots movements in their home communities. The videoconference coordinators, Molly Peters and Shelley Young, also spoke to the audience about the importance of education and empowerment.
This videoconference began with the intent of reaching out to students in First Nation schools across Canada. In the end, not only students participated – people from all over the world joined in. This demonstrates how videoconferencing technology and connectivity can bring this national debate to a global audience and encourage international dialogue.
One amazing aspect of this conference was how social media was used to mobilize a large national audience. Kindred spirits around the world viewed, learned, and shared in a manner unthinkable only a few years ago. It is clear that today’s Aboriginal youth have a degree of digital media savvy that will be a powerful force as they confront issues of great concern.