Setting up Skype for Community Meetings

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Hay River – Northwest Territories

Monday, 16 January 2012, 12:42 PM
Setting up Skype for Community Meetings

By Henry Tambour, K’atl’odeeche First Nation, with Rob McMahon

is a member of the . Henry Tambour works as the band’s network technician. He is helping build the community’s new fibre optic network. He also helps set up local wireless connections and software.Right now K’atl’odeeche is served by copper infrastructure that has been in place since the early 1980s. The community receives Internet connectivity through ADSL over telephone lines. This service is provided by one of only teleco providers in the NWT. In mid-January 2011, the for high rates and low levels of service. In fact, one newspaper article includes a statement from an spokesperson that the company was charging up to 30 times the price of comparable residential Internet service in southern Canada.

 Henry at the Chief Lamilise Complex
Henry at the Chief Lamilise

In 2011, K’atl’odeeche received $275,000 over two years from for local infrastructure development. The community is now using the funding to develop a community-owned and managed network. They will network administrative buildings in the community. Local students are documenting this project in First Mile videos.

Henry uses new technologies to meet community needs. He has set up a local system that allows people living or travelling outside the community to participate in community meetings. His system also helps Elders who are hard of hearing, and people who speak the to participate.

Here, Henry shows how to set up his system at the Chief Lamilise Complex. Henry also set this up to broadcast over a community radio signal. If you want to learn more, contact him


 Inside the Chief Lamilise Complex  KFN's Unit  Henry with system
Inside the Chief Lamilise Complex where meetings take place. When community members are traveling or live outside the community, they can participate. K’atl’odeeche’s unit is light and durable. Henry started using this system in November 2011. The PA cost approximately $1,000. The system also has a USB hook-up to digitally record all the proceedings.

1) Set up the PA system

2) Connect wireless mics to PA (plug into PA mic jack on right)

 Wireless microphones  Henry with wireless mics  Plugging in the microphones
This is the wireless microphone used by people in the room Henry showing us the PA and microphone system Plugging the wireless microphone into the PA mic jack


3) Set up two wireless microphones: one for English speakers, one for Slavey speakers 

Wireless micHenry uses two mics during meetings. Someone acts as a translator between the languages.
  • The community owns several headsets to pick up these signals.
  • These headsets are used for people who are hard of hearing.
  • The first channel picks up everything in English. The second channel is the Slavey channel.

4) Set up second wired mic (bendable one) to laptop speakers (goes into PA mic jack on left)

 Laptop  Laptop with microphone  Plugging into PA
A laptop with a wireless connection lets people outside the community participate. This mic picks up people talking through the laptop speakers. When plugged into the PA, the Skype conversation is amplified to everyone in the room.

5) Stereo output into laptop mic jack (small cord)

PA, connected  Henry with laptop
This output from the PA is for people speaking into mics inside the room. When plugged into the laptop’s microphone input, the signal transfers to people listening in on Skype.

6) Load and invite people to join

People outside the community need to download and
sign into to participate.

Find out more

Click here to find Hay River, NT on Google Maps