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7 First Nation Communities in Northern Ontario receive Microsoft Surfaces

June 9, 2021

This week, 7 northern and remote First Nation Communities will be receiving Microsoft Surfaces, as part of a partnership between RCT and Microsoft Canada, to assist their economic and educational development programs.   

Working with our contact Brian Walmark, located in Thunderbay, Brian helped us identified 7 First Nations Communities that are in need of computer technology to expand their economic and educational development programs.   

 

The First Nation Communities we are currently working with are:  

 

  • Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services - Matawa First Nations Management 

  • Deer Lake First Nation 

  • Fort William First Nation 

  • Wunnummin Lake Lake First Nation 

  • Mishkeegogamang First Nation 

  • Muskrat Dam First Nations 

  • Fort Severn First Nations. 

  •  

One of these communities, Fort Severn, received a shipment of 15 Microsoft Surfaces to replace critically old computers used in their computer literacy program and to be used in their new call centre - a Cree-English call centre that will focus on assisting business-to-business connections between Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario. Forst Severn is the northernmost permanent settlement in Ontario, sharing its traditional lands with some of Ontario’s last remaining Polar bear population. 

 

As a leader in community-based training, Fort Severn is the first First Nation to host community training in computer literacy, trades, and heavy equipment operation, preparing members of their community to assume jobs normally done by outside contractors. The community has taken great strides in leading remote northern communities in training and computer literacy, and is a pioneer in digital education and IP-based telemedicine.  

 

“With Microsoft Surfaces, our youth will have the same tools as other young people in the province. All we have ever asked for is the opportunity to compete. These donated computers will help to level the playing field,” - Chief Paul Burke 

 

 

The Senior's Computer Lab Project, in Niagara Region, 2020

 

This year, Renewed Computer Technology (RCT) partnered with Cyber-Senoirs and the Senior's Computer Lab Project to help deliver computer skills training for seniors at various locations across the region.  RCT's Computer for Schools+ (CFS+) program supported the creation of 6 labs by distributing computers to each location while also distributing over 100 laptops to seniors in Niagara Regional Housing locations. 

Training for seniors is now provided online with one-on-one instruction and daily webinar classes with youth mentors, all held on a virtual platform during the pandemic through the Cyber-Seniors partnership.  For many of the seniors at these Niagara locations, access to computer resources has traditionally been very limited.  

RCT's computers helped to create a learning environment for the seniors and youth involved and made it possible for many individuals to own their own laptop or desktop computer, items which used to be financially out of reach for many.  The Cyber Seniors' youth mentors also had the added benefit of learning job skills through the Cyber-Seniors Mentor Training Program, a certificate program which helped them with their career goals while also helping seniors become more comfortable using their devices.  

This reverse mentoring program not only individualizes the learning process for the seniors with their devices, but it also expands community engagement through a mutual learning relationship from the friendship and exchange of knowledge that results. RCT's computers are also being used by the seniors to connect to their families/surrounding community and for online social activities such as online "movie nights", community meets and "trivia nights" via Zoom.  

Seniors use their laptops to take part in webinars and presentations as learning opportunities as well as to find and use resources, many of which are only available online.  

 “The ability for seniors to own their own devices has been life changing as these computers provide a link to many free resources and access to online services such as license renewal, online banking, and other government services that are inaccessible for those with limited mobility or transportation options.  The computers have been the key to improving their quality of life allowing them to connect to and be with friends and family especially during the isolation resulting from the pandemic.  They've made it possible for seniors to retain a sense of self-reliance and independence as their confidence grows along with their tech skill abilities” - Nancy Siciliana, Niagara Region Program Manager for Cyber-Seniors.

 

#WelcomeRefugees 
Delivering computers to Syrian Families 

March 14 2016, Toronto ON 

Renewed Computer Technology (RCT) is pleased to share that the Honourable Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development has announced Canada’s investment to provide computers for Syrian Families as part of the National #WelcomeRefugees initiative through Computers for Success Canada (CFSC).


Through Computers for Success Canada (CFSC), RCT will provide a free refurbished laptop to Syrian Families landing in Ontario until December 31st 2016 on a first come first served basis. RCT, operating the Computers for Schools program in Ontario, has already begun to distribute laptops across the province by partnering with refugee resettlement organizations and School Boards who work directly with Syrian Families.


“RCT has already forged 9 partnerships and over 500 laptops are committed to Syrian Families that have arrived in Canada”, said Shauna L. McCaffrey, RCT’s Executive Director. “We are hoping to empower each family as they arrive by equipping them with pre-loaded digital modules such as job search, interviews tips as well as technical skills for setting up a wireless network or learning the software provided on their laptop.”

RCT will continue to provide support with a one year limited parts and labour depot warranty from the date the laptop is received by the family. Each computer will come loaded with Windows Operating System, Microsoft Office Suite and skill development software to equip them with everything they need to utilize the computer to its full potential.


RCT is dedicated to providing affordable computers in communities across Ontario to empower all low-income learners through its RCTech OUTREACH program. For over 20 years RCT has been operating the Computers for Schools program, using donations and government funding to refurbish, reuse, and recycle technology. RCT’s primary mission is to make technology accessible to students, educators, and not-for-profit organizations.

In addition, CFSC-OPEC has partnered with several organizations to bundle complementary services, resulting in a more robust offering for resettling refugees:

  • The Canada Research Chair in Sociocultural Issues of Digital Technologies in Education is providing expertise in program design.
  • CIBC is offering a low-cost banking package for new Canadians.
  • CN, a long-standing ISED partner, is providing cartage for donated computers across the country.
  • Facebook is offering MediaSmarts online safety information in Arabic.
  • Microsoft is donating Windows and Office licences for every computer destined for Syrian refugee households from coast to coast.

For more information on how to receive computers through the #WelcomeRefugees project and for a complete list of Frequently Asked Questions please visit Initiatives.

 Photos from the Event 

 Partners: ISED, CFSC, CFS, Facebook, Microsoft, and CultureLink gather to congratulate family   MP Ahmed Hussen, Hon. Minister Bains, Ibrahim Absiye, S McCaffrey, MP Jowhari, Toby Harper-Merrit
   
 Hon. Minister Bains delivers laptop to Syrian Family   Hon. Minister Navdeep Bains announces $1.25M investment
   
   RCT's #WelcomeRefugees Project Team with Hon.Minister Bains 
   
   

 In the News 

1. CBC News - Thousands of Syrian Refugees to receive Refurbished Computers 
2. Global News - 7,500 Refurbished computers provided to Syrian Refugees in Canada
3. Marketwired - Government of Canada invests in giving computers to Syrian families 
4. Tribune - Canada gives computers to Syrian Refugees 
5. Yahoo News - Government of Canada invest in Computer for Syrian Families 
6. 680 News - Thousands of refurbished computers to be delivered to Syrian Families 
7. CityNews - Thousands of refurbished computers delivered to Syrian Families 
 

 
 
 
 
Computers for Schools celebrates delivery of 1.5 million computers in Canada
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, celeb...
 
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