Canada’s North is known for its speculator arctic landscape and pristine wilderness. The North’s remoteness, a hallmark of its beauty, is also one of its greatest challenges. High rates of suicide, addiction, and unemployment threaten isolated communities. Connected North uses Cisco collaboration technology to close service gaps and strengthen the community’s own resources.
Connected North—a unique partnership between governments, private sector partners, community leaders, nongovernmental organizations, and Cisco—uses collaboration technology like Cisco TelePresence to connect people in the North to essential educational and mental healthcare services.
During the pilot program, network provider SSi Micro and Cisco collaborated to deliver high-definition video via telepresence over satellite. Through a generous donation of $600,000 in service, SSi established the connectivity network to make Connected North possible. Cisco provided US$1.6 million in collaboration technologies and employee expertise to deliver programming to a middle school and healthcare centre in Iqaluit, Nunavut, making possible an immersive and interactive experience that collapses distance and empowers participants.
Connected North is helping build a new model for the sustainable delivery of remote education and healthcare services that will be applied to under-served communities across Canada.
“In Iqaluit alone, students are missing on average 41 days of school each year and 75% of Inuit children drop out of high school…Connected North is a crucial step in rectifying the situation. Since its adoption, the program has been met with great enthusiasm among the students and new levels of engagement and attendance.” Donald Peters, Principal of Aqsarniit Middle School