First Mile at Doig River

I had the pleasure of spending last weekend in Fort St. John, B.C. working with former Doig River First Nation chief Garry Oker and SFU PhD Candidate Rob McMahon to plan a documentary video that Mr. Oker will produce for the First Mile project, which is based in part at Simon Fraser University. The First Mile project “celebrates locally owned and managed First Nations Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). One way it does this is through this an online meeting space — a place for communities to learn and share ideas about technology development”. Our job over the weekend was to collaborate with Mr. Oker in the initial planning of a video about the Doig River First Nation’s recent connection with high-speed Internet, and what this has meant for the band. We also had the opportunity to visit and talk with community members at the Doig River First Nation. It was wonderful to spend time with Jack Askoty and to see video footage of Jack’s incredible hunting and trapping skills. We were lucky to visit with Billy Makadahay and see the work that he is doing with the First Voices language revitalization and archiving project, and to talk to Doig River councilor Marlene Benson about the effects of high-speed access for her band work and her craftwork. Thank you to everyone we visited with last weekend for your hospitality and kindness! I can’t wait to see the finished video, which will not only feature some of the amazing digital media work being produced by Doig River youth, but will also show how Doig River media producers are using their cultural knowledge to shape communications technologies to meet their needs.