In December, the Blandin Broadband Community team is meeting with the nine new Blandin Broadband Communities. I have been able to attend some of the meetings and wanted to introduce folks to the new communities when I could.
Last week we got a chance to meet with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Onamia. Pictured below from left to right are: Michelle Palomaki, Keith Modglin, Joyce Shingobe, Clayton Benjamin and Lorelei Benjamin.
The meeting was very much a starter meeting – a chance for everyone to meet and to discuss at a very high level some of the strengths and opportunities for the community. One issue for this group is connectivity. Some folks live in areas with decent connectivity and some folks, such as in Big Sandy, are still using dialup.
There have been past attempts to boost broadband use – such as starting an online school but connectivity was an issue. Moving forward the community is interested in reaching young people and promoting local culture. There may be an opportunities to showcase Ojibwe language and traditions.
There was also an interest in helping local craftspeople and artisans get connected help promote their work – for sale and to showcase expertise.
Below is a video of Joyce Shingobe talking about their hopes …