Education

New Dene Nation partnership brings internet to Indigenous students


The Dene Nation says a new $170,000 partnership will provide internet connectivity for NWT Indigenous students to access education.

In a Monday news release, the Dene Nation said it was joining forces with the charitable wing of credit card company Mastercard to provide the funding.

The money will provide internet access for Grade 12 Indigenous students who don’t have connectivity at home. It’ll also pay for schools in communities to receive devices like Turbo Sticks and Chromebooks.

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“These devices will be loaned to families to access education online and to provide educational resources when school resumes in the fall,” the Dene Nation stated.

“Data plans and technical support will also be offered as part of this initiative.”

The Mastercard Foundation’s work to promote youth learning is ordinarily focused on African nations.

“We are very pleased to partner with the Dene Nation in enabling learning to continue despite the disruption experienced by communities,” said the foundation’s president, Reeta Roy, referring to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic – which forced the closure of NWT schools for much of this calendar year.

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Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya said the pandemic had “far-reaching impacts for our communities and it is critical we support our most vulnerable with the resources they need.”

The news release stated “economic opportunities for post-secondary Indigenous students to develop land-based and cultural resources” would also be created, though no further detail was immediately available.

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