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Malahat Nation has experienced difficulties common with rural Indigenous communities in Canada: poor access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet, which limits educational, economic, cultural and social opportunities for the 120 members of the Nation. With funding from CIRA, Malahat Nation improved the architecture of their fibre and wireless networks and invested in a wireless access point mesh system to expand connectivity for the Nation.


Five community buildings are now connected with physical fibre, including a health centre, a cultural resource centre, the Malahat Member Services, the LGBTQ2S+ Women & Girls Building and the Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council. In addition to the physical networking, high speed wireless access points were set up at strategic points around the community so that members of the Nation can connect to high-speed internet wherever they are.

Members can also access the internet in the computer library, increasing their digital literacy skills and allowing students to pursue higher education via online classes. Dan Pasmans, Director of Information Systems & Technology at Malahat Nation, says, “This network offers our members the chance to learn vital computer and technical skills, not only for job prospects but also to maintain and develop the network further. It supports essential services such as the Open Doors learning program, community programs, and even our smart power grid, all while keeping our community connected through the Malahat Nation website and other IT services.” One user secured a full-time job at Malahat and was able to take on more administrative duties in their role as a result of developing their computer skills at the library.

Malahat Nation also invested in setting up an Internet Service Provider corporation, laying the foundation for Malahat to run their own sovereign network and reinvest their savings back into improved internet access for their community, ensuring their internet access is secure, controlled by their community and more affordable for users—setting a precedent for achieving digital independence.



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Photos courtesy of Malahat Nation

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