Greetings from MFNS! We’d like to say “hello” and give sincere thanks to all the schools, staff and students that have supported our work over the years.
We would like to announce that the project for 2016-2017 has received approval from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. We are certainly excited to be back and are looking forward to assisting your school with your Information and Communication Technology (ICT) needs!
In December 2002, the Manitoba First Nations SchoolNet project began as a collaborative initiative led by Industry Canada, in partnership with provincial First Nations management organization, the education community and the not-for-profit and private sector. The program was part of the Connecting Canadians agenda, the Government of Canada’s strategy to keep Canada among the leaders in connecting its citizens to the Internet.
In April 2008, the project was transferred from Industry Canada to Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. The project funding is now administered out of the New Paths for Education program. This program provides funding to strengthen First Nations education and improve the quality of education in First Nations communities.
- First Nations SchoolNet aims to:
- Assist schools with accessing ICT hardware;
- Assist schools with accessing educational software;
- Provide connectivity solutions support;
- Provide monthly subsidies for bandwidth;
- Provide help desk support services to assist in local area network and connectivity problems; and
- Provide Youth Employment opportunities within the schools.
Manitoba First Nations SchoolNet has two components, an administration office and a help desk. The administration office can assist you with information relating to the program and ongoing operations, and information regarding program funding support, etc. The help desk is available to troubleshoot your ICT problems, mainly local area networks and connectivity related issues.
Manitoba First Nations SchoolNet
Unit 26-30 Fort Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 1C4
Help Desk Support
Toll Free: 1.866.397.5446, Option 1
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9:00am-4:00pm
First Nations SchoolNet Program Activities
- Deployment and maintenance of Sophos Antivirus software to prevent, detect, and remove destructive computer viruses
- Deployment and maintenance of Fortigate routers – A network router and security appliance that protects the entire network from unauthorized and/or unwanted intrusions. This device also enables the school to protect students by blocking access to unapproved content.
- Deployment of connectivity and network hardware to ensure connectivity to schools.
- Deployment and maintenance of Video-Conferencing units, if applicable
- Monitor and maintain software and hardware utilizing Sophos, Fortigate, and/or Video-Conferencing resources.
- Negotiate & secure legal agreements with ISPs on behalf of participating First Nation schools.
- Monitor & manage connectivity agreements & compliance to ensure quality of service to participating schools.
- Setup connectivity reimbursement schedules for schools that are independently managing their own connections.
Help desk Operations
- Provide technical support to First Nation schools for technical issues, primarily network and connectivity related issues.
- Monitor issues, trouble tickets for timely resolution.
- On-site service calls to the schools to resolve technical problems, primarily connectivity issues unresolvable via phone or e-mail.
- On-site training for supported activities
Dependent upon funding availability, MFNS provides other additional services:
- Wireless Infrastructure Installs
- Wired Infrastructure Installs
- Hardware/Software procurement
Any requests for services listed above should be made to the helpdesk (1-866-397-5446), where a ticket will be created to track and service your school’s request.
Ultimate Beneficiary Agreements 2016-2017
Ultimate Beneficiary Agreements (UBAs) will be faxed to the Education Directors contacts at all participating schools during the month of September 2016. Keewatin Tribal Council has developed a third-party beneficiary agreement, this document defines points of contact within the school, ownership of equipment purchased for participating schools, allocation of connectivity funding for participating schools, etc. These agreements should be signed to ensure that participating schools can receive resources allocated to them through the MFNS project as well as to ensure that participants understand all conditions and are duly authorized to participate in the project.
Manitoba First Nations SchoolNet – Youth Initiative
Manitoba First Nations SchoolNet – Youth Initiative is a youth employment project that aims to provide a unique employment opportunity for First Nations Youth on reserve. The SchoolNet Youth Initiative seeks to provide employment opportunities for First Nations Youth ages 15-30 in First Nations schools and community organizations; to enhance interpersonal and technical skills as the interns work to meet the needs of their school and communities and provide an understanding of how Information and Communication Technologies can enhance the traditional learning environment.
Applications will be sent to your organization shortly.
Bandwidth – Internet Access Subsidy 2016-2017
MFNS would like to remind all participating schools that each school qualifies for bandwidth subsidies. Allocations for these subsidies are different from school to school, as the service providers and the technology varies from region to region. The number of computers within the school and the applications required by the school should also be factored into the bandwidth allocation.
In most cases, MFNS has been paying the Internet connection directly to the vendor on behalf of schools at the school’s initial request when the MFNS project started. In other cases and where agreed upon, MFNS does provide payment to the school or education authority upon the submission of their approved Internet/ bandwidth expenses. The details of bandwidth allocations for each participating school and who is responsible for vendor payment will be listed in your school’s UBA.
MFNS is also active in seeking out alternative connectivity provisioning in partnership with participating schools, especially schools that are still utilizing KA-Band satellite, or DSL services. If you have questions or concerns regarding the quality or speed of your Internet service, please contact Sheena Swanson at 204-594-2558 or Jack Clarke at 204-594-2562.