Not only was connectivity an issue for LFN, but audits found the Nation’s networks to be insecure and easily penetrable. With ransomware attacks on the rise, it was important for the Leq’á:mel Development Corporation to find a solution that not only helped their community connect, but also kept their data safe.
“We’re going to revamp the network infrastructure,” said Keith Hayes, Chief Executive officer at Troika Technologies, the business supporting LFN’s upgrades. “We’ll get technology that eliminates ransomware attacks and bad actors coming into the businesses.”
A CIRA grant will fund improved internet infrastructure, stability, and security for Leq’á:mel First Nation, opening the door for LFN-owned businesses to thrive and for increased employment opportunities in the Nation. As a result, Smith is hopeful this will bring community members that might have left the Nation back home.
“The Development Corporation has made a commitment to the businesses here that we will work to create a climate that is conducive to business growth, long-term, sustainable employment at home in the Nation—and the return of members to the reserve.”
CIRA grant helps unlock growth in Malahat Nation
Malahat Nation, located on Vancouver Island, applied for a CIRA grant to bring its community up to speed and build digital literacy skills for low-income Indigenous households and students. The Nation has long been working to build out its own infrastructure and minimize reliance on third-party companies—which are often unaffordable for local businesses and members.
Dan Pasmans, Technologies and Communications Coordinator for Malahat Nation, says their project is all about unlocking opportunities, economic and otherwise, for the Nation.
“As our data needs as a Nation have been increasing exponentially, we’ve been experiencing a lot of bottlenecks with our service—instead of continuing to rely on these external companies, we want to build this ability in-house to maintain our own infrastructure. And CIRA’s Community Investment Program has offered us this opportunity to get this project off the ground.”
Malahat Nation plans to use some of its funding to cover hardware costs including building a server on its land. External network connections to this server will then be provided to the Nation’s members for free—starting with low-income members, with expansion to households across the entire Nation in the future. Building it on their own land will enable affordable and predictable pricing that can be managed by the Nation itself.