Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Box 94 Old Crow, Yukon Canada Y0B 1N0 E-mail: info@vgfn Website: oldcrow.yk - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Box 94 Old Crow, Yukon Canada Y0B 1N0 E-mail: info@vgfn.net Website: www.oldcrow.yk.net. Old Crow is located on the banks of the Porcupine River, above the Arctic Circle in Canada’s Yukon Territory. The population of Old Crow is approximately

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Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

Box 94

Old Crow, Yukon

Canada Y0B 1N0

E-mail: info@vgfn.net

Website: www.oldcrow.yk.net


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Old Crow is located on the banks of the Porcupine River, above the Arctic Circle

in Canada’s Yukon Territory.

The population of Old Crow is approximately

300 and comprises mostly Vuntut Gwitchin people. There is no road access into Old Crow.

According to archaeological evidence, the Old Crow area might be the site of the earliest human occupation in North America. The record of people in the area can be traced back about 15,000 years.


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  • Getting Connected in Old Crow

  • A Time Line. No road access!

    • Electricity - 1964

    • Telephone Service over RF – 1971

    • Telephone Service over Satellite - 1987

    • Local dial-up Internet access – 1997

    • VGFN Employees start using e-mail - 1997

    • Old Crow’s Website goes online - 1998

    • DSL Internet Access – 2001


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In this presentation we will show the advantages and disadvantages of being connected in Old Crow and it’s affect on Governance and Vuntut Gwitchin Cultural. We will also explain what we feel is important when developing a First Nation Website.


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Governance

On May 29th 1993 the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Yukon signed a Self Government Agreement which gave the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation the authority to govern it’s Land and People, as well as, the authority to deliver programs and services to it’s people.


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Governance

In the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Final Agreement, there is no provision in the financial transfer portion of the agreement which provides for funding to implement new technologies such as Internet access and WAN’s connecting Yukon First Nations. The cost of these must be born by the First Nation.


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Governance

Being connected allows the Vuntut Gwitchin Government to communicate more effectively with other Yukon First Nation Governments and with the Governments of Yukon and Canada.

E-mail has become the standard communication tool for the Vuntut Gwitchin Government.


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Governance

Rapid change in technology has lead to the inability of Vuntut Gwitchin Government employees to react to new technologies. We overcome this with mandatory staff training in information technology.


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Governance

With new technology and especially with employee Internet access there are the dangers of lost productivity through Internet abuse. The Vuntut Gwitchin Government created a Computer Use Policy for all employees. This policy addresses Internet and e-mail abuse issues, as well as, security issues.


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Governance

As Yukon First Nations implement their Self Government Agreements, it is beneficial that they share documents such as Land Acts and Fish and Wildlife Acts. To implement this the Council of Yukon First Nations (which is a political organization for Yukon First Nation people) has formed a Self Government Secretariat.


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Governance

The Self Government Secretariat through it’s website will be a depository for documents and information which can be accessed by Yukon First Nations. This will insure that all have the same information and that duplication is eliminated.


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Governance

Technology has allowed us to collect, catalogue, share, and protect Traditional Knowledge of the Vuntut Gwitchin. The Vuntut Gwitchin Oral History Project is one way this has been achieved.


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Governance

With the Vuntut Gwitchin Oral History Project, Elders are taken out on the land and relay Traditional Knowledge which is taped and filmed by Project employees.


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Governance

Award winning film maker, Zacharias Kunuk, gets a tour of the Vuntut Gwitchin film room. Pictured L-R, Oral History Project employees, Tracy Kassi and Mary Jane Moses.


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Governance

Keeping citizens informed on the progress of their Government is a major priority of the Vuntut Gwitchin Chief and Council. Citizens are kept informed through a monthly newsletter, radio broadcasts, public meetings, film making, and by Old Crow’s website on the Internet.


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Old Crow’s Website – oldcrow.yk.net

Old Crow’s website went online in early 1998. We began tracking visits to our website in December 1998 and to date we have had over 60,000 visits from more than 60 countries. In the past year we have averaged just under 2000 visitors per month.

Picture of old NR building


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Old Crow’s Website – oldcrow.yk.net

  • Benefits of a First Nation Website

  • Educate other Governments on First Nation culture

  • Educate the World on First Nation culture

  • Preserve First Nation culture

  • Provide information to First Nation citizens

  • Share information with other First Nations

  • Promote community tourism

  • Promote e-commerce for First Nation citizens


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Old Crow’s Website – oldcrow.yk.net

While a new First Nation website may utilize only a few of the benefits listed on the previous slide, consideration should be given to all the benefits when developing a website. Start small to get the website out there and then build as time goes on.


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Old Crow’s Website – oldcrow.yk.net

Websites are not static, that is, the information on them are changing all the time, sometimes daily or even on the hour. For this reason it is advisable that the website development be done in-house.

That is, instead of using outside contractors, assign the job of development and maintenance to a current employee.


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Old Crow’s Website – oldcrow.yk.net

Website development Best practices for your site.


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Old Crow’s Website – oldcrow.yk.net

Website development – Best practices for your site.

  • Navigation - Your website will probably be made up of several pages with the number of these increasing as you add more information. You should therefore design your website so that users can navigate easily throughout your site without getting lost.

  • Frames – If you are new to website design, avoid using frames. Frames when utilized properly work well, but poorly designed framed websites are very annoying to visitors and they will quickly leave and not return.


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Old Crow’s Website – oldcrow.yk.net

Website development – Best practices for your site.

  • Testing – Test your website on different Internet browsers. Your website may render differently on different browsers. Test on Internet Explorer and Netscape.

  • Pictures Pictures Pictures – Use lots of pictures. Pictures are what people want to see when they are researching a culture or are looking for tourism information. Keep pictures sizes down to 30k bytes or smaller and try not to put too many on one page.


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Old Crow’s Website – oldcrow.yk.net

Website development – Best practices for your site.

  • Update Often – Try to update your website as often as possible. Add stories of events happening with your First Nation and in your community.

  • Archiving – Archive old stories and pictures in an archived page with an easily accessed link to the archived page.


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Old Crow’s Website – oldcrow.yk.net

Website development – Best practices for your site.

  • Interaction – Provide a means for visitors/citizens to interact with your First Nation such as a Guestbook or Forums page. Also, provide an e-mail address so visitors can contact the webmaster. These e-mails will usually be a request for information and can be a useful tool in determining what information is missing from your site.


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Old Crow’s Website – oldcrow.yk.net

Website development – Best practices for your site.

  • Background Music – If you must place background music on your website make sure there is a way for the visitor to turn it off. Background music can be an annoyance to visitors. On Old Crow’s website, rule of thumb for background music is, only on “special season” pages such as on our annual Christmas page.

  • Colors – Make sure background and foreground colors complement each other.


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Old Crow’s Website – oldcrow.yk.net

Website development – Best practices for your site.

  • Grab the Visitors Attention – Visitors will usually arrive at your site by either following a link from another website or by using an Internet Search Engine. Visitors stumbling across your website by accident probably did so because an Internet Search Engine listed your site during their search of an unrelated topic. No matter how a visitor finds your web pages, you want to make your site interesting enough to both keep them in your website and have them return.


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Old Crow’s Website – oldcrow.yk.net

Website development – Best practices for your site.

  • Be Courteous – Your First Nation may be struggling with political or cultural issues and you might want to use your website to educate those you are in conflict with or gain political and public support. When addressing these types of issues on your website, do so in a constructive, accurate, and courteous manner. Remember that down the road your website may be used to promote tourism or e-commerce.


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Old Crow’s Website – oldcrow.yk.net

Website development – Best practices for your site.

  • With millions of websites currently on the Internet the following will increase your chances of visitors finding your web pages.

  • In your web page files place Meta tags containing key words describing your

  • First Nation.

  • Register your website with Internet Search Engines such as Google and Yahoo.

  • Create partnerships with other First Nations and organizations to swap links.

  • Place your website address on letterhead, business cards, fax cover sheets, and

  • e-mail signatures


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Culture


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Culture

Loss of the Porcupine Caribou Herd would have a devastating impact on the Vuntut Gwitchin people. Any development in the Porcupine Caribou calving grounds, located in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, is strongly opposed by the Gwich’in.


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We use every means at our disposal to educate and lobby those in power in the United States to insure protection (from oil development) of the Porcupine Caribou calving grounds.

In the fight to protect the Porcupine Caribou calving grounds, we use the Internet to view current press releases, post updates to our website, and to keep in touch with our partners who are helping us in this fight.


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Conclusion

In conclusion, we use Internet technology to deal with day to day governance issues, to share information, to keep our Citizens informed on the progress of the Vuntut Gwitchin Government, and to aid us in our fight to protect the Porcupine

Caribou calving

grounds.

Thank You.

Mussi Cho.


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