Indigenous youth virtual leaning gets a financial boost

Scotiabank on Monday announced a commitment of $750,000 to Connected North, a program that delivers immersive and interactive learning services to more than 100 schools located in remote locations, including Indigenous communities, across the country.

By acknowledging the importance of representation, Connected North works alongside Indigenous role models, staff and communities to deliver authentic, customized content to students in remote northern schools.

Connected North, operated by the charity TakingITGlobal, connects students from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 to a wide variety of virtual, live, and interactive learning experiences like virtual museum tours, cool science experiments, author talks, language revitalization programming, dance classes and so much more.  Many sessions focus on connecting students with Indigenous role models to share, engage and inspire through First Nations, M├ętis and Inuit culture, teachings and traditions.

Scotiabank

Scotiabank’s gift supports the development of Connected North’s digital platform to enable program growth and sustainability, helping community partners and educators easily access customized learning opportunities aligned to curriculum needs and student interests. The donation will also fund digital inclusion grants for Connected North students who are graduating high school and require a personal device such as a laptop to continue their education or training.

“Scotiabank’s support is helping to shape the growth of the Connected North program,” says Michael Furdyk, Co-Founder and Director of Technology, TakingITGlobal. “The digital platform provides ease of access to bring unique content providers, including over 90 Indigenous role models, into the classroom in an interactive and engaging way.”

“Connected North is a program that makes use of technology to bring Indigenous perspectives and knowledge directly to students, enriching the curriculum with cultural content that is reflective of local communities” says Andre Morriseau, TakingITGlobal Board Member.

Scotiabank’s commitment to Connected North is a signature piece of ScotiaRISE, the Bank’s 10-year $500 million initiative that aims to promote economic resilience among disadvantaged groups. Through ScotiaRISE, Scotiabank partners with programs and organizations across its footprint that provide the tools people need to improve their education and employment prospects, adapt to changing circumstances, and increase the likelihood of financial success.

“Access to new learning opportunities in rural and remote communities is a challenge without the right technology tools in place” says Michael Zerbs Group Head, Technology & Operations at Scotiabank. “By partnering with Connected North, we are helping to provide access to IT services required to create more dynamic learning experiences.”