Contact North | Contact Nord Supporting Online Education in Sandy Lake First Nation

(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Contact North | Contact Nord is pleased to be supporting Sandy Lake First
Nation to access online learning opportunities as they prepare for the Wataynikaneyap
Transmission Project expected to develop a new 18,000 kilometer transmission line connecting
remote northern communities to the provincial grid.

In partnership with Sioux-Hudson Literacy Council – Good Learning Anywhere, Contact North |
Contact Nord is able to provide access to online Job Readiness programs. Since September 1,
2016, Contact North | Contact Nord has supported 1,118 registrations in the remote
Northwestern Indigenous community Education has been a priority in Sandy Lake First Nation with Chief and Council working to ensure the community has high speed internet service and access to distance education opportunities. Students like Joshane Fiddler, a husband and father of four children, are able to access the Job Readiness program offered by Good Learning Anywhere to prepare for the
employment opportunities coming to his community.

Contact North | Contact Nord partners with Ontario’s 24 public colleges, 22 public universities, 9
Aboriginal Institutes, 76 district school boards and 250 literacy and basic skills and training
providers to promote and recruit students for their online programs and courses in 600 small,
remote, rural, Indigenous and Francophone communities across Ontario. Residents have access
to over 1,000 online programs and over 18,000 online courses without leaving the community.

Contact North | Contact Nord is funded by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of
Advanced Education and Skills Development since 1986.

Quick Facts

  • Of the 94 communities in Northern Ontario, 27 are Indigenous communities, 73 have no
    other post-secondary education presence and 7 can only be reached by air.
  • Contact North | Contact Nord has online learning services in 27 Indigenous communities
    in Northern Ontario.
  • Contact North | Contact Nord serves 42 Indigenous communities across Ontario
  • Contact North | Contact Nord has supported 14,557 registrations in 27 Indigenous
    communities across the province since 2012.


“Community members who are graduating can stay here, or they can go anywhere in the world
and succeed.”
Chief Bart Meekis, Sandy Lake First Nation

“Contact North | Contact Nord’s partnership with Sandy Lake First Nation is extremely
collaborative. We work closely with the community stakeholders and Ontario Works department
to match clients with education and training options that meet their individual needs and as a
result assists them with their employability goals.”
Tina Reed, Director, Recruitment and Partnerships, Contact North | Contact Nord

“Broadband has been continually improved in our community and is a big part of offering the
online programs. Most people can not just up and leave, they have families and responsibilities.
The success of this partnership is in part due to the collaboration occurring and the hard work of
Ontario Works staff on the ground in the community.”
David Fiddler, Ontario Works, Sandy Lake First Nation

“The First Step program is an initial online course to introduce and engage community members
in online learning. After completing the one week, fully online webconferencing program,
participants are able to move into the three-week Job Readiness or Postsecondary Readiness
programs to work toward achieving their individual goals.
Linda Wright, Director of Distance Programs, Good Learning Anywhere

“The collaborative partnership between Contact North | Contact Nord, Sandy Lake First Nation
and Good Learning Anywhere is an example of meeting the educational needs of remote
northern Ontario Indigenous communities, especially during times of economic opportunity,”
Kenora MP, Bob Nault