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Posted: March 22, 2021

Trust provides over $1 million to 178 organizations 

Non-profits to close technology gaps

Non-profit, community and Indigenous groups in the Basin will receive support for technology-related initiatives with funding from Columbia Basin Trust this spring. Over $1 million will go to 178 organizations to increase operations, efficiency and community access to technology through new and updated equipment and infrastructure.

“Non-profits play an important role in community development, but we’ve heard that a lack of technological infrastructure can create barriers to delivering vital services to residents,” said Michelle d’Entremont, Delivery of Benefits Manager with the Trust. “We’re pleased to help so many groups close technology gaps and improve operations and service delivery in their communities.”

Funding will allow organizations to access technology that better meets their needs, from supporting administrative functions to increasing web connectivity, and in some cases offering office technology for community members use.

Archiving and Celebrating Fort Steele History

New laptops will support archiving of local artifacts, running the informative theatre and communication between staff and the public. The technology will assist Friends of Fort Steele in conserving, presenting and teaching the history of Fort Steele and the region.

“Fort Steele and the surrounding region has a rich history we would like to share and celebrate in our community and with visitors to the area,” said Jessica Marusyk, General Manager at Friends of Fort Steele Society. “Technology upgrades will support our work as a Society to document and honour the past and bring our message forward with the latest equipment.”

Lower Kootenay Band, Yaqan Nukiy School, Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services Society will have improved internet connectivity with support from the Trust. Supporting connectivity to the new Lower Kootenay Band health and administration building pictured initiated the project.

Increasing Web Connectivity in Yaqan Nukiy

Improvements to connectivity infrastructure will provide better internet access at a lower cost to the Lower Kootenay Band, Yaqan Nukiy School and Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services Society, as well benefitting Band members that may be working from home or using internet for educational purposes.

“Lower Kootenay Band is extremely pleased to have state-of-the-art fibre connectivity brought to the traditional homelands of the Yaqan Nukiy people, bringing us up to par with the age of technology and mainstream society,” said Nasuʔkin Jason Louie.

Increasing Access to Online Job Readiness Training in Valemount

Job-ready training for community members and better connectivity between staff and clients will be supported in Valemount with support from the Trust.

Technology upgrades for Robson Valley Community Services Society staff will allow for better connectivity with clients, community members and remote service delivery. Funding will also support new technology for both individuals and businesses to receive job-ready training in the community, reducing travel time and costs for residents.

“With an ever-increasing availability of online training and educational opportunities as a result of the pandemic, this technology will allow the residents of the Village of Valemount to partake in these opportunities in their own community for the first time,” said Lina Thompson, Robson Valley Community Services Society Executive Director. “Additionally, with the indoor and outdoor audio-visual equipment, Robson Valley Community Services will be able to offer a wider variety of indoor and outdoor, socially distanced activities such as movie nights and educational seminars which had been previously limited due to a lack of resources and spaces to host such events.”

New office technology will support Argenta Community Association operations and be made available to community members for shared use, with support from the Trust. Columbia Basin Trust photos

Empowering Residents in Argenta

New office technology will support the Argenta Community Association with day-to-day operations, archiving and sharing Board minutes and other documents, as well as increasing capacity to maintain hall services. The grant will also support hosting and sharing online Board meetings, as well as offering access to community members for use of printing, scanning and other office tasks.

“New technology will support our capacity as a volunteer run organization to maintain our society’s function and services and to further engage our community,” said Chelsey Jones, Argenta Community Association Secretary. “Having new technology the community can share like printers and scanners benefits the society and residents with printing things such as forms, resumes and other day-to-day needs.”

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit or call 1-800-505-8998.

Columbia Basin Trust operates in the unceded traditional territories of the Ktunaxa, Lheidli T’enneh, Secwepemc, Sinixt and Syilx Nations.

Lead image: New laptops will support archiving of local artifacts and staff communications needs, assisting Friends of Fort Steele in conserving, presenting and teaching the history of the region, with support from the Trust. e-KNOW file photo

Columbia Basin Trust

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