Xat’sull First Nation Chief Sheri Sellars of the Soda Creek Indian Band. Angie Mindus photo

Xat’sull First Nation Chief Sheri Sellars of the Soda Creek Indian Band. Angie Mindus photo

Xat’sull First Nation excited for future with new high speed Internet service

“This opens a whole new door for us” - Chief Sheri Sellars of the Soda Creek Indian Band

Members of the Soda Creek Indian Band – Xat’sull First Nation are celebrating a major milestone this week in the rural community, located approximately 35 kilometres north of Williams Lake — the delivery of high speed Internet service.

“This opens a whole new door for us,” said Chief Sheri Sellars, who has spearheaded the project for the past three years. “We hooked up every home in our community.”

Bringing fiber optic networking into the Soda Creek and Deep Creek communities was a major long-term goal for the leadership and will vastly improve access to health services, water quality monitoring, security and communications. Sellars said overall, the service will greatly improve the quality of life of residents. Up until now, the community struggled to operate their government, businesses and overall communications due to various slow, expensive rural options.

“If I needed to upload a photo to our site, I’d start it, walk downstairs, have a coffee, talk to a few people and by the time I got back to my desk the photo would be finished uploading.”

Craig Smith, the band’s administrator, noted that there were times when government and business communications were slowed to a crawl, when children were using the computers at the educational terminals.

The project has resulted in about 70 homes being hooked up at no cost to the residents, along with all the band’s offices and businesses such as the Whispering Willows Campsite. Nenqayni Treatment Centre and the Pioneer Log Homes yard can also choose high speed Internet now.

Several years ago, Chief Sellars began the project under her past position as communications co-ordinator with the Soda Creek Band, partnering with All Nations Trust’s Pathways to Technology program which at that time former Chief Donna Dixon and the band administrator turned the file over to her.

The program has covered the costs associated with the infrastructure and major installation of the community’s fiber network, which occurred over the summer. Their technical partner, Telus, will bring connection into homes and offer a variety of services never before available in the community.

Read More: Cariboo showcased in popular German bike magazine

A community meeting was held on Nov. 15 in the Xat’sull Community Gymnasium to explain the project, process, the available services and bundles as well as the discounts and promotions available to the community members. Telus showcased home entertainment and networking technology, integrated security and surveillance systems, and a number of assistive products for Elders. Telus also discussed their health application, Babylon.

Babylon allows users to check their symptoms, see a doctor through secure video conferencing and get prescriptions or referrals.

Telus staff and technicians were in attendance to answer questions and give out information and promotional materials. Pathways to Technologies also donated an iPad door prize and two laptops for the community members to use. The laptops will be available for use in the community room across from reception.

Sellars said the importance of 21st century technologies like fibre optic networking in First Nation communities cannot be understated.

“This is the first step to bridging a significant technological gap. Over the coming months, SCIB will be rolling out more information and discussing just how much of an impact this will have for the administration, health and wellness, education and training and communications,” she said.

“We would like to thank ANTCO, Pathways to Technology, Telus, and Chemco for helping the Soda Creek Indian Band to reach our goal of Fiber Networking in our communities.”


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Xat’sull First Nation Chief Sheri Sellars of the Soda Creek Indian Band and Ruth Williams, program manager for Pathways to Technology, met with residents last week to explain the project, process, the available services and bundles as well as the discounts and promotions available to the community members. Photo submitted

Xat’sull First Nation Chief Sheri Sellars of the Soda Creek Indian Band and Ruth Williams, program manager for Pathways to Technology, met with residents last week to explain the project, process, the available services and bundles as well as the discounts and promotions available to the community members. Photo submitted

Just Posted

Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society communications officer Brianna van de Wijngaard reflects on World Water Day March 22. (Photo submitted)
DOWN TO EARTH: World Water Day means something different for everyone

This year’s World Water Day theme was Valuing Water

Williams Lake Cycling Club president Shawn Lewis (from left), Jeremy Stoward of New Path Forestry, WLCC Boitanio Bike Park director Andrew Hutchinson accept a cheque from Williams Lake and District Credit Union investment specialist Abigail King. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake Cycling Club gets bike park donation to bolster upgrades, maintenance

Plans are to complete three rideable lines each year, he added

Forestry Ink columnist Jim Hilton. (File photo)
FOREST INK: Credit, COVID and climate crises facing the world

Concerning COVID, Mr. Carney feels we have had the proper response by showing solidarity

Columnist David Zirnhelt’s grandsons practice some fun roping on his granddaughter at the family ranch. (David ZIrnhelt photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
RANCH MUSINGS: Roping, is that an essential skill for a ranch hand?

We all know someone who has had a digit reducing accident while roping

School District board members discuss business at a regular board meeting prior to the pandemic. (Angie Mindus/Williams Lake Tribune file photo)
Ministry of Education gives special shout out to School District 27 at start of Education Week

District board and administration recognized for creating outdoor learning spaces

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read