Connected North Awarded the Canadian Psychological Association’s 2020 Humanitarian Award

We are delighted to announce that the Connected North program has been selected as the 2020 recipient of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)’s Humanitarian Award. Past recipients of this award include: Canadian Council of Refugees, Louise Bradley, Justice Murray Sinclair, Theo Fleury, Honorable Roméo Dallaire, and more.

Founded by Cisco in 2013 and managed by TakingITGlobal (TIG) since 2015, this recognition highlights the impact of the partnership between TIG and Cisco to ensure that students in the remote North have access to the support and resources they need to thrive. We’re honored that this award recognizes the work we’ve developed and led, hand-in-hand with our community partners, to improve the psychological health and well-being of the students we serve through 67 schools in communities from the Yukon to Nunavut.

At Connected North, we recognize the incredibly large, diverse ecosystem of partners that have come together with a single focus to scale the network. “Having travelled to so many Connected North communities, I am struck by the tremendous talent and potential of the students,” said Willa Black, Vice President Corporate Affairs at Cisco Canada. “Our work with the TIG team, and our extensive ecosystem of partners — is to ensure that we unlock that potential. We know that technology is the great equalizer. In this case, it is a lifeline to bring the world to Connected North students. We are so grateful to the tech community, our content partners, donors, NGOs and so many others who have rallied with purpose.”

Over the past decade, we have watched as the network has gown and scaled to serve over 20,000 students. We have always understood that true partnership with Connected North communities had to have at its core, a focus on building resilience and success for our students in school and in life. In 2019, we launched the Connected North Well-Being Framework, created in close partnership with many of our schools, teachers and students. This framework helps us to source and deliver content geared towards building confidence and overall well-being for Connected North students. We are proud of this work, and the response we have had from classrooms across the North.

The network is unique. And the model is powerful. We want to highlight the leadership and deep commitment of Cisco Canada as the Founding Partner and Network Provider, enabling us to deliver secure, live content through their hardware and software. We also want to thank the TakingITGlobal team who oversee community relationships, session requests, technical support, communications, fundraising, and strategy.

“The cross-sector partnerships and relationship-building over the years with students, teachers and community leaders is at the heart of how the Connected North program has grown and been able to help so many classrooms access enriched learning experiences and programs to support their health and wellbeing,” added Jennifer Corriero, Executive Director, TakingITGlobal and the Connected North Program

This recognition is shared by every single person who shares our vision for equality of opportunity for youth in the North. Thank you to all of the community leaders, Elders, teachers, and students who have guided the program’s direction and helped us to understand and respond to the needs of Indigenous youth in their communities. We will continue the important work growing and enhancing what we do with the input from our schools, and responding directly to their requests. We have a shared vision: to instill a positive sense of well-being that will allow Indigenous students within the Connected North network to successfully navigate their future paths through relationships, life, school and career.

With our thanks to:

We are grateful for the network of over 150 content providers who provide engaging, meaningful content for students. Some of these incredible institutions include: Winnipeg Art Gallery, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Ann Arbour Hands On Museum, Royal Botanical Gardens, McMillen Health, Boogaloo Academy, The Actors Company, Teaching Awareness Through Puppetry, DiscoverE: University of Alberta, Royal Tyrrell Museum, Don Harrington Discovery Center, Alaska Sea Life Center, Learn Different, and many more.

We also thank the individuals who share their knowledge and wisdom with students, including: Shawnee Guilmond, Waukomaun Pawis, Kevin Wesaquate, Joe Crone, Michael Kusugak, Joshua Pawis-Steckley, Mitch Holmes, Krista Paul, Naomi Smith, Linsay Willier, Ashley Rose Cummings, Evan Redsky, Jade Roberts, Laurie-Rousseau-Nepton, Levi Marshall, Ovila Mailhot and more who participate in the RBC Future Pathways program.

We also recognize all of the incredible donors who provide support for the program: Government of Nunavut, RBC Foundation, New Gold, Canada Life, Cisco Canada, McConnell Foundation, Samuel Family Foundation, Webster Foundation, Milroy Family Foundation, Pace Family Foundation, Barry & Laurie Green Family Foundation, Clark Family Foundation, Hydro One, Athabasca Basin, Paliare Roland, Canadian North, John & Nina Cassils, Gail MacNaughton, Sheila du Toit, Terry Tyres & Annick Tonet-Tyres, Willa Black & Donald Jarvis, Anton & Allie Erdody, Lisa Applegath, Sean St. John, Dan Madon, and all of the donors who support the Tech4Good Tournament.

We appreciate the guidance of our Connected North Advisory Board: Willa Black, Fiona Orr, Peter Clark, Colin Webster, Karen Restoule, Derek Chum, Mary Jackson, Kristin Morch, and Gail Quinn.

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