Return on the Digital Cafés in Atikamekw communities

Press release - The Atikamekw Nation Council (ANC) and the Digital Spring (DS) are continuing their efforts to provide access to new technologies and to make young people aware of the transformative possibilities of digital technology. Report on the second tour of the Digital Cafés held last September.

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Communicated -  Our Council of the Atikamekw Nation (NAC) and the Digital spring (FN) are continuing their efforts to provide access to new technologies and raise awareness among youth of the transformative possibilities of digital technology. Following a first tour of Digital Cafés offered in three communities in 2019, a second tour was conducted last September, with the support of the employability sectors of the Atikamekw Councils of Opitciwan and Manawan.

Report on the Digital Café tour in the Atikamekw communities

  • 7 days: September 10 to 17, 2022
  • 1,720 km route
  • 2 communities:
    • Opitciwan
    • Manawan
  • 2 high schools:
    • Mikisiw High School
    • Otapi High School
  • 2 digital cafés
  • 1 coding initiation workshop
  • 288 participants aged 13 to 17

See the photo album of the activities at Mikisiw High School

See the photo album of the activities at Otapi High School

Teens were able to take advantage of experimentation spaces created by the NP to discover and deepen their knowledge of several technologies: 360˚ content projections and video games in a mobile dome, humanoid robot, drones, digital fabrication, and introductory coding workshop.

"The Digital Spring allows young people to see what's going on in the digital fields and to develop an interest in exploring further [...] They are the next leaders, so we hope that they can continue their studies outside to better return to the community and get jobs that are worthy of them," says the Principal of Mikisiw High School in Opitciwan.

"The students were able to see, manipulate and appreciate the tools that were made available to them. Manawan being relatively far from large urban centers, our students do not have the opportunity to be as close to new technologies. The presence of the Digital Spring makes it possible to democratize digital technology, because the proposed activities allow students to see that it is within everyone's reach," says Jacques Gueye, Assistant Principal of Otapi High School in Manawan.

Video of the Digital Café tour in the communities of Opitciwan and Manawan.

During the Digital Cafés, a space to learn about citizenship issues in the digital age was also made available to youth. Many had the chance to express their wishes on the possibilities offered by digital technology for the future.

"This will allow us to stay in touch, because many people have lost friends or family who have moved far away," shares Mikonis Mequish, a student at Mikisiw High School.

Digital Spring and the Atikamekw Nation Council are working together to offer structuring experiences to youth. Thus, a new employability program, allowing the development of skills and opening up to post-secondary training in the fields of digital creativity, will be developed over the next year.

"It is an honor for us to collaborate with the team of the Atikamekw Nation Council so that these activities are offered in the community. We are happy to welcome you. Mikwetc!", thanks Simone Awashish, Director of Social Development and Employment, Conseil des Atikamekw d'Opitciwan.

The Digital Cafés are a component of the Jeunesse QC 2030 project, supported by the Secrétariat à la jeunesse du Québec, which was developed to provide access to technology for young people between the ages of 13 and 29 and to better prevent the emergence of a "digital divide" among different populations.

Since the return of the Digital Spring youth activities in April 2022, a tour of the Digital Cafés in 4 regions of Quebec (Eastern Townships, Montreal, Mauricie and Lanaudière) has reached more than 4,037 youth aged 13 to 29including the Atikamekw youth.

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