Feature Interview: The digital divide in the North


(The Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward)The plans of a Canadian company to build a fibre-optic network stretching from Asia to Europe through the Northwest Passage has been making headlines in Canada this week.

Currently, in places like Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, internet service is provided by satellites. Bandwidth is limited and costs are high.

Just how does this effect people living in the North?

I recently spoke to Thomas J. Watson Fellow Rachael Petersen, who researches indigenous technology use, for Radio Canada International.

She spent time this year in the community of Igloolik, Nunavut where she worked with Isuma TV, an interactive online network featuring Inuit multimedia content and authored a much-discussed blog post “Decolonizing the digital North: why Inuit need better broadband, now.”

To listen to my conversation with Rachael Petersen, click here

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca


Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is a journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project.

Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the violent death of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on violence and trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

Twitter: @Arctic_EQ

Email: eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca

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