Smart Cities Challenge Application

Question 7: Please describe the ways in which your preliminary proposal supports your community’s medium and long-term goals, strategies, and plans.

To supplement your response, please upload any relevant documents and make clear linkages and references.

Gaa-gii-zhi-Nishnaabewaadziwaad ko Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, miinwaa yaadsookaadyangban, mii wnowe ge-mnjimendmang epiichi-ni-pizyang niigaan nikeyaa ~ “How Biigtigong Nishnaabeg used to live our Nishnaabe way of life, and the sacred stories we’ve been telling each other, these are the things we shall keep in mind as we move into the future.”

This vision statement has guided the development of our preliminary proposal. Our proposal ensures that our traditional Nishnaabe values, as expressed by our aadsookaanan, as well as modern technological knowledge are collectively provided to the future generations of Biigtigong Nishnaabeg.

In journeying towards our vision, our community has placed priority on our children and youth. Instructions were given by the elders to bring our children back to the center of everything we do. The target groups for this project are our elementary and secondary school aged students, making us aligned with the community priorities.

Our elders shared their beliefs that our disconnections from our traditional teachings and ways of life contribute to the problems we face today as a people. They further advocate that the solutions will be found in our culture, in our stories, in our language, in our songs and ceremonies and within us. Reclaiming our identity and immersing our values into everything we do is part of Biigtigong’s vision and goals. Our project brings solid advocates for this approach.

Our Challenge Statement and project outcomes support the overarching needs, challenges and goals of the community. All efforts are geared to transforming our youth into better educated, more employable, better grounded and more holistically Nishnaabe people. Biigtigong’s leadership and senior managers have been involved in the creation of the Challenge Statement and outcomes.

This project will provide a centralized platform and program to bring together some important community goals. Our proposal complements and enhances other program initiatives. Our proposal supports the community’s language revitalization goals by creating 2,000 hours of immersion video instruction. The project will provide audio, in our Nishnaabe language, of our STEM curriculum. The project also supports the community’s goals of reconstructing the aadsookaanan and developing the social structures to ensure the continuation of the transfer of this knowledge. Our proposal will provide a modern platform to allow for the transfer of our sacred stories.

The project supports the community’s goal of ensuring our students receive quality education which will equip them with the skills and knowledge to be successful in the modern world. Preparing our children with the tools of this technologically-driven world is critical. This project provides the means to increase the level of technology-based education allowing for greater employment opportunities.

Our Smart Cities Challenge Statement and outcomes are well aligned with and supports Biigtigong’s strategy and vision. The proposal is ambitious and the outcomes are achievable and will ultimately change the lives of the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg. The proposal provides a necessary bridge between the modern technological world and our ancient traditional world. As a collective unit, we will move forward to the outcomes of this project, which ultimately move Biigtigong youth towards a better life.