First Nations School of Toronto
Connecting Indigenous students and inspiring endless possibilities
Cisco is the proud founder of Connected North, a ground breaking program that delivers virtual education and mental wellness programming to remote, underserved communities through Cisco collaboration technology.
Today, Connected North is led and managed by charity partner TakingITGlobal and supported by an ecosystem of partners.
Connected North is not just about providing technology to connect schools. It’s about connecting in a way that inspires meaningful and sustainable change, empowering youth on their learning journeys and creating new relationships for the next generation of Canadians.
The value of
According to Statistics Canada, Indigenous youth graduate high school at approximately half the rate of their non-Indigenous peers (First Nations 57%, and Inuit 40%).
* York University,
** Advanced Learning Technologies Lab, University of Toronto
Connected North focuses on five main pillars:
Connecting students with subject matter experts and educational institutions like museums, galleries and science centres.
Allowing groups of students from across the country to collaborate.
Driving teacher professional learning, co-teaching and mentorship opportunities.
Connecting students with First Nations, Métis, Inuit and non-Indigenous role models to inspire hope and future pathways.
Focusing on the delivery of preventative mental health and wellness programming.
"Our students need to see that there are Indigenous people who are doing very well for themselves in their chosen field of study or their career. In some of our communities, we don’t see that on a regular basis."
"By listening to the community leaders, we learn what we can do to bring the right services to the right students at the right time. That is the magic of video collaboration."
"I thought, ‘there’s a great opportunity. I’ll cook. They’ll cook.’ We communicate. I think it’s really valuable that students are able to talk to me. Ask questions. Answer questions. It works both ways."
"I like to meet a lot of people. I learn from them and they learn from me. And with Connected North, everyone is a student and everyone is a teacher.”
"Seeing how something that I take for granted, so simple in my everyday life, can have that much meaning or impact to someone else…has inspired me to want to do more.”