June 19th, 2024

Piikani Nation launches digital communication app


By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on January 18, 2023.

In today’s technological world we have plenty of choices when it comes to communicating with those further away. Tweet it, snap it, Facebook it, post it to your Instagram feed, the plethora is constantly growing. But with all our constant posting how do we stay connected to those in our community without leaving anyone out?

The Piikani Nation is launching a new digital communications app to connect with its remote band members and help better inform the community with a central space for its information.

In order to better communicate with its members on and off-reserve, Piikani Nation has developed a custom mobile app in order to distribute information and send notifications. With 40 per cent of its members living off-reserve the app will help connect with those further away.

The Piikani Tsi Nii Ka Sin will use the app to distribute information including news items, event information, resources, documents, and fillable forms. The app also features push notifications and can be used for emergency alerts or time-sensitive updates.

“We started working on the app about 10 months ago, back in March,” said Mariah Grier, communications manager for the Piikani Tsi Nii Ka Sin. “Our Chief and Council at that time brought up the concern with the communications to our off-reserve Nation members, as well as those on reserve. We know not everybody has Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, we decided to launch the Piikani Nation App to reach out to that population. We have a vast variety of Nation members that live across Canada, the U.S., abroad in Europe. We want to try to connect with those Nation members across the world.”

The app will connect members with important news regarding the Piikani Nation, but also connect members of the nation with each other.

“Reaching out to that population within that Sixties Scoop we are hoping to allow them to connect with the community and be a part of it from across Canada and the world, having that connection to our Piikani way of life,” said Grier. “Also building the success for our communities through education, resource development partnerships, and connecting members with job opportunities.”

Already utilizing the app, Troy “Bossman” Knowlton, newly-elected Chief of the Piikani Nation, sent out a message to speak to Nation members regarding his new position. “He sent out a message to speak to the Nation members. It was uploaded to the app and with a push notification, all members received it within 30 seconds of uploading it,” said Grier, noting the push notification will help with getting information to members quicker.

The app can be found on both Android and Apple app stores, search “Piikani Nation” and click download to get all the information to stay connected.

“Download the app so you never miss an update on job opening, surveys, events, news, and many more,” said Grier.

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