Futures of Rural Series

By Wayne Kelly, August 28, 2019

In today’s society, digital skills are a must-have. Through my research in rural communities, it’s clear that skills which match the reality and needs of the 21st-century are an absolute necessity at work and home. In the future, the need for digital skills will only increase.

In the workforce, necessary digital skills range from using email and word processing software to meeting schedulers and video call apps. More advanced digital skills include data visualization, media production and programming.

21st-century digital skills are also required outside of the workplace as well…


By: Wayne Kelly

July 2019

Exploring the futures of rural

The world is now a digital one. People spend hours on smartphones and computers with more devices and more online activities being developed every day. Many people use digital technologies for work, school, entertainment, and communication. This means that most of us are on digital devices all day. The ability to use digital tools and software to create and share digital content is now essential in many workplaces and will be even more important in the future. …


By Wayne Kelly

June 24, 2019

On June 3rd, I was honored to be invited to the R2B2 (Regional & Rural Broadband) workshop on Broadband Analytics at the University of Guelph. I have been interested in working on understanding rural broadband connectivity, speeds, and utilization rates since the early 2000s and as a result, I was very excited to take part and to find out the latest on rural broadband data in Canada.

The workshop consisted of two distinct parts related to rural broadband data. The first focus for the workshop was an overview and discussion of M-Lab. M-Lab is…


By: Carlos Soto and Hanna Stepani

June 18, 2019

The International Comparative Rural Policy Studies (ICRPS) Summer Institute 2019 started on June, 16th in Lapin Yliopisto(University of Lapland).

Bringing up the theme “Enhancing Smart Ecosystem in Rural Areas”. This 16th edition of the Summer Institute is focused on food policies, food security, renewable energy, built environments and governance models in remote rural regions.

With more than 15 nationalities in the same classroom coming from both developed and developing countries the event welcomed by Timo Aarrevaara and followed by the introduction of the faculty members promised to be both academically enriching…


By Aimee Coueslan

Northern Urban Reserve, Municipality, & Economic Development Forum agenda

June 5, 2019

Relationship building

A third major theme of the Northern Urban Reserve, Municipality & Economic Development Forum was relationship building. Chief Marcel Moody of Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, Chief Nelson Genaille of Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, and Tim Johnston, the former mayor of Thompson, discussed their own experiences with the creation of urban reserves. What came up over and over again was the barriers created by a lack of education — about First Nations history in general and the history of particular reserves — as well as what can only be called racism.

Although these barriers are…


By Aimee Coueslan

May 24, 2019

Urban Reserves/Additions to Reserve

At the Northern Urban Reserve, Municipality & Economic Development Forum, the importance of Additions to Reserve (which RDI terms “urban reserves” when they are in or adjacent to urban areas) for regional economic development was a second main theme. André Le Dressay spoke about maximizing the fiscal and economic benefits that flow from investments. Le Dressay, Director of both the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics and Fiscal Realities Economists, described a research project he was involved in in 2015. This project looked at Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) Settlements — in…


By Aimee Coueslan

April 25, 2019

Celebrating the release of the Look North Indigenous Economy report

There were a few surprising takeaways from a two-day forum I had the opportunity to attend April 9 and 10, 2019.

  • Canadians should prepare for a $100 billion Indigenous economy in this country.
  • Indigenous spending of almost $2 billion in Northern Manitoba contributes 18% of Northern Manitoba’s GDP.
  • Additions to Reserve hold the greatest promise for the Province of Manitoba to boost its economy

The Northern Urban Reserve, Municipality & Economic Development Forum in Thompson, Manitoba, was presented by Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc.


By Bill Ashton

April 25, 2019

At an agriculture-industry consultation, over 100 participants heard about big data on the farm.

Ray Bouchard talked about a data trust and argued that ownership of data should rest with whoever produced it. Farming with data has great potential to improve operations by increasing yield and reducing costs. More broadly, data amalgamated with other farmers and service providers is valued along the supply chain.

Wade Burns clearly sees digital agriculture as integral to the 4th industrial revolution: data assists producers and is important to crop insurers and crop processors.

Dairy herds in Manitoba are…


By Farheen Sajjad

February 14th, 2019

Keywords: Rural, Education, Skills, Community engagement

Education is important for everybody, whether they are learning new facts, skills, or trades. Having the opportunity to learn always benefits the individual. Over the past years, we have seen a focus on providing education to females all over the world, arguing that girls receive an education no less then men. However, if we take a step further, we can think about educating communities, specifically rural communities. What effects would education have if we were to educate a group of people?

image from pixabay

Educating communities means developing schools and educating…


By: Georgette Nyankson

December 15, 2018

The Rural Policy Learning Commons (RPLC) sponsored four secretariat members to partake in media training on November 16, 2018. The aim was to gain insights on effective ways of promoting RPLC activities and resources to the media. As a communication officer and rural engagement assistant for RPLC, I took part in the training and offer highlights of what I learned.

Adam Dooley was the presenter of this very informative training session. Adam stressed a quote by Benjamin Disraeli: “Without publicity there can be no public support, and without public support every nation must decay.”…

Rural Development Institute

Established by Brandon University, RDI is an academic research center focusing on issues that effect rural communities. Visit https://www.brandonu.ca/rdi/

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