Donated laptops connect past with future for First Nations students

FortisBC gave 10 refurbished laptops to the Lower Similkameen Indian Band school

Students from the Lower Similkameen Indian Band School use 10 refurbished laptops donated by FortisBC to research

When children at the Lower Similkameen Indian Band School trek outside to research plants and animals, they bring their laptops.

The students record their findings, return to their classroom and connect to the internet to learn more.

“Access to a laptop is critical for our students,” said Sharon Wilson, principal of the First Nation School, which has students from pre-kindergarten to Grade 4. “Computers are part of our everyday lives, and having the opportunity to use a laptop for class better prepares our students for the future.”

Primarily the refurbished laptops are used by students for research. Students at the school also use them as a means to tell traditional First Nations stories and to play educational games.

Wilson is thankful her students have access to the resource.

“We wouldn’t have these laptops for our students if it wasn’t for FortisBC’s donation,” said Wilson.

FortisBC gave 10 refurbished laptops to the school as part of its commitment to contribute to the economic and social well-being of the communities where it operates.

Lower Similkameen Indian Band Chief Keith Crow said the laptops connect the past with the future.

“Technology has taken a place of prominence in our children’s lives,” said Crow. “The donation of laptops from FortisBC allows students the opportunity to use something contemporary to learn about their history and culture. This is the best of both worlds that we aspire to for our children.”

FortisBC donates laptops that work well but aren’t able to run the most current software required by employees, or are no longer viable for field use.”

“They’re good machines,” said Tim Swanson, FortisBC’s Director of Information Systems. “They work well to fill the needs of organizations, such as the Lower Similkameen Indian Band School. People are always appreciative when we donate laptops, and it’s nice to be able to contribute in this way.”

When a laptop is flagged to be donated, all information stored on it is erased, stickers are removed, and it’s added to the stock of machines to be given away.

FortisBC has been donating laptops for more than seven years to organizations that need them.