Since 2016, Hotıì ts’eeda has hosted an annual gathering of partners and stakeholders called the Ełèts’ehdèe. This event usually runs over 2-3 days in person and has grown to involve 150 participants from across the Northwest Territories and Canada.
Due to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic, Hotıì ts’eeda had to completely rethink its 2020 gathering, originally scheduled to occur in April in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Hotıì ts’eeda cancelled this in person event, then took four months to transform the gathering into an online conference, which took place in September 2020.
Hotıì ts’eeda’s Online Ełèts’ehdèe/ Katimaqatigiit/ Nihkhah Łatr’iljil:
Organizing and implementing an online conference within the Northwest Territories presented many challenges particularly due to the limited technology infrastructure and capacity across the Territory. Hotıì ts’eeda also had to think of creative ways to facilitate participant engagement and networking throughout the conference. Despite the obstacles, at the end of September 2020, Hotıì ts’eeda hosted its first online Ełèts’ehdèe/ Katimaqatigiit/ Nihkhah Łatr’iljil.
Hotıì ts’eeda’s Manual for Hosting Online Conferences in the Northwest Territories
Hotıì ts’eeda is committed to gathering and sharing learnings that can help improve knowledge sharing and translation. Hosting a major online conference that included participants from across the Northwest Territories and Canada was a valuable learning experience. Hotıì ts’eeda has documented this experience and created a manual describing the context, considerations and methods used to deliver the gathering, as well as lessons learned along the way. It is a resource designed to help other organizations navigate the various challenges and barriers associated with organizing an online conference in the Northwest Territories that engages participants in small and large communities with diverse backgrounds and information technology access.
The manual is designed to act as a starting point for other organizations who wish to undertake similar online conferences, with a focus on the Northwest Territories – a format that will likely become the norm in the aftermath of the pandemic.