“You don’t have to be a Chief to make a difference.”
Bruce Buffalo, founder of Mamawapowin Technology Society (formerly Maskwacis Fibre), is campaigning for more mamawapowin—the act of coming together. Bruce grew up bouncing around foster homes and struggling to make ends meet. Today he is driven to help others rise up out of poverty and he has the technology skills and the ambition to make that happen.
Buffalo believes in the power of information and MTS is on a mission to give the community of Maskwacis something millions of other Canadians take for granted: access to the internet. Buffalo started in 2016, building Samson Cree Nation community its own public and free high-speed network. “You have to make a difference when you can and where you can,” says Buffalo. “Just start where you can”.
Starting with donated equipment and his own money, Bruce put together the resources required to build his first network. Once the initial build was complete, a number of sponsors who believed in his vision generously donated time, materials and expertise to expand. Today, the Mamawapowin Public network covers a large portion of Samson Cree Nation territory in Maskwacis Hamlet.
Buffalo believes connectivity and access is key to promoting continued learning, enabling self-sufficient best-practices, and maintaining a thriving community, He wants to use the MTS project as a blueprint for expanding those opportunities to rural First Nations all across Canada.