Siksika Nation, in partnership with Aivia Inc., developed a custom mobile app to keep nation members connected and up to date with their community.
The app is designed to allow Siksika Nation members to receive push notifications about local news, events, documents, resources, job opportunities, and announcements, as well as to submit information to the Siksika Nation Tribal Council.
Tracy Duck Chief, with Siksika Chief and Council, said the app will make local information much more accessible to nation members regardless of whether they reside on the reserve, or elsewhere.
“We’ve been working with Aivia Inc. and our intent is to communicate with Siksika members on and off the reserve … We’ve been working with them for the last couple months to develop this app,” said Duck Chief. “There are a lot of members who are not on social media … or can’t access … information. So, this app will allow us to communicate with the nation members on and off reserve.”
Another advantage of the app, Duck Chief added, is the ability to keep nation members anywhere in the country up to date on a regular basis.
Chief Ouray Crowfoot said the app better allows for growth, independence and well-being of Siksika Nation members, and will help to nurture a modern way of life.
“We put out a lot of resources for our members on a regular basis, so an app that reaches beyond our borders will help expand how much of our community we can serve,” said Crowfoot. “Transparency has been a hallmark of our administration, being able to send notifications and publish content to our members at any time will make keeping band members informed even easier.”
So far, Duck Chief said the feedback Chief and Council have gotten back regarding the app has been largely positive and is encouraging that the development team is on the right track.
She said active development of the app will continue over the next few months to refine the user interface and improve the overall user experience.
The app is free to use as the idea is to make it as accessible as possible for anyone who wishes to benefit from it.
“A centralized information distribution system that our members can rely on, as opposed to social media like Facebook or Twitter, gives greater confidence in data security and keeps posts on-topic,” added Tribal manager Richard Sparvier.
The Siksika Nation app launched on July 12 and is available for use on both Apple and Android devices.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times