The first Tulalip Technology Fair was held on January 30, 2003 at the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club. It was intended to demonstrate how technology can improve everyday life, and to introduce the Tulalip youth to the multitude of careers in computing and telecommunication industries. It was also intended to familiarize tribal members with the activities of Tulalip Technology Leap (TTL) and the new technologies it has deployed on the reservation.
The idea was conceived in Fall of 2001, and Kevin Jones was asked to be primarily responsible for organizing this event. The participants ranged from local and regional businesses and educational institutions to Tulalip departments and the TTL. The participants in this year’s technology fair exhibited a variety of products and services, and demonstrated the many ways technology can be used to improve our lives.
ATNI (Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians) was at the fair to publicize its efforts to bring telecommunication technology to remote tribes, and assist members of various tribes in obtaining telephone service. They were also very interested in the 911 emergency-response system deployed at Tulalip, and spoke to Greg Keith to gather more details.
Chubb Security displayed the latest in home and business security systems. Chubb security systems are currently installed at the Tribal Center and TTL modulars.
BCTI technical college, Compu-Teach, and Software Education of America were at the fair to exhibit the variety of courses and educational material in computer hardware and software.
Network OS in partnership with Seahurst Electric demonstrated the leading technologies in networking including switches and routers (devices that provide efficient connectivity among several computers), and cable management. They, in cooperation with the TTL networking team, supplied the temporary computer network needed for the Fair.
Verizon made a strong showing at the fair with three exhibits. They demonstrated (1) the power and versatility of video teleconferencing, (2) the vast superiority of DSL Internet connection over dial-up, and (3) their wireless products (phones, PDAs, and laptops).
An exhibit that may have been of particular interest to the elderly or anyone who feels intimated by computers was presented by Laconner Technologies. They market television set-top boxes that can be used instead of a full-fledged computer to access the Internet.
Tulalip departments were well represented at the fair. The Communication department demonstrated an educational game that facilitates learning Lushootseed. The Cultural Resources department showed visitors how to use the Lushootseed font developed by TTL. The Tulalip police department had on display their online crime database that is linked to the state and federal databases. An automated report-writing database, Xpediter, will greatly speed up the investigation of criminal activities.
One of the most popular exhibits was put together by the Application Development team at TTL where they demonstrated one of many uses of the popular software, Photoshop, by superimposing children’s photos onto various pictures. Children were able to take home pictures of themselves in the cockpit of a jet, vacationing in Hawaii, flying as Superman, or batting in a major-league baseball game. Another well-attended exhibit was created by the GIS team at TTL. Those who visited this demonstration were able to “fly” over the reservation at various speeds and in different directions.
We would like to thank everyone who helped make this first Tulalip Technology Fair an unqualified success: Kevin Jones for organizing the event; TTL staff for setting up the exhibition area; Judy Gobin and the Board of Directors for the attractive giveaways; our host, the Boys and Girls Club, for its hospitality; and our sponsor, the Tulalip Tribes, for its generosity and continued support of the Technology Leap initiative. Last, but certainly not least, we would like to thank everyone who took time to visit the fair; we look forward to seeing you again next year.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this year’s fair, and your suggestions for improving future technology fairs. Please send your comments to Kevin Jones at TTL. He can be reached at 360-651-4087, or firstname.lastname@example.org.