The First Nations Technology Council has launched work on a Strategy to achieve digital equity for all Indigenous Peoples. “I am so pleased to announce that after a decade of effort to position Indigenous People’s leadership as central to the advancement of digital society, we can now celebrate that the Indigenous Digital Equity Strategy is in motion.” said Denise Williams, Technology Council CEO.
The Technology Council defines digital equity as a state in which every Indigenous person, community, and Nation is fully equipped to access and effectively use technology to contribute, thrive, and succeed in today’s digital society while preserving self-determination. “Working at the intersection of technology, innovation and Indigenous sovereignty for many years, it has become increasingly clear that a strategic, coordinated approach is needed to overcome systemic discrimination and the policy and regulatory roadblocks that are preventing digital equity from becoming a reality,” said Williams. “As a Sector Council, we’ve been mandated by First Nations Leadership to lead this work and I am honoured to be called and trusted to do so.”
“Typically, when digital equity is discussed, we only hear about why it’s important for the economy. We’re taking back the narrative, though, because digital equity is so much bigger than the economy,” said Williams. “It’s more than just access to computers and the internet; it is about influence over the trajectory of technology and its impacts on society. It’s a prerequisite for civic participation and effective governance in today’s digital world. Technology weaves through nearly every aspect of our individual and collective lives with direct impacts on education, health, innovation, language and culture, community-building, information-sharing, land stewardship, freedom of speech, and economic development. Digital equity offers great hope in accelerating the implementation, exercise, and recognition of inherent Indigenous Rights.”
The Technology Council is currently in the co-creation phase of the multi-phase, multi-year process of building the Indigenous Digital Equity Strategy. We are convening First Nations, government, industry, and Indigenous organizations to create reasonable, attainable interventions and actions. Together, we will work to identify short, medium, and long-term recommendations that will result in innovative projects and policy changes to address our needs in a meaningful way and benefit all of our communities. The draft Strategy is expected to be completed by summer 2022, with an opportunity for broad community engagement in the fall. Funding for this phase of work has been provided by Indigenous Services Canada and the philanthropic community, including the Mastercard Foundation, Canadian Internet Registration Authority, and the Real Estate Foundation of BC.
To learn more about the Indigenous Digital Equity Strategy, and sign up for regular project updates, visit our website: https://www.technologycouncil.ca/our-work/why-we-do-it/digital-equity/
For more information:
Director, Communications and Engagement