While the digital economy in Canada is quickly expanding, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and increased reliance on digital technology, there are few labour market intelligence tools that meet the needs of Indigenous communities. Our research fills this gap, enabling access to opportunities in technology for Indigenous Peoples.
Our ground-breaking labour market study looks at the current state of Indigenous leadership in technology across the province from both an Indigenous and industry perspective. This work is guided by Indigenous knowledge, values, and ways of being to reflect and honour the stories and wisdom of our people and communities. Participants in this project include BC First Nations leadership; Indigenous Peoples living in BC including youth and Elders; and key partners from sectors including education, tech, recruitment, research, and more.
British Columbia’s tech sector is booming. It is growing at more than double the national average of 3.3%. There are more than 123,000 jobs in BC tech, but less than 1% of them are held by people who identify as Indigenous. As all industries become increasingly reliant on technology, the edges of the tech sector become blurry. Today, technology weaves through nearly every aspect of our lives from work to education; culture and health; environmental stewardship; rights implementation; and more. That’s why it's even more important in today’s digital society that Indigenous Peoples lead in the future of technology and occupy more tech-based roles.
Our research is filling gaps in existing labour market data by collecting information that has never before been gathered. It provides regionally-specific data that prioritizes Indigenous rights and lays out recommended actions for industry and governments as they respond to reconciliation. These actions, if adopted, will change the future of tech in BC. The major findings in the report are:
Our peoples and communities must be able to decide what opportunities and priorities for tech look like for ourselves.
Digital equity is more than access to internet and computers; it’s about having influence over the future of tech and weaving in Indigenous values, knowledge, and ways of being.
We must address root causes and systemic, interpersonal, and workplace barriers that colonialism creates.
The ILIT project is expected to span five phases. We’ve just completed Phase II – Research.
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We would like to thank the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), Reciprocal Consulting, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training Sector Labour Market Partnerships Program, and the Technology Council’s Regional Coordinators for their contributions to this work.