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Digital Equity

The First Nations Technology Council defines Indigenous Digital Equity as a state where Indigenous Peoples’ right to self-determine their distinct digital destinies is respected, implemented, and upheld. Mainstream understandings of digital equity fail to address our inherent rights as distinct peoples.

Access to the Internet and technology in Indigenous communities is a pressing issue in Canada.

Since 2009, the First Nations Technology Council has been listening to First Nations communities about ways technology can support self-determination. We have assembled diverse rightsholders and subject matter experts to help us understand what resources are needed to close the digital equity gap.

In an increasingly digital world, where technology touches nearly every aspect of our lives, Indigenous Peoples must have the same access and tools as the rest of what’s currently called Canada. Digital equity is critical to nearly every aspect of rights implementation, including:

  • Accessing and disseminating information
  • Advancing education, health, and social service delivery
  • Developing and maintaining social and cultural connections
  • Exercising freedom of speech
  • Developing and securing food supply chains
  • Creating and sharing art
  • Practicing language and culture
  • Creating employment and advancing business ownership
  • Protecting and maintaining land borders
  • Practicing land stewardship

The digital revolution is transforming economic, social, cultural, legal and political spheres across the globe making it impossible to deny digital technology’s critical role in enabling healthy and resilient societies. More than ever, individuals, communities, and Nations; as well as non-profit, private, and public sectors, rely on digital technology to engage in essential activities. Digital inequity directly denies Indigenous Peoples from exercising and enjoying our individual and collective human rights.