First Nations Technology Council Hosts Information Session on Project Seeking to Increase Indigenous Leadership in Technology

(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C.) – The First Nations Technology Council is hosting a live Information Session on July 19, 2021, at 2:00 pm PST, as part of the multi-phase project to better understand access and opportunities for Indigenous leadership in the technology and technology-enabled industries in BC. This event will provide information about the project, research and engagement that has occurred to date, and upcoming opportunities for participation.

The Technology Council continues to stand in solidarity with the people and communities affected by the Canadian Residential School system. We mourn the growing number of lives lost and share in the grief of the survivors, including intergenerational and future generation survivors,said Denise Williams, Technology Council CEO. It is important to move this project forward at this time to centre Indigenous voices in the ongoing dialogue about the future of technology and innovation in BC and to ensure we define self-determination and success in the digital age for ourselves.” 

The goal of this project, which began in 2018, is to increase Indigenous participation and leadership in technology and innovation. We are seeking to better understand the necessary actions, resources and supports for Indigenous peoples and communities to gain access to, and maximize opportunities in, the digital age,” said Lauren Kelly, Director of Sector Transformation. “In the first phase of this project, we focused on engaging Indigenous peoples and key partners in technology and technology-enabled industries to uncover themes that would guide ongoing research and engagement. Some of the major themes we heard included barriers to connectivity and jobs, and the need for increased technology industry partnership and mentoring opportunities for Indigenous peoples in BC. Now, we’re digging deeper into these issues as the project continues,” Kelly concluded. 

In January 2020, in partnership with the Information and Communications Technology Council and Reciprocal Consulting, and with funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training’s Sector Labour Market Partnerships Program, the Technology Council began the second phase of this project. During this phase, there will be many opportunities to participate and share feedback on this important work, including two surveys and a number of virtual and phone engagement sessions, beginning in fall 2021.

The work we are doing at the Technology Council to increase our communities’ participation and leadership in the technology and technology-enabled industries is extremely important. Each day that Indigenous people remain excluded from the fastest growing industries in our province is a barrier to self-determination, reconciliation, and economic opportunity. That’s why it’s imperative to understand the current landscape of Indigenous participation in tech jobs and make concrete recommendations to increase opportunities for leadership, innovation, participation, and more,” said Williams.

It is vital that Indigenous peoples have every opportunity to participate in the technology sector and technology-enabled industries,” said Brenda Bailey, Parliamentary Secretary for Technology and Innovation. “The work being undertaken by the First Nations Tech Council is critically important. The B.C. government is also exploring ways to remove barriers and increase the participation of Indigenous peoples in the tech sector. These conversations will lead us closer to an economy that is inclusive and works for everyone.”

To RSVP for our live Information Session, or to learn more about this project and how you can participate, visit: www.technologycouncil.ca/ILIT