Update from the First Nations Technology Council: COVID-19
The First Nations Technology Council Actions to Support the Health and Well-Being of Communities Through COVID-19 Pandemic
Over the past few weeks, the The First Nations Technology Council has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Our first priority is the health and well-being of communities, employees, students and partners.
We have taken the following steps to support the health and safety of all members of the Tech Council community, to reduce risk, and to do our part in helping to stop the spread and flatten the curve:
- All in-person classrooms have moved to an Online format effective March 16th and students are working with instructors remotely.
- Future scheduled training will continue online and on schedule. We are preparing to offer our Indigenized tech training modules virtually to all interested Indigenous students in BC, and will assess the situation prior to the start date for any further actions.
- We have postponed our Student Symposium scheduled for March, and look forward to hosting this innovative gathering in North Vancouver in August 2020
- All Technology Council staff have been provided the support to work remotely from home.
- All in-person meetings have been rescheduled or will be held virtually.
- All Technology Council travel has been suspended.
- All community or engagement events or visits have also been postponed until further notice when here is clear direction from health authorities that it is safe to gather again.
The First Nations Technology Council is committed to ensuring our efforts follow the recommendations of the First Nations Health Authority, the Public Health Agency of Canada, WorkBC and the BC Centre for Disease Control. As the situation changes rapidly, we will be assessing the needs of students and communities on an on-going basis, and updating our practices and remote offerings as recommended.
Technology is more important than ever to Indigenous peoples. We need access to stay informed, connected and supported. In BC, the majority of First Nations communities don’t have the access required to utilize online platforms that most Canadians are relying on during COVID-19.
We want to hear from you today so that we can collectively advocate for better access to technology now! By answering these questions and sharing your opinion, you will help us to make clear asks to all levels of government and industry in the pursuit of closing the digital divide in this time of crisis. All information shared with us will be protected and personal contact details will be removed from responses.
We are reachable through phone and email and will continue to update on all Technology Council programs and services. We would also like to thank the front line health care workers and encourage everyone to practice the recommended measures to keep us all safe during this time.
Be safe and healthy.
The First Nations Technology Council Team
Board, CEO, Executive and Staff