Slide Indigenous Leadership in Technology: Understanding Access and Opportunities in BC

The First Nations 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 and healing of the survivors, including intergenerational and future generation survivors. True reconciliation is needed, beginning with hearing our truth.  

As a way to help push meaningful reconciliation forward, challenge all levels of government to do better, and achieve justice for colonization we have decided to continue with the progress of the Indigenous Leadership in Technology Project. 

This project seeks to centre the voices of our people and communities 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. We must no longer be excluded from opportunities in the technology and innovation sector.  

To allow time and space as communities grieve, we have extended the timeline of this project and our upcoming engagement opportunities.  

If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress, please contact the Indian Residential School Survivors 24-hour support line at 1-800-721-0066 or visit https://www.irsss.ca/.  

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We want to hear from you!

Take our survey and tell us about your experience with technology, what skills training you’re interested in, and what increased access to technology, jobs, and connectivity could do for your community! 

Feedback from this survey will support the advancement of Indigenous leadership in the tech and innovation sector in BC. Your input will help us create regional reports that can be used by communities and inform actionable provincial strategies. 

The information you share is understood as community knowledge which belongs to you, we promise to respect your community knowledge. The Technology Council will store and care for the information you share. Your feedback will remain anonymous and data will not be used for any other purpose. 

Take the survey here:

Or, text “FNTC” to 778.401.3799 and a Technology Council team member will be in touch with more information and can help you complete the survey over the phone. 

If you would like a paper copy of the survey, please email [email protected] or call 604.921.9939.

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Background

In January 2019, the First Nations Technology Council completed the initial phase of a first-of-its-kind, multi-year project entitled, Indigenous Leadership in Technology: Understanding Access and Opportunities in BC. Through research and engagement with Indigenous peoples and communities, and technology and technology-enabled industry employers, we are seeking to increase Indigenous participation in technology and innovation and better understand the actions, resources, and supports that are needed for Indigenous peoples and communities to gain access to, and maximize opportunities in the digital age.

Using an Indigenous research approach that aligns with the principles of Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession (OCAP®), the goals of this project are to:

  • understand the current and future demand for technology jobs in BC’s seven regions;
  • understand the challenges preventing Indigenous peoples from participating in/accessing technology-related opportunities;
  • understand the challenges and opportunities identified by Indigenous peoples relating to needed telecommunication infrastructure in their communities to enable economic growth and participation;
  • understand the priorities in technology sectors including innovation, hiring, and Indigenous recruitment; and
  • explore opportunities for boosting talent acquisition and participation of Indigenous peoples in technology industries.

The initial phase of the project was focused on engaging Indigenous people, communities and organizations to uncover themes that would guide ongoing research and engagement. Some of the key themes that emerged included barriers to connectivity and the need for increased technology industry partnership and mentorship opportunities for Indigenous peoples in BC.

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Where Are We Now?

In January 2020, in partnership with the Information and Communications Technology Council and Reciprocal Consulting, 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 the Indigenous Leadership in Technology project. During this phase, we are going to further explore and engage on the research and engagement outcomes that have emerged to date. There will be many opportunities for participation during this phase of the project.

To learn more about this project, watch this Information Session!

Frequently Asked Questions

What phase of the Indigenous Leadership in Technology project are we currently in?

We are currently in Phase Two – Primary Research. The project is expected to span five phases:

Phase I – Engagement and Planning [Complete]
Phase II – Primary Research [Current – 2020-2022]
Phase III – Strategy
Phase IV – Implementation
Phase V – Evaluation

What are the goals and objectives of the Indigenous Leadership in Technology project?

The goal is to develop a deeper understanding of the BC technology sector’s workforce challenges, and barriers to access for Indigenous peoples. Insight will be gained through research including feedback from Indigenous peoples, communities, and employers within the technology sector. The findings will be used to inform future strategies and provide policy recommendations for creating increased representation and opportunities for Indigenous communities in the technology and technology-enabled sectors.

The objectives of the project are to:

  • understand the current/future demand for technology jobs in BC’s seven regions;
  • understand the challenges preventing Indigenous peoples from participating/accessing technology-related opportunities;
  • understand the challenges/opportunities identified by Indigenous peoples relating to needed telecommunication infrastructure in their communities to enable economic growth/participation;
  • understand the priorities in technology sectors including innovation, hiring, and Indigenous recruitment; and
  • explore opportunities for boosting talent/participation of Indigenous peoples in technology industries.

Who is funding this project?

This project is being funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training’s Sector Labour Market Partnerships Program.

How can I participate in the Indigenous Leadership in Technology Project?

Indigenous Community Champions

We want to better understand what you and your community need to maximize opportunities in the digital age. Your feedback will contribute to province-wide strategies to increase participation, representation, and access in BC’s technology and technology-enabled sectors. There will be many opportunities for participation in this project, including a survey which will be available on our website in late-June (open until the late-August). A phone-in and paper survey option will be available to reduce barriers to participation. Over the summer, we will also be hosting a number of engagement sessions. Please let us know if you are interested in participating!


Employers, Employment Agencies, and Training Institutes

As a part of Indigenous Leadership in Technology project, we will undertake a robust analysis of labour supply and demand constraints, and assess skills development gaps and perceptions about employment and training in the technology sector. As a leader in BC’s skills training, technology and/or technology-enabled sector, your participation and insights are incredibly valuable and will help us to identify the necessary actions that are required to ensure a more equitable digital economy. A survey will be available over the summer. We will also host a series of engagement sessions to workshop these research themes with technology and technology-enabled industry employers. Please let us know if you are interested in participating!

 

I live outside of B.C. – how can I participate in the ILIT project?

While participation is currently limited to B.C., you can help us spread the word about this project by sharing information about the research that has been done to date and how to participate in this next phase with your networks!

What were the key findings and learnings from Phase One – Engagement and Planning?

Many themes and learnings emerged from Phase One including, but not limited to:

  • Barriers to access and quality of connectivity
  • The need for industry mentorship and partnerships
Read the full Phase One Final Report here

What tools and methods will be used to conduct this research?

The project will use both primary and secondary research methods.

Secondary research methods include:

  • A literature review
  • Monthly web snapshots of current job postings

Primary research methods include:

  • Surveys
  • Interviews with key partners
  • Virtual engagement sessions

What is OCAP®?

The project is grounded in Indigenous research methodology and uses an Indigenous research approach that aligns with the principles of Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession (OCAP®) enabling self-determination over all research concerning First Nations. To learn more about OCAP® visit the First Nations Information Governance Centre website: https://fnigc.ca/

How will findings from the Indigenous Leadership in Technology project be used?

Findings from the project will be used to produce a report, which will include actionable recommendations that will contribute to the advancement of Indigenous peoples in the BC technology sector. A copy of the Report will be made available to every community and will also be available on our website.

Have a question that wasn’t answered here? Let us know by emailing [email protected]

Our Partners

To learn more about our research partners visit: