In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called upon the corporate sector to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a reconciliation framework, and to ensure that Indigenous peoples have equitable access to jobs, training and educational opportunities.
Since then, there has also been a continued concern over a lack of talent to meet the demand of the growing BC tech sector. Reports in recent years by BC Tech, the Vancouver Economic Commission and others have highlighted that the sector will benefit from increasing participation from specific underrepresented groups, including; women, people with disabilities and Indigenous peoples. HR Tech has also recommended technology companies implement reconciliation action plans to increase engagement with Indigenous peoples.
There are more than 100,000 people working in the BC tech sector, yet only 20% of those workers are women and less than 1% identify as Indigenous. We are committed to convening with technology companies, academic institutions and all levels of government to increase Indigenous representation in the technology and innovation sectors and facilitate important conversations around economic reconciliation.
Our own engagement and preliminary research with Indigenous communities in regions across the province indicates that Indigenous peoples are excited by the opportunities presented by technology, however many Indigenous people require skills upgrades, mentoring and additional supports. We believe the tech sector can provide some of this mentorship and support, and that the sector will in turn benefit from an increased talent pool.
Our education programs, research projects and sector outreach initiatives are underpinned by the belief that reconciliation and innovation go hand-in-hand, and that a diversity of backgrounds, experiences and world-views in technology will lead to a more prosperous future for Canada.