In the Fall of 2018, our team hosted eight regional engagement sessions across British Columbia. Our roundtable discussions included Indigenous leaders, elders, staff, youth, entrepreneurs, BCATEAM members and other community and Indigenous organizations. Discussions, survey questions and breakout activities were focused on accessing career opportunities in the rapidly growing technology sector, as well as how Nations want to use technology to advance self-determination.
…and recommended next steps were summarized in our final report entitled First Nations Labour Market Preliminary Study: Indigenous Engagement and Leadership in the Technology and Innovation Sectors submitted January 30, 2019 to the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. We would like to thank all of the roundtable participants for contributing to the very first provincial Sector Labour Market Project (SLMP) focused on Indigenous participation and leadership in technology and innovation.
This was Phase 1 of our SLMP, which confirmed that our methodologies and questions were relevant and culturally-grounded. We are currently pursuing a Phase 2 to deepen the conversation from the regional level to the community level to ensure that we engage with Indigenous communities that were unable to participate in our regional sessions.
The outcomes of this SLMP will eventually lead to a series of recommendations aimed at increasing Indigenous representation in the BC tech sector. Currently, Indigenous peoples represent less than 1% of the entire BC tech sector. As the youngest and fastest growing demographic in Canada, this gap presents a massive opportunity for Indigenous peoples to assert themselves as a vital component to BC’s goal of becoming a world leader in the digital economy.