The First Nations Technology Council (Technology Council) published its report “Indigenous Leadership in Technology: Understanding Access and Opportunities in British Columbia” in December of 2022. The report offers a summary of some of the current barriers and enablers Indigenous peoples experience in building technological capacity as well as their vision for the future of technology in British Columbia.
With a lack of labour market intelligence tools that address the needs of Indigenous communities, the Technology Council conducted a community-based research approach with the support of a Regional Coordinators Network that worked to bring regional and Indigenous community voices to the process; these voices and community perspectives informed the entire research process. The report’s findings include a better understanding of how a lack of affordable, reliable, high-bandwidth internet and basic digital literacy skills can impact Indigenous peoples, and the need for Indigenous communities to self-determine the priorities and opportunities for technology.
In partnership with Reciprocal Consulting and the Information and Communications Technology Council, the Technology Council developed a series of research tools including a survey grounded in an Indigenous worldview and used a strength-based approach and participatory action methodologies that examined the primary barriers Indigenous people experience in accessing technology based opportunities including careers in digital technologies. The research also involved two survey phases that asked B.C. employers about a range of topics including their hiring practices and the under-representation of Indigenous peoples in the IT industry.
The FNTC report also indicated that the facilitation of digital equity in Indigenous communities will benefit everyone, and that for Indigenous peoples to participate meaningfully in the technology field, systemic, workplace and interpersonal barriers must be addressed. To read the report, visit this webpage.