Coastal First Nations Connectivity Network
Connecting remote Indigenous communities in coastal B.C. to the world
More than 20 years ago, leaders from eight First Nations on British Columbia’s North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii formed Coastal First Nations, a unique alliance to protect the Great Bear Rainforest, one of the largest temperate coastal rainforest systems in the world. Coastal First Nations is also dedicated to improving the quality of life for its citizens and maximizing economic growth potential. One important way to do that is by improving the connectivity in their remote communities to support opportunities for remote work, education and telehealth.
How We Are Solving It
In support of this objective, Coastal First Nations is partnering with Microsoft, LlamaZOO, Rogers Communications, First Nations Technology Council, Vancouver Island University, Innovation Island and Taking IT Global to introduce the Coastal First Nations Connectivity (CFNC) Network. This project will first hire and train four Coastal First Nations members for technology leadership positions focused on:
- Hosting community engagement sessions to discuss topics such as digital, infrastructure and broadband needs, as well as technical skills and trades required to support a digital economy
- Creating partnerships with B.C. technology companies to fulfill requirements captured from remote coastal B.C. Indigenous communities
- Deploying digital infrastructure and providing IT and digital training throughout the remote region
- Collaborating with tech leaders to support Coastal First Nations in establishing digital priorities and supporting investment opportunities with Indigenous businesses
- Running the CFNC Network
The plan is to hire an additional eight tech leaders locally in the second year of the project to explore other digital opportunities as well as further support economic and social development. Ultimately, this growing team of experts will create the foundation for the future Coastal First Nations digital economy and serve as a winning model of collaborative innovation for other Indigenous communities across Canada.
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