Digital Horizons: Indigenous Technology Training for the New Economy
Equipping Indigenous peoples with the skills required to be leaders and entrepreneurs in B.C.’s tech and tech-enabled economy.
Updated November 2, 2023
British Columbia’s tech sector is growing at more than double the national average of 3.3%. With more than 123,000 jobs in tech, only 1.2% are held by people who identify as Indigenous.
The gap between the tech-related skills that Indigenous peoples possess and wish to acquire contain barriers to participation and leadership in these fields due to the ongoing impacts of colonialism, and perceptions or awareness of potential careers, training and opportunities.
How We Are Solving It
The Digital Horizons project will train and equip 422 Indigenous peoples with the skills required to be hired for in-demand jobs or to launch their own businesses in B.C.’s tech and tech-enabled economy. Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Workforce Solutions program, the First Nations Technology Council will leverage their introductory and foundation digital skills courses, job-ready and entrepreneurial functional programming, work integrated learning opportunities and supported career pathways to provide opportunities for participants in Canada’s information, communications and technology (ICT) sector and ICT occupations across all sectors.
The Digital Horizons project will contribute to addressing the following barriers to Indigenous participation and leadership in technology:
- Financial barriers in terms of either tuition fees or wrap around supports as the #1 barrier cited by Indigenous people;
- Limited Indigenous-led programs that consider the life experiences and reflect the cultures of participants in all areas of curriculum, program design and delivery;
- Limited work integrated learning opportunities and follow on career supports, including entrepreneurship training, for Indigenous learners to try out, and successfully transition to technology employment and self-employment; and
- Limited cultural awareness amongst employers, and awareness of resources and support to attract, hire and retain Indigenous people within technology firms.