Working in a rural high school that serves three remote First Nation communities, I am particularly interested in the digital divide that exists amongst BC’s First Nation peoples. Last week’s debate regarding the cultural neutrality of technology further sparked my interest. Koncan (2014) provides a thorough literature review of research pertaining to the global digital divide amongst indigenous people. While much of the research I have found so far focusses on limited technology and usage access in remote First Nations communities, Koncan acknowledges other forms of access that may be contributing to the digital divide: motivational access, material access, and skills access (van Dijk, 2005 as cited by Koncan, 2014). I have also come across the First Nations Technology Council, a not-for-profit/social enterprise that was created in 2002 to support the technology needs of BC First Nations. Their goals are to improve connectivity and capacity. They offer all sorts of programs and services to improve digital skills and continue to play a key role in the Pathways to Technology Project, working towards connectivity to all of BC’s 203 First Nation communities.
First Nations Technology Council. (2015). About the First Nations Technology Council. Retrieved from http://www.technologycouncil.ca/
Koncan, A. (2014). Literature survey of the global digital divide and Indigenous peoples. Retrieved from http://dtpr.lib.athabascau.ca/action/download.php?filename=scis-07/open/alfonzkoncanEssay.pdf
Pathways to Technology Project. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.pathwaystotechnology.ca/home
van Dijk, J.A. (2005). The deepening divide inequality in the information society. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.