In a 2009 article by Stephen Hui, Denise Williams of the Cowichan Tribes discusses the First Nations Education Steering Committee and the need for broadband. In the article, she states that “It’s the infrastructure that’s going to strengthen the entire social fabric of the community,” and in many respects, it can help broaden opportunities on the often remote and isolated reserves.
While all First Nations schools have some level of Internet access—mostly supported by the federally funded First Nations SchoolNet program—their connections range from dial-up and satellite to cable and digital subscriber lines. In the eyes of Williams, many of the schools the Internet isn’t built into the curriculum providing a disadvantage to many students. Later that year, the provincial government has invested $30.8 million in First Nations connectivity and digital-literacy programs providing much-needed broadband to many schools. Williams states Their scope of what’s possible is limited to where they are,” Williams stated that. “What technology can do in a school with the Internet is open the whole world.”