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First Nations Technology Council aims to advance reconciliation in British Columbia


British Columbia’s First Nations Technology Council recently launched a new project to advance reconciliation by decolonizing corporate systems and transforming the innovation, technology, and technology-enabled sectors both provincially and nationally.

The Moving Beyond Inclusion: Partnerships and Reconciliation Project began in 2021 as a pilot program with five available partnership opportunities. SAP Canada was the first organization to sign on, with Pagefreezer, Microsoft, and Bench Accounting following shortly thereafter.

“We’ve seen that a lot of diversity, equity and inclusion work does not have enough emphasis on cultural safety and systems change to make a tangible impact,” said Lauren Kelly, director, sector transformation at the First Nations Technology Council.

“As a result, we saw a need to do more than focus on inclusion and design actions grounded in reconciliation with an Indigenous lens. That’s how ‘Moving Beyond Inclusion’ was born.”

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“The work we’re doing is advancing reconciliation by creating corporate cultures and environments that make space for Indigenous worldviews, culture and thought leadership. We are doing this work in service of Indigenous peoples to increase influence, leadership, and self-determination in the digital age so we can design what our digital future looks like for ourselves,” said Denise Williams, Technology Council CEO.

“In the process, we’re tackling racism, and exclusion in the tech sector head on, both on a provincial and national scale. The ripple effects of this will likely be seen and felt internationally. We’re disrupting the status quo.”

The Technology Council, along with partners Chastity Davis-Alphonse, Shelley Joseph and Reciprocal Consulting, supports program participants in developing a strategic and co-ordinated, actions-based approach to identifying and addressing barriers that prevent Indigenous persons from accessing employment, having a positive experience, and thriving within the respective company.

Both participants and council are aligned in their vision of increasing opportunities and leadership of Indigenous peoples in the technology and innovation sectors, developing a deeper understanding of race bias in these sectors, and creating tangible responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to actions while advancing meaningful reconciliation in a demonstrable way.