First Nations and Indigenous peoples must take control of technology and data in order to advance their Nationhood, culture, and economic independence. This is one of the key themes of the Indigenous Technology Summit in Montreal hosted last week by the Mohwak Council of Kahnawake and Forrest Green.
Major sponsors and participants at the Summit included Indigenous Services Canada, Microsoft, Blakcberry, Mustihuhw Information Solutions, Okanagan Indian Band, Osyoos Indian Band, and the Atlantic Policy Congress. Bimaadzwin team members Allison Deer and Bryan Hendry attended along with about 70 delegates. Organizing Chairs were Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton and Murray Rowe Jr.
The goal of the summit was to gather input from First Nations and Indigenous peoples towards creating a high-tech association to promote developers, entrepreneurs and solutions. The federal government is committed to assisting and providing IT education, job creation, capacity development, and generating own-source revenue in communities.
For example, Mustimuhw Information Solutions, owned by the Cowichan Tribes in BC, works with over 270 First Nations across the country. Mustimuhw works with First Nation Health Centers and Child and Family Service Agencies who need to control their in information management systems. By having ownership, access, and control of personal health information, First Nations are able to provide better and safer services to their communities, children and clients.
For more information about the Summit, visit www.indigenousdata.ca For more information about the IT services available in Kahnawake, visit http://www.mohawkinternettechnologies.com/datacentre.htm