June 21st has been designated as National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada for the past 26 years. It falls on the summer solstice, the day with the longest period of sunlight, a day historically marked by celebration for Indigenous peoples and communities. The day also falls during National Indigenous History Month, a time to recognize the heritage, contributions, histories, experiences and diverse cultures of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.
NPower Canada is committed to supporting Indigenous peoples and communities and learning about their unique needs through respectful partnerships with Indigenous communities. Indigenous communities often lack consistent access to training and programs, high speed and reliable internet, and digital tools that are vital to building and maintaining digital literacy needed to be competitive in tech, according to a 2019 study by Ryerson. Only 2.2% of the Canadian tech workforce is Indigenous, and for those few in tech occupations, they are paid far less than their non-Indigenous counterparts. We are grateful to work with and learn from several partners to create a more equitable and accessible tech sector for Indigenous peoples:
- We work closely Miskanawah and Native Child and Family Services of Toronto to offer our Indigenous Tech Career Pathways wraparound supports for Indigenous participants enrolled in one of our core programs.
- We partner with Indspire to create awareness of our programs amongst Indigenous job seekers.
- We have fostered relationships with the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre in Nova Scotia, Aboriginal Futures Career & Training Centre in Alberta and Access Futures in British Columbia.
- We collaborate with Indigenous Awareness Canada to provide staff with resources and training to lead to increased awareness of issues faced by Indigenous communities and allow us to build long-term and trusting relationships with Indigenous communities.
These relationships help us design and implement culturally relevant programs for Indigenous participants. NPower Canada is committed to continuing to cultivate strong partnerships with Indigenous communities to learn more about Indigenous peoples histories and cultures to work towards reconciliation. To learn more about National Indigenous Peoples Day and see how you can get involved, check out this list of events happening across Canada from coast to coast.