November 21, 2019
(Ottawa, ON) — Once again, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is front and centre, making its voice heard and presence known on the national stage – this time as a full participant at the Indigenous Technology Summit, taking place in Osoyoos, B.C. on November 22.
The goal of the Summit is to gather input from Indigenous leaders across Canada, which will help inform Indigenous entrepreneurial and business solutions, including the development of a software development culture for the future.
NWAC is deeply invested in advancing the economic and social well-being of Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people. To this end, it is focused on providing management, business support and training programs for Indigenous women employees and entrepreneurs, many of whom experience intersecting forms of discrimination and barriers to accessing technology.
“There is clear evidence of a digital divide when it comes to the representation of Indigenous women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) positions,” says President Lorraine Whitman who is scheduled to speak at 10:15 am on November 22nd.
“Statistics tell us that 37 percent of Indigenous women have a degree in STEM fields, compared to 33 percent of non-Indigenous women. Furthermore, they are under-represented, compared to Indigenous men, particularly in the fields of mathematics and computer sciences.”
The computer science and information technology fields offer endless opportunities for Indigenous women and gender-diverse people. “An increase in access to communications technology has the power to bridge this digital divide,” says President Lorraine Whitman.
NWAC’s soon-to-open Social and Cultural Innovation Centre for Excellence – a hub for training, workshops, mentorships for entrepreneurs and direct business opportunities represents its effort to increase Indigenous women’s access to education, training and employment on a national scale. NWAC is looking forward to partnership with IndigenousData.ca and others to establish a specialized training IT training centre. This is an example of the achievements that can be made through established partnerships with experts in computer science and information technology. NWAC’s recent historic partnership with the World Indigenous Business Network and UN Women will also have far-reaching impacts, offering global knowledge-sharing and market research opportunities.
“NWAC is excited about sharing our ideas and creating new partnerships at the Indigenous Technology Summit,” says President Whitman. “Through such partnerships and networking, we will build the leadership capacity and resiliency of Indigenous women and gender-diverse people, which in turn will benefit the communities in which they live.”
For more information, contact:
Director of Public Affairs