Last week at the Indigenous Technology Summit, BlackBerry announced it is helping Indigenous communities across Canada deploy new technologies with a view to improving their overall well-being from a health, education, safety and economic development standpoint.
Working collaboratively with Forrest Green and Microsoft, the companies will bring a comprehensive mix of next-generation secure communication, cybersecurity, cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to Chiefs and Grand Chiefs across Canada – providing them with valuable tools for making better, data-driven decisions.
The three parties will also enable residents to take part in skills-based education programs, so they are well-positioned to participate in the digital economy.
“This is nation-building in action,” commented Joseph Norton, Grand Chief, Mohawk Council of Kahnawá:ke.
“BlackBerry has the most secure CPaaS communications infrastructure in the world and, when coupled with Microsoft’s world class cloud and analytics solutions and Forrest Green’s critical systems integrations efforts, First Nations will have the technological tools necessary to manage their communities and ensure the well-being of their people – a significant step towards self-governance. First Nations need to own, control, and possess their own data and communications systems in order to create vibrant, self-sustaining communities.”
“Effective community leadership requires both secure communications and access to accurate data to make decisions, allocate funding, and ultimately solve problems,” said Charles Eagan, Chief Technology Officer, BlackBerry.
“We’re proud to provide the Indigenous community with BlackBerry’s secure IoT communications and industry-leading AI expertise that will provide the security and privacy First Nations can trust.”
Taking place at the Mount Royal Club in Montreal, the Indigenous Technology Summit is playing host to more than 15 First Nations Chiefs, the Métis National Council, dozens of Indigenous entrepreneurs, and senior level federal government executives.
The summit will feature Indigenous representation from coast-to-coast-to-coast including the Yellowknives Dene First Nation (Northwest Territory), Mustimuhw Information Solutions (Vancouver Island), the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (Quebec) and the Atlantic Policy Congress (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia), all of whom are on hand to discuss how to achieve Canada’s recent commitment to spend $1 billion with Indigenous controlled businesses by 2023, a 17-fold increase on the $60 million/year the federal government currently allocates. The single fastest growing vertical for federal government spend is in the information technologies/ knowledge economy.