Indigenous Connectivity

2023 Indigenous Connectivity Summit Calls to Action

From establishing an Indigenous office of telecommunications to tracking affordability, here are this year’s calls

2023 Indigenous Connectivity Summit Calls to Action

Since the inaugural 2017 Summit, the ICS has issued Calls to Action to help guide our collective advocacy to improve policy and regulation in the United States and Canada. 

This year’s Summit in Alaska presented an opportunity to review and refresh last year’s calls. After a series of robust discussions at the Summit and since, the community has built on what’s gone before and created several new and significant calls. 

Notably, we’re calling for an Indigenous office of telecommunications that would take a co-management approach to connectivity alongside federal departments in the US and Canada. Ultimately, this office would protect and promote Indigenous interests and strengthen Tribes’ digital sovereignty. Attendees also pointed out the critical need for governments and telecommunications providers to better track and publish the affordability of digital services — a call which is also included in this year’s recommendations.

The long and winding road to Indigenous digital equity

The CTA’s have a ripple effect that go beyond broadband or digital equity spaces per se, often permeating the social, cultural, political, and economic boundaries we tend to hold separately. Many Indigenous people don’t view societal issues in isolation. Rather, we hold them as interrelated and part of a holistic circle. The hip bone’s connected to the leg bone! As ICI Advisory Committee member Rhea Doolan mentioned, “there is no such thing as a tech sector anymore,” as the internet and digital technologies are intertwined and firmly embedded in all areas of modern life. 

We continue to hear that Indigenous digital equity is more than “just” about access to broadband and digital technologies. Folks across Indian Country are engaged in crucial equity and justice work on a number of interrelated fronts – law, policy and economics. Connectivity and digital technology are increasingly central to progress across those domains while also being fully part of Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination efforts.

The 2023 Calls to Action

We encourage you to read and share this year’s Calls to Action among your networks, across social media and, in particular, with policy makers and decision makers. We must continue to build momentum and refuse to let progress on digital equity fade with the ebbs and flows of philanthropy, goodwill and government funding. Indigenous digital equity means we control our digital futures and our work towards it is more important than ever.

Read the Calls to Action Google Doc (best for mobile) or get the PDF below.

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