Advancing Digital Equity in Indigenous Communities
Indigenous Connectivity Institute
In today’s world, access to the internet is fundamental for people and communities to thrive. Yet, Indigenous Peoples are disproportionately offline and excluded from the opportunities the internet enables. Working in the US and Canada, the Indigenous Connectivity Institute is a community of leaders working to close this digital divide by sharing knowledge, shaping policy, and helping people learn the skills to build and run their own internet networks.
With thanks to Chris Mitchell (@communitynets) and Mark Buell (@mebuell) for granting us permission to feature their photography on this page.
By communities, for communities
Unique challenges of politics, geography, economics, and regulations mean Indigenous communities in North America are among the most underserved by internet connectivity. While data on internet access for Indigenous areas is limited, and there are differences across First Nations, Inuit, Métis, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities, the data that is available points to a consistent lack of affordable, reliable internet access.
Indigenous Peoples must lead their digital futures.
The market-based approach to internet access is not working for Indigenous communities — so we need to build alternatives. Rather than sit and hope for internet service providers to meet their needs, Indigenous Peoples can build their own digital infrastructure and tools. When networks are owned and governed by communities, they gain power to shape their own future, create opportunities, and directly reap the benefits of internet connectivity.
The will, the need, and the capacity exists to make this happen. The Indigenous Connectivity Institute works to scale the support, knowledge, and financial resources that Indigenous people need to build digital equity in their communities and on their own terms.
Our current activities are focused on convening and training Indigenous leaders to build capacity for community-based networks and advocate for Indigenous digital equity.
Tribal Broadband Bootcamps
Run in partnership with the Institute of Local Self Reliance (ILSR), Tribal Broadband Bootcamps bring leaders together to learn, build and connect with people bootstrapping Indigenous broadband.
Indigenous Connectivity Summit
The summit brings together Indigenous leaders, community members, community network operators, researchers and policymakers with a common goal: connecting Indigenous communities to fast, affordable and sustainable internet.
Indigenous Connectivity Trainings
Leading up to the Indigenous Connectivity Summit, ICS Trainings equip leaders with knowledge and skills around broadband policy and advocacy, and building and operating sustainable, secure community networks.
Meet the ICI Advisory Committee
University of Arizona
General Manager, Western James Bay Telecom Network
Senior Policy Lead, First Nations Technology Council
British Columbia, Canada
Minister of Commerce, 2nd Deputy Head of State, Nation of Hawai’i
Senior Advisor for Indigenous Community Connectivity, Internet Society
Washington State, US
Executive Director, American Indian Policy Institute
a/Executive Director, Clear Sky Connections
Cyber Warrior for Tribal Broadband
CEO, CanArctic Inuit Networks
Founder and CEO, eSupply Canada
Connect with us
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