First Nations E-Community

The Chiefs-in-Assembly mandated the AFN through Resolution 16/2008 to seek support for initiatives for the continued development of Information Communication Technology (ICT) services at the community and regional levels until a comprehensive framework is in place. The AFN has continued to promote the need for a strategy on the First Nations ECommunity.

On November 22-24, 2010, the AFN convened a First Nations ICT Ad Hoc Working Group meeting. The working group is comprised of First Nations ICT specialists. The meeting discussions focused on the further development of the 2007 National Strategic Framework into a First Nations E-Community Strategy. The strategy includes key components such as: First Nations infrastructure needs; sustainability of operations and maintenance; First Nations labour force/human capacity; and, corporate relations. The strategy will be presented to the Chiefs Committee on Economic Development (CCED) for further consideration. A draft terms of reference for the ICT Ad Hoc Working Group has also been developed and will be formalized in the near future.

The AFN continues to advocate for greater attention to community connectivity requirements, and is monitoring the federal Dialogue on the Digital Strategy for Canada. The AFN also continues to monitor the recently held Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) hearings regarding connectivity and have submitted comments outlining key First Nation issues and concerns.

During the next few months, the AFN plans to develop and distribute communication materials promoting the First Nations E-Community concept amongst First Nations, federal and provincial governments, and private enterprise.

The AFN recently developed an ICT Historical Overview paper that examines information management – information technology (IM-IT) historical opportunities, connectivity issues, and barriers and sustainability issues that impede on services or show trends of impacts. The Secretariat has also developed profiles of regionally-based First Nation service providers.

Assembly of First Nations