CatalystsX will support the development of digital literacy resources and tools dedicated to meeting the IT and remote working needs of four First Nations – Garden River, Batchewana, Fort William & Wikwemikoong. Over the past year, the increase in remote working has drastically changed how industries and communities conduct business. There is an exacerbated learning gap in northern and rural communities, where digital infrastructure is often lacking. CatalystsX wants to develop tools and resources to foster digital literacy specific to the concerns and issues common in northern, rural, and Indigenous communities.

This project will take a ground-up approach, working with the First Nation communities to understand their current needs, anticipated future needs, and what IT infrastructure and options are available. The resulting tailored toolkit will be designed to support their transition to an internet-based environment and develop digital literacy overall in the community. CatalystsX hopes that each of the four First Nations community members’ understanding and skills using the internet and online tools will improve. We hope this toolkit will help community members and business owners to develop their digital literacy skills enough to adopt remote working technologies, advocate for needed infrastructure, and support their governance and business practices in an increasingly online world. This toolkit may include skills development for video conferencing, research, social media, and search engines to support their work, determined by the communities involved.

CIRA’s Community Investment Program will support this project by funding the development of these resources. CatalystsX is working towards a larger project to continue this work in the rural and remote Indigenous and Northern communities. Collaboration with community contacts will help ensure the tools are accessible, easy to understand, and applicable to the First Nation’s experience. CatalystsX will make this toolkit widely available – this way, everyone can access the resources. The toolkit can complement digital literacy training and support Canadians who may be tackling the ever-changing realities of online business on their own, as well.

Stay tuned for updates as this project comes to life!