Good evening. I’m going to try to dictate my post through the voice recognition software in my Android phone. It’s really exciting to have new technology that I can use to reach of through my blog.
But so many of us take for granted the access we have to broadband, smartphones and other digital technology. In many First Nations communities this technology simply does not exist. What will it take to give First Nations people the same opportunities afforded to the rest of Canada?
The answer starts with caring, empathy and awareness. Caring and empathy are personal values and are not something that can be decided upon in a political platform. Whereas awareness is something that really needs to take place surrounding First Nations issues.
From the internet traffic that I’ve seen, very few federal election candidates are making visits to communities. I’m sure there are a few exceptions including Kimberley Love (Liberal, Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound) who visited Cape Croker and Anthony Rota (Liberal, Nipissing-Timiscaming) who visited my home community of Nipissing First Nation. Obviously Anishinaabe-kwe candidates Cynthia Wesley-Esquimeaux (Liberal, York Simcoe) and Tania Cameron (NDP, Kenora-Rainy River) are visiting communities as well.
But where are the rest of the candidates and why are they not visiting First Nations? Why don’t Conservatives Party candidates visit local communities?
Most importantly of all, why are the major political party leaders not visiting First Nations and learning more about our issues?
Awareness starts with personal contact, friendship and learning more about us… getting to know us. When awareness starts, caring empathy soon follow.
Not many people are aware that digital technologies do not exist in First Nations, . If Canadians were more aware of this fact, and it’s implications on the economy, education and opportunity, would they care more? Would Canadians demand better access to digital technologies for First Nations people? Maybe so. I firmly believe Canadians genuinely care.
Maybe the reason the leaders don’t visit First Nations is because they know their smart phones and Twitter accounts won’t be working. Welcome to First Nations reality.
(P.S.: Forgive any grammar, spelling and punctuation errors. I am a better type-writer than I am dictator.)