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Community Networks 17 August 2021

Register for the Fifth Annual Indigenous Connectivity Summit

Mark Buell
By Mark BuellRegional Vice President - North America

In its second year as a virtual event, the Indigenous Connectivity Summit will take place on 12-15 October 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that those who lack connectivity face the effects of starker inequalities. Millions of people across Canada and the United States still can’t take advantage of the benefits of a fast, affordable, and reliable Internet connection. Indigenous communities disproportionately suffer from the negative impact of this digital divide.

To address this, each year the Indigenous Connectivity Summit (ICS) brings together community network managers and operators, Indigenous-owned Internet service providers, community members, researchers, policymakers, and Indigenous leaders and community members.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the ICS 2021 will happen online for the second time. It will focus on empowering Indigenous communities to assert their digital equity. We’ll discuss ways to ensure Alaska Native, American Indian, Inuit, Native Hawaiian, First Nations, and Métis communities have affordable, high-quality, and sustainable Internet access—and how it can support social and economic development.

The ICS will take place on 12-15 October 2021. Register to join this four-day, community-led conversation on connectivity solutions, funding sources, next-level advocacy, and success stories from Indigenous community networks in Canada and the United States.

Pre-Summit Training

Participants of the ICS can also join two practical, hands-on training tracks on how Indigenous communities can build their own connectivity, and a policy training focused on how to advocate for access solutions in Indigenous communities and digital policy needs across Canada and the United States.

The trainings take place in the six weeks leading up to the main ICS, and will preview the robust, in-depth conversations that will happen at the summit. Both trainings offer six classes with comprehensive materials and resources, plus valuable networking opportunities and chances to talk to Indigenous broadband experts.

The Policy and Advocacy training offers introductory sessions on broadband policy and advocacy, how-to classes on government consultations, and funding opportunities, culminating in a session to craft the 2021 ICS Policy Recommendations. The technical Community Networks training focuses on building and operating sustainable, secure community networks. It includes a special hands-on crimping session for which participants will be sent crimping materials.

Register for the 2021 Indigenous Connectivity Summit and join the trainings.

Image of Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories, Canada ©Angela Gzowski

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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