WASHINGTON, USA – The Organization of American States (OAS), together with the Trust for the Americas and the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), agreed today to train Canadian indigenous peoples in new technologies and high-demand digital services.
The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, said the initiative is based on the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, -adopted by OAS member states in 2016- and its Plan of Action, which sets out to address critical issues affecting indigenous peoples in the Hemisphere. “The success of the project should become an example for achieving inclusive, sustainable, social and economic development with indigenous communities and the region as a whole,” said secretary-general Almagro.
The executive director of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Lynne Groulx, recalled that only 2.2 percent of technology employees in her country are indigenous people. “We need to take concrete steps to end that economic marginalization and this project helps to address the inequality,” executive director Groulx added.
For her part, Linda Eddleman, the director-general of the Trust for the Americas, recalled that the institution she has represented since 1997 promotes public-private partnerships and articulates “strong networks between OAS member states and the private sector.” “We are especially honored to announce this program in our 25th anniversary year,” added director-general Eddleman.
Under the agreement, the Trust will provide NWAC with program staffing, along with digital literacy and computer competency training. The initiative will be funded by public and private entities.
Classes will be held at NWAC’s new Social, Cultural and Economic Innovation Centre in Gatineau, Quebec, and distance learning classes will also be offered so that those living outside the National Capital Region can participate. Upon completion, participants will receive a training certificate.