First Nations

Improving accessibility for First Nations is a key component of the Connected Coast project as many First Nation communities on Vancouver Island and along coastal BC, do not have access to adequate internet.

In a report published by the federal Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development, it notes that “Canada’s Indigenous communities face unique connectivity challenges.” As the “fastest growing sector of our population,” the report argues that First Nations people shouldn’t have to move from their homes “because of the lack of basic infrastructure to pursue education, undergo training, or find employment.”

We couldn’t agree more. The Connected Coast project will be assisting 139 rural, remote and First Nation coastal communities with their connectivity challenges, by providing access to a large amount of data through the project’s backbone infrastructure. Together with local ISPs, the project will provide current inaccessible areas with e-learning and telehealth opportunities, so people living in remote communities won’t need to physically travel long distances for doctor appointments. The enhanced quality of life that virtual meetings grant through working from home or Facetiming with family and friends is invaluable.

As part of its mandate, the Connected Coast project will meaningfully engage with First Nation communities and consult before and after construction, to make sure the needs of these communities’ are met now and in the years to come.