The relationship between this country’s First Nations communities and the larger, non-Indigenous population has been getting enormous attention on the social front with the stories of the residential school system. And all that coverage has found its way into other streams of life including the economic realm.
A report prepared by RBC Royal Bank, for example, is focused on the gap between First Nations youth and their non-Aboriginal counterparts in the digital world. They note this is a vital economic story because of the size and growth rate of the youth cohort among First Nations. This population segment is expanding four times quicker and now accounts for one-third of the total youth population in Saskatchewan.
But this growing cohort of young people is lagging in their use of digital technology which means their jobs are at greater risk of being replaced by technology than the broader workforce.
They have less access to high-speed Internet and their confidence levels in using technology are lower than the overall population….yet, First Nations entrepreneurs are starting businesses at nine times the overall national average.