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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Educational technology implementation among BC first nation communities : a cross-cultural lens reflection Padam, Sukhjit (Suke) Singh


This study is a self-reflexive autoethnographic analysis of my physical attendance to approximately half of the over 200 First Nations (FN) communities across British Columbia (BC). This analytical autoethnography represents my reflections on conversations and experiences during my six-year journey (2007–2012 inclusive) sharing technical software and hardware knowledge with school administrators, teachers, and band council members in some of the most isolated FN communities in BC. I also reflect upon more recent experience undertaken with Coast Salish Development Corporation (Cowichan Nation Alliance) on Vancouver Island from 2021 to 2022. As a technical advisor sanctioned by the First Nations Education Steering Committee and First Nations Technology Council, access was granted by all communities that I attended. As a visitor, I noted inadequacies such as a lack of high-tech infrastructure, limited access to educational resources, restricted opportunities to communicate via the Internet, and insufficient access to computer technologies – in comparison to urban centres predominantly populated by Caucasian communities. More specifically, I analyze the effects of technology upon culture, language, traditions, ceremonies, customs, and values using reflections, as well as peer-reviewed research. I visualize the impact of digital technologies through a ‘two-eyed seeing’ conceptual lens, through autoethnographic Reflections that represent my lived experiences on reserve territories, which guide my methodology. Attending Indigenous communities also became a learning experience for me, since it evoked memories of my own upbringing in ‘two-eyed seeing’ as a Punjabi person forced to adapt to Canada’s Eurocentric ideologies, especially in education. The purpose of my autoethnography is to share and amplify my understanding of FN communities’ experiences without intending to represent nor speak on behalf of any individual, community, or territory. I write as an ally settler immersed in FN communities seeking advancement in technology leading to community-based approaches to decolonization, self-determination, and reconciliation. I conclude with proposed policies and broader social changes related to Canada’s education system so technology can serve as a method for aiding in liberation, and enhancing empowerment for FN Indigenous communities. My research (technology training modules) allowed for relationships to flourish in my quest to enhance relations, and mutually share in reflection.

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