The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), in collaboration with The Trust for the Americas and the Organization of American States (OAS) presents POETA DigiSpark. This innovative project which stands for Partnerships for Economic Opportunities through Technology in the Americas, is a pioneering digital skills training initiative, strategically tailored for Indigenous Peoples. It already operates in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay, and now, it’s Canada’s turn. According to Statistics Canada, the country’s tech sector is robust and growing with almost 700,000 workers employed across Canada, in a global information technology sector that is projected to employ 62 million tech professionals this year. However, despite these impressive numbers, only 2.2 per cent of Canada’s tech sector are Indigenous, a fact that NWAC CEO, Lynne Groulx says must be remedied,

“ We need to take concrete action to end that economic marginalization, and this project will help address the inequity. ”

The POETA DigiSpark project was officially unveiled on September 28, 2022, with joint announcements from both Washington, DC, and Gatineau, Quebec and aims to equip Indigenous communities with the skills needed to foster careers and business opportunities through technology.

The partnership brings together NWAC, OAS, and Microsoft, the funder of the program, in a shared mission to empower Indigenous communities. It includes a 10-hour IT literacy course conducted on the Microsoft Community Training (MCT) platform and a certificate of completion. Classes take place at NWAC’s new Social, Cultural, and Economic Innovation Centre in Gatineau, as well as remotely to allow as many people to participate as possible.

By launching POETA DigiSpark in Canada, NWAC continues to advocate for Indigenous economic resiliency as one pathway toward real equitable inclusion and meaningful reconciliation.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide training and empowerment to Indigenous Peoples, focusing on women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse (WG2STGD) people in Canada to facilitate their entry into the labor market and the digital economy.

Our Vision

Our vision is a future where Indigenous communities thrive in the digital age, with access to quality jobs, entrepreneurship opportunities, and technological skills.

Objectives and Benefits:

Through the POETA DigiSpark project, NWAC has identified the following objectives:

  • Empower Indigenous WG2STGD individuals in Canada through the provision of vital digital skills.
  • Facilitate job opportunities and technology-supported entrepreneurship.
  • Provide quality training in digital, life, and technical skills.

The benefits for participants include:

  • Improved job prospects.
  • Access to entrepreneurship opportunities.
  • Skill development in a supportive community.

Our Training modules and Initiatives:

The POETA DigiSpark project is a multifaceted program aiming to provide a range of experiences to develop essential skills and enrich the participants career opportunities.

Our training modules comprise of:

Skills for Jobs on Microsoft Training Pathways: Offering courses on essential digital skills.

Teacher Training: Empowering educators to foster technology adoption among students.

EY-Future Skills Workshop: Promoting skills for employability, financial literacy, and more.

How to Get Involved:

Join our program! Whether you’re an individual, organization, or educator, find out how you can contribute, volunteer, or support our project's mission. Contact us to get started.

POETA DigiSpark

News and Updates:

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Contact Us:

Our team are ready to answer your questions on opportunities, partnerships, or any information related to POETA DigiSpark in Canada.

Reach out and start the conversation to learn more.

Head Office: 120 Promenade du Portage, Gatineau, Quebec, J8X 2K1

Tel: 613-722-3033, 613-286-2761