Bridging the Digital Divide: Empowering the Siksika Nation Through AI Education

This case study examines the transformative partnership between Siksika Health Services, Blackfoot Tech Council, and Braintoy, aimed at addressing technological challenges faced by the First Nations Community. The collaboration focuses on bridging the digital divide by providing comprehensive AI education and modernizing technology infrastructure within the Siksika Nation.

  • The Issue

    First Nation communities were hindered by outdated technology, limited services, and scarce internet access. Recognizing the urgent need for change, Braintoy stepped in to support Siksika and Blackfoot community members by bridging the digital divide and introducing modern technology.

  • The Project Objective:

    The collaboration aims to empower students of the Siksika Nation through comprehensive AI education, equipping them with vital IT fundamentals, communication skills, and immersive AI and machine learning training accredited by the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT).

  • Training and Infrastructure Development:

    Braintoy and the Blackfoot Tech Council have joined forces to provide specialized AI training to Siksika Nation students. The training includes essential IT fundamentals and communication skills, followed by an immersive program focusing on AI and machine learning. Students had the opportunity to apply their knowledge by setting up the Siksika Nation's internet infrastructure, marking a significant milestone in bridging the digital divide.

  • Braintoy's Education Sector:

    Braintoy's education sector plays a pivotal role in running applied machine learning foundations with cohorts. The comprehensive education equips students with a deep understanding of AI functionality, science, and implications. The program empowers students to actively participate and contribute to the evolving landscape of AI.

  • Impact and Future Plans:

    The collaboration between Braintoy, the Blackfoot Tech Council, and the Siksika Nation offers invaluable educational opportunities and paves the way for a brighter technological future within the community. By empowering the next generation with AI learning and cutting-edge skills, the partnership fosters innovation, advancement, and increased access to opportunities.

Jennifer expressed deep appreciation for Braintoy’s consistent guidance and support. She highlighted the personalized and hands-on approach taken by Braintoy, which fostered a deeper connection between the students and the knowledge being shared. The flexibility and cultural sensitivity demonstrated by Braintoy in tailoring the learning experience were also praised. Jennifer commended Braintoy’s accommodation of data ownership concerns, respecting the sovereignty and autonomy of the Siksika Nation.

The partnership between Braintoy and the Siksika Nation has been a transformative journey of empowerment and technological advancement. Braintoy’s unwavering support, flexibility, and personalized approach have created a collaborative and empowering learning environment that embraces the cultural context of the First Nations. By bridging the digital divide and fostering trust, empowerment, and cultural appreciation, this partnership has paved the way for a brighter future for the Siksika Nation.