TECHNOLOGY + INDIGENOUS DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT
The future is changing
The Technology and Indigenous Development Summit will no longer be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this coming December 5th and 6th. Every member of our team at the Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord are eternally grateful for all the grassroots support, genuine interest, and incredible relationships we made while pursuing this goal, and this was not a decision made lightly. Although we give this news with heavy hearts, we are excited to say this is not the end of the TID Summit, but an opportunity to move forward with our initial vision.
While building our mission, we gathered a passionate community and we feel we owe our supporters an explanation of our cancellation of the December dates, and a preview on what’s next for The Technology and Indigenous Development Summit.
NEW BLOOD, NEW IDEAS, NEW CONVERSATIONS
After half a year of dedication, we found ourselves at “a Crossroads.” Here at the SLFA, it is our duty to represent and bring sustainable opportunities to the signatory First Nations communities of Big Trout Lake, Slate Falls, Lac Seul, and Cat Lake in Northern Ontario. As we got closer to the date and we worked out the logistics of the summit, the projected costs associated with hosting this event were far more than we initially planned. Here at the SLFA, we are a non-profit with a small dedicated team, and the finite funds we manage belong to the First Nations communities. As the projected costs kept growing and the timelines kept shrinking, it made us think about why we launched the TID Summit in the first place.
We set out on a mission to host the TID Summit to bring awareness to the challenges that rural Indigenous Communities face, and to build relationships in the tech and business sectors in hopes that it kickstarts initiatives that bring modern changes to underserved communities. Allocating so much of our budget towards a 2-day event began to feel like an opulent pursuit, and even if the event was a complete success, it would still feel like a disservice to the communities we serve. A core principle of the SLFA is “to bring sustainable change,” and although two days of networking, panels, and exhibitor booths would gain some traction online, it is not enough.
We are proud to say we dreamed big. We wanted to host an experience with everything from jaw-dropping Pow Wow performances to holograms. We wanted our guests to get their hands on cutting-edge tech, and befriend up-and-coming Indigenous entrepreneurs. We wanted to give a stage to a new generation of musicians, artists, and entertainers and give a home to important discussions about Canada’s future. We learned with the logistics of a conference format and our budget, we would be forced to cut so much of what made us a unique event, just to survive. Knowing it couldn’t be the experience we set out to create, we simply couldn’t in good faith sell people tickets to an event with a standard formula.
After much thought, we have decided that the TID Summit must return to its roots. Which is: Sincere relationship building, generating future-focused dialogue, and bridging the gap between rural Indigenous communities and urban city centers. In the modern age, we do not need a conference hall, pre-booked hotel blocks, and sponsored swag bags for that. We need passionate and genuine allies that are generous with their time, and happy to share their ideas. We need to continue growing a community that has integrity, isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo, is willing to learn, and isn’t afraid to share out-of-the-box solutions. In the coming months, as we move forward, we will be focusing our energy and resources on generating ongoing discussions between Business/Tech, Indigenous leaders and entrepreneurs, policy makers, and academics coast-to-coast. Hosting online video panels, content celebrating Indigenous entrepreneurs, intimate pop-up events, and exciting never seen before initiatives that bring awareness to a new generation of conscientious Canadians. By using a mosaic of mediums and formats, we are now able to achieve the experience we set out to facilitate in the first place, and we can’t wait to show you.
We appreciate everyone's understanding at this pivotal time for the TID Summit, and we want to thank you all for all of your support, kindness, and perspectives.