The Feminine FabLab is an innovative project that aims to bring Indigenous women fully into the digital age. The vision of this project is that the use of new technologies allows Indigenous women to be exposed to different career choices related to the new digital economy. The main objective is therefore to give Indigenous women the same opportunities for learning, development and employability as the men who, for the moment, dominate this sector of activity.
In recent years, the migration of Indigenous people to cities has intensified to the point where today more than half of the Indigenous population lives in urban areas. Women constitute the largest segment of this urban population, which presents both a challenge and an opportunity.
We know that today the integration of First Peoples (First Nations and Inuit) into Canadian society is only a moral issue. This is also an important economic issue.
The feminine FabLab project aims to offer Indigenous women the opportunity to discover a vast field of employment that may not have been considered until now given the long academic path required to get there. Thanks to the FabLab approach, digital learning is done differently. The participant learns by observation and immediate application. We are far from the classic class model where the student receives lectures for hours from a teacher. In FabLabs, the student observes, applies and when he masters the skill, he teaches it to his peers. This way of acquiring and transmitting knowledge is very close to the traditional mode of Indigenous teaching.
Beyond training, this project will also offer a socio-professional support program allowing Indigenous women to identify the path that best suits them, towards employment, more training or entrepreneurship. The program will also offer information workshops on job opportunities in the digital economy sector and prepare Indigenous women for the expectations of employers in the region. Finally, the program will make employers aware of the potential of the indigenous women labour force and promote equal opportunities between men and women.
This project therefore aims to give an equal opportunity to Indigenous women living in urban areas who are having difficulty entering the job market but who nevertheless have a strong potential for success.
The vision of the project is that the use of new technologies can allow Indigenous women to be exposed to different career choices related to technology in a stimulating, rewarding and safe environment. The main objective in this context is therefore to provide Indigenous women with the same opportunities for learning, development and employability as non-natives (men and women) through the acquisition of technological knowledge and their integration into the economy. In view of this ambition, the FPIC wants to provide all the necessary tools to develop both digital and personal skills.
The specific objectives of this feminine FabLab can be broken down into five categories.
- Facilitate access to knowledge and equipment.
- Enable Indigenous women to reach their full potential and fully participate in the new digital economy.
- Build confidence in a nurturing and empowering environment that is usually male.
- Provide opportunities to modernize Indigenous art and knowledge through the use of digital technologies. Promoting indigenous culture and knowledge.
- Develop social entrepreneurship, whose values are in line with those of Indigenous women.
The achievement of these objectives is based on technical learning (basics of computers, programming, 3D printing, laser cutting, digital milling machines, etc.), but also on personal and social development (self-organization, autonomy, empowerment, creativity, problem solving, mutual aid, etc.), for the feminine cohort of the FabLab. This project is completely adapted to meet the demands of women and is therefore offered in Indigenous communities.