Towards a constellation of indigenous FabLabs

The First Peoples Innovation Centre was created in 2012 to support and stimulate social and technological innovation among First Peoples. Among its programs, FPIC has created a digital creation and manufacturing space and program called the “Onaki FabLab”. The main goal of this FabLab is to expose young Indigenous peoples to the digital age and technological knowledge of the 21st century.

FPIC adapted the FabLab (Fabrication Laboratory) model developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a culturally appropriate response to Indigenous youth and enable them to take charge of their own professional future. Indigenous FabLabs recreate social bonds. Integrating the great traditional values of the First Peoples, the indigenous FabLabs place the practical and the experimental approach at the heart of learning.



What is a FabLab?

Fablabs are part of what is called “innovative pedagogy.” Informal and cooperative learning is encouraged by focusing on the creation of objects that can range from robots to 3D prints to new handcrafted creations. FabLabs emphasize experimentation, practice and autonomy.

A FabLab is a place of creation, learning, invention, innovation and mentoring. FabLabs provide access to unique skills, diverse materials and advanced technologies to allow anyone, anywhere, to do almost anything. FabLabs share the goal of making technical invention tools accessible to everyone.

To learn more about the FabLab universe click here.

Nomad FabLab
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Onaki FabLab
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Feminine FabLab
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Wawacte FabLab
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Exportation of indigenous FabLabs

In 2021 and 2022, The FPIC aims to open Onaki-style FabLabs that will serve Indigenous youth in Ontario and New Brunswick. These two FabLabs will be designed according to the same configuration as that the one in La Tuque and Gatineau but will adapt to the realities of the communities. However, the goal will remain the same: to develop culturally appropriate learning spaces for indigenous youth and help them find of employment into the promising economic field of the Digital Age, of course, with an indigenous twist.