Google Canada grants $2.7M to tech training for Indigenous Peoples, media literacy


TORONTO — Google Canada will allocate $2.7 million toward grants helping Indigenous Peoples prepare for tech jobs and teaching media literacy to underrepresented communities.

The U.S. tech giant says more than $1.3 million will be given to Winnipeg professional development and training charity ComIT to close the skills and education gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations by preparing Indigenous workers for new careers in the tech space.

The money will be spent on ComIT’s Recoding Futures program, which teaches Indigenous Peoples programing languages and software including Design Thinking, HTML, CSS, Javascript .NET, Python, React and Node.

Google will also give $670,000 to Ottawa-based science, technology, engineering, and mathematics organization Actua to expand a program teaching youth from vulnerable groups how to be safe online and detect misinformation.

Actua’s program will aim to serve youth from under-resourced communities and groups who are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math, including girls and young women, youth with intersecting identities, racialized youth, Indigenous youth and youth from low-income families.

Another $670,000 will be handed to Ottawa-based digital literacy organization MediaSmarts to develop an education program helping underrepresented communities learn how to use critical thinking skills when engaging with online content.

The grants announced by Kent Walker, Google’s president of global affairs, in Toronto come as tech giants are fending off streaming and anti-hate regulations governments are trying to impose.



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