Denise Williams on Bridging the Digital Divide

August 15, 2017

Denise Williams, CEO of the First Nations Technology Council, has an in-depth discussion with Jordyn about some of these issues of Internet access and technological literacy in Indigenous Communities - particularly as it relates to job creation. Technology jobs in British Columbia are expanding and will continue to do so as we move further towards a knowledge-based economy and no one understands that better than this episode’s main guest, Denise Williams. Denise Williams is the Executive Director of the First Nations Technology Council. She is Coast Salish from the Cowichan Tribes on Vancouver Island but lives and works in Vancouver as the Executive Director of the FNTC.

Later on in the episode, Lydia Prince, Animikii Web & Communications Strategist talks with Jordyn about her experience as a student in FNTC’s first Bridging to Technology cohort and about why she’s chosen a technological career as an Indigenous young person.

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Animikii’s Indigenous Innovators series features Indigenous leaders, activists, artists and entrepreneurs to better understand the challenges and opportunities Indigenous Peoples face in Canada today.

Guest Bio


At the intersection of Indigenous sovereignty, technological advancement and a rapidly expanding technology and innovation economy, in demand of new ideas and new skills, Denise has the privilege of working with Indigenous peoples, governments, academics, technology futurists and social changemakers to map the ecosystem that will result in fair and equitable access to the tools and education required for success in the digital age. Denise leads a theory of change that will not only ensure Indigenous peoples are competitive in BC’s technology and innovation sector, but leading and growing local digital economies.

With a passion for contributing and volunteering in initiatives and organizations that influence real change and the advancement of truth and reconciliation, Denise proudly serves as the President of the Urban Native Youth Association, advisor on innovation to the Governor General of Canada, Status of Women Canada’s Indigenous Women’s Circle, on the board of the First Mile Connectivity Consortium, Vancouver Economic Commission and on the Simon Fraser University Board of Governors as Alumni-in-Order, where she earned her masters degree in business administration in 2015.

To learn more about FNTC, head to their website,, or find them on social media.


Host Bio


Jordyn Hrenyk is a Dean’s List graduate of the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from 2015.  Jordyn’s professional background is in Indigenous entrepreneurship education research and curriculum design; specifically, in supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs in the development and execution of their business and project ideas. Jordyn is Métis and white and is a member of Métis Nation Saskatchewan, Local #7.