JEDI launched a Digital Literacy program in 2014 which teaches basic computer skills to groups in the First Nations communities across New Brunswick. Successful completion of the program provides the participants with a well-rounded understanding of basic computer and internet use, as well as, experience working with Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Certificates are issued to those participants who complete the program.
The first Digital Literacy course was held in Oromocto First Nation and since then, the program has been delivered in Metepenagiag, Eel Ground, and Esgenoopetitj First Nations. Eel River Bar, Pabineau, and St. Mary’s First Nations have courses scheduled for February and March. If you are an Aboriginal person who lives in one of those communities with upcoming courses and are interested in participating in the program, please contact your local Employment Training Officer to see if there is space available in the course.
Due to the success of the program so far, JEDI’s Digital Literacy program has evolved to include professional development workshops as well. These workshops have been designed in-house by our Digital Literacy Coordinator, Tammy Williams, and have already been delivered to the Oromocto First Nations Band Staff, Kingsclear First Nation Band Staff, and courses are scheduled to be delivered in Woodstock and Tobique in early 2015.
In addition, the Digital Literacy coordinator has been approached by the Department of Corrections to create and deliver workshops for offenders readying themselves for release and ex-offenders living in transition homes. These workshops will increase the participant’s computer skills so they can present themselves professionally while seeking employment opportunities. Programs will be delivered to inmates at the Dorchester Penitentiary and at the Kikewey Wig Transition House.
The next major project that JEDI’s Digital Literacy program will be undertaking is partnering with artsNB to develop a workshop with artists living in the three communities surrounding Fredericton. This partnership will help the artists to learn the skills necessary to create an online presence, including learning how to use WordPress, Wix and Social Media and how-to market their materials on the internet.
JEDI is hoping to continue the Digital Literacy program past March 2015 and if so, additional courses will be made available to the Aboriginal people living in New Brunswick both on and off reserve.