The wave of the future

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I am a fan of technology. From the time I received my first computer, there was no looking back. It is funny to think now that my little android smartphone can do so much more than that old 386 PC could achieve. Technology is moving ahead in exponential fashion.

A few decades ago in Attawapiskat we had no running water or indoor toilets for most members of the community. Much of our housing was rundown. Education beyond secondary school was rare. Many still hunted and gathered on the land, but most families ate a lot of canned meats like Klik, hot dogs, burgers, fries and washed it down with soda pop. There was a reality of hopelessness in First Nations across Canada during this period and we were caught in a web of alcohol and drug addictions.

As I write this column, I find it strange to admit that although things are better, they still need to improve. Many remote First Nations still do not have decent housing or clean dependable water systems. We still don’t have full-time doctors or dentists. Diabetes – mainly due to poor diet – is epidemic and young people are spending too much time on their smartphones, laptops and PCs resulting in health problems.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. I see my nephews and nieces working in good jobs and accessing post-secondary education in developing careers. They are supporting their families and moving into their own homes all over northern Ontario. Some of the good things that are happening have to do with resource companies realizing that it is necessary to work with First Nations in developing mines, hydro projects and other resource developments. That is a huge change in only 20 years or so.

Besides all of these changes, we have the unbelievable speed in the development of technology. Everybody I know has a smartphone and many also have laptops, tablets and PCs. The world has never been so connected yet somehow everyone seems to be more alone. We spend most of our time talking to people in an online world that seems distant and artificial. We have access to more news so should be all aware of the right-wing fascism that is raising its ugly head once again in Europe, the US and right here in Canada.

I find it hard to believe we have right-wing militia type groups in this country. Even though we know that our democracies and the freedoms we cherish are being attacked, most of us don’t care. We have access to this knowledge but we are not motivated to become involved politically. No matter what technologies we have developed we are still living in a world where 1% of the world population now owns half of the world’s wealth. We have enough resources, technology and intelligence to make the world more fair and equitable, but that won’t be happening anytime in the near future.

My GPS will tell me how to get from one place to the other, my smartphone will wake me up, plan my calendar and answer any question I have. Every minute of the day my Facebook friends tell me what they are up to, what they had for lunch, what time they woke up, and what time they went to bed. I can play games on any of my devices that encourage me to slaughter tons of people in military scenarios or I can get lost in games where I live as someone else in another

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