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BlackBerry Solutions Support Canada’s Indigenous Communities

Historic wildfires continue to burn across Canada, adding to the flooding, hurricane damage, and clean water security issues many Canadians have recently faced. Now, new data reveals these environmental issues are disproportionately impacting — and sometimes displacing — Canada’s Indigenous communities.

Looking at the 2023 wildfires as an example, thousands of fires scorched more than 110,000 square kilometers of land, blanketing skies with unbearable smoke, destroying homes and forests, and threatening important cultural activities like hunting, fishing, and gathering native plants. 

More than 42% of wildfire evacuations have been from communities with primarily Indigenous residents. This fact is quite remarkable, given that only 5% of Canada’s population identifies as Indigenous — First Nation, Métis, or Inuit — with an even smaller percentage living in predominantly Indigenous communities, according to Parks Canada.  

These issues, coupled with 51 long-term drinking water advisories in place in Indigenous communities, add to the environmental instability facing Canada’s Indigenous citizens.

Working With Indigenous-Led Partners to Deliver Solutions    

As a values-driven Canadian company, BlackBerry actively develops solutions that support Canadian Indigenous communities. We deliver these solutions alongside Indigenous-led partners like   

Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Murray Rowe, president and CEO of, during the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in Ottawa, Ontario. We discussed how his organization is leveraging technology like BlackBerry® AtHoc®, our secure, multi-channel crisis communications solution. 

“We are excited to partner with BlackBerry to make a difference and save lives,” explains Rowe.

"These fires, they don’t respect borders and they are moving. We need a comprehensive national approach [to critical event management],” Rowe explains. “It’s a complex problem, and we’re looking at going with a world leader, which is obviously BlackBerry.“

Our full conversation, which you can watch below, details the importance of secure, autonomous, and resilient climate-monitoring solutions, and of ensuring Indigenous communities have the resources and skills they need to self-manage the ongoing deployment and maintenance of these solutions.

BlackBerry Senior Elite Technical Marketing Specialist Noah Campbell with President & CEO Murray Rowe.

BlackBerry and University Collaboration  

BlackBerry’s ability to deliver this solution was fostered through a separate collaboration with the University of Windsor. The result of this collaboration is innovative technology that provides autonomous year-round water security monitoring, with an intelligent early-warning system that collects and processes large amounts of sensor data. The system also generates alerts based on the data insights. BlackBerry and the University of Windsor prototyped and deployed the solution in Canada.

The solution’s proven benefits include the ability to identify both seasonal and unexpected water-related risks, while generating significant cost savings for governments, utility companies, and local communities. Using the solution, local municipalities could each save up to CAD $1,000,000 or more annually in operating expenses, in addition to the environmental, safety, health, and other benefits of early-warning systems.  

This important work continues today, with a strong focus on partnering with government entities and Indigenous-led partners to deliver this solution to communities in need, whether they face floods, wildfires, or other emergency situations — such as compromised water supplies or wildfire events. The security of BlackBerry AtHoc ensures messages coming from this early-warning system can be trusted to be legitimate and timely.

By embracing innovative solutions like BlackBerry AtHoc, we can leverage the power of early-warning systems to protect lives, minimize damage, and build climate-resilient communities. With partners like, we are further empowered to extend this solution to Indigenous communities across Canada.

Learn More about BlackBerry AtHoc 

To learn how BlackBerry AtHoc keeps communities safe, visit

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Noah Campbell

About Noah Campbell

Noah Campbell was previously a Senior Elite Technical Marketing Specialist at BlackBerry.