2023: What We're Working on at OneFeather
In celebration of 2023 🎉, we're back with some steaming hot developments as per your suggestions, feedback and comments as our supportive and incredible community. Ever in motion to create the best services and products we can for you, with accessibility and an Indigenous-lens at the forefront of it all, we present to you some things we're currently working on!
As we use our learnings from Status Card Applications so far, we're looking to improve the interface for user experience. We are continuing to work with Indigenous Services Canada to address pain points that have arisen for Status Card Applicants (such as taking the correct photograph, time tracking and more) - to ensure a faster, easier, and clearer process that makes the online service better than ever before.
We're on it, so get excited whilst bearing with us as we make those changes!
Sales Tax Exemption & Refunds: Tackling Discrimination
First Nations folks face issues of discrimination, racism and push-back when they show their Status Cards as a respective form of government ID, while making eligible purchases for tax exemption. Confronted in a hostile manner by retailers, banks or health services upon folks readily expecting to receive their entitlements, they are subsequently met with:
Or simply are refused what they are entitled to -which has been said due to prejudice, a lack of education, or understanding of what a Status Card is; deemed as "an unacceptable" form of ID. In a recent report by UBCIC (Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs) , 60% clerks were rude after seeing the card and 1,025 people out of the 1,026 people surveyed experienced discrimination. That's 99% of the respondents.
Read the full UBCIC report here.
This is the reason why we at OneFeather are making structural change towards this issue. We are at the beginning stages of developing tools to make it easy to help individuals and businesses with sales tax exemption and refunds for purchases, within our OneFeather Wallet.
We're still in the very early phases of this work, but you can be ready when tax exemption rolls out for eligible First Nations peoples by downloading the OneFeather Wallet here.
When we launched digital voting back in 2014, the internet was a different place – the desktop computer was still the primary way people accessed it. Phones and tablets weren't as common, and access to the internet was not as common (though, we recognize that there is still a lot of work to do there!) The look and feel of the public landing pages for Nations and voting events have largely gone unchanged since then.
Over the coming months, we're focused on a full refresh of how Nations and their members engage with voting events on OneFeather and will be making it much easier to get the information you need, whether you're a voter, candidate, voting official, nominee, or administrator.
What Changes Can I Expect as A Nations Member?
- We're making everything responsive – if you're on a phone, tablet, or a 60" TV, everything should look great!
- We'll be improving how we show you information about voting events, and will be looking to make it easier and even more secure for you to vote.
- Working with the application as an Electoral Officer or List Manager will be easier and more straight-forward. Keeping your membership list current, and having people participating in voting events will be easier and more powerful than ever before.
To ensure you're in the loop as soon as these wheels are in motion, sign up to become a Member today and if you are looking to use OneFeather to manage your membership list, connect with us and we'll help you get started.
We currently offer voting in four ways:
- Digital voting
- In-person voting
- Mail-in ballots
- Telephone voting
Right now, you have the option to vote as stated above when your Nation signs up with us, and you create a OneFeather Member account. We're looking to progress our structures, particularly with our mail-in ballots to make the touch points fewer and quicker, by adding a "Request a mail-in ballot" button within Member accounts. Rather than emailing in, this gives you the option to manage it yourself!
If you don't already have a OneFeather account, sign up today so you have access when we spruce up our voting features!
We've grown a lot since when we revamped our website over 3 years ago. Having progressed with the different services that we offer from our Governance Consulting Services, Indigenous Banking with OneFeather Wallet, Status Card Applications, Nations Voting, Serving Nations, and OneFeather Accounts, we've added more to these products and services over time (and are continuing to do so!).
Our OneFeather story has definitely evolved- and we want to show a platform that reflects this. So hold tight for a new website coming later this year!
And that's all for now folks! We hope that provides a good insight into what you can expect, and be sure keep up with what's new as we send updates via our monthly newsletter that you can subscribe to.
If you're super curious, check out the fun stuff we concluded in 2022 with relation to what we're working on now too!