First Light Initiative
First Light Initiative is a project founded by Rob Cardinal, astrophysicist and member of the Siksika First Nations, formerly Senior Systems Designer at Spectrum Optix Inc. and currently scientist with Siksika Board of Education. The fundamental vision of the First Light Initiative is that Aboriginal youth of all ages are exposed to telescopes, astronomy, and the wonders that fill the sky, invigorating their desire to learn, and to engage and explore with science and technology, while also learning their cultural traditions and Indigenous knowledge about the sky. The Initiative seeks to promote and enhance the education of thoughtful, inspired, and engaged youth who can create and innovate for the preservation, advancement, and health of their community.
First Light is a non-profit organization working with private, corporate and government donors to raise operating revenue and in-kind contributions. Funds are being used to directly advocate for and contribute to the donation and installation of telescopes and related support to Indigenous, Aboriginal and First Nations communities. Already positively impacting communities in Alberta, Canada, the First Light Initiative has Canada wide and international ambitions to advance educational success rates.