ChinookX is an Indigenous-owned company bridging the technology sector with Indigenous nations and peoples. We provide communities a mechanism for Indigenous ownership in the infrastructure of the future. This is our origin story.
Our logo represents the salmon within a broader ecosystem. In the Pacific Northwest, Indigenous peoples cherish a spiritual, cultural and economic relationship with the salmon. Pre-contact, salmon fuelled intertribal trade and commerce throughout these vast territories. Due to the cultural and linguistic diversity amongst Indigenous nations, a common trade language was needed to facilitate relationships. That language, a mix of several Indigenous languages, became known as Chinook Wawa (jargon).
It’s the spirit of this Chinook ecosystem that inspired the birth of ChinookX Technologies. Many Indigenous cultures are grounded in the principles of sustainability, reciprocity, interconnectedness, and decentralization of power and authority. These same principles are driving climate action and the rapid disruption of economic systems around the world. Indigenous ways of knowing and being are leading the charge in creating a more sustainable and equitable future for all.
In August 2017, at a restaurant in East Vancouver, three of the four ChinookX founders were having a casual discussion about how emerging technologies could support Indigenous economic independence. We’re nerds about this stuff. We have these talks all the time. Anyways, a question was raised at that table that became foundational to the start of the ChinookX journey: could you program Indigenous consensus protocols on a blockchain?
Many months went by without much action on the matter. But one of our founders, Lee White, became somewhat obsessed with answering that question. Okay, really obsessed. He first posed the question publicly at a ParTecK roundtable discussion, where a multi-disciplinary community of technology, ethics, and environment experts were exploring ways to apply tech to a greater service to life.
From there a modest private investment in Bitcoin led Lee to further research and workshop the idea. He partnered with @BlockchainUBC and Indigenous researchers to explore the commonalities between blockchain protocols and the decision-making mechanisms of traditional Indigenous governance. That quest became a building block of what our business model eventually grew to be.
The idea for ChinookX began as a dreamy conversation over beers on Commercial Drive one sunny afternoon. We have since grown into a network of business relationships underpinning a new model of Indigenous economic development and self-determination. Indigenous Innovation Districts: high performance data centres powering climate action.
Some of our team members are Indigenous to these lands now known as British Columbia and Canada. Some of us are settler-allies. But we all call these territories home. We all want to see a more sustainable and equitable economy. We all want a clean and prosperous future for future generations.
ChinookX Technologies Ltd.
Lkwugen Territories (Victoria, BC)