As drivers of regional and rural economies, Tribal Nations are at the forefront of job growth and should be considered critical partners in the future of the technology sector. However, due to a long history of colonization, exclusionary policies, and current practices, Native communities continue to remain excluded. As the tech sector continues to grow, it is critical Native communities are included in decision-making and leadership to ensure the path forward is inclusive and equitable. In collaboration with AISES, this report explores the current state of Native representation in the US; highlights their systemic exclusion across the tech ecosystem; and provides a set of recommendations for action.
K-12 Computer Science Education
Not only are Native students less likely to have access to CS education, but when it is available, it lacks cultural relevance to meaningfully engage students and ensure their success in CS courses.
– Only 20% of high schools located on reservations offer CS.
– Only 312 Native girls participated in AP CS courses. Of those, approximately one-third passed the exam.
“The data underscores what Native people have been saying for generations”
– Frieda McAlear, Director of Seeding Innovation at the Kapor Foundation
Postsecondary Tech Pathways
The inability of the vast majority of postsecondary institutions to adopt policies and practices that promote Native identity, culture, language, and sovereignty are reflected in the current data indicating the systemic exclusion of Native communities from postsecondary tech pathways:
The findings of this report underscore the pressing need to eliminate these disparities through continued awareness and advocacy, educational resources, and professional development tailored to our communities.Dr. Kathy DeerInWaterVice President of Programs and Research, AISES
We are still here despite so many efforts to destroy us and our systems of higher education and workplaces must do better in supporting the gifts we bring. We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams!Tiffany SmithDirector of Research and Career Support, AISES
It’s crucial we recognize the history of exclusionary policies Indigenous communities have faced and the ways this history lives on through today’s inequities in education and the workforce.Dr. Allison ScottCEO, Kapor Foundation
Not only are Native and Indigenous communities excluded from working in tech – they’re not even given the chance to learn about computing and the possibilities of working in computing fields as a way to support their families and people.Frieda McAlearDirector of Seeding Innovation, Kapor Foundation
Seeding Innovation Project
AISES and the Kapor Center are working together to provide culturally revitalizing computer science curriculum to partner schools across the county. We work collaboratively with our school sites to create an engaging computer science curriculum, integrate cultural traditions, language, stories, art and more. It is a tribe-specific computer science curriculum that is built with and for the partner communities. If you are interested in being a part of this amazing opportunity, apply below!