IndigiData is a one-week (4-6 days) Indigenous data science education workshop each summer to introduce data science and informatics skills to tribal undergraduate and graduate students.

We offer an Indigenous-centered curriculum that is led by a community of Indigenous data scientists and guest faculty. All of our workshop activities will center Indigenous data sovereignty and data ethics while also providing students valuable insight into the emerging data and technology career fields.

Overview

We believe in advancing excellence in science education to inspire the next generation of innovators and to strengthen Indigenous communities through compelling hands-on and virtual experiences.

Native Americans are severely underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, receiving only 0.6% of all bachelor degrees and 0.4% of all doctorates.

National Science Foundation (Special Report 2017)

Especially as data science and informatics continue to require these skillsets of incoming field leaders, we want to ensure that tribal communities are not left even further behind in the technology gap.

We aim to:

  1. provide a space for teaching data science and ethics intersected with Indigenous culture,
  2. provide hands-on opportunities for students to learn command-line programming and analytic skills, and
  3. leverage expertise from Indigenous mentors

Topics

Our first workshop last year (summer 2021) was conducted virtually due to the current and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The workshop topic focused on environmental microbiomes and we walked participants through a guided demonstration of how to use computational skills to analyze sequencing data from soil microbiota.

For summer 2022, in anticipation of a public health climate that supports safe travel, we are conducting the workshop in-person in Mobridge, South Dakota adjacent to the Standing Rock Reservation. This year’s topic will be “Data of the Dakotas”, to address more specifically the types of data that can be taken from tribal lands.

Top image: A few IndigiData organizers and helpers in front of iconic artwork in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.

Bottom image: Participants of the first IndigiData 2021 workshop, held virtually.