November 27, 2023

Native American Heritage Month and the Opportunity to Increase Representation

Native American Heritage Month: Celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Native Americans

This month, we’re proud to recognize and honor Native American Heritage Month. This observance began as a week-long celebration in 1976 and was expanded to a full month in 1990 to recognize the rich cultural heritage and significant contributions of Native American people. Native Americans/Indigenous people are one of our core target communities at CMD-IT, and one of our goals is to illuminate the underrepresentation of Native American people in computing and tech and to inspire meaningful change.

Action and Accessibility is Essential for Native Communities

Despite the many advances in the tech industry, Native American representation remains deeply lacking. According to research, Native Americans comprise less than 1% of U.S. tech workers. Additionally, a report from the Computer Science Teachers Association and shows that Native American students are far less likely to attend a school that offers computer science (only 59% of Native American students attend a school offering at least foundational computer science, as compared with the next lowest access group, Black students, at 73%). This disparity is concerning, especially since technology is essential for societal advancements and the well-being of every individual. More action is needed to address these gaps by promoting inclusion and diversity in computing and tech.

Doing Our Part

To make a lasting impact, we need to come together and work towards a common goal. Many resources are available to support this effort, such as:

This monthly commemoration provides an opportunity to recognize the unique contributions and cultural heritage of Native American people in the tech industry. We call upon our readers to join us in recognizing the significance of this observance and taking action toward promoting diversity and inclusion in computing and tech.