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Native American Heritage Month 2021

IEEE Computer Society team

Native American Heritage Month is observed in the United States every November. It is observed to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of the indigenous nations of the Americas, which stretch from the northernmost tip of Canada to the southernmost reaches of South America. We work to raise awareness through education about the unique challenges facing indigenous peoples and the ingenuity of these countries to overcome them.

We honor these countries by highlighting an article IT professional “Dreamcatcher: IT to Support Indigenous People” by Donald Cowan (University of Waterloo), Fred McGarry (Center for Community Mapping), Heather Moran (Center for Community Mapping), Daniel McCarthy (University of Waterloo), and Clynt King (Mississaugas of the new Credit First Nation).

Indigenous nations were the first groups to populate the geographic regions of the Americans. Their identity, based on language, spirituality, culture, tradition and resources, has been shaped by these regions. Traditional practices relate to the landscape, which is an integral part of cultural identity. Centuries of colonization, however, threaten these cultures through immigration, resources, infrastructure, economic development, and cultural assimilation. Regardless, indigenous peoples persist in preserving their cultural identity and connections.

The internet can provide a solution for indigenous peoples. Dreamcatcher is a web-based information system developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo and the Center for Community Mapping. It enables indigenous communities to preserve their ancestral knowledge and further strive for autonomy. This was first deployed and implemented by the First Nations of Ontario, Canada.

Abstract
Dreamcatcher’s web-based information system includes interactive mapping tools, mediated social networks, geospatial consultation services, and a security model to help indigenous people preserve their traditional knowledge and negotiate with governments and advocates of resource development and infrastructure developments on their land.

read more IT professional‘Dreamcatcher: IT to Support Indigenous People’ to learn more about this project and the impact of Dreamweaver.

Diversity & Inclusion Fund

Native American communities have historically been understaffed in computer science and engineering. The IEEE Computer Society aims to support activities that further its mission to bring greater equality, diversity and inclusion to the computing community. If you have an idea for a new program, or if you would like the Society to support an existing program, please view our Diversity and Inclusion Fund Call for Proposals. We’ve pledged $100,000 to support the community’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Proposals are judged on a first-come, first-served basis.

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