The 2nd Natives in Tech Meetup was this past Saturday and featured a conversation initiated by Natalie Isabel Contreras who talked about "Indigenous Perspectives in Innovation."
Natalie started the conversation by asking why should we encourage folks to lean into tech? This set the tone for a very personal and vulnerable yet empowering talk surrounding what it is like to be an Indigenous person in the tech industry. Natalie's willingness to open up to those of us in the meeting about her experiences in the tech community was incredible and we hope to continue this sort of conversation.
Natalie stated early on in her talk that “Indigenous worldview is counter to capitalist centered construct embedded within Silicon Valley Tech." She continued by sharing that the extractive model that is so evident within modern day tech is the opposite of the Indigenous ways of life. There are ways to integrate Indigenous perspectives into our everyday work by practicing skill share, creating apps that promote mutual aid, and continue to build an ecosystem for Natives that are interested in joining.
This community should be one that those who are involved not only give to but are all welcome to come into their own power. It is not just about encouraging Native youth but anyone who is interested in a career change or pathway into tech. Through these connections, we can use tech as a tool for healing and support for one another.
This conversation with Natalie was very encouraging and we hope to be able to create more spaces with conversations like the one this past weekend. If you are a Native person in tech and would like to attend this event let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and nation.
See you soon, either by Zoom or in our Slack channel!