This article explores how a desire to give back influences Native Americans pursuing education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). We present analysis of data from 51 interviews with Native students and STEM professionals. Despite the compelling evidence of the core significance of a community orientation among Native Americans, insufficient attention has been given to thinking about the unique challenges faced by STEM professionals in devising ways to give back and how this relates to the continuing problem of under-representation of Native Americans in STEM. Here we propose strategies for universities and industry to honor Native ways of being by recognizing and embracing giving back as a value, and supporting STEM students and STEM professionals to overcome challenges to be able to give back to their communities. These strategies for situating giving back will promote expanded participation for Native Americans in STEM. This work provides insight for thinking about other under-represented populations in STEM.
Page-Reeves, Janet; Gabriel Leroy Cortez; Yoenesha Ortiz; Mark Moffett; Kathy Deerinwater; and Douglas Medin. "Situating Giving Back for Native Americans Pursuing Careers in STEM: “You Don’t Just Take, You Give Something Back”." Intersections: Critical Issues in Education 3, 1 (2019). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/intersections/vol3/iss1/4