Solution Overview

Solution Name:

Lakota Empowerment through STEM

One-line solution summary:

Through this initiative, Lakota people will create their own empowering structure as they navigate a STEM challenge.

Pitch your solution.

This solution is committed to challenge the problem we are facing with by equipping our people with the skills needed to be creative, collaborative, and empowered by the knowledge they already possess.

The solution I am proposing is to create a network of Lakota people to lead annual a service project with a tribal program to work through a STEM challenge that would support this tribal program with a solution or product. Along this process I want indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing to be at the forefront of the STEM processes we use to work through these challenges.

If this solution was scaled globally, other communities could use it to create their own empowering structure with their knowledge and community assets.

What specific problem are you solving?

Unemployment rates in South Dakota are at and on the reservation is. Careers in STEM are on the rise and empowering our people with the skills needed will show them that they bring valuable knowledge to the field.

What is your solution?

My solution is to show our people the power they possess to create community change with the knowledge they already have and to show the connection to other STEM processes such as engineering design process and systems thinking.

Strong preference will be given to Native-led solutions that directly benefit and are located within the Indigenous communities. Which community(s) does your solution benefit?

The target population is 18-30 year olds on the Rosebud Reservation. There is not many community networks for our young adults to be a part of. Many of our young people leave the reservation to get an education and come back to look for work where there are few jobs. I am hoping this solution opens up opportunities to possible jobs with our local businesses and tribal programs.

Which dimension of the Fellowship does your solution most closely address?

Increase access to jobs, financial capital, and skill development opportunities

Explain how the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge.

By supporting our Lakota people through a process where they can see that their traditional knowledge is being used to help support their community through a STEM process that also supports a local business or tribal program they will build an empowering network of STEM leaders.

In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Rosebud, SD, USA

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Concept: An idea being explored for its feasibility to build a product, service, or business model based on that idea.

Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution.

This is a concept I have been dreaming and planning for over the last couple of years. I worked as a program associate to a youth leadership initiative in St. Paul, MN where students paired up with a local community organization or business to work with them on a community service project and loved the idea of applying STEM to this in my home community on the Rosebud reservation.

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Caitlin Bordeaux

Please indicate the tribal affiliation of your primary delegate.

Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Lakota)

Is your primary delegate a member of the community in which your project is based?


Solution Team

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