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DVR TIG Week: Culturally Inclusive Knowledge Kit Icons for Indigenous Youth Programs by Alva Gachupin

Hello! I’m Alva Gachupin, evaluation and research coordinator at the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation. Located on the lands of Santa Ana Pueblo N.M, NB3 Foundation is a Native-led nonprofit leading the way to improve Native American children’s health. The NB3 Foundation invests in community-driven, culturally rooted programs that provide opportunities for Native youth to live healthy, active lives.

Through learnings and teachings, the NB3 Foundation has been elevating the work of Indigenous evaluation through its NB3FIT program. The NB3FIT program is a direct youth leadership and development program designed to get Native youth active and healthy through sports like golf, soccer, cross-country, track and basketball. Through the program, we have been proactive with the implementation of Indigenous evaluation methodologies and have used knowledge kits (surveys) as a primary data collection method. In the last few years, we’ve been intentional and culturally inclusive with the content of our knowledge kits by including cultural activities as part of our youth activity selections.

Initially, we used icons from outside sources that didn’t match up with all the cultural activities we wanted to display. This led to the development of new icons that resonate with participants in our programs. Now, in our knowledge kits youth see corn grinding, cattle work, feast day dancing, planting, oven bread making, and many other activities they wouldn’t see in other surveys. We want youth to recognize physical activity can be done in many ways, even through their cultural ceremonies, and not just by playing sports or working out in gym class. We also use “rez dog” emojis in our knowledge kits. The Rez Dog likert scale, originally called the Self-Confidence Snails, encourages youth to score changes in their self-confidence before and after the program. The icons are free to use and can be downloaded from the NB3 Foundation website.

Teal circle with an icon of a person grinding corn.

We began implementing the icons in the spring of 2022 and found that the youth select culturally inclusive activities. We have heard comments from youth, such as, “Dancing is exercise? I didn’t think it was.” These moments are great teaching opportunities to help youth understand the different forms of physical activity. We’ve also digitized our data collection methods, from paper surveys to iPads. iPads have made the youth more receptive to completing our surveys.

Working with numerous communities and the diversity each community owns, we wanted to be as inclusive as we could when we gather data and make it apparent that we value whom we serve and recognize who they are as individuals. The NB3 Foundation continues to work and improve our Indigenous evaluation methods through collaboration with our stakeholders, youth and parents/caregivers. It is a team effort and we are excited to provide more resources in the future.

The American Evaluation Association is hosting Data Visualization and Reporting (DVR) Week with our colleagues in the DVR Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to AEA365 come from DVR TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this AEA365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the AEA365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an AEA365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to AEA365@eval.org. AEA365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators. The views and opinions expressed on the AEA365 blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the American Evaluation Association, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

2 thoughts on “DVR TIG Week: Culturally Inclusive Knowledge Kit Icons for Indigenous Youth Programs by Alva Gachupin”

    1. Hello Kirsten,

      Thank you for your interest in the knowledge kit icons and Rez Dog Likert scale images. You can find them on the Notah Begay III Foundation website in this message. When you open the window, look for the orange colored text that states, “The icons…” and download them for free. A pop-up window will request for your organization and email where we keep track of the interest with no other intentions like sending additional email.

      You’ll find a file with all the physical activity icons as well all designed by Mateo Perez.

      We hope you find them helpful.

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