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.
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.
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1 thought on “DVR TIG Week: Culturally Inclusive Knowledge Kit Icons for Indigenous Youth Programs by Alva Gachupin”
Hi Alva! This is great! Any chance we could see the Rez Dog likert scale?