Indigenous Participatory Design Toolkit
"How do we build a university that deserves Indigenous students?"
— Eve Tuck
"What's missing is not voices, but ears."
— Shelly Lowe
Students have voices, and we need to listen.
The Indigenous Participatory Design Toolkit is a prototype design tool created by and for students, staff, and faculty at Montana State University.
The primary purpose of this toolkit is to create a safe space for creative and critical thinking around the real challenges and strengths of Native students. The tool can help generate dialogue and understanding across diverse populations, and it can generate ideas for new services in support of Native student success.
Goals and Outcomes
The toolkit has three main goals:
- Break down barriers between Native students and non-Native professionals in higher education
- Generate dialogue, understanding, and empathy around the challenges and strengths of Native students
- Co-create new services in support of Native student success.
How to use this toolkit
This toolkit is intended to be used collaboratively by Native and non-Native students and professionals in higher education.
The toolkit is comprised of cards that present topic summaries of common strengths and challenges of Native students. To structure dialogue around these topics, the toolkit contains a set of exercises for participants to complete together. There are two categories of exercises:
- Inquiring exercises allow participants to investigate a topic and build understanding.
- Solving exercises help participants co-create ideas for addressing challenges and amplifying strengths
To work with this toolkit, gather a group of people who care about these issues, and complete exercises together. For productive results, sequence inquiring exercises with solving exercises. For example, complete the exercise Strength Building using Academic Success as the strength card. Then, complete the solving exercise Walk a Mile. New ideas for amplifying academic success can emerge from the group's collective experience and insight.
For inquiries, please contact the project leads: Scott Young, Assistant Professor in the Library, or Connie Brownotter, Human Development and Family Science student at Montana State. We are happy to consult on the usage of the tool, and to co-plan design workshops and participatory sessions.
To learn more about the project, please view the slides from Empowering Native American Undergraduate Students with Participatory Design, presented at the 2018 Native American Advocacy Institute.
Native Student Strengths
Native Student Challenges
Exercises for Inquiring
Exercises for Solving
This project is generously supported by:
- The MSU Office of the President, through the Presidential Emerging Scholars Grant program
- The MSU Office of the Provost, through the Native American Recruitment and Retention Grant program
- The MSU Department of Native American Studies
- The MSU Library