Presented with
Implementing Solutions

2020 Indigenous Communities Fellowship

How can Native innovators in the US use traditional knowledge and technology to drive social, environmental, and economic impact in their communities?

Submissions are Closed

Challenge Overview

A $10,000 grant will be provided to each selected Fellow. Please note that all innovators own and retain the rights to their own work, technology, data, and intellectual property—the Indigenous Communities Fellowship serves to provide Native innovators with the support and resources they need to advance their work.

Native innovators are charting a bright future led by and for their communities. The number of Native-owned businesses in the US is growing—Native American women have started at least 17 new businesses a day since 2007. Native scientists are both analyzing environmental damage and developing new community-based solutions. A wave of language revitalization efforts is driving a new generation of fluent speakers. Lastly, a recent shift towards tribal control of healthcare aims to provide better access to care and a culturally integrated approach to healing.

Challenges still remain from centuries of exploitation, and a system that has led to high unemployment rates, language and cultural loss, the crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women, and environmental injustice from both local pollution and global climate impacts. Native communities are equipped with Indigenous knowledge systems and new technologies to solve these contemporary issues. Whether it's closing the digital divide and creating new job opportunities, or leading a shift to renewable electricity and training a new generation of Native leaders, Indigenous communities have the answers. The COVID-19 pandemic has made existing challenges and the need for solutions even more visible.

Solve’s Indigenous Communities Fellowship seeks solutions by Native innovators across the US that consider both technology and traditional knowledge to support and scale positive impact. To that end, Solve welcomes Native-led solutions that:

  • Increase access to jobs, financial capital, and skill development opportunities
  • Support language and cultural revitalization, quality K-12 education, and support for first-generation college students
  • Provide healthy and sovereign food, sustainable energy, and safe water
  • Improve healthcare access and outcomes, including around mental health and substance use disorders 

Solve's 2020 Indigenous Communities Fellowship is made possible in part by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

If you would like to support the Fellows please reach out to Aaron Slater here and please consider donating to their efforts, which include Covid-19 direct relief in several cases. Reach out to Aaron to learn more!

Photo: 2018 Fellow Henry Red Cloud


Accepting Solutions

  • Challenge Opens
  • Deadline to Submit a Solution

Evaluating Solutions

  • Online Judging Begins
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