top of page
  • SE3 Racial Equity Task Group

Read.Watch.Listen. National Native American Heritage Month

November 2021 Issue

A monthly forum to share diversity, equity, and inclusion resources.

Welcome to the next installment of Read.Watch.Listen: a monthly forum hosted by the NCSEA SE3 Committee to share and promote conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion within the structural engineering profession. Each month, we will curate a series of articles, audio-visual and digital media to facilitate self-education in matters that affect our professional practice as structural engineers. Whether you choose to read, watch, or listen (or all three!), we hope you will join us in this important conversation.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

This month, we celebrate National Native American Heritage month, which runs throughout the month of November. Each year, this time is dedicated to recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of Native Americans to our society. In addition to highlighting just a handful of these achievements, this month’s resources call attention to some of the difficulties that Native American engineers face in our industry.

As we reflect on the achievements of Native American engineers through today, it is also important to look to the future. According to the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities' 2018 Status Report on Engineering Education, 0.3% of all undergraduate engineering degrees are awarded to American Indian / Alaska Native (AIAN) students. While AIAN only represents about 1% of the US population, this indicates a substantial lack of representation. Organizations like the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) are working to engage students, foster Native American leadership, and improve representation in engineering.

Share your thoughts and/or recommended resources for the next issue at


Celebrating Native American Heritage Month with Laura Smith-Velazquez - SWE

To help celebrate Native American Heritage Month, the Society of Women Engineers held a discussion with Laura Smith-Velazquez, winner of the 2020 American Indian Science and Engineering Society Technical Excellence Award. In the interview transcript, she offers a look into how her Native heritage played a role in her development as an aeronautical and systems engineer.


Native Americans in STEM - Comcast Newsmakers

Sarah Echohawk is the CEO of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). In this interview, she discusses the challenges facing Native American students in STEM, the importance of early engagement and representation, and the role that AISES plays in supporting students in the pursuit of STEM degrees.


Centering Indigenous Women in Tech (Robin Máxkii) - The Women in Tech Show: A Technical Podcast

On this episode, host Edaena Salinas invites Robin Máxkii to discuss her experiences as a Native American woman in STEM. Máxkii covers her experiences growing up on a Reservation, what led her to a career as a software engineer, how she’s working to increase diversity and inclusivity in our industry, and why representation matters.


This article was originally published in the November 2021 issue of NCSEA's Structural Connection newsletter. For more information, check out NCSEA's DEI Resources.

75 views0 comments


bottom of page