Our Data Relations: Kinship, Stewardship, Sovereignty in
Biodiversity and Biocollections

Gene editing and modification through
Indigenous foodways and sovereignty
Learn qPCR and metabarcoding for
Indigenous waterways and fisheries


IndigiData is a one-week (4-6 days) Indigenous data science education workshop held each summer to introduce data science and informatics skills to undergraduate and graduate students. We offer an Indigenous-centered curriculum that is led by a community of Indigenous data scientists and guest faculty. All of our workshop activities will center Indigenous data sovereignty and data ethics while also providing students valuable insight into the emerging data and technology career fields.

We believe in advancing excellence in science education to inspire the next generation of innovators and to strengthen Indigenous communities through compelling hands-on and virtual experiences.

As data science and informatics continue to require these skillsets of incoming field leaders, we want to ensure that tribal communities are not left even further behind in the technology gap.

We aim to provide a space for teaching data science and ethics intersected with Indigenous culture, provide hands-on opportunities for students to learn command-line programming and analytic skills, and leverage expertise from Indigenous mentors

Who Should Attend?

IndigiData is a one-week Indigenous data science education workshop each summer to introduce data science and informatics skills to tribal undergraduate and graduate students. We strive to educate Indigenous Scholars who are Undergraduates, Graduates, and Post-Docs who are striving to advance their education further.

We offer an Indigenous-centered curriculum led by Indigenous data scientists. Our workshop activities center on Indigenous data sovereignty and data ethics while also providing students valuable insight into the emerging data and technology career fields.

Flights, accommodation, and all meals are provided for workshop participants.

Workshop Topics

Our first workshop (summer 2021) was conducted virtually due to the current and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The workshop topic focused on environmental microbiomes and we walked participants through a guided demonstration of how to use computational skills to analyze sequencing data from soil microbiota.

FOR 2024, IndigiData AZ, our theme is “Our Data Relations: Kinship, Stewardship, Sovereignty in Biocollections” and will take place on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Scottsdale, AZ, with other tours around Central Arizona.

Past Workshops:

In 2023, offered 2 workshops: 

IndigiData MN – Gene editing and modification – Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Nation of Prior Lake, MN, just south of Minneapolis-St.Paul

IndigiData WN – Metabarcoding and qPCR – Lummi Nation in Bellingham, WA, between Seattle and Vancouver

For summer 2022, we conducted the workshop in-person in Mobridge, South Dakota, adjacent to the Standing Rock Reservation. That year’s topic was “Data of the Dakotas”, to address more specifically the types of data that can be taken from tribal lands.


IndigiData is a one-week summer workshop that will introduce participants to fundamental concepts and methods in data science and informatics. While the first 2021 year was conducted virtually for COVID-19 safety, future workshops will be held on US Indigenous tribal lands.

A strong emphasis will be placed on data ethics, contextualizing the importance and future of informatics skills for Indigenous peoples within the framework of health, culture, environment, and data.

The curriculum will require some participant reading and preparation prior to the workshop, and will focus on materials that stimulate participant interest to encourage subsequent learning in genomics and science. The “hands-on” training component will incorporate the latest techniques and analytical programs used in genomic laboratories today.

Overview of the IndigiData Curriculum


Application Queries

  • The application form becomes available in December or January for the following summer. Due to the need to make travel arrangements for applicants, the application portal is only open for 1 to 2 months, maximum.
  • Applicants are notified of their application status by mid-March or early April.
  • Once the application portal closes, we cannot accept any additional or late applications out of respect to other applicants.
  • The IndigiData workshop is open to Indigenous students who attend academic institutions at the undergraduate and graduate level. This also includes students from tribal colleges and universities. Also, we strongly welcome Indigenous professionals, community members, elders, and tribal leaders to apply.
  • Due to funding and space limitations, we do prioritize supporting Indigenous participants who reside within the United States, to also include Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. territories, and countries geographically proximate to the U.S. However, we do encourage all to apply because funding and topics change from year-to-year, and we may be able to accommodate 1-2 international scholars some years.
  • We do not act as an arbiter for determining Indigeneity. We rely on applicants’ good faith in self-representing their connections to their Indigenous communities. For this reason, we ask applicants to provide either evidence of tribal community enrollment or a statement outlining the applicant’s connection to an Indigenous community.
  • Due to the hands-on informatics component, we try to keep our student:instructor ratio low. We want to ensure that each student who attends has ample time to engage and ask questions. We also find that having too many participants means that we cannot create as safe and an inclusive space since not all people feel comfortable sharing in large groups.

    Therefore, we aim to keep workshop sizes small at 8-12 participants. If you have applied previously and you were not accepted, please note that we rate repeat applicants higher on future rounds. Please consider re-applying!

  • We do not expect participants to have any coding, programming, or statistics skills prior to the workshop. We do ask for some of these details on the application so that we have an idea on how to guide the design of our instructional materials and to assist us in providing ample time, if needed, to provide necessary background. These questions are included on the application purely to help us tailor the curriculum. You do not need any data skills to apply.

  • We are seeking Indigenous applicants from a variety of backgrounds. Each year, our focus by data type also slightly changes. Therefore, we seek those:
    • from a broad range of disciplines and professions (e.g. medicine, allied health, biology, genetics, humanities, law, archaeology, museum studies, environmental studies and management) to also include data science, computational sciences, and informatics
    • with an interest in learning about and discussing data science, data ethics, and Indigenous data sovereignty with implications for Indigenous peoples and communities

    Existing knowledge of data science, informatics, coding, and programming is not required to participate in the workshop. We do ask that applicants address how they use data science or why they are interested in these varied data topics in their applications.

Workshop Queries

Our workshop is typically 4-6 days. This changes from year-to-year. Pending public health safety, subsequent workshops will be held in-person. We expect a 5-day workshop, plus travel days to and from the workshop location.

  • We have a blended curriculum that combines lecture and hands-on activities. Programming 100% hands-on activities would be time-intensive and effort-intensive, so we also include background lecture materials to properly frame data science ethics and career opportunities in engaging lecture formats, too. Mornings will be comprised of more lecture-related and guest speaker events. The afternoons will include more informatics training using pre- designed coding tutorials and guided demonstrations.
  • We do ask for continual, daily feedback from participants to assess the success or failure of each instructional activity. We use this feedback to improve materials and to ensure each student feels they are progressing successfully through the course.

We will ask applicants some questions regarding type of hardware you currently have, including details on your computer’s operating system (i.e., PC, Mac, Linux). If you have a laptop already, we will ask that you bring it to the workshop with you. If you do not have a laptop, do not worry. We will be happy to provide you a machine to use while you are attending the workshop.

To ensure that we create a safe space for workshop attendees, we will not be recording the workshop nor will we provide a Zoom link for public viewing.

Some of our workshop topics include discussions about Indigenous worldviews and knowledges, which can only be shared in closed spaces. We also want to ensure that participants and speakers feel comfortable in sharing their thoughts and perspectives as Indigenous peoples navigating data, and this may include sensitive conversations.

Media Queries

Thank you so much for your interest in covering our workshop! It is really important to highlight this wonderful educational endeavor. Here are some details that may help:

  • For media inquiries, please use our Contact Form.
    As a note: Workshop sessions require participant group consent to invite non-workshop attendees. This ensures we create a safe space for participants and community members. While we do ask attendees to sign a Media Release Form, we do need to specifically ask speakers and participants their permission to invite a guest to “sit in” on discussions. This is typically not an issue for most topics, but it may require a little extra time for communication and planning.

The knowledge and information provided during the IndigiData workshop represents the collective contributions of over a dozen Indigenous perspectives from colleagues and communities. It would be extractive and colonial for us to provide access to these materials without the consent of Indigenous scholars and experts.

We also ask that you do not use our Faculty list to send unsolicited requests to access Indigenous knowledges and expertise without first establishing good relations. The materials on this website were created for the purposes of creating an inclusive space for Indigenous students.

We politely ask that non-Indigenous decolonial scholars read Tuck and Yang’s article, Decolonization is Not a Metaphor.

Contact Us

If you have any additional inquires or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.