Native Women and Two-Spirit Individuals in Computing Higher Education (NAWC2)

Lead Staff:
Nuria Jaumot-Pascual
Mia Ong
Project Staff:
Christina B. Silva

Non-TERC Investigators

Kathy DeerInWater, Co-Principal Investigator (AISES)


This study examines landscape data and trends on participation of Native women and two-spirit individuals in computing through a scoping review of the existing literature. It then explores unique barriers facing Native women and factors that have influenced and supported their persistence in computing undergraduate education through photo elicitation interviews. Photo elicitation consists in using photographs taken by the participants in the context of interviews to explore their experiences.

Research Activity

This research has four main phases:

  1. Scoping review of the literature. The team searches relevant and representative literature to understand what is known and what is not known about Native women and two-spirit individuals in computing undergraduate education.
  2. Photo elicitation interviews. The team conducts photo elicitation interviews of 6-8 Native women and two-spirit individuals to understand their experiences in computing undergraduate education.
  3. Member-check focus group. During the 2019 AISES conference, the team will present preliminary findings to a group of Native computing undergraduate students and will ask them to contribute their own experiences to the findings.
  4. Dissemination. The team will disseminate the study’s findings through the project’s website (in construction), through Native channels, and through traditional academic channels.


This project informs areas for future research and helps to identify promising practices that others can implement, particularly in the Native community. The project will result in academic publications to help inform those who are practitioners in Computing higher education, Computing employers, and Computing policy makers. It will also result in plain-language reports that will be disseminated among the Native community and the web.