Episode 11 -Tribal College Movement
Tom Davis discusses the beginning challenges and struggles of getting technology into tribal colleges.
“We wanted to form a technology committee for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, and they did!” Tom Davis
Tom says the committee was approved to see where it would lead to, and they knew it was necessary to improve their knowledge on technology. They got people interested together and did a lot of work early on with the tribal college way up north in the state of Washington.
The Washington school was doing a lot of work with satellite television, and the committee wanted to use it as an educational model to push the importance of technology. At the time, there was not a whole lot of sincere support for the idea of the technology committee.
Toms says they started to develop their website; he did most of the coding for the original site. Of course, other people started talking about it, and the committee moved forward a little bit. One important event that happened was that they found out the National Computational Science Alliance was beginning to speak about supercomputing.
Then, Tom explains how technology needs to be thought about in a bigger context than how it is used. They did not want to develop the tribe by building farms or factories economically; they wanted to expand the tribal colleges’ understanding of technology to leverage their development of building wealth. If they could somehow get the colleges into research and development, it would be the winning formula.