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2024 Indigenous Communities Fellowship

How can Indigenous innovators in the US and Canada build upon traditional knowledge and technology to meet the social, environmental, and economic goals of their communities?

Indigenous innovation is as diverse and expansive as Indigenous communities, with entrepreneurs harnessing traditional knowledge systems, values, and teachings to reimagine and renew what is possible in their communities and beyond. The Tohono O’odham Nation, a sovereign tribe with the landmass of Connecticut, has recently deployed affordable wireless internet service across its citizens. In Canada, the Sanyakola Foundation is working directly with First Nations and Métis elders to develop language revitalization technologies for dying or presumed extinct Indigenous languages. Indigenous innovators across the US and Canada are committed to creating bright and prosperous futures for all.Solve continues to hear from Indigenous leaders about the essential role culture and traditional knowledge systems must play in any business, nonprofit, or social enterprise designed by and for their communities. Moreover, there is an ever-increasing callfrom Indigenous peoples to generate, modify, and control their own technologies for the sake of their communities. Whether working with data banksfinancial institutionsagricultureenergy, and more, the time is past due for local control of the services and technologies serving Indigenous peoples.MIT Solve seeks exceptional innovators supporting community-based solutions by and for Indigenous communities across the United States and Canada. While we are excited to select and support innovators with any focal area, we have a particular interest for 2024 in solutions that:

  • Strengthen sustainable energy sovereignty and support climate resilience initiatives by and for Indigenous peoples.
  • Drive positive outcomes for Indigenous learners of any age and context through culturally grounded educational opportunities.
  • Promote culturally informed mental and physical health and wellness services for Indigenous community members.
  • Advance community-driven digital sovereignty initiatives in Indigenous communities, including the ethical use of AI, machine learning, and data technologies.

Eligibility Clarifications:

  • Solve welcomes applications focused on people Indigenous to anywhere within the United States and Canada, including territories.
  • Solutions do not need to be cross-border or international in scope and can focus on specific Indigenous communities in either country.
  • Unlike the Global Challenges, the Indigenous Communities Fellowship considers concept-stage solutions for potential selection as Fellows.

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