Meet MIT’s First Nations Launch team. “Taking a journey to the stars and the sky is a very Indigenous concept, and it’s something that’s very close to us in all our stories. To visit Father Sky in that way, and go with respect, to try to find out new things and carry with it our hopes and send our good wishes. I think Indigenous people are drawn to aerospace for that fact.”
Over two semesters, an all-Indigenous team of students including both undergraduates and grad students came together to design, build, test, document, present, and launch a roughly 8-foot rocket made from scratch entirely at MIT.
The team chose the name Doya, meaning “beaver” in the Cherokee language; the name was suggested by team member Hailey Polson, who is a Cherokee citizen. Built into MIT Doya’s approach are the Indigenous ethos of relationality and intentionality, and values such as efficiency.
After the rocket was completed, the team performed a smudging ceremony by Lake Michigan before the competition began. Smudging is a blessing and purification ritual that typically involves burning sage, and which is an important Indigenous cultural practice.
Every word in the above article comes from MIT News. Even the Beaver can’t make up stories this outlandish and patronizing. It is but one example of the lengths to which identity essentialism and the recruiting and grooming of DEI-privileged “oppressed” groups is being pushed at MIT. This comes at the expense of our common humanity, shared enlightenment values, and once-proud collegiate affiliation. How one engenders “Belonging” by dividing the student body into tribes based on their race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, and sexual preferences – giving each their “protected spaces” – is left as an exercise for the reader.