University of Alberta professor Kim TallBear has been named the first recipient of a prestigious Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience and Environment. She spoke to Postmedia about the barriers indigenous researchers face as well as how they shape the scientific field.
Q: What does it mean to be recognized with a Canada Research Chair?
A: The fields of science and technology studies haven’t ever really looked at the indigenous peoples and technoscientific knowledge. … Some people look at feminist implications or post-colonial implications … but only a few of us have looked at how indigenous communities shape science.
There are long-standing, explicit racial assumptions in science. Take genetic research — that narrative is still there in terms of how aboriginal people are sampled … we’re described as a race that’s vanishing or disappearing. African populations are often viewed in much the same way by European or North American researchers.
Q: You are planning to launch a summer internship program that will expose aboriginal post-secondary students as well as community members to scientific fields. Why is it important to build capacity for future aboriginal researchers? [Read full article on Edmonton Journal]