2022 Workshop Theme

#LandBack: Indigenous Peoples, Soil Science, and Disruptive Sequencing Technologies

In 2022, a multi-disciplinary team of faculty members from Canada and the US will lead participants in an unprecedented and multi-locale comparative soil microbiome analysis with the goal of integrating Oxford Nanopore MinIon sequencing technologies. Given the current need to conduct research and training remotely, a focus on portable sequencing technologies is an opportunity to train advanced students in ways that are also well-suited to community-based Indigenous research.

With both an in-person and remote delivery, the goals of the workshop will be to introduce participants to mobile sequencing technologies and their role in metagenomic soil science. Participants will learn the techniques of identifying soil microorganisms from their DNA, assessing their relative abundance, and comparing metagenomic composition across the different collection sites where our participants are located.

Participants will be trained in these approaches through the prism of an Indigenous relational research methodology. We will consider soil composition in a framework that understands human and land-based relations as being shaped by, but not limited to state, provincial, and national borders. Participants will also consider the ways that mobile technologies might expand Indigenous governance in their territories through the use of genomic technosciences. They will assess their potential to unsettle and thus productively transform the conventional genome “lab” by shifting the spatial and disciplinary contours of scientific knowledge production and enabling another pathway for Indigenous-centered genomics.

Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang tell us that decolonization is not a metaphor, but rather it is about the return of Indigenous life and land. We acknowledge that there is no outside of colonial power in the genome lab as we know it. By exploring the multiple meanings of #LandBack, we seek to intervene in the ways that the genome lab has been central to colonial processes of Indigenous racializations and ongoing dispossessions, and is therefore a site in need of reinvention. Decolonizing genomics therefore requires for us to 1) operate beyond the physical, disciplinary, and methodological bounds of the lab; and 2) orient transformative pathways among STEM fields in ways distinct from increasing calls for equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) to, instead, hold Indigenous land, life, and relations (in a word, governance) centrally.

SING CANADA 2022 Workshop and COVID-19

Due to ongoing Canadian and global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including increasing vaccination rates, the program for SING Canada 2022 will be delivered both in person and online with participants being able to choose which option they prefer. 

We will follow University of Alberta Campus Safety requirements for faculty and visitors participating in person, which require proof of vaccination (including available boosters) or exemption status and a negative Covid-19 test result. Any in person participant who cannot present confirmation of their vaccination or exemption status along with a negative COVID-19 test result is not permitted on U of A campuses or properties.

SING Canada Eligibility and Criteria

The 2022 SING Canada Workshop to be held July 11-15, 2022 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada is open to Indigenous individuals who would like to learn about and engage these topics. This includes community college students, undergraduate and graduate students, and postdocs. Most of our participants are aspiring Indigenous scientists, but we also accept Indigenous people interested in genomics and its ethical, environmental, economic, legal and social implications (GE³LS). To that end, we also strongly encourage Indigenous community members, leaders, and elders to apply. They can play key roles in Indigenous governance of research.

This workshop is open to Indigenous peoples including First Nation, Métis, and Inuit people, and also tribal citizens from the US, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Please note that funding and space limitations allow for participants mainly from Canada, but we will consider applications from North America more broadly. Participant expenses including travel, accommodations, and meals/per diem will be covered by the SING program.

  • Indigenous nation documentation provided should include:
    • Evidence of status, band or nation membership, tribal citizenship or other Indigenous status recognized by an Indigenous nation, or
    • In the absence of Indigenous community recognition, please provide a statement outlining the applicant’s Indigenous community affiliation and ancestry.
  • Application documentation should include: 
    • 200 word summary of Applicant’s Background. This should include education or experiences, including any laboratory training, that relate to the SING workshop. SING 2022 prefers previous laboratory bench experience for this year’s workshop (micropipetting, etc.), especially if you attend virtually unless you can reliably access lab technical assistance at your location. You will be asked about this experience and/or access to technical resources if you are invited for an applicant interview.
    • 500 word essay on Applicant’s Purpose for attending the workshop.
    • Curriculum vitae (CV)/Resumé

*For other SING workshop sites outside of Canada, please see SING USA, SING Aotearoa, and SING Australia sites and adhere to their workshop dates and criteria. Links to other national programs can be found on the SING Consortium website

Applicants should enter their Background and Purpose in the below form. Due to word count limits, we suggest writing these statements beforehand in a Word document before pasting into the form. As a last step, upload any files such as status, band/nation/tribal enrollment and CV/Resumé. Please note the 400 MB size limit for each and 800 MB overall size. 

At the end of each workshop day and after the workshop, participants are required to submit online evaluations of the SING workshop program. These evaluations provide organizers valuable feedback to modify and improve future workshops.

DATES OF WORKSHOP: July 11-15, 2022, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with a potential virtual attendance option in case of COVID-19 restrictions with potential travel days in addition.

**We encourage you to start your application as early as possible. You can edit your application before the application deadline. All applications will be reviewed after the application is closed.
Deadline Extended to
April 8, 2022
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The application will end on April 8, 2022 at 23:59:59 Mountain Daylight Time.

Contact

For inquiries, please email us at SING.Canada@ualberta.ca