Indigenous Science and Technology Studies, Governance, and Decolonization
2021 Rolf Buchdahl Lecture
with Dr. Kimberly TallBear, University of Alberta
Like traditional Science and Technology Studies, the new field of Indigenous STS studies the cultures, politics, and histories of non-Indigenous science and technology efforts. In addition, it studies Indigenous-led science and technology, including knowledges classified as “traditional.” Indigenous STS refuses the purported divide between scientific and Indigenous knowledges, yet it does not conflate knowledge traditions. It understands them as potentially sharing methods while deriving in practice from different worldviews. Indigenous STS—comprised of mostly Indigenous thinkers trained and working in a variety of disciplines and applied fields—also focuses on science and technology knowledge production for social change (since technoscience has long been integral to colonialism). Indigenous STS works with scientists and those in technology fields to change fields from within. Some Indigenous STS scholars are practicing scientists. After discussing Indigenous STS foundations and goals, this talk showcases the Summer internship for INdigenous peoples in Genomics (SING), a training program founded in 2011 in the US. SING has since expanded to Aotearoa/New Zealand, Canada, and Australia in conjunction with Indigenous STS efforts to support global Indigenous governance via science and technology.