How to bring Traditional Knowledge in Science Courses

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 17 March, 2016 - 11:00
, Fidji - First Nations University of Canada

Aboriginal peoples in Canada are under-represented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  A significant factor explaining the low retention of Aboriginal students in STEM majors is the apparent conflict between Western science and Indigenous science.  Aboriginal students feel that STEM is incompatible with their culture.  At the First Nations University of Canada (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), we are committed to deliver culturally-relevant scientific activities to Aboriginal students.  In this presentation, I will discuss how we bring Indigenous knowledge and Elders in our face-to-face and online science courses.  I will highlight our Science workshops (e.g., hide tanning activity) where students perform hands-on activities under the guidance of Elders and biology and chemistry professors.  I will also present our new Indigenous Environmental Science degree program.  It is hoped that the braiding of Indigenous knowledge and Western science in our science courses will improve retention of Aboriginal students in STEM.