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Indigenous Science -- A Spiritual Path

Thu., Nov. 17, 2022 10:00 a.m. - Thu., Nov. 17, 2022 11:30 a.m.

Location: Zoom

Please join us for the latest lecture in the series “Indigenous Science A Spiritual Path” featuring Kim TallBear
Dr. Kim TallBear will deliver the lecture and speak about the Sacred and Dead Settler Ontologies. This presentation is part of the 2022 “Whisperings of the Land” Indigenous Speakers series, organized by the Faculty of Education, where Indigenous speakers share their perspectives on Indigenous science, and how all teaching and learning is spiritually imbued.
Talk Summary: Settler-colonial society works to separate so-called spirituality from the material. This worldview inhibits understanding Indigenous knowledges as knowledge based on centuries of observations and lived relations with other-than-humans. Instead, Indigenous peoples are viewed as “spiritual,” and the disciplines tend to implicitly denigrate Indigenous understandings of the world as beliefs rather than knowledges. The knowledge/belief divide stems from a hierarchy of life that the sciences share with major religious traditions. With this understanding of sentience and agency, some humans rank above others according to race or gender, for example, and humans rank above other life forms. More recently, “new materialists” and multi-species ethnographers have analyzed other-than-humans in less hierarchical and more “vibrant” or agential, if still secular terms. I bring such ideas into conversation with Indigenous ideas of being in good relation in ways that disrupt longstanding racial hierarchies of thought.
Presenter: Dr. Kim TallBear
Bio: Kim TallBear (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) (she/her) is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience, and Society, Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta. She is the author of Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science. In addition to studying genome science disruptions to Indigenous self-definitions, Dr. TallBear studies colonial disruptions to Indigenous sexual relations. She is a regular panelist on the weekly podcast, Media Indigena. You can follow her research group at She tweets @KimTallBear. You can also follow her monthly posts on her Substack newsletter, Unsettle: Indigenous affairs, cultural politics & (de)colonization, from the University of British Columbia (1998). He also completed courses in Education Psychology and Special Education from UBC and the U of M. Dr. Michell initially obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from University of Winnipeg in 1990.