Indigenizing Genomics and Advancing Indigenous Data Sovereignty

February 10, 2023 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Phillip Wilcox, PhD (University of Otago)
Krystal Tsosie, PhD, MPH, MA (Arizona State University, Native BioData Consortium)
Josephine Johnston, LLB, MBHL (The Hastings Center)

Abstract: Indigenous peoples have embodied genetic understanding within their knowledge systems long before encountering settler-science constructs. Through colonization, these Indigenous knowledge systems were displaced by western science, and Indigenous participation in scientific activity was minimized and devalued. Now, genomics is at the leading edge of decolonizing policy and cultural changes, rapidly moving to a model where research is led by and for Indigenous peoples. Genomics research, for example, is increasingly led by Māori scientists, communities, and companies, which provides employment and skills growth. Mātauranga Māori (which was the dominant knowledge system in Aotearoa/New Zealand) focused on genomics is beginning to be taught in schools and universities. Indigenous data scientists are also advancing ethical frameworks and consent models, and using digital data tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning approaches (e.g., blockchain and federated systems), to ensure genomics equitably benefits Indigenous people. The speakers will describe the development of Indigenous-led genomics in Aotearoa/New Zealand and the United States, and discuss the implications for ELSI research and practice related to genetics and genomics.

ELSI Friday Forum

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