The Biennial Turtle Island Indigenous Science Conference Made Its Mark in Treaty 4 Territory

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The Biennial Turtle Island Indigenous Science Conference Made Its Mark in Treaty 4 Territory

June 3, 2024

The 91«—◊”, the University of Regina Faculty of Science, and File Hills Qu’appelle Tribal Council held the second inaugural Turtle Island Indigenous Science Conference at Regina campuses and in Fort Qu’appelle at the Treaty 4 Governance Centre from May 21st to May 23rd.

The now-biennial conference‚ÄĒthe first of its kind across Turtle Island‚ÄĒbrought together over 300 Indigenous Scientists, supporters and promoters of TEK-driven research, and students and teachers in Indigenous science and STEM education from many communities and multiple countries. TIISC 2024 was a tremendous success: The next conference installment will be at the University of Waterloo in 2026.

Plenary lectures and Circle Talks, led by esteemed speakers such as Dr. Jessica Hernandez (Fresh Banana Leaves), Dr. Gregory Cajete (Native Science and Igniting the Sparkle: An Indigenous Science Education Model), Chief Matthew Todd Peigan (Pasqua FN), and Elder AJ Felix (Sturgeon Lake FN), underscored the importance of Indigenous Science in the classroom, laboratory, field, and community. They also provided valuable insights on how we can strengthen these elements for future generations, inspiring a sense of responsibility and commitment in all of us. 

The final day of TIISC 2024 began with an Elders’ Panel Discussion on Indigenous Science and Healing Traditions, featuring Elder Margaret Reynolds (English River FN), Elder Murray Ironchild (Piapot FN), and Knowledge Keeper Linda Obey-Lavallee (Piapot FN). The three also participated in the Elders’ Gathering on Medicinal Plants and Languages held at the FNUniv Multipurpose Room at the end of the conference. The Elders’ Gathering was a continuation of successful Teaching Circles held at FNUniv during Congress 2018, and this public event will be held again at the Regina Campus in the fall of 2024.

TIISC 2024 was made possible in part thanks to the invaluable contributions of Elders and Knowledge Keepers who participated in Ceremonies, talks, and many discussions throughout the week. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Elder Alvin Kaye, Elder Felix Ashdohonk, Knowledge Keeper Dennis Omeasoo, Elder Hartland Goodtrack, Elder Keith Ryder, Elder Diane Kaiswatum, Elder Margaret Rockthunder, Knowledge Keeper Judy Pelly, Elder Preston Gardypie, Helpers George Kaye, Darian Agecoutay and Mitchell Soo-Oyewaste, and Grace McLeod and osk√Ęp√™wis Roland Kaye for their coordination and guidance. Their contributions were instrumental in the conference’s success, and we sincerely appreciate their efforts.

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