Indigenous Science...

AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan

If there is one thing that universities need it is science departments filled with people who use "Indigenous ways of knowing" or those who can" infuse Indigenous science approaches and perspectives into science."

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Western science is a White supremacist exercise dedicated to spreading settler colonialism, committing genocide of alphabet people, and too firmly embracing the belief that reason and rigor should guide our scientific exploration of God's creation. 

That's why  I am thrilled to see that the University of Victoria is advertising three positions in its science departments reserved for Indigenous Americans (indigenous Turtle Islanders?) to join the faculty of their science departments. 

Any science department will do. They aren't picky as long as the candidates bring animism into studying the stars or the workings of the human body

Indigenous Science Scholar

Faculty of Science - University of Victoria

About UVic

For over 60 years, UVic has proven its unwavering commitment to providing an excellent student experience in a supportive teaching and learning environment, to partnering with communities, and to pursuing research and creative activities that make an impact, both locally and globally. We are prepared to face a changing world with renewed commitment, enthusiasm, compassion and humility.  Inspired by and honouring place, we are a community-minded, globally engaged university where we transform ideas into meaningful impact.

Territory Acknowledgement

We acknowledge and respect the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples on whose traditional territory the university stands and whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day. We invite applicants to watch the “Welcome to the Territory” video and to visit the Songhees, Esquimalt, and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations’ websites to learn more about these vibrant communities. To learn more about the Indigenous community on campus, please see the Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement (IACE) office’s website.

Indigenization and Decolonization at UVic

The University of Victoria is committed to the ongoing work of decolonizing and Indigenizing the campus community both inside and outside the classroom. UVic released our second Indigenous Plan in 2023 and the Faculty of Science has drafted its Indigenization Implementation Strategy (2022-2026) as we prepare ourselves for the work ahead. Decolonization and Indigenization are integral aspects of the 2023 UVic Strategic Plan and the 2022 Faculty of Science Strategic Plan.

To advance our work on Indigenization and decolonization, the Faculty of Science is excited to invite Indigenous applicants for three faculty positions in any field of Science. The three available positions are at the tenure-track assistant professor level and are cross-posted across our six departments: Biochemistry & Microbiology, Biology, Chemistry, Earth & Ocean Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics, and Physics & Astronomy.

UVic has a vibrant Indigenous community with over 1,400 Indigenous students as of 2023 and over 65 Indigenous faculty. In 2022, Qwul’sih’yah’maht, Dr. Robina Thomas was appointed as the first Vice President Indigenous and she is leading the work of decolonization at UVic. In the same year, Marion Buller, renowned legal scholar and the first First Nations woman to be appointed as a judge in British Columbia, has been appointed chancellor of the University of Victoria. Not surprisingly, UVic has been ranked #1 in Canada for promoting Indigenous visibility (Maclean’s 2022).

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My first thought was: were there indigenous universities pre-Columbus? Did they do microbiology or physics? 

The wheel had yet to be invented in Mesoamerica, so I doubt it. They didn't have the wheel. I doubt that physics was high on their list of pursuits. 

Victoria University has put a high focus on bringing the "First Peoples" of Canada onto their campus, which is admirable. But turning the university into a place where members of the science department are teaching the myths of the tribes as modern science doesn't strike me as an advance but a retreat from the mission of a Western university.

People of indigenous origin can certainly be scientists; there is nothing in the genes or the blood to prevent it. But there is no way indigenous "ways of knowing"  can coexist with modern Western science. Pretending otherwise is as silly as pretending a man can be a woman or a child can be a cat. 

Of course, universities make those claims as well. Absurdity is now a core component of modern education. 

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David Strom 4:30 PM | May 28, 2024
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