Abstract Detail

Paths forward: Engaging Indigenous science and knowledge

Racine, Darrell [1], Klymiuk, Az [2].

We have always been scientists: erasure of Indigenous peoples’ scientific knowledge production in Rupert’s Land.

Before it was ‘Canada’s iconic department store’ (ironically, now under US ownership), the Hudson’s Bay Company operated a continent-scale fur-trading and scientific enterprise, while simultaneously functioning as de facto government across Rupert’s Land. Incorporated by English royal charter in 1670, for 200 years the HBC maintained hundreds of fur-trading depots and forts across land today recognized as Canada, Oregon, Washington State, and in Hawai’i. From 1670 to 1870, the HBC cultivated intimate relationships with many scientific societies and institutions in Great Britain, including the Royal Society, Kew Gardens, the Royal Geographical Society and the Horticultural Society of London. British Imperial science was enriched by collaboration with Company officers, some of whom were of Indigenous descent themselves, and yet others who employed a network of First Nations and Métis peoples in scientific knowledge production in Rupert’s Land. Through a series of case studies and vignettes centered on expedition narratives, journals, and HBC archival materials, we illustrate the significant contributions of Indigenous men and women to the advancement of western science. We also raise critical questions about the subsequent erasure of Indigenous peoples in the history of botany. We suggest that Indigenous erasure has contributed not only to our ongoing exclusion from contemporary botany, but also to the devaluation of Indigenous women, with implications for the ongoing genocide of Indigenous women, girls, and Two-spirited peoples.

1 - Brandon University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Native Studies, Brandon, MB, R7A 6A9, Canada
2 - University Of Manitoba, Biological Sciences, 50 Sifton Road, Winnipeg, MB, R3t 2M5, Canada

Indigenous Peoples

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: C8004
Abstract ID:744
Candidate for Awards:None

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