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Jessica Kolopenuk

Assistant Professor

Native Studies

About Me

Jessica Kolopenuk (Cree, Peguis First Nation) is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. Her doctoral project, The Science of Indigeneity: DNA Beyond Ancestry is a study of how, in Canada, genomic knowledge is impacting what it means to be Indigenous in the fields of forensic science, biomedical research, and physical anthropology. She identifies productive spaces where Indigenous peoples might intervene to govern the genomic sciences that affect their bodies, territories, relatives, and peoples. Over the past two years she has been involved with developing the Indigenous Science, Technology, and Society Research and Training Program and Network (Indigenous STS), which aims to support scientific literacy and capacity among Indigenous peoples. Additionally, Jessica is a co-organizer of the Summer internship for INdigenous peoples in Genomics Canada (SING Canada). She is also currently working with the Government of Canada and with the National Geographic Society respectively, to development Indigenous-led and decolonial science policy and bioethics. In 2018, she was awarded the Canadian Science Policy Centre’s Award of Excellence in Science Policy.