Building Research Capacity with and by Indigenous Communities at the AAAS 2024

Building Research Capacity with and by Indigenous Communities at the AAAS 2024

The National Research Foundation (NRF), National Science Foundation (NSF, United States) Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) led a panel discussion on “Supporting and Building Research Capacity with and by Indigenous Communities” during the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting which took place in Denver Colorado, USA, from the 15-17 February 2024, themed “Toward Science Without Walls”.

The NRF CEO, Dr Fulufhelo Nelwamondo shared some experiences of the South African Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) Policy and the former DSI-NRF Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) programme that was aimed at supporting and promoting IKS knowledge and capital development. The DSI-NRF programme covered experimental research to the benefit both researchers and communities (e.g. DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Indigenous Knowledge Systems), active community engagement and participation and indigenous communities’ equal control, access and data relating to the research projects. As part of the NRF delegation, Dr Thandi Mgwebi (Group Executive: Business Advancement, NRF) led the stakeholder engagements activities to initiate possible collaborative programmes with partners.

Dr Anne Barker, Arctic and Northern Challenge Program Director, National Research Council of Canada. The National Research Council of Canada’s Arctic and Northern Challenge program was established to address pressing issues impacting Northern peoples in 2022. This section also ensures that the northern-led projects that have a strong focus on applied research and technology development and the role that research plays in reconciliation, and how NRC can use its expertise to support applied science research priorities.

The panel discussion by research funders panel highlighted on the last decade of Indigenous related research and proposed possible collaboration between South Africa and Canada to engage with Indigenous Peoples and establish relationships based on respect and reciprocity in research.

Founded in 1848, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest multi-disciplinary science society, fulfilling its mission to advance science, engineering, and innovation. Each year, the community of leading scientists, educators, policymakers, and journalists gathers to discuss cutting-edge developments in science, technology, and policy.

For more information contact:

Dr Nokuthula Mchunu, Deputy Director: Business Advancement

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