Author: Rosalina James
Beginning in the early twenty-first century, the genomic age has seen academic interests expand beyond Indigenous global migrations to more medically-driven population genetic research. In this environment, scientific narratives tend to privilege race-based biological explanations for physical and mental health phenomena. Similarly, academic frameworks for individual and group identity are increasingly described through a lens of genetic-derived logic over the cultural, political, historical, and societal conditions that shape social beings. Propelled by the promise of using genetic information to address health disparities, indigenous people once again must weigh the benefits of participation in genetic research with potential risks. This presentation explores how indigenous people construct identity at the intersection of medical genetics discourses. Dr. Rosalina James is Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Washington.
This talk was presented at the DNA and Indigeneity Public Symposium, held on Oct 22, 2015, at SFU Harbour Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia.
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