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Decolonizing Science Communication
A Panel Exploring Indigenous Views on Science and Journalism
A free online event
Wednesday, July 8
Indigenous peoples have diverse ecological and cultural histories that can stretch back thousands of years and offer rich opportunities to contribute to modern knowledge and storytelling. However, white Western thought, values, and culture often dominate how both science and journalism are practiced today. The “decolonization” movement is working to address this disproportionate legacy in society and to return Native thought and understanding to spaces where they have been historically oppressed.
On July 8, the Northwest Science Writers Association held the first in a series of virtual panels focused on decolonizing science communication. At this introductory event, we heard from Native American journalists and a researcher who focuses on health disparities among American Indian and Alaska Native populations. The speakers guided us in learning to deconstruct the differences between Indigenous and Western world views and how each of those views shapes science and journalism. They also suggested practical tips for incorporating this knowledge into science writing and reporting and suggested resources (linked below) to continue exploring this vital topic.
View video of the event
Tripp J Crouse, news director at KNBA radio in Anchorage, Alaska. Originally from the Midwest, Crouse is an Ojibwe descendent of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Crouse has worked in print, web, and radio journalism for more than 15 years. As news director for one of Anchorage’s top radio stations, Crouse frequently covers Alaska Native and Indigenous issues and policies. Crouse also serves as chair and represents Alaska Native and tribal radio on the Station Advisory Committee for Native Public Media. A member of the Native American Journalists Association, the Alaska Native Media Group, and the Alaska Press Club, Crouse is an award-winning journalist with the goal of increasing the visibility and representation of Indigenous people in media.
Debra Utacia Krol is an award-winning journalist for the Arizona Republic with an emphasis on Indigenous, environmental, and science issues who’s fond of averring that “My beat is Indians.” She is an enrolled member of the Xolon (also known as Jolon) Salinan Tribe from the Central California coastal ranges. In addition to more than a dozen other awards, Krol was named Best Beat Environmental Reporter by the Native American Journalists Association.
Dr. Kelly Gonzales, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is an associate professor at Oregon Health & Science University and Portland State University. Dr. Gonzalez studies health disparities, particularly those related to diabetes among American Indian and Alaska Native populations. She also researches the influence of discrimination within the context of healthcare settings.
Entry fee: This event is free for both NSWA members and non-members.
When: Wednesday, July 8, 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. PT. Please use the Zoom link sent to you after registration to join the event.
Where: Zoom video meeting. A link will be sent on July 7 to all who have registered for the event.
Register: Advanced online registration is required.
To learn more about how science writers and journalists can apply ideas from the decolonizing movement in our own work, check out these useful resources:
- Reporting and Indigenous Terminology | Native American Journalists Association
- The Open Notebook | Covering Indigenous Communities with Respect and Sensitivity by Debra Utacia Krol
- Reckoning: Journalism’s Limits and Possibilities by Candis Callison and Mary Lynn Young
- Bingo Card for Reporting in Indian Country | Native American Journalists Association
- A copy editor’s education in Indigenous style |The Tyee
- Advice for Non-Indigenous Journalists: A Twitter Collection
- Native Land App: A map to learn whose land you’re on
- Reporting in Indigenous Communities: A Guide to Decolonizing Journalism