Power and echoes: colonial relations of re/iteration and their genomic indigeneities




Kolopenuk, Jessica

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Through relations deriving Miskâsowin – an Ininiw/Cree theory of science, technology, and society - Power and Echoes explores what genomic knowledge means for Indigenous peoples and, also, what Indigenous knowledge can mean for genome sciences. Taking as a centre point that Indigeneity, in empirical and heuristic forms, has been a site of relationally-produced scientific and political knowledge, I ask: what key fields are genomically re/iterating indigeneity in Canada and how are they relationally produced with/through/as the field of colonial power? This research engages four fields of genomics and four re/iterations of indigeneity; 1) forensic science policy and female-indigeneity where DNA profiling is increasingly used to identify missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit persons (MMIWG2S+); 2) biological anthropology and postindigeneity where the scientific appetite for discovering “Native American” genomes still sees Indigenous bodies as experimental material in life as well as in death; 3) biomedical research and pathological indigeneity where the search for racial causes of disease has been replaced by the analysis of genetic immunological susceptibilities; and 4) bioethics and consenting indigeneity, the primary field that research institutions use to regulate the wide-ranging and colonial power dynamics involved with doing genomic research with, about, and affecting Indigenous peoples. Together, these clusters of relations are mapped into the overall project that examines how changes in technoscience often correlate with changes in the relationships and biotechnologies that colonial nation-states and their citizenries, scientific fields and their researchers, and also bioeconomies and their consumers use to form themselves through, in spite of, and also, as Indigenous peoples.



Indigenous, Genomics, Biotechnology, Race, Gender, Power, Critical Indigenous Studies, Political Theory, Cree, Indigenous Science, Technology, and Society (I-STS), Science, Colonialism, Indigeneity