The Center for Indigenous Science is a partnership between the American Indian Studies program and the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB). The Center also works closely with the Associate Vice Chancellor for Native Affairs Office. This partnership and multi-unit approach allow the Center to fully utilize campus resources to complete its goals and have transformative impacts. The Center brings together Indigenous Nations and UIUC expertise for the co-production of knowledge and solutions that support tribal sovereignty and Indigenous needs in areas such as health, history and the environment. The Center also provides a university sponsored space that allows citizens of Indigenous Nations to work in partnership with university faculty on projects of interest. Importantly, the Center for Indigenous Science is a place to participate in cutting-edge science with and by Indigenous scholars and communities on local, regional, and global scales.
Indigenous Science is a transdisciplinary field that centers Indigenous epistemologies, values and knowledge alongside methods of inquiry from the humanities and social sciences with those from the life/physical sciences to address questions of importance to Indigenous peoples. By centering the community and using relational and sustainable practices, Indigenous Science is uniquely positioned to incorporate anti-colonial theory and inclusive cultures in STEM fields. Importantly, Indigenous Science practices expand beyond research to include capacity building in science and developing career pipelines to gain representation in the larger scientific community.