Through the Summer Internship for Indigenous People in Genomics (SING) program, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Ripan Malhi has been working to build trust between Indigenous groups and researchers, the public radio station WILL reports.
Historically, WILL notes that anthropologists and scientists interested in studying Indigenous groups have come into the communities, done their research, and left, but Malhi tells it that this program aims to change that approach to encourage researchers to develop partnerships with Indigenous communities as well as teach individuals from Indigenous communities genetics.
"I work with the communities to figure out what they want to study, as well as what we want to study, and basically partner with them," Malhi says.
As WILL reports, one of the attendees of the first SING program in 2011, Krystal Tsosie, a postdoc at Vanderbilt University who is a descendant of the Navajo Nation, is now one of its organizers. "SING has been influential in training the next generation of Indigenous scientists, so that we can ensure that science is done by us, for us, and truly benefits us," Tsosie tells WILL.