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Summer Genomics

A program at Simon Fraser University hopes to spark young Indigenous students' interest in genomics, the Vancouver Sun reports.

In the weeklong program, the students will learn about not only about genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics, but also about community-driven research and conservation biology, it adds. As part of it, the students will also be collecting samples from a traditional British Columbia clam garden for analysis.

"We just want them to get some exposure to the techniques of genetics and genomics," one of the program leaders, SFU's Felix Breden, tells the Sun.

He and Kim TallBear from the University of Alberta add at the Star that there's been a loss of trust between scientists and Indigenous communities. Most genomic research has been conducted on individuals of European ancestry, and including more Indigenous populations could make new treatments better application to their communities. "If you go into an Indigenous community meeting and you propose a research project, it helps if someone who is the [principal investigator] of the project is a member of a tribe of a First Nation."