Debra Harry


Wary from decades exploitation in the name of science, Indigenous peoples typically approach externally-generated research with caution, and for good reason. Indigenous peoples have been on the receiving end of research carried out in insensitive, and sometimes, harmful ways. Research has historically been a top-down, outside-in process, with Indigenous peoples serving merely as research subjects, with little opportunity for meaningful participation or benefit from the outcomes of the research. Over the past two decades, with the advent of the Human Genome Project and other genetic research projects, there has been a corresponding increase in genetic research projects that put Indigenous peoples front and center of the research process. Geneticists' interests in Indigenous peoples' DNA are many. Indigenous peoples' DNA is sought for medical, behavioral, anthropological, and genetic variation studies. This chapter details many of the experiences Indigenous peoples have had with human genetic research. These stories exemplify the biocolonial nature of this research as it impacts Indigenous peoples.

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