How Indigenous scientists are using biomedical research to seek 'genomic justice'

Krystal Tsosie says there’s a word for the gathering of genetic samples and data from underrepresented populations, including Indigenous people.

“It’s just colonialism,” Tsosie said. “If we really want to talk about justice and genomic justice, then we really have to talk about data equity. And also empowering data decisions from Indigenous communities like ours.”

Tsosie is a geneticist and bioethicist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. She’s also a co-founder of the Native BioData Consortium, a sample and data repository — or biobank — located on the sovereign lands of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in Eagle Butte, S.D.

The Native BioData Consortium is one of several new initiatives led by Indigenous scientists

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