Feb 14, 2022
How do we blend Indigenous knowledge with Western science in a respectful way, and ensure that members of Indigenous communities are included in the decision making, classroom teaching, and current policies at the University level? Traditionally, many underrepresented groups have been left out of the US educational system. Purdue University has been very proactive in reaching out to Native American students and their communities in order to build partnership, trust, and make positive connections. Dr. Ken Ridgway is a Professor of Geology and Geophysics in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University. Dr. Ridgway’s research group meets with members of Native communities to find out what their needs are, asking questions like “What’s important for your community and how can we accomplish this in a respectful way?” When done in a mindful and respectful way, scientific research can help to preserve the culture of these communities. Dr. Ridgway explains that as Native American graduate students succeed and find careers at the University level, this is how we slowly change American Universities to better represent all of society.