Global Indigenous Leadership in Genomics Symposium 2024 - Speakers and Guests

Wed, May 8, 2024 - Thu, May 9, 2024

From 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM PDT

The Global Indigenous Leadership in Genomics Symposium (GILGS ‘24) is an initiative connected to the Summer internship for INdigenous peoples in Genomics Canada (SING Canada). SING Canada is part of the SING Consortium which includes member organizations from the United States, Mexico, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and Australia. In May 2024, SING Canada will host the Global Indigenous Leadership in Genomics Symposium – a gathering bringing together all SING member organizations as well as local and national leaders of Indigenous-led genomics in Canada. This multi-day event will be held at the University of British Columbia and in partnership with the Musqueam Nation. The sympoisum will include SING alumni events, a public plenary session, professional development and networking opportunities, and culminating in a Sexy Science Tipi Confessions Production. The SING Consortium is the collective leading voice in Indigenous led genomics, bioinformatics, data sovereignty, and decolonial/Indigenous ethics globally.

Please note that during registration, you will be asked to select which panels you would like to attend. Our agenda is still under development, so this registration module is meant as a placeholder. Unfortunately, the system will "force" you to make a selection, but don't worry, you can change your mind as many times as you like until just before the event. We are aiming to have an updated agenda posted in early March.

Registration has closed for this event. Please contact the event planner for more information.

Location details

SING Canada is hosting GILGS'24 and will be held on the beautiful campus of the University of British Columbia. Springtime in Vancouver is spectacular, and UBC is located on a peninsula overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Address: The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada - UBC is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Musqueam Nation


Our agenda is still under development but rest assured that we are building an exciting program for you. With speakers from among the SING Consortium, as well as respected academics and community leaders from across the globe, there will be lots to learn. Please check back regularly as we update the program.

Note: During registration, you will be asked to select concurrent panels. Right now, we have placeholders for these panels. You will have a chance to go back select a panel, or change your mind, right up until the week before the conference.

GILGS 2024 - Registration Window

GILGS 2024 Registration from 12 PM - 5 PM

If you are arriving today: Most hotel check-ins are not until 3 PM, so if you would like to stop by for registration before this time, you are welcome to leave your luggage with the GILGS registration desk. See FAQ for more details.

If you are arriving outside of this window, please contact Tracy Howlett for alternative registration.

Welcome Reception & Keynote

Welcome Reception and Keynote Speaker Evan Adams; Silent Auction Fundraiser


Evan Adams

First Nations Health Authority

Chief Medical Officer

Evan Tlesla II Adams is a Coast Salish actor & physician from the Tla’amin First Nation near Powell River, BC, Canada. Evan stars as Thomas Builds-The-Fire in Miramax’s SMOKE SIGNALS, written by Sherman Alexie & directed by Chris Eyre. He also won Best Actor awards from the American Indian Film Festival, & First Americans in the Arts, & a 1999 Independent Spirit Award for ‘Best Debut Performance’. He won a 2011 Gemini Award for co-hosting the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards along with Adam Beach. Aside from his career in the arts, Evan completed a Medical Doctorate from the University of Calgary in 2002, & a residency in the Aboriginal Family Practice program at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, BC. Dr. Adams has a Masters of Public Health (2009) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. He was the first-ever Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor in the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, BC Ministry of Health (2007-2012). He was the Deputy Provincial Health Officer for the province of BC from 2012 to 2014. He is currently the Chief Medical Officer of the First Nations Health Authority.

Matt Anderson

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Associate Professor

Matt Anderson (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Descent) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests focus on dissecting balanced and unbalanced relationships between microbes and humans. Specifically, he is interested in how genetic diversity contributes to variation in species populations. To address these questions, the Anderson lab uses the human fungal pathogen, Candida albicans, to understand how members of expanded gene families have obtained function in the context of many other paralogs as well as defining the relationship between the genotype and the phenotype. Additionally, the Anderson lab centers the understanding of the role of microbial eukaryotes in the human microbiome, having recently developed a system to analyze the ‘eukaryome’ via metagenomics and are applying this technique to their Lakota partners in investigating links to autoimmunity within their community.

Alex Brown

The Australian National University


Professor Alex Brown (BMed, MPH, PhD, FRACP (hon.), FCSANZ, FAHMS) is the Professor of Indigenous Genomics at the Telethon Kids Institute and The Australian National University. He is an internationally leading Aboriginal clinician/researcher who has worked his entire career in Aboriginal health in the provision of public health services, infectious diseases and chronic disease care, health care policy and research.

Warren Cardinal-McTeague

University of British Columbia

Associate Professor

Warren Cardinal-McTeague is Métis and Cree from the communities of Fort McMurray and Lac La Biche in northeastern Alberta, and is proudly gay, queer, and two-spirit. He is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. As a botanist, his research weaves together plant biodiversity with methods in genomics, taxonomy, and leaf spectroscopy. His upcoming research program aims to reorient plant biodiversity research to come from Indigenous perspectives through Indigenous-led and co-produced projects at the nexus of food systems, environmental management, and capacity building/sharing of advanced technologies (like genomics), to further Indigenous self-determination. Warren also examines how to engage Indigenous data sovereignty principles within biological collections, in an act to rematriate Indigenous data and specimens to communities and protect against exploitation from the hasty move towards open digital data. Warren is also passionate about art and the idea that it is co-constituted with science. He aims to further integrate art into the process and communication of research and education. Warren is also involved with the Ărramăt project on Indigenous-led conservation and sustainability, co-leading Pathway T5 with Dr. Kim TallBear and Dr. May-Britt Öhman on Decolonial Science and Education. He aims to explore the important differences between Indigenization and decolonization of science and education through the support and material return of Indigenous voice and language in education, exploring the use of virtual technology in teaching, and placing emphasis on place-based and land-based learning and research.

Avijit Chatterjee

All India Union of Forest Working People

National Organizing Secretary

A graduate in commerce from the University of Kolkata, West Bengal and rower preparing to represent India in the Asian games, suddenly switched directions in life and worked for more than a decade with landless lower class citizens in their fight for getting their rights to land. A phase of disillusionment with methods and practices, he left the social-political movement space, a short stint as a documentary filmmaker, and then on to a life working for Hewlett Packard India and then Barclay’s Bank (UK) India Center. In 2010, Avijit decided to come back to working with communities and joins the All India Union of Forest Working People which organises forest dependent communities. From being a volunteer to a lead organizer and now the national Organizing Secretary, he has worked on critical community organizing of forest dependent communities in Uttar Pradesh, parts of Bihar, Jharkhand. He has travelled extensively across the Union’s work areas as well as many pockets of outstanding work being carried on by other organizations in different parts of the country. His passion is to build community institutions which will govern the forested terrains and take control of the economic wealth of forest produce, enhance their livelihoods as well as be the true custodians of natural resources.

Treena Delormier

Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Program

Scientific Director

Treena Wasonti:io Delormier is Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) from the community of Kahnawake. At the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Program (KSDPP), a 29-year community-university partnership and health promotion program, she is the Scientific Director. She is also an Associate Professor in the School of Human Nutrition, and Associate Director of the Centre for Indigenous Peoples Nutrition and Environment at McGill University. Her research interests are Indigenous Peoples’ food systems, food security, food sovereignty, nutrition and well-being, and employ Indigenous research methodologies, qualitative methodologies, community based participatory research.

Kalinda Griffiths

Flinders University

Associate Professor

Associate Professor Griffiths is a Yawuru woman of Broome, born and living in Darwin, Australia. Director at Poche SA+NT and Research and Education Lead at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Alliance. She is a visiting fellow at the Centre for Big Data Research in Health at UNSW and is an honorary fellow at Menzies School of Health Research. An epidemiologist with over 25 years experience, her research addresses quality and use of data pertaining to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Her areas of focus include the measurement of health disparities, cancer, Indigenous data governance and building capabilities in Indigenous health. A/Prof Griffiths is a Chief Investigator across a range of national health research programs including Targeted Approaches To Improve Cancer Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (TACTICS) and the Consortium for National Indigenous Genomics Capacity (CONNECT). She is also deeply engaged in policy development across bioethics, data sovereignty and data governance across government committees including the National Data Advisory Council for the Office of the National Data Commissioner, the Principal Committee Indigenous Caucus for the National Health and Medical Research Council as well as chairs the Department of Social Services, Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children.

Kimora Henare

University of Auckland

Cancer Biologist

Dr. Kimiora Henare (Te Aupōuri, Te Rarawa / Ngati Haua) is a cancer biologist based at Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences (FMHS) at Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland (UoA). His main research and teaching focus is on strategies to target the tumour microenvironment to enhance tumour-directed immunity and cancer immunotherapy, and improving access and delivery of precision oncology for whānau Māori in Aotearoa. Alongside his lab-based biomedical research, Kimiora worked with the NETwork! Project to develop a roadmap for Māori engagement for clinical cancer genomics. In addition to his research, Kimiora teaches about cancer immunology, Indigenous rights and bioethics in genetic and genomic research, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and Responsiveness to Māori in health research. Kimiora serves on several advisory and governance groups for genomics research projects, as the Pae Rangahau lead for Hei Āhuru Mōwai (Māori Cancer Leadership Aotearoa), on the executive committee of the New Zealand Society for Oncology, and as a member of the Health Research Council’s Māori Health Committee.

Maui Hudson

University of Waikato

Director Te Kotahi Research Institute

My Iwi affiliations are Whakatōhea, Ngāruahine, and Te Māhurehure. I am an interdisciplinary researcher and currently hold a position as the Director of the Te Kotahi Research Institute. I am a founding member of Te Mana Raraunga Māori Data Sovereignty Network and the Global Indigenous Data Alliance as well as a co-author of the CARE Principles for Indigenous Governance. I am a Co-Director of Local Contexts and co-developer of the Biocultural Labels. I am also a Co-Director of the Veracity Lab and ENRICH Equity for Indigenous Research and Innovation Coordinating Hub.

Jessica Kolopenuk

University of Alberta

Associate Professor

Dr. Jessica Kolopenuk (Cree, Peguis First Nation) is an Assistant Professor and Alberta Health Services Research Chair in Indigenous Health in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta. Dr. Kolopenuk completed her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Victoria in 2020 and was an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Native Studies (UofA) from 2018 to 2022. With Dr. Kim TallBear, she co-founded SING Canada in 2018 and before that, the Indigenous Science, Technology, and Society Research and Training Program (Indigenous STS). Expanding Indigenous STS, Dr. Kolopenuk is currently building the Indigenous STS – Health Research Core from her satellite dry lab in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. The promotion of Indigenous governance in science and technology fields requires the critical study of scientific knowledge production and its institutionalization. It also requires the training of Indigenous researchers and clinical practitioners. These are the spaces that Dr. Kolopenuk’s work moves in. She researches what genomics mean for Indigeneity and, also, what Indigenous knowledges can mean for genome sciences. In particular, she analyzes the power dynamics involved in genomics research, ethics, and policy in Canada to consider how genomic knowledge of populations is affecting policy-based governance amidst a backdrop of colonialism in Canada. Crucially, she seeks to identify ways that Indigenous peoples might intervene and govern the scientific projects and policies affecting them.

Natalie Kusabs

Local Contexts


Natalie (Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Maru, Te Arawa) has a varied postharvest engineering research, ecology and science education background with a passion for community based work-integrated learning. In the past three years Natalie has worked with the teams at Te Kotahi Research Institute, Te Mana Raraunga (Māori Data Sovereignty Network) and Local Contexts to support communities to meet their aspirations through engagement with Indigenous-focused and Indigenous-led interdisciplinary research and capacity development initiatives.

Naomi Lee

Northern Arizona University

Assistant Professor

Dr. Naomi Lee (Seneca Nation of Indians) received her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Rochester. Currently, Lee is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Northern Arizona University. She is also an affiliated faculty member to the NIH-funded Southwest Health Equity Research Collaborative (SHERC), the NIH-funded Native American Cancer Prevention (NACP) partnership, and NAU’s Center for Materials Interfaces in Research and Applications (¡MIRA!). Her research focuses on vaccine design that targets chronic and infectious disease prevalent in Native American communities. Lee was also an expert on the COVID-19 Prevention Network (COVPN) and researcher through the Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) to address COVID-19 in Native American communities. Lee is the founder and co-director of the Cultural and Academic Research Experience (CARE) program that aims to encourage historically excluded high school students into STEM and health science careers. In addition, Dr. Lee is a Functional Specialist (FxSP) in the Army Reserves assigned to the 322 nd Civil Affairs Brigade in Honolulu, Hawaii. Previously, she was a Military Police Officer in the Arizona Army National Guard and served in the civil unrest missions. Prior assignments include the Senior Training, Advising, and Counseling (TAC) Officer for the National Guard Officer Candidate School Program in Santa Fe, NM, and Aberdeen, MD.

Roma Malik

All India Union of Forest Working People

General Secretary

Roma Malik works as a Gen Secretary at the All India Union of Forest Working People. He is a social activist focused on the issues of forest /land /wages/gender with dalit, adivasis and minority sections for the last 25 years. Additionally, he works in the District of Sonbhadra Uttar Pradesh, on the issue of land/forest/tribal displacement, strengthening the local initiative, building up the Union and helping to form strong community leadership especially strengthening the dalit, tribals/adivasi and women leadership. As Organizing Secretary at the national level organization, he works on the issue of forest and forest workers across the country, which is working to bring out a status report; an instrumental action in bringing legislation for tribals in Dec’2006 in the Parliament to remove historical injustices committed on tribal and other forest dwellers since the colonial times. It is the first ever national union of forest-based working people in the country, where Roma is now the Gen Secretary of this union.

Tala Mitchell

Deakin University

SING Coordinator

Tala Mitchell is a Wemba-Wemba and Yorta-Yorta woman from Echuca, Victoria. She is a registered nurse within a renal ward in Shepparton  and has extensive experience working within a large regional hospital. The last ten years, Tala has spent at Goulburn Valley Hospital practicing in both a Registered Nurse and Associate Nurse Unit Manager role.  Tala provides operational and clinical leadership and management within the haemodialysis unit. One of the highlights for Tala has been able to stay on Country and care for Yorta-Yorta people. Achieving her Masters in Public Health strengthened her skills in research into disease and injury prevention for different population groups globally. A key focus during her Masters was renal failure within First Nations communities. Further developing skills in this key area of interest will be her priority in the future. Previously, Tala completed a short-term contract working for the Purple House in Alice Springs. This is a service providing renal care to First Nations people within the Northern Territory. Working remotely within the community of Yuendemu was an amazing opportunity and being able to be apart of such a dedicated organisation that makes such a difference to communities. Tala has been selected as a candidate for the Master of Genetic Counseling program. This is a partnership between the University of Melbourne and the Department of Pediatrics. By completing the requirements for this course within the next three years Tala will gain certification to practice within the Human Genetics Society of Australasia.

Laurie Montour

SING Canada


When I first started working, I was one of the few Indigenous ecologists in Canada. I knew how to write the chemical formulas, but my first real-world job was to figure out with an Anishnawbe and Potawatomi community how to deal with a 22,000 l spill from Ontario’s upstream Chemical Valley. There were no textbooks and the minimal research papers out there did not serve our purposes, so we created a first-of-its-kind research plan to answer questions important to that community. That experience taught me that Indigenous peoples need to create entities that meet our needs, in ways that make sense to us. Nowadays most Indigenous nations and organizations have natural resource management programs of one sort or another. Genetics is as old as first life; and the issues of ownership and control are as old as first contact with eventual colonizers. The socio-scientific field of genetics is also in exponential growth right now, and SING is a first for Canada to move Indigenous students and professionals forward with the strength and guidance learned from those ahead of us. This is why I am committed to the goals and participants of the Summer Internship for Indigenous Peoples at University of Alberta, to build a growing cadre of Indigenous professionals in school and eventually into a career. In turn, you too may find yourself in a position to reciprocate.

Betsy Nelson

Institut Pasteur

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Dr. Elizabeth A. Nelson (Turtle Mountain Band Chippewa) (she/her) is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Microbial Paleogenomics Unit, Department of Genomes and Genetics, Institut Pasteur in Paris, France. She was awarded her Doctorate (Dr. rer. Nat.) in the subject of Archaeological Science and Human Evolution from the Eberhard Karls University of Tubingen with the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Germany. Her scholarship and research cover bioarcheology, paleopathology, and pathogen genomics. As a biological anthropologist, Dr. Nelson employs a synergistic approach incorporating socio-political, environmental, demographic, and genomic data to examine patterns of pathogen evolution within their biocultural and environmental contexts. Her primary work investigates tuberculosis in ancient, historic, and modern contexts of the Americas to evaluate the impact of colonialism and the consequences of structural violence on the evolution of the pathogen and disease demographics today. Through active participation and co-production with community members, she seeks to employ ancient DNA as a tool to reconstruct the past with Indigenous perspectives. She also contributes to studies of other infectious diseases from ancient, historic, and modern contexts of the Americas, environmental microbes, and the evolution of pathogens infecting non-human hosts.

Tristan Paulino

University of Otago

PhD Candidate

Tristan Paulino is a PhD Candidate in Genetics working in the Anatomy department at the University of Otago. He is investigating population-specific genetic variation among Micronesians and other Pacific Islanders related to gout and cardiometabolic conditions. He also examines the effects of areca nut (Areca catechu) consumption, a pacific-specific behavioral factor, on gout status. Tristan comes from the Micronesian island of Guam and is of Chamoru descent. He holds a bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Tropical Agriculture from the University of Guam. Additionally, he is one of the founding members of SING Micronesia, which will hold its inaugural workshop this year.

Greg Pratt

Jingay Research Cluster, Central Queensland University

Principal Research Fellow

Greg Pratt is a Quandamooka man of the Noonucal tribe of Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah), and Principal Research Fellow for the Jingay Research Cluster of Central Queensland University. He works part-time for Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council as their Principal Research Advisor. For over 20 years, he has collaborated nationally, and internationally to translate research for clinical benefit. With extensive experience in stakeholder engagement, community consultation, and co-design, and a track record leading policy development and research, Pratt facilitated over 80 community consultations and workshops over the past 5 years. In 2018, he led consultations with communities across Queensland, Australia to develop one of the first policies outlining Indigenous preferences concerning genomic research (Genomic Partnerships). He worked extensively with communities of Queensland in 2019 to develop a suite of health literacy resources about genomic research and genetic testing. In 2022, Pratt co-designed an Integrated Genetic HealthCare Framework (IGHC), one of the first health service models to articulate workforce development, coordinated care and health promotion strategies for genetic health through primary care. IGHC serves as another example of Pratt's commitment to world-leading work and a commitment to knowledge, health, and social impact.

Arlana Redsky

University of Alberta

PhD Candidate

Arlana Redsky is a member of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation in Kenora, Ontario. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta, the Indigenous Research Methods Assistant for the National Consortium for Indigenous Medical Education (NCIME), a member of the Indigenous Science and Technology and Society Studies research and teaching group (I-STS), and a former organizer for the Summer Internship for Indigenous Peoples in Genomics (SING Canada 2019). Arlana has received the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship for her dissertation research titled #CWDBeadsProject: Communicating Kincentrically on a Disease Epidemic with Indigenous Beadwork. Arlana’s areas of research include wildlife disease management, Indigenous feminisms, Indigenous research methods, and Kincentric Ecology.

Cheyenne Reuben-Thomas

Cornell University

PhD Student

Cheyenne Reuben-Thomas (Onʌyoteˀa•ká•/Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and Onöndowa:ga:’/Tonawanda Seneca) (she/they) is a doctoral student in the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Entomology Departments at Cornell University. As an emerging Indigenous scholar, she is committed to ensuring community-driven research in biodiversity and genomic contexts. With funding through the National Science Foundation and Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, Cheyenne is investigating, and validating, the benefits of Traditional Ecological Knowledge-Practice Systems on insect biodiversity. Alongside this work, she is investigating the harms of settler colonialism and land management strategies. Through her research, Cheyenne hopes to bring attention to the significant roles of our insect kin in cultural contexts, guide researchers on best practices regarding Indigenous data governance, and emphasize the need for Indigenous-led conservation and decision-making in policy. Cheyenne has been involved with SING-Canada since 2022 and is currently a Teaching Assistant for the program.

Rick Smith

George Mason University

Assistant Professor

Rick W. A. Smith is a non-Indigenous critical scientist currently working as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies at George Mason University. Rick completed his Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin in 2017 and a postdoctoral fellowship with the Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College in 2020, where he worked between the Anthropology Department and the Geisel School of Medicine. Rick’s thinking sits at the intersections of genomics and feminist, queer, and Indigenous science studies to trace how shifting conditions of power become molecular. As both a geneticist and a critical science scholar, Rick uses the concept of “molecular” not only to account for the conjoined histories of social, political, ecological, and genetic change over millennia – but also to track the ways in which normative genome science, as a technology of colonialism, has attempted to naturalize the colonial order and its epistemes. Based on this history, Rick’s work seeks to take on the genome lab as a site of contestation to unsettle and reconfigure the power relations through which genomic knowledge gets made. In 2020, he founded the Critical Molecular Anthropology Lab at George Mason University – which provides infrastructures for lab members, collaborators, and community partners to do genomics out of our own critical knowledges of science and its history. He has co-created a variety of projects with Maya people in Belize, descendants of Indigenous peoples in New Mexico, and within his own community of multi-racial descendants of plantation workers in the Blackland Prairies of Texas. The shared goal of these projects is to hold to people and to place in a way that counters colonial mythologies and re-stories our histories and our health.

Kim TallBear

University of Alberta


Kim TallBear (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) (she/her) is Professor in the Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta. With Dr. Jessica Kolopenuk, she is co-founder of SING Canada. As the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience, and Society, Dr. TallBear aims to reduce biases in science and technology research and shape policy to support Indigenous peoples’ cultural and political self-determination. Through new curricula, research partnerships, publications and activities like social media, radio programs and podcasts, she and her research team aim to inform national, global and Indigenous self-governance and reconciliation work related to science and technology. Indigenous peoples have made substantial contributions to science and technology throughout history. But there is still more to learn about the value of integrating Indigenous science with western science. Dr. TallBear is the author of Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science. In addition to studying genome science disruptions to Indigenous self-definitions, Dr. TallBear studies colonial disruptions to Indigenous sexual relations. She is a widely-known Indigenous public intellectual and commentator on Indigenous peoples, science, culture, and environmental topics in both academic and popular print, radio, and TV media outlets globally. She is a regular panelist on the weekly podcast, Media Indigena. You can follow Dr. TallBear’s research group at

Krystal Tsosie

Arizona State University

Associate Professor

Krystal Tsosie (Diné/Navajo Nation), PhD, MPH, MA, is an Indigenous geneticist-bioethicist and Assistant Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. As an advocate for Indigenous genomic data sovereignty, she co-founded the first US Indigenous-led biobank, a 501c3 nonprofit research institution called the Native BioData Consortium. Her research can be encapsulated in two main foci: Indigenous population genetics and bioethics. In particular, she focuses on bioethical engagement of Indigenous communities in genomics and data science to build trust. As a whole, her interest is in integrating genomic and data approaches to assess Indigenous variation contributing to health inequities.Her research and educational endeavors have received increasing national and international media attention as scientists worldwide are understanding the importance of equitable, community-based engagement models and the importance of Indigenous genomic data sovereignty. Her work has been covered by popular media outlets including PBS NOVA, The Washington Post, NPR, New York Times, The Atlantic, Forbes, and Boston Globe. She currently serves on the Government Policy and Advocacy Committee for the American Society of Human Genetics and two National Academy of Medicine Committees on Emerging Science, Technology, and Innovation and Engaging Scientists in Central Asia on Data Governance. She is a current Global Chair in ENRICH (Equity for Indigenous Research and Innovation Coordinating Hub), which focuses on enhancing Indigenous rights to develop, control, and govern Indigenous data and supports participation in STEM and in digitally‐enabled futures.

Wyeth Wasserman

University of British Columbia

Professor of Medical Genetics

Dr. Wasserman, a UBC Professor of Medical Genetics, is a computational biologist with a research focus on the human genome. His research laboratory based at BC Children’s Hospital since 2002 develops and applies computational methods, software and databases to gain insight in the functional roles of specific DNA sequences. With the development of low-cost DNA sequencing, his lab has taken an active role in the discovery of genetic variation in patient genomes that cause rare genetic diseases. He helped launch the Silent Genomes Project to confront and overcome inequity in reference data for Indigenous children needing a genetic diagnosis. From 2013-2021 Dr. Wasserman served as the head of research at BC Children’s Hospital, and he remains deeply committed to supporting the growth and success of pediatrics research.

Phil Wilcox

University of Otago

Associate Professor

Phil is a quantitative geneticist and bioethicist based at the University of Otāgo in Aotearoa/New Zealand. He has worked at the interface of Māori bioethics and gene technologies, where he developed tikanga (Māori ethics)-based frameworks and guidelines for researchers. Phil also undertakes research on the genetics of inherited conditions in our people. Previously he has worked in the areas of genetics of tree species and statistical genetics method development. Phil also teaches Māori-related content in graduate and undergraduate science courses and runs education programmes for Māori tauira (students) and pākeke (adults) on genomics and genetics that are taught in Māori learning environments. In the Department of Mathematics and Statistics Phil established and lead the post graduate Applied Sciences (Quantitative Genetics) programme.

Joseph Yracheta

Native BioData Consortium


Joseph Yracheta is an Amerindigenous Scientist (P’urhepecha y Raramuri from Mexico) at the Native BioData Consortium which exists within the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation (Sioux) of South Dakota. Yracheta has been a scientist since 1990 where he started as a bench biotechnician and worked across many biomedical disciplines. In 2014, he graduated from the UW-Seattle with a Master’s of Pharmaceutics and Bioethics under Drs. Ken Thummel and Wylie Burke. He is currently finishing a DrPH in Environmental Health and Engineering from Johns-Hopkins under Drs. Ana Navas-Acien and Paul Locke. Yracheta is passionately working to achieve Indigenous Data Sovereignty by “wearing many research hats” of law, ethics, policy, genomics, omics, health outcomes, epidemiology, health care prevention/intervention and amelioration from systemic racism. Yracheta believes that all data and resources must be seen as unforeseen futures, where their value will constantly change. He feels this data must be secured for Indigenous economic and cultural sustainability.


Various locations at UBC

The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

We are working with our partners at UBC to secure guest and speaker accommodation. Attendees are welcome to stay at their preferred accommodation in Vancouver and please note that accommodation on campus is limited. We have booked a special rate at the closest hotel to UBC, the Holiday Inn Vancouver Centre. To book a room here, please use the booking details below. Note that speakers are not required to pay for accommodation and will be booked in rooms located on campus unless otherwise requested.

How to book rooms:

Booking code: LGS


  • Once you click the link, click on Book Now
  • Select the date May 7, 2024 as check-in and May 10, 2024 as check-out
  • The rate preference should show Group Rate and the Group Code should already be inputted as LGS
  • Select the room type you would prefer
  • Follow the prompts, enter your IHG Rewards number and pay for the room

Should you prefer to call or email the reservations team, please use the following contact info and provide the code LGS to apply the group rate:

In addition to the Holiday Inn Vancouver Centre, we have also negotiated a special rate at the Holiday Inn & Suites Vancouver Downtown. This rate is only available until March 20th.

Booking Code: GIL


To contact the hotel directly - Phone: (604) 684-2151, Hotel Toll Free: 800-663-9151 (Canada & US), Holiday Inn Toll Free: 1-800-HOLIDAY (INTERNATIONAL), Fax: (604) 684–4736, E-Mail: [email protected]

Guest Room Rate: $309.00 single/double occupancy

  • Book by March 21 to secure group rate.
  • *1 night deposit will be charged at time of booking. Deposits are refundable if booking is cancelled at least 3 days prior to arrival
  • Rates include complimentary: Internet, local call, 1-800 calls, local faxing.
  • Rates are subject to availability, net, non-commissionable, quoted in Canadian currency, subject to 8% PST, 5.5% MRDT, 5% GST and 1.304%
  • Destination Marketing fee (subject to change without notice) The above-noted rates are noted as single occupancy/double occupancy.


This symposium wouldn't be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Many thanks to all of our supporters.

Ărramăt Project
Genome Alberta
Genome Canada
SSHRC Connections Program



Do I require a Visa to attend the symposium?

Once you have registered for GILGS '24 at UBC, you will need to find out if you need a visa to enter Canada. If you do not need a visa to enter Canada, you may still need to meet some specific requirements. If you do need a visa, find out how to apply.

Canada’s offices abroad include embassies, consulates, high commissions and trade offices that may be a useful resources when applying for visas.

Visa Letter Information

It is up to you as a conference registrant to ensure you obtain a Visa Support Letter from us, should you need one, and to obtain a visa in time to attend the conference.

International registrants should be particularly aware and careful about visa requirements, and should plan travel well in advance. Please be aware that visa processing times can take up to 12 weeks. The University of British Columbia does not issue formal invitation letters or actual visas to attend the conference, however, can issue Visa Support Letters for the application.

Please e-mail the following information to [email protected]. You must include:

  • Your name as it appears on your passport
  • Date of birth (i.e. August 11, 1994)
  • Your nationality
  • Your current postal mailing address
  • Your current telephone number
  • The purpose of the trip
  • How long you are intending to stay in Canada
  • Details on accommodation and living expenses.
  • The date you intend to leave Canada.

Please note Visa Support Letters are issued via email by PDF and the original is mailed to your current postal address within approximately one week after the information is sent.

What additional documents should I bring?

It is important to bring any essential travel documents such as passports for international visitors, travel insurance (optional, but not included), and alternative valid photo identification if needed.

It is also important to check which airline you are traveling with to pack accordingly within the baggage requirements (i.e., weight, liquids, etc.).

Will meals be provided?

We will make sure that you are well fed! We are working with local caterers (Indigenous owned and operated, when possible) to provide breakfast and lunch each day of the workshop and symposium. There will be an on-your-own night on Monday, May 6th for you to socialize and we will not provide dinner that evening. Tuesday will have a full banquet, and there will be food available at the poster session on Wednesday. We are also working on arranging a light dinner before our Sexy Science event on Thursday evening. If you require additional financial support for outside meals during travel, please reach out to [email protected].

What should I pack?

In early May, Vancouver typically sees temperatures ranging from 13C to 16C. Since occasional rain is likely, it is recommended to pack a coat/rain jacket for the cooler evenings!

Please see the forecasted temperatures and conditions below:

Is there a dress code?

Dress comfortably and for the weather! There are some events throughout the Symposium that you may want to dress nicely for, but it is not required. If you'd like, you can pack your best slacks and/or ribbon skirts.

What if I arrive before my hotel check-in time?

Hotel check-in is generally 3 PM. If you arrive before then and the GILGS registration area is open, you may leave your bags with a trusted member of the SING Canada team while you are out and about. If you choose to do so, please return before the registration area closes (approximately 5 PM).

How do I get from my hotel to the different venues around UBC campus?

Please refer to the resources section, as there is detailed information about transportation options.

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