The Canadian Aboriginal Sciences
and Technology Society (CASTS) is preparing to host its sixth highly successful
national conference scheduled for September 2003. The CASTS conference is
the only Aboriginal science conference in Canada!
As well, this forum represents a unique opportunity to interconnect aspects
of western science with Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge.
The conference objectives are:
- to celebrate and showcase a
national profile of Aboriginal S&T research and researchers
- to celebrate and showcase successful
initiatives of Aboriginal participation and excellence in S&T
- to provide a forum for a three
day assembly of the national Aboriginal S&T community to network – sharing
information, resources, and perspectives
- to provide a forum for a discussion
of the integration of science, technology, and Traditional Knowledge in today’s
- to promote an interest in science-related
careers among Aboriginal students
The expected outcome and results
- conference participants will
share in the celebration that comes with showcasing quality Aboriginal researchers
and research projects;
- successful Aboriginal S&T
education initiatives and S&T achievements will be profiled, shared, and
- the three day assembly of the
Aboriginal S&T community will strengthen existing relationships and create
new ones –
- peers will find support in
- junior students will find
support from senior students, professionals, and elders;
- senior students will discover
potential collaborations and research funders;
- professionals and students
will share perspectives with others from differing regions, backgrounds,
specializations, and goals;
- presentations and discussions
will be shared regarding the issue of this year’s theme “the Integration of
Science, Technology, and Traditional Knowledge in Today’s Environment”;
- and, by participating and witnessing
an event of this calibre and cultural relevance, the Aboriginal students interested
in a field of S&T will undoubtedly feel an increase in their cultural
pride, their self-esteem and their self-confidence. This is a desired outcome
of CASTS, that “CASTS students become more than professionals in the technological
world – they become architects of a new destiny for Canadian Aboriginal People”.
At the CASTS Conference 2003, Aboriginal
participants of all ages will experience a reduction in the barriers and an
increase in the motivation to achieve a successful career in S&T. This
directly feeds into CASTS Mission:
“We assist Aboriginal students
of all ages in Canada
in the pursuit of a successful Science and Technology career by sparking awareness,
providing resources, and developing solutions. This assistance is intended
to minimize their barriers and to maximize their motivation to enter, remain,
and excel in the sciences while maintaining respect for our traditional culture
The CASTS Conference 2003 will
offer a unique opportunity to showcase Aboriginal success in areas dealing with
science, technology, and traditional knowledge. As well,
about CASTS can be found at
CASTS will achieve the mutual goal
of celebrating the achievements and the promoting of science and technology
(S&T) to Aboriginal people across Canada!
- The CASTS conference is intended
to attract 500 or more participants primarily from the Aboriginal S&T
community. Others expected to attend are the federal and provincial governments,
academia, corporations and students.
- The Aboriginal S&T community
is comprised of Aboriginal students and professionals (technicians, technologists,
teachers, researchers, and other professionals) from across Canada.
Overview of Conference Presentations
The following six forums
will be presented at the CASTS Conference 2003 are as follows:
- Science and Technology (S&T)
S&T forum will offer participants to discuss their research from a wide
range of disciplines, ranging from mathematics to zoology. This forum offers
an excellent opportunity to become informed about recent advances in science
within the Aboriginal scientific community and an opportunity to learn about
research that has impacts on the Aboriginal community.
- Traditional Knowledge (TK)
Traditional knowledge concerns
itself knowledge that has been, and continues to be, accumulated through
time spent living on the land. It encompasses all aspects of Life, such
as, environmental, biophysical, economic, social, cultural and spiritual.
As well, TK considers the involvement of humans as participants in the
circle of Life, rather than as external observers or controllers. TK is
part of the collective memory of a community, and is often transferred
orally through songs and stories, as well as through actions and observation.
In this forum, we wish to show the connections between western science
and traditional knowledge. Concepts of TK have been implemented in forestry
conservation practices, environmental studies, and ecosystem analysis.
TK concerns itself with a more holistic approach to our health, our lands,
our resources, and our relationships.
The forum on health will offer
an opportunity to discuss research, health science, and health issues in
the Aboriginal community. The aim of the forum is to highlight recent advances
in Aboriginal health research and to initiate discussion on areas of interest
and future development. There will be opportunities to discuss health projects
and to become informed about the various programs at the grass roots level
to the research community.
The environmental forum will
offer an opportunity for academia, government, and industry to discuss current
trends and areas of scientific interest, particularly areas that are of
interest to Aboriginal communities.
There is an increasing need
to encourage science and related careers among Aboriginal youth. The
education forum will offer an opportunity for educators at the secondary
and postsecondary level to discuss various issues in science and science
education. This forum will provide opportunities for educators to highlight
areas of concern and to discuss projects at the local, regional, and national
The career forum is an opportunity
for the youth to become informed of various training and career choices
in the fields of S&T. Representatives from various government, academic,
and industrial sectors will be present to provide career and education
opportunities for Aboriginal people who have an expressed interest in
science and technology professions.
Feel free to contact the conference
coordinator with suggestions regarding to the inclusion of additional sessions,
see contact information below.