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Indigenous Scientist Chats

Indigenous Scientist Chats

This webinar series highlighting Indigenous professionals in STEM fields is now available online!

This series was created for high school students and the general public with a focus on Indigenous learners, but all were welcome to join.


Joseph Pitawanakwat

Joseph is Ojibway from Wiikwemkoong, married with one daughter. He is the Founder & Director of Creators Garden, an Indigenous outdoor, and now online, education based business, focused on plant identification, beyond-sustainable harvesting, and teaching every one of their linguistic, historical, cultural, edible, ecological and medicinal significance through experiences. His lectures and intensive programming are easily adaptable to make appropriate and have been successfully delivered to a variety of organizations. Including over 100 first nations communities, 20 Universities and 12 colleges and dozens of various institutions throughout Canada and the United States and beyond. He is currently a Masters Student in the MES program at York University, but has learned from hundreds of traditional knowledge holders and is uniquely blending and reinforcing it with and array of western sciences.


Corey Gray

Corey Gray is Scottish & Blackfoot and a member  of the Siksika Nation of Alberta, Canada. He grew  up in southern California and received Bachelor of  Science degrees in Physics and Applied Mathematics from Humboldt State University  (HSU).  

After undergrad, he was hired as a Detector  Operator by Caltech in 1998 to work for the  astronomy project, LIGO (Laser Interferometer  Gravitational wave Observatory) in Washington  State. At LIGO, Corey worked on teams to both build and operate gravitational wave detectors.  

The LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) made  historic news in 2016 by announcing the first direct  detection of gravitational waves, which helps prove a prediction made 100 years earlier by Albert  Einstein! 

In his free time, Corey likes to backpack, travel,  salsa dance, cross-country ski, watch films, share  science with the public, and kayak (with wooden kayak he recently built).


Dr. Hilding Neilson     

Dr. Hilding Neilson is a CLTA assistant professor in astronomy at the University of Toronto where he studies stellar physics and exoplanets while working to integrate Indigenous knowledges and methodologies into the academic study of astrophysics. He is Mi’kmaw and a member of the Qalipu First Nation of Newfoundland.