Dr. Robert Cockcroft - McMaster University


Title: Indigenous Skies: Increasing Diversity in Astronomical Knowledge through Community- and Curriculum-Building

I will describe a dedicated undergraduate course that includes both Eurocentric and Indigenous astronomy, that I taught previously at Western University and could be offered at McMaster.  I will (having received permission) share the Celestial Bear story from the Cayuga Nation as an example of the kind of material for such a course.  This presentation was originally developed for the McCallion Planetarium, where it was still being shown pre-COVID.

One of my larger goals as a faculty member in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster is to foster long-lasting relations with Indigenous communities – both on and off campus.  I will help increase both the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing in course offerings, and the representation of Indigenous peoples at all levels – student, faculty, and staff – in astronomy and science in general.  I will discuss how this inclusion and increased representation will not only benefit Indigenous communities by making astronomy more accessible, but it will also benefit all students by increasing the diversity of the academic community and its curricula.

Rob Cockcroft is a white settler originally from the UK.  Rob lives and works as a grateful visitor on traditional territories of the Attawandaran, Algonquin, Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Leni-Lunaape, and Mississauga Peoples, and works with a number of Indigenous scholars. 

Speaker: Dr. Rob Cockcroft


Institution: McMaster University

Location: Zoom

Host: Dr. Christine Wilson
Topic: Physics & Astronomy Colloquium
Time: Feb 24, 2021 03:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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