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Conferences & lectures

Decolonizing Light: centering Indigenous concerns in science

Date & time
Friday, June 11, 2021
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Tanja Tajmel, Louellyn White, Gregor Kos, Julie Delisle, Patrick Ragaz, Hilding Neilson, Ingo Salzmann, Cole Delisle


This event is free


Centre for Engineering in Society, First Peoples Studies, Kahnawá:ke Environment Protection Office


Tanja Tajmel



Video produced by Julie Delisle

How can Indigenous concerns and Indigenous knowledges take a centre place in the science of light? Concordia researchers are exploring this question together with students and Indigenous community members in the project Decolonizing Light.

Join us for a virtual symposium on the Decolonizing Light project: tracing and countering colonialism in contemporary physics.

The Decolonizing Light project explores ways and approaches to decolonize science, such as revitalizing and restoring Indigenous knowledges, and capacity building. The project aims to develop a culture of critical reflection of science and its relation to colonialism. The project is funded by the New Frontiers in Research Grant (NFRF).

Learn about two initiatives from this fascinating project:

Indigenous Astronomy

Students will present work based on an Indigenous astronomy learning experience. Students from a First Peoples Studies course at Concordia University got the opportunity to learn from Indigenous astronomer Wilfred Buck about Indigenous astronomy. In the webinar they will present their work. (Presenters: Louellyn White with students; Commentator: Hilding Neilson)

Citizen Science in Kahnawà:ke

The Kahnawà:ke Environment Protection Office (KEPO) together with researchers from Concordia University is training community members in a citizen science project to develop tools for community-led air quality measurement. The air quality measurement is based on laser scattering. In the webinar partners will present the project and discuss its relevance for the Indigenous community, and their collective goals. (Presenters: Julie Delisle, Patrick Ragaz, Gregor Kos, Cole Delisle, Yan Liu, Wassim Nijaoui, Danika Zachary)

A brief panel presentation with participants of both initiatives will follow the presentations.

How can you participate? Register for the Zoom webinar or watch live on our Facebook.

Have questions? Send them to

Presenters and Panelists

Tanja Tajmel, Associate Professor, Centre for Engineering in Society, studies questions of equity, human rights, and inclusion in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).  

Louellyn White, Associate Professor, First People Studies and Mohawk from Akwesasne. Her work centres on decolonizing research through Indigenous frameworks.

Gregor Kos, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is environmental analytical researcher and interested in local air quality and low-cost instrument development and performance.

Julie Delisle, Environmental Education Liaison at the Kahnawà:ke Environment Protection Office (KEPO), is interested in educating community on importance of air quality for the benefit of future generations.

Patrick Ragaz, General Manager of Field Science at the Kahnawà:ke Environment Protection Office (KEPO), is interested in environmental monitoring for the benefit of the community and the environment. 

Cole Delisle, Environmental Projects Coordinator at the Kahnawà:ke Environment Protection Office; interested in monitoring long-term air quality trends, and data analysis.

Hilding Neilson, Assistant Professor of Astronomy, University of Toronto, and Mi’kmaq from Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland). His work focuses on stellar and exoplanet astrophysics and on Indigenizing astronomy. 

Ingo Salzmann, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, investigates material properties with light.

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