BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
Celebrated Indigeneous scholar Dr. Kim TallBear keynoted the Women’s Board of the Field Museum’s Women in Science lecture and luncheon May 10. Recognizing the contributions women around the world are making in STEM, the Great Hall of the Museum came alive when Dr. TallBear began the day with remarks to young women from Chicago Public Schools about careers for women in scientific fields.
The 300 guests were treated to a special luncheon menu developed in collaboration with The Sioux Chef, a Minneapolis-based company devoted to revitalizing Native American cuisine. Taking place in-person at Field Museum for the first time since 2019, this year’s celebration was chaired by Women’s Board members Anu Aggarwal, of Chicago, and Alexis Eyler, of Evanston.
Dr. TallBear’s presentation was particularly timely: the Field Museum will open a new permanent exhibition, Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories, later in May. Following the keynote address, Dr. Alaka Wali, the Field Museum’s curator emeritus of North American anthropology, joined Dr. TallBear in conversation in front of an audience of Women’s Board members, museum trustees, civic leaders, and community partners. Dr. Wali most recently led the development of Native Truths.
Dr. TallBear (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous peoples, technoscience, and society at the University of Alberta. She studies the ways in which genetic science intersects with notions of race and indigeneity and the roles of science and technology in the colonization of Indigenous peoples and others. Dr. TallBear is the author of Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science and a frequent contributor to global media outlets on issues related to Indigenous peoples, science, technology, and sexualities.
Proceeds from the Women in Science Luncheon support museum opportunities for women aspiring to STEM careers, including annual summer internships for high school and undergraduate students, graduate fellowships, and a postdoctoral research position.
The Luncheon also underwrites the Field Museum’s Women in Science community, which provides support for the Museum’s science leaders, emerging scholars, a lecture and symposium series, networking events, and learning activities. The Women’s Board is the primary funder and the Museum’s lead partner in these efforts.
For more information about the new permanent exhibition Native Truths and more, visit fieldmuseum.org.