Kim TallBear

Current affiliation:
Associate Professor, Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta

By blending research and creative practice in her RELAB, Professor Kim TallBear (Native studies, University of Alberta) seeks to showcase “good relations” between Indigenous peoples and their territories, disrupted by settler-colonial binaries and hierarchies.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation fellowship project: The RELAB

Project objectives: To foreground Indigenous theories, standpoints, and self-determination by blending social science and humanities research with creative practice in a research, performance, and exhibition space: the RELAB. It will foster the following initiatives:

  1. A two-day symposium, “Making Good Relations: Decolonial Environments and Sexualities”;
  2. An Annual Research/Creation Innovation Lecture, “Making Good Relations: Decolonial Environments and Sexualities”;
  3. The Tipi Confessions theatre cooperative, shows, and writing and performance workshops;
  4. The RELAB podcasts.

Read the full project.


Kim TallBear is an Associate Professor, Faculty of Native Studies and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience & Environment, University of Alberta. She is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz and of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professor TallBear is the author of one monograph, Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013), which won the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association First Book Prize. She is the coeditor of a collection of essays published by the Oak Lake Writers, a Dakota and Lakota tribal writers’ society in the USA.

Professor TallBear has written two-dozen academic articles and chapters published in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Sweden. She also writes for the popular press and has published in venues such as BuzzFeed, Indian Country Today, and GeneWatch. She is a frequent blogger on issues related to Indigenous peoples, science, and technology. Professor TallBear is a frequent commentator in the media on issues related to Indigenous peoples and genomics including interviews in New Scientist, New York Times, Native America Calling, National Geographic, Scientific American, The Atlantic, and on NPR, CBC News and BBC World Service. She is a regular roundtable member on the Media Indigena podcast hosted by Rick Harp.

Professor TallBear has advised science museums on issues related to race and science. She also advised the former President of the American Society of Human Genetics on issues related to genetic research ethics with Indigenous populations. She is a founding ethics faculty member in the Summer internship for Indigenous Peoples in Genomics (SING), and has served as an advisor to programs on genome ethics at Duke University and Stanford University. She is also an advisory board member of the Science & Justice Research Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Professor TallBear was an elected council member of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) from 2010-2013. She a co-producer of the Edmonton sexy storytelling show, Tipi Confessions, a key project of the ReLab, a research-creation laboratory, she founded at the University of Alberta.

Dr. TallBear is a citizen of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in South Dakota and is also descended from the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.

  • June 26, 2018
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