Monday, November 14 Plenary Session

Tara McAllister
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Science Whitinga Fellow
Centre for Science and Society
Victoria University of Wellington
New Zealand

Dr. Tara McAllister is a Māori scientist, interdisciplinary scholar, and mother belonging to the iwi (tribes) of Te Aitanga ā Māhaki and Ngāti Porou from Aotearoa, New Zealand, with expertise spanning from freshwater ecology to racism in the tertiary sector. Her research has sought to address the underrepresentation of Indigenous scholars in academia and has resulted in changes to policy and practise within the tertiary sector in New Zealand. Her current research explores understanding the experiences of Māori and Pacific postgraduate science students and brings attention to all the ways in which universities continue to marginalise Indigenous people and their knowledge systems.

McAllister earned a B.S. in ecology and biodiversity and marine biology from the Victoria University of Wellington and a postgraduate diploma in ecology and Ph.D. in water resource management from the University of Canterbury.


Michael Blackstock
Artist, Gitxsan Nation

Michael Blackstock is a Northwest coast Gitxsan artist who expresses his vision through paintings, carvings, and photography. He began exploring his First Nations heritage through visual art in 1986. He has studied under the Gitxsan Master Carver Walter Harris, who won the Governor General’s award for his artistic contribution to Canada.

Blackstock earned an M.F.A. degree in First Nations studies from the University of Northern British Columbia, and he has served as a member of the UNESCO-IHP Expert Advisory Group on Water and Cultural Diversity.

Blackstock is also a published author. His recent book Oceaness is a book of social commentary that includes poems, essays, and art works. It features his theory of Blue Ecology, which was developed with Elders by interweaving their perspective with that of Western science. The themes of this book are water, ecology, oral history, human rights, music, and humour.