Tracy Bear on the Importance of Indigenous Knowledge

Indigenous & Northern Communities

By: Tracey Bear

Professor Tracy Bear is a well-known researcher focusing on Indigenous knowledge, resilience and embedding research in true partnerships with communities. In 2021, she was appointed director of the McMaster Indigenous Research Institute.

Hundreds of thousands of Canadians got to know Professor Bear through her role as academic lead of “Indigenous Canada”—a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) designed to help Canadians understand the history of Indigenous Peoples. Since its inception in 2016, the course has grown from twenty thousand to more than four hundred and sixty thousand learners and has been named the most popular online course in Canada.

In our conversation Tracy talks about how Canadians need to face the uncomfortable truths of the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples. We also need to understand that the impacts of these uncomfortable truths continue to impact Indigenous families and communities to this day.

Ultimately, you will hear that Tracy is optimistic that greater understanding of Indigenous ways of knowing will help us all move forward and enrich our lives.

If you’re someone affected by residential schools and you need help, the number for the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is 1-866-925-4419.

Tracy Bear

Tracy Bear

Director, McMaster Indigenous Research Institute, and Assistant Professor, Indigenous Studies Department, McMaster University

Require an accessible version of this podcast?

Upon request, The Conference Board of Canada offers accessible versions of our podcasts. Please contact us to request your accessible version.

Learn more about our accessibility policies.