Expose Indigenous students to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) research careers with Canada's only synchrotron.


The Berry Project integrates Traditional Knowledge (TK) and mainstream Science in an experience that engages First Nation, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) teachers, students, and communities. The Berry Project creates a unique opportunity to incorporate food security, Traditional diet, health practices, land-based gathering management, and synchrotron science.

High School, Adult Basic Education, or Post-Secondary

Flexible Timeframes

Virtual and/or On-site

Students combine their community’s Traditional Knowledge to explore the elemental differences between harvested berries and multi-vitamins using synchrotron light. The project includes land-based portions, understanding of historic and modern-day treaties, sample preparation, Traditional relationships with the Berry Nation, Elder/Traditional Knowledge Keeper (TKK) lead environmental timelines, beamtime, learning how to interpret graphs and Indigenous career paths in STEM. The Berry Project generates a collection of cultural expression resources to keep TK alive through oral tradition. 

NSERC (logo in image) supports Indigenous Programs with the CLS Education Team.The Canadian Light Source is proud to offer the Berry Project and we acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) PromoScience to make this possible.

Project Protocols & Indigenous Ethics

The Canadian Light Source Indigenous Education projects followed traditional Protocol and Ceremony with Traditional Knowledge Keepers

The Canadian Light Source Indigenous Education projects followed Traditional Protocol and Ceremony with Traditional Knowledge Keepers Stewart Prosper, Yvonne Chamakese, Joseph Naytowhow, and Métis Nation of Saskatchewan Cultural and Education Director Lori Skjeie and Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Senior Researcher/Analyst - Science & Math, Dale Worme.

Project Leads

Bernie is the CLS Education Coordinator for Indigenous Programs.

Bernie is the CLS Education Coordinator for Indigenous Programs. Bernie creates valuable hands-on opportunities for students to explore Traditional Knowledge and mainstream science. The Arctic Fox, Bison, and Berry projects are three land-based learning opportunities that CLS offers. Bernie provides supports for educators and students by matching Indigenous Science mentors, community Traditional Knowledge and Language Keepers, Elders, and other community resources to each unique science project. Her knowledge of Indigenous communities, matriarchal family structure, and experience in intergenerational learning, assist teachers to create exciting science adventures where Indigenous Knowledge is the foundation.

Project Timeframe

These projects can be developed together with the students, teachers, mentors, CLS Education staff anytime during the school year. Sessions, listed below, are scheduled by the teacher with the Program Lead and can be adjusted to fit various timeframes. Through this process, students will participate in a science experience gathering Bison samples and pasture soil samples (collaborating with appropriate Herd Managers). Students connect to CLS through various online platforms and are guided through the sample preparation within their classroom. Samples are returned to CLS and processed during beamtime (virtual and in-person options available; dates for beamtime may vary). All data and results of the experiment will be shared with the class and teacher for presentation and future use.

Project Timeframe for the Berry Project at the Canadian Light Source

Session Length: We can customize from a 1hr session to a block session delivery

Project Options: Virtual or On-Site; Both available (COVID Restrictions do apply)

Coming to CLS Tips: See What to Expect on our CLS Website

Curricular Connections: Traditional Knowledge, Land-Based, Indigenous Science, STEM Career, Periodic Table of Elements, TRC Call to Action (Science), Soil Science, Sustainable Resource Management, Food Security, Traditional Diets and Medicine, and Inherent Gathering Rights

Indigenous Connections
Resources: See our Virtual Classroom Website

Additional CLS Educational
Resources: See our Virtual Classroom Website


Are you interested in participating in the Bison Project or have questions? Reach out to our Education Team email to learn more.

Email: education@lightsource.ca