The Bison Project integrates Traditional Knowledge and Western Science in a transformative research experience for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) students. It seeks to reclaim and preserve the central and momentous historical contributions of FNMI women towards saving the Bison from extinction. Students participate in land-based sample gathering, timeline development, and CLS beamline experiments exploring elemental mapping of Bison hair and grazing soil.  More information about the beamline project and the partners we are working with can be found here: 

The project goal is to:

Improve First Nation, Métis, and Inuit student representation within STEM post-secondary programs and research careers.

The Bison Project takes a proactive approach to solve a scarcity of Indigenous Peoples in science and research by using the four R's: Restore, Replace, Renew and Reclaim. This program restores Indigenous worldview, renews gathering culturally relative scientific knowledge by Indigenous student researchers, replaces interpretation of history, and reclaims Traditional Ways of Knowing. This is done by incorporating Traditional Knowledge, Traditional Cultural Expressions, and Western Science using the synchrotron for each FNMI community participating in the project to set their own research priorities. 

The CLS Bison Project integrates Traditional Knowledge and Western Science for FNMI students


Are you interested in participating in the Bison Project, either through the workshop sessions, online distance project, or long-term collaborative project?
Fill out the registration form below and we will get in touch with you. 

Project Options

  • Workshop Sessions
    Workshops are delivered on a virtual platform and are intended for a class to be introduced to CLS science projects. They are around 60 minutes long and topics include but are not limited to:
    → Resource Management - Arctic Fox
    → Resource Management - Bison Herd
    → Role of First Nation and Métis Women in Saving the Bison from Extinction
    → Science of Making Bannock (with Traditional Teachings, Chemistry, and Physics themes)
    → Beading & Math Medallion
    → Soil Analysis
    → Agricultural Production
    → Light Refraction
    → Careers in Science & Research
    → How to See Yourself in Science
    → Food Sovereignty
    → What is a Synchrotron
    → Teacher Professional Development
           → Science Classroom Patterns of Behaviour
           → Traditional Knowledge-Family Structure 
           → Integrating Traditional Knowledge and Western Science
  • Online Distance Project
    Students will explore the viability of being able to identify elemental changes in Bison hair, teeth, hooves, horns, and bone from various locations across North America and compare that to elements in soil gathered from Bison's grazing and feeding area. Students will virtually engage with their scientific team, collect samples (only with Traditional Knowledge Keepers, Bison Herd managers, and Elders), mail their sample to the CLS, virtually guide the sample preparation, and partake live in the experiment during a scheduled beamtime. All data and results of the research experiment will be shared with the students and teacher for presentation and future use. 
  • Long-Term Collaborative Project
    There are two CLS Education programs that gear to students that are attending multi-year classes - Light Source Student Experience and Students on the Beamlines. Students create their project while teachers work with the CLS Indigenous Education Coordinator for supports and resources. At times the program lead will be able to attend the school, meet the staff and students, perform presentations, sample preparation workshop, or attend land-based classes. When the project has reached the experimental development stage, students will fly to Saskatoon, SK and stay at the University of Saskatchewan campus, complete a beamline experiment at the CLS, and return to celebrate and present their experience in a Traditional Cultural Expression to their caregivers, Elders, and community, of what they have learned. 

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If you’re looking for information on how you can use CLS techniques in your research program, please contact us using this form.

Example queries may include: Feasibility around a potential experiment? A scientific problem we can help you solve? Is your question related to a specific technique? Do you want to know more about how to apply for beamtime?