This program invites us to explore how we can weave biomimicry with Indigeneity. 

Biomimicry –the science-based discipline of observing, connecting with, and emulating nature as the starting point for sustainable design innovations –as such its worldview has the potential to attract Indigenous students. Biomimicry, in practice, recognizes multiple scientific roots, including the essential Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) of Indigenous peoples of having a deep respect and relationship with nature. These essential aspects of Indigenous practice are central to the practice of biomimicry.

In collaboration with Indigenous academics, educators, students, and elders focused on Traditional Ecological Knowledge, we are collaborating to develop a woven program that offers place-based, community, and nature-inspired solutions. Three activities have been implemented starting in Spring 2023. Developing and implementing Indigenous and Culturally Appropriate modules to be integrated into Biomimcry courses. The collaboration between El-Sayed and Melissa Nelson on a podcast called Knowledge Symbiosis: Can Biomimicry and Indigenous Science Harmonize – a 5-part series that explores the intersection of biomimicry and Indigenous knowledge system. The series is aired on Native Seed Pod and the Learning from Nature podcast. Finally, an NSF-funded conference/gathering explored potential pathways for Indigenous students into more STEM degrees via Biomimicry.