Weaving Indigenous voices into biology curricula using freely available resources



Indigenous Science, biology, cultural competence


The incorporation of Indigenous content in science curricula in an inclusive, culturally respectful and safe manner can be difficult and requires a multi-faceted and mindful approach to avoid being culturally insensitive – a fear shared by many academics in this space, irrespective of intent.

In our first year Biology course, we previously used culturally/community sanctioned material through a shared community/University resource for this purpose, in 2022 this was no longer an option.

We describe how we quickly modified content, using freely available resources, to ensure exposure to Indigenous knowledge systems in our First Year Biology units was not compromised, and that our assessment held the same rigour and depth of experience that the sanctioned resource had delivered.

We discuss the importance of using Language, non-linear ways of thinking and the impacts of changing the resources used, in the hope that we can ease fears and provide some readily implementable pathways for others keen to embed Indigenous content into science curricula.

Author Biographies

Matthew Pye, The University of Sydney

School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Francesca van den Berg, The University of Sydney

School of Life and Environmental Sciences