I’m defending my world
Taylor Morrisseau sees things through a unique lens, as both a scientist and a student of history, weaving traditional Indigenous teachings into medical research.
“In my second year, I took a simple Introductory Microbiology course and quickly became infatuated with the microscopic world. With the support of professors and academic advisors, I chose to pursue both biology and microbiology in anticipation for graduate studies and a career in research,” she says.
“Through my involvement in the cooperative education program, I had the opportunity to work alongside professionals in the fields of neuropharmacology, microbiology, and virology. These professors and researchers have been integral to my own leadership development and confidence.”
She also strongly believes in developing leadership in others. She is an active volunteer with the Indigenous Circle of Empowerment, the Neechiwaken – Neechiwaken Indigenous Peer Mentor Program, and the Children Rising Mentorship Program.
Taylor is always looking for ways to honour her culture while moving research forward. Her work with NSERC Create H2O Program for First Nations Water and Sanitation Security has been a hands-on way to do research and be an advocate for change at the same time.
“Indigenous people have always been defenders of land and I intend to uphold this value through my research. Through research and education, we can defend our lands, culture, and languages and preserve this knowledge for generations to come,” says Taylor.
“While on a service learning trip in Belize of February 2014, I was questioned by a Mayan elder as to why I did not know my language. His question was simple enough but had such a profound impact on the way I view my indigeneity,” says Taylor. “I have since enrolled in Cree classes at the U of M with the intention to become fluent.”
“Each word holds history and meaning that I intend to unfold and reconcile with my education in science.”
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