Questions and Answers
Eric Juengst: Trudy, what's your pleasure? Would you like us to
take a few questions.
Trudy Turner: Yes.
Juengst: The floor is open. Morris.
[inaudible comment to Frank Dukepoo]
Dukepoo: Thank you for your comments, Morris. I didn't mean to
pick on you personally, but I just wanted to point that out as.. part of
the complex, how complex this is. It's already been done and published.
Now, what we're going to look at in the future is what effect does this
have on other Indian populations. I mean, how will the other tribes
look at Oklahoma Apaches? And I'm getting comments that say, well,
did they sell out, what did they do, were they enticed, what was their
-- was there somebody up there in the tribal ranks who sold out his tribe?
You know, these kinds of questions are raised, and I think these are important
issues that we have to look out. And I hate to pick on that one tribe,
but I looked at it because it was published, and I thought this was legitimate
to just cite this as an example. So, I'm glad that you mentioned
that we are learning from this, from the other side, but I'm curious about
what repercussions it might have on the Indian community, because like
I said, that word spreads real fast.
[inaudible comments from several participants]
Dukepoo: You know how we distinguish, you guys are elephant Indians,
we're horse Indians! [laughter]
Juengst: Well, here you've gotten me well beyond my area of expertise
Juengst: Right. I guess it would be, follow the model of the field
biologist, who would say -- not that I have a particular population, but
I have a particular geographic locale. I want to put a grid across,
you know, the lower half of South America, and sample randomly across that
grid, and see what kinds of patterns emerge. I mean, I'm not a scientist,
so you have to tell me whether that's a feasible... Well, it won't
tell some kinds of stories, that's for sure. It won't -- [inaudible
comment] Right. It won't tell -- [inaudible] Uh huh.
[inaudible comment] That's right. And in that case, it's a,
you have to, I guess, be hard-nosed on that issue. You have to be
the neutral, Galilean scientist who says, well, I can't worry about what
this does to your cultural myths and social integrity. I just have
to let the facts fall out as they may. Maybe that's unacceptable
in this day and age! Okay. [inaudible] No, I don't have
a good formula for how to resolve that problem, because in some ways, I
think it's irresolvable. But maybe the answer then is, then you ought
to let people know that, so that even at the level of when you're getting
consent from a locale, say this might have repercussions for your kin in
other places, take that into consideration. Or, the other option
would be to say if one group says no, then we don't involve any of their
sibling groups around the world. That's the perspective that -- [inaudible
comment]. Right. Well, that's the perspective that the Human
Genome Diversity Project committee has actually taken, that if somebody
says no, that we won't accept samples from any other kin.
[inaudible question] Well, which program, the Human Genome Diversity
Project? [inaudible] No, as I understand it, it was an expression
of interest by the scientific community first, and a proposal to the government
that this would be a good thing to do. [inaudible] To the extent
that it's not funded, right!
[inaudible question] Well, maybe it's a kind of embryonic child.
Because there are scientists that are still interested in pursuing it,
and they're in the process of trying to figure out how best to do that,
through this grant that funds this workshop, is part of that process.
The NSF has called for proposals to figure out the best ways to do this.
[inaudible] There are so many scientific questions you can ask
by taking this general approach of comparing genomes, that it would be
equivalent to saying, well, what is the goal of human science, of studying
human beings? I mean, there are medical goals, historical goals,
anthropological goals. [inaudible] tape stops and resumes.
Good, well, maybe we can discuss that in the small groups.
Dukepoo: Can I just address that briefly? It's kind of,
Indians are saying, when they encountered the white man, and the white
man looked on the Indians and said, "Gee, look at all this land, you're
not doing anything with it! We'll show you what to do with your land."
It's like now, they're coming back, "Gee, look at all these genes you have,
we'll show you what to do with those genes!" [laughter] Something
like that, right? Maybe.