Background/Question/Methods We are a storytelling species who created our collective knowledge and culture through stories. Academic Science (or STEM) as practiced in the dominant Western cultures occupies a hegemonic position as the primary source and repository of collective knowledge about the universe. Ecologists are beginning to acknowledge that western science too often supplanted local knowledges of indigenous peoples living in the colonized lands for millennia. In the dominant colonial epistemic hierarchies, non-western knowledge, e.g., about climate, seasonality, local flora and fauna, is treated as primitive/superstitious, or at best a separate category of "traditional knowledge" that needs Science’s blessings to be taken seriously. This erasure of local knowledge hurts not only the indigenous communities, but also limits progress in science because western-trained scientists must re-"discover" what was already known about many phenomena. “Decolonize STEM” is an urgent call for a new praxis whereby different knowledge systems can not just coexist but learn from each other and grow together. Scientists must build trust with communities harmed by colonization and science, and cede ground (physical and intellectual) and sovereignty over data and knowledge. This is particularly relevant for ecological sciences grappling with global changes threatening ecosystems inhabited by indigenous peoples facing the brunt of consequences of colonial technologies such as fossil fuel based energy production. Training students in SciComm is becoming common, driven by the urgency to communicate about climate change and the extinction crisis. An important step towards Decolonizing STEM education is to expose students to indigenous knowledge and train them to communicate effectively and build proficiency at translating between cultures. Trust comes from open communication and willingness to cede data sovereignty and share authorship. In my Decolonizing Science graduate course (part of a new Minor in Public Science being developed at NC State University), students learn to communicate not only within discipline, but also with a broader public through various media. Results/Conclusions The spring 2020 class was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Students responded by shifting focus to studying the impact of pandemics on Native Americans. Diving deep into collaborative research, students extended the project past the semester into the summer and fall. The class invited Navajo scholar Dr. Karletta Chief to become a coauthor on the resulting article which focused on the Navajo Nation. The article was published in Science for the People magazine’s special issue on BioPolitics in early 2021.