Increasingly, wildlife and fisheries researchers and managers are called to “bridge” or “integrate” Indigenous knowledge systems with Western scientific approaches towards better understanding and managing ecosystems. But without fundamental attention paid to relationships among participants, differences in worldviews and knowledge systems, and structures to make sure bridging processes are equitable and just, these “integration” exercises can reinforce exploitation and inequities that have been – and remain – common in these contexts.
In partnership with the Jared Gonet (PhD student and Taku River Tlingit Citizen), I recently had the honour of presenting collaborative work that presents a framework to move beyond exercises of incorporating and integrating Indigenous knowledge and towards equitable knowledge-bridging for the Canadian Section of the Wildlife Society. During this joint presentation, I shared research led by Dr. Andrea Jane Reid (Indigenous Fisheries Scientist at UBC) regarding Two-Eyed Seeing (or Etuaptmumk in Mi’kmaw). Two-Eyed Seeing, as brought forth by Elder Dr. Albert Marshall, embraces “learning to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of mainstream knowledges and ways of knowing, and to use both these eyes together, for the benefit of all.” Jared greatly enriched the discussion by presenting further details regarding knowledge bridging, ethical space, and modern examples of and cautions in this work.
I encourage you to take a peek and be in touch with any thoughts. For more background on Etuaptmumk (“Two-Eyed Seeing”), please see the following work led by Dr. Reid.
Reid, AJ, Eckert, LE, Lane, J-F, et al. “Two-Eyed Seeing”: An Indigenous framework to transform fisheries research and management. Fish Fish. 2021; 22: 243– 261. https://doi.org/10.1111/faf.12516
Note: this presentation is made available by and part of the Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society Education Committee. Navigate to their home page to learn more.