Under the direction of our Science Coordinator, Alejandro Frid, CCIRA has established a record of publishing in top scientific journals. This growing body of work illustrates CCIRA’s commitment to doing rigorous research on marine resources that matter to our Nations, while also illustrating how Indigenous knowledge and Western science can complement one another.
In collaboration with Natalie Ban of the University of Victoria, Alejandro and co-authors Mike Reid (Heiltsuk), Barry Edgar (Kitasoo/Xai’xais), Danielle Shaw (Wuikinuxv), and Peter Siwallace (Nuxalk) recently published a paper in the prestigious journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.
The paper highlights the individual strengths of Indigenous knowledge and Western science, illustrating how these complementary world views can be used in combination to enhance research. When it comes to resource management this is critical. The authors point out that when Indigenous perspectives are not considered in research, policymakers may lack the information needed to make socially just and ecologically sound decisions.
“Our view is that Indigenous peoples and scientists can…fruitfully combine their different ways of understanding the past and predicting the future, thereby improving conservation and resource management policies.”
Our Nations have seen this time and time again with resources like herring, crab, salmon, eulachon and more when Federal and Provincial governments make decisions that do not incorporate our values and our intimate knowledge of Central Coast ecosystems.
“Importantly, Indigenous knowledge and ecological science recognize the interconnection of all living and physical entities,” write the authors. “Our view is that Indigenous peoples and scientists can…fruitfully combine their different ways of understanding the past and predicting the future, thereby improving conservation and resource management policies.”
The authors also provide specific recommendations and best practices for other ecologists wishing to foster collaborative relationships with Indigenous peoples. These include developing research protocol agreements with local people, among other suggestions. Together, this work makes a strong case for the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge in scientific research while creating a path for other scientists to follow.
CCIRA’s growing body of scientific publications can be found on our Reports page.