indigenous science


Protect the Arctic Refuge youth rally in front of the Yukon legislative assembly. Katarzyna Nowak

Indigenous and Western Scientists and Knowledge Holders Partnering for the Public Good

Katarzyna Nowak, lecturer at University of Alberta / Yukon University; Jared Gonet, PhD student at University of Alberta / Yukon University., , UCS

We are two conservationists: a First Nations Yukoner and Canadian, and a first generation immigrant-settler with dual Poland-U.S. nationality. Our paths crossed through mutual interest in Indigenous-led stewardship, Two-Eyed Seeing, and holistic approaches like One Health. We are proponents of two-eyed seeing which means, “To see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous ways of knowing, and to see from the other eye with the strengths of Western ways of knowing, and to use both of these eyes together”. With two-eyed seeing, it becomes easier to see, for example that the health of people, wildlife and our shared environments is so intertwined as to be one (“One Health”). 

We think that an exciting paradigm shift is underway that could transform how we engage with governments and other institutions for the public good.     Read more >

Katarzyna Nowak
Katarzyna Nowak
Katarzyna Nowak
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Indigenous People of Louisiana and the Oil Industry: An Ishak Reflection

Jeffery U. Darensbourg, freelance writer, speaker, and editor, , UCS

While doing field research in 2018 for a book, I took a boat to a shell midden in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, near where the Vermilion River – long home to my ancestors of various sorts – meets up with the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway before spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. My people, the Ishak, also known as the Atakapa (or even the Atakapa-Ishak) once inhabited the nearby Onion Bayou. Our ancient midden is bisected by a ship channel known as Four Mile Cutoff.

Standing there, I watched ships ferrying workers and equipment for oil exploration, going straight through the middle of this remnant of our cultural legacy. In our tribal creation myth, the first Ishak walked out of that very gulf onto our lands. Now something else coming from there is a dominant cultural, environmental, and economic force.

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