[MARMAM] Building equity with Indigenous Knowledge and science

Raychelle Daniel raychelleg at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 10 16:01:50 PST 2021

Hello all, I wanted to open up a conversation (and eventually dialogue?) with this community about the equitable inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge in marine mammal biology.  With all of the calls towards equity and inclusion, we've only really touched on this through the discussion about unpaid positions and the structures (governance/society) that allow for this to happen but a more broader conversation about equity is needed.  I'm writing because I've had some conversations about Indigenous Peoples and organizations and their interactions with the marine mammal scientific community in several arctic management/policy venues.  I feel like there is a need to build more equity with Indigenous peoples in the Arctic, and specifically the recognition of the value of Indigenous Knowledge (IK).

In the Arctic, Indigenous Peoples (including where I'm from near the Bering Sea) have lived for millennia systematically accumulating holistic knowledge that connects across systems (eg, biological, chemical, physical, social, cultural) that has been passed from generation to generation, including to today, in modern times.  This knowledge goes beyond observations, and includes a wealth of information about how the system is connected and functions that includes marine mammals role therein.  In working towards building equity and better relationships between science and IK, I wanted to first hear about some of your experiences, stories and models (you can email me directly raychelleg at hotmail.com) and maybe those of us interested can think about ways to advance these within this community.  I also wanted to share some good resources (published mostly over the past year) to build knowledge and breadth about this topic with recent academic publications and resources:

Racism at root of Indigenous Knowledge being ignored in academia says UBC professor:

Towards reconciliation: 10 calls to Action

Ways of Knowing: A conversation of national and planetary significance

Decolonise science - time to end another imperial era

Inuit Circumpolar Council Alaska Inuit Food Sovereignty and Self-governance report

Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Policy book

I am hoping that by sending this email message, I am opening up an opportunity to craft something (workshop, session, working group?) for the SMM conference coming up later this year.

Please reach out to me at:

Raychelle Aluaq Daniel
The Pew Charitable Trusts
p: 202.540.6411 | c: 202.695.9609 | e: rdaniel at pewtrusts.org
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