6 Guidelines for Projects involving Traditional Indigenous Knowledge

Traditional Indigenous knowledge (TK) and traditional resources have been managed by Indigenous communities since time immemorial. The arrival of Europeans and the ensuing insatiable demand for resources, coupled with colonizing policies and the imposition of western worldviews, undermined and threatened the continuity of traditional knowledge. However, over the past four decades, there has been an increasing appreciation of the value of traditional knowledge in resource development projects, environmental management, government policies, and co-management strategies. Increasingly, its role in climate change monitoring is considered critical.

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Reactive vs proactive racial bias training

I was recently included in a conversation on CBC’s The Current about the efficacy of anti-bias training. The host, Anna Maria Tremonti had three guests with different perspectives weigh in with their opinions. I was in pretty esteemed company - Javeed Sukhera, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University, and Frank Dobbin, a professor of sociology at Harvard University. Click the link below to read the transcript of the interview:

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Why continuity of Indigenous cultural identity is critical

We all belong to some form of culture and identify with that culture in varying degrees. Our understanding of our own cultural identity begins at birth and is developed by the environment in which we grow up. It may be a loose affiliation or the guide that directs our daily activities. Whatever the connection, our cultural identity provides a sense of belonging.

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Rise of Indigenous Traditional Knowledge in Environmental Assessments

There are more and more articles in the news about the value of Indigenous traditional knowledge being taken into account in climate change studies, environmental assessments, wildlife management, plant species’ studies. That has not always been the case. Historically, traditional ecological knowledge was largely ignored by western ecological science practitioners.

In this article, we take a look at the many factors that had to be in place to support recognition of Indigenous traditional knowledge (ITK) from obscurity to being considered a valuable asset in environmental studies. At the time of this writing, May 2018, it is still not mandatory in the environmental assessment process.

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The Indian Act and Bestseller in the same sentence

I want to reflect on how the social and political landscape of Canada is changing. It may not be as fast as some of us would like, or as all-encompassing, but it is happening.

I’m convinced partially because I am an Indigenous relations trainer and my training calendar is increasingly at capacity. The increase in demand for information about Indigenous Peoples started to pick up about five years ago and has increased sharply in the last 12 months. The people taking our courses are from all walks of life. Some take the training for personal growth, as a pledge to reconciliation, while others are there because their corporate leaders or department heads want the team to have Indigenous relations training.

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Debunking Misconceptions About First Nation Totem Poles

There’s lots of lore and misconceptions about First Nation totem poles. In this article we address six of the more common misconceptions.

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What Does Indigenous Knowledge Mean? A Compilation of Attributes.

What does Indigenous knowledge (IK) mean? That’s a big question because “there are approximately 370 million Indigenous people in the world, belonging to 5,000 different groups, in 90 countries worldwide. Indigenous people live in every region of the world...” [1] At this point, there isn’t a hard and fast definition accepted and recognized by all; it can mean different things to different societies and cultures.

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What are Gladue Reports?

Indigenous people account for less than five percent of the Canadian population, yet represent 25 per cent of the total inmate population. Canada is not alone, however, in having over representation of Indigenous inmates. In Australia and New Zealand the rate of incarceration of Indigenous people is also disproportionately high.

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Working with Indigenous Communities: ONT SPCA Launches Year of the Northern Dog Campaign

The abundance of dogs in both non-Indigenous and Indigenous communities in northern Canada is an escalating animal welfare issue. This article takes a look at the initiatives of the Ontario SPCA to work with Indigenous communities to provide animal welfare services and programs to facilitate a solution. The Ontario SPCA and partners have just launched “The Year of the Northern Dog” campaign to bring awareness, attention, and action to the overpopulation of dogs in the north

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Canada’s Complicated History with First Nation Totem Poles

Canada has a complicated history with the totem pole. Totems have been misunderstood, coveted, stolen, quashed, copied, and celebrated.

The first recorded mention of a pole, which was a house pole,  was on Langara Island in the Haida village of Dadans, c.1790, by John Bartlett, who wrote: 

“We went ashore where one of their winter houses stood. The entrance was cut out of a large tree and carved all the way up and down. The door was made like a man's head and the passage the house was between his teeth and was built before they knew the use of iron."

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