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Atlantic Forest Research Collaborative

Indigenous Knowledge WG

The AFRC Indigenous Knowledge (IK) Work Group was established in 2019 to address the priority research question “How do we raise IK to an equal value, and treat it the same as western science?”

Work group members

Darren Allen (Natural Resources Canada - Canadian Forest Service)
Susannah Banks (New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners)
Georgianna Barlow (Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Inc.)
Cecelia Brooks, Watergrandmother, Canadian Rivers Institute, UNB (Work Group Coordinator)
Steve Ginnish (Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Inc.)
David Knockwood (Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Inc.)
Peter Neily (Nova Scotia Department of Lands & Forestry)
Chris Norfolk (New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development)
Kevin Percy (UNB - AFRC)
Jesse Popp (Mount Allison University)
Tom Soehle (Nova Scotia Department of Lands & Forestry)

Stephen Wyatt (l’Université de Moncton)

IK work group Meetings and Highlights

November 19, 2019 hosted by the UNB Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management

The inaugural meeting focused on members’ expectations of, and goals for the WG. A proposed 2020 Atlantic-Region workshop on Two-Eyed Seeing was presented and discussed at length.

Key points included:

  • All members supported the goal of raising the awareness and contribution of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) to collaborative research.
  • The WG is a forum where those engaged in western science and IK can come together and learn from each other.
  • Members share many of the same values.
  • All of us are knowledge holders in our own right.
  • If western science and IK are together from project conception, we can all get perspective.
  • The workshop “Two-Eyed Seeing and Natural Resource Development in Atlantic Canada” was introduced.


February 12, 2020 hosted by the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development

This meeting focused on two WG projects, and on a discussion of new research questions provided by WG members.

Key points included:

  • An update on the “Two-Eyed Seeing Workshop” was given. The Workshop will be funded by Natural Resources Canada through an agreement with UNB. The AFRC will oversee and administer the project. It will bring Elders and youth from Indigenous groups in Atlantic Canada together with western researchers in order to provide respectful shared input on how to move Two-Eyed Seeing into practice. An Elder-validated report will be used to inform others.
  • An emerald ash borer research project has been funded by the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation. Project objectives include training of Mi’kmaq youth in EAB detection/monitoring; a community-based monitoring plan; and implementing a pilot project in one community under Two-Eyed Seeing practices. The project was to be initiated in late March.
  • Among the new research questions (a living list) posed and discussed at length by WG members were:
    • Is an evaluation of First Nations engagement in commercial forestry activities needed?
    • Is there a need for a study on Indigenous past and present uses of the forest?
    • How do we prioritize issues put forward by Indigenous communities?
    • What are the opportunities facilitating, or barriers preventing, IK being viewed as a valued approach to forestry and wildlife questions?
    • How can the IKWG be employed to develop better research?

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