WPC honours the National Day for Truth and Reconciliaton

As we honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day, on September 30, WPC would like to express our appreciation for the great contributions that Indigenous Peoples have made towards wildlife conservation.

As caretakers of the land, Indigenous people hold wisdom that has been passed down for many generations. No scientific study can compare to that type of longevity in record keeping. We can gain a deeper understanding of how to save the most vulnerable species by listening to the knowledge of all of the land’s inhabitants, and learn from a history of how people once lived in harmony with wildlife.

WPC specializes in hands-on conservation for endangered species across Canada. We honour this day by sharing Indigenous voices and work that has influenced the thoughts and actions of WPC’s community of wildlife biologists.

The following list of suggested reading is only a small sample of what is available. #IndigenousReads is a movement to encourage reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples by sharing Indigenous literature. We welcome your own recommendations as they relate to nature and conservation below in the comments.

Lectures, Webinars, Conversations 

1. Braiding Ways of Knowing. A conversation between Drs. Wall Kimmerer and Dr. Nancy Turner about the idea that Indigenous and scientific ways of knowing could be braided together when working with traditional ecological knowledge in ecological restoration and the ecology of mosses. https://www.waysofknowingforum.ca/dialogue3

2. TEDx – Indigenous Perspectives on Sustainability by Dr. Jeannette Armstrong. Indigenous author and activist, Jeannette Armstrong, pleads that we must stop looking sustainability from only an economic basis and that we must remember that the earth is our fragile home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLOfXsFlb18

3. Indigenous Conservation Practices and Strategies. Gary Prichard. Webinar. January 2021. Canadian Environmental Law Association. View the three part webinar series: https://cela.ca/indigenous-ways-of-knowing-in-conservation-webinar-series/


4. More than Personal Communication: Citation Templates for Elders and Knowledge Keepers. The development of new citation templates to be used when citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers in publications. 


Published Work and Articles 

5. Native Land Map. Explore First Nations and languages in your local area. https://native-land.ca

6. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. Robin Wall Kimmerer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braiding_Sweetgrass

7. Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Canada from the US National Park Service. A list of peer-reviewed publications and popular news articles related to Traditional Ecological Knowledge : https://www.nps.gov/subjects/tek/canada.htm

8. Respect for Indigenous knowledge must lead nature conservation efforts in Canada. The Conversation. April 2021. https://theconversation.com/respect-for-indigenous-knowledge-must-lead-nature-conservation-efforts-in-canada-156273

9. Bringing two-eyed seeing – Indigenous knowledge and science – to fisheries and conservation. CBC Quirks and Quarks Interview. February 2020. https://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/feb-15-agriculture-moving-north-arrokoth-s-secrets-the-microbiome-for-flight-and-more-1.5463847/bringing-two-eyed-seeing-indigenous-knowledge-and-science-to-fisheries-conservation-1.5463853

10. Indigenous Learning Resources from the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network. A list of resources that have been recommended by Indigenous advisors, members and partners as a way for you to deepen your understanding and move forward the Calls to Action set out by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  https://cbeen.ca/indigenous-learning-resources/