AAA/CASCA Executive Program Committee
Executive Session - Oral Presentation Session
Honoring various knowledge bases is necessary to recognize the effects climate change is creating in communities around the globe. Indigenous communities have millennia of deep rooted relationships with the environment, thus we have acquired valuable information pre-dating Western science data and have long focused on species with high cultural significance (and often times, a perceived low economic value). Indigenous communities continue to ask questions, make observations, gather and share data and ideas, inform policy and address societal issues, complimentary to Western scientists’ endeavors. Conceptually different though, Indigenous knowledge embodies aspects of spirituality, holistic considerations, and cultural values (i.e. respect, subsistence). By embedding a community-driven Indigenous framework in epistemology and pedagogy, outcomes for all students indicate advances in conceptual understanding of the content presented, with the additional layer of perspective and skills otherwise not addressed in formal education settings. To address climate change through collective impact, it is imperative that 1) the Indigenous voice of the community is represented and honored, including Indigenous scholars; 2) information is accessible for comprehensive understanding and is provided by and to the Indigenous community; and 3) authentic engagement and implementation occurs in a manner that is respectful in terms of time and space, representation, and completeness as determined collectively. An example of a national Indigenous youth gathering that follows the four key phases of the Collective Impact Model will be reviewed and the formidable conclusions described.