Braiding our Knowledge: Land Based Teachings and Innovative Technology

Presenters: Norine Saddleback & Dr. Scott Heckbert

Several types of large-scale industrial development, particularly natural resource extraction, processing and transportation, threaten Indigenous people’s culture and land use customs in Canada and around the world. Monitoring these threats and developing strategies for mitigating them is usually undertaken by external, non-Indigenous consultants who are unable to fully understand the scale, severity and complexity of the threats. To address this, Indigenous communities are finding solutions through land based teachings; connecting and sharing their “Kinship to the Mother Earth” with educators, Elders and Youth in a safe, sustainable and respectful manner.  In doing so, land based teachings offer cultural teachings and monitoring for themselves as the Indigenous are taking control and ownership of the lifelong education journey and innovative technology regime. In this way, Indigenous Peoples represent and offer new career paths bridging past, to present and providing the tools to successful student and professional longevity. Our project worked with an Environmental Systems Solutions to develop a cultural and environmental information management toolkit, initially “grounding our audience” into “I am Cree and Cree is Me – Land Based Teachings”, this toolkit includes connecting Cree to the Creation Story and Landscape of Alberta, where space, place and time are then transported to an appropriate data collection technologies, monitoring methodologies, an information management system and a suite of reporting options. Braiding our knowledge with modern monitoring technologies puts us in charge of our traditional knowledge and customs by allowing us to monitor how these are changing and how we can protect them over time, both science and Traditional Land Use come alive, together and provide another portal to new and innovative wave of technology.


Extended Breakout Sessions: 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Room: EJSH 112