Thursday, September 30, 2010

Local hero elevates neglected fish

The history of Native Americans and native American fish are intertwined. Now a professor with native American roots is charging up efforts to save the endangered Pacific lamprey and empower Native Americans.

Why mingle the issues? Indian Country Today explains:

For Close, the findings also indicate the importance of indigenous knowledge to science. He considers traditional knowledge to be just as important as Western science to the management of tribal resources.

Close directs the University of British Columbia’s Aboriginal Fisheries Research Unit, dedicated to training indigenous students to conduct cutting edge research of importance to indigenous communities in North America. The unit currently has two aboriginal students from Canada, and is seeking to recruit more First Nations and Native American students from Canada and the U.S.

“By getting more Native peoples into the sciences with master’s degrees and doctorates we can work through the political tool of self-determination to protect our tribal resources,” Close said. “Most of the time we have been hiring people to come in and do this science for us. They can miss important insights into natural processes that are known to our cultures, because of their cultural biases.”

No comments: