Engagement of Indigenous and Western Science Knowledge Systems

Ahnee : Boozhoo : Sago #D2C2015

Since 2009, Jeji Varghese (Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Guelph, Canada) and Steve Crawford (Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph) have worked with Ojibway and Mäori colleagues in a Nawash/Saugeen Ojibway Nation-sponsored research program aimed at improving the practical engagement between Indigenous and Western Science knowledge systems in natural resource management and environmental assessments. Our research program is in its final year of funding by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, with an explicit objective to effectively transfer our research products to the communities directly involved in these issues. Due to the major similarities - but also important differences - between the New Zealand and Canadian Crown’s cultural and legal relationship with their respective Indigenous populations, we decided that it would be most effective to organize a parallel symposium in Aotearoa/New Zealand (6 May 2015).

Implementing the Crown's Duty to Consult with First Nations on Natural Resource Management

Engagement of Indigenous and Western Science Knowledge Systems

June 9th, 2015 Public Symposium - Room 104, Rozanski Hall, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario (free registration, capacity 600; tea/coffee only)

SPECIAL PARKING UPDATE: University of Guelph is offering registrants special event parking in Lots P14/P15 (see map link below) for a discounted fee of $10 cash for the day. We have arranged for attendants (in orange vests) to be available at P14/P15 from 08:00-10:30am on 9 June to sell these 1-day UG parking passes; please have $10 available to make the transactions as simple and quick as possible. University of Guelph Map (Parking/Rozanski)

The goal of the public symposium at UG Rozanski Hall (9 June 2015) is to bring together a variety of knowledgeable people to share their understanding of the Crown's responsibility for reciprocal and meaningful consultation between Indigenous-Western Science knowledge systems in natural resource management and environmental assessments. The symposium will be devoted to a series of selected presentations by informed speakers on critical issues related to implementation of the Crown's Duty to meaningfully consult Indigenous knowledge systems in natural resource management:


  • 9:00 Opening Prayer, SON Welcome - Chief Vernon Roote
  • 9:10 Symposium Background, Goal & Objectives - Steve Crawford & Jeji Varghese
  • 9:20 Anishinaabe Law and Consultation - John Borrows
  • 9:40 (Re)Envisioning Aboriginal Consultation and Consent - Lorraine Land
  • 10:00 Ethics and Knowledge Exchange in Indigenous/Settler Relations - Kyle Whyte

  • 10:20 Morning Break

  • 10:40 Traditional Knowledge in Indigenous Consultation and Accommodation - Deborah McGregor
  • 11:00 Understanding the Nature and Necessity of Knowledge Systems Interaction - Roronhiakewen (He Clears the Sky) Dan Longboat
  • 11:20 A Cultural Framework for Knowledge System Engagement Protocols - Jeji Varghese & Steve Crawford
  • 11:40 Mechanics of Knowledge System Engagement Protocols - Steve Crawford & Jeji Varghese

  • 12:00 Lunch

  • 13:00 A Perspective on Infringement - Chief Isadore Day
  • 13:20 Consulting and Accommodating First Nations in Canada: A Duty That Reaps Benefits - Dean Jacobs
  • 13:40 Consultation and Accommodation vs Reserved Indigenous Jurisdiction - Chief Dean Sayers
  • 14:00 Reclaiming Our Responsibilities - Sue Chiblow
  • 14:20 The Duty to Be Consulted - Kathleen Ryan
  • 14:40 Honouring the Word - Miptoon

  • 15:00 Afternoon Break

  • 15:20 Moderated Discussion: "What Conditions Are Required To Fulfill The Crown’s Responsibility to Meaningfully Consult Indigenous Knowledge Systems On Natural Resource Management Issues?” - Moderator: Steve Crawford
  • 16:30 Wrap-up, Closing Prayer - Jeji Varghese & Steve Crawford, Chief Roote

Speaker Biographies

Symposium Resources

In this way, the symposium agenda leads toward consideration of practical actions that should be taken to ensure effective engagement between Indigenous and Western Science knowledge systems in the management of Canada's natural resources.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Steve Crawford & Jeji Varghese
University of Guelph, Canada

Engagement of Indigenous and Western Science Knowledge Systems