SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
16 March 2017
Volume 18 Issue 3

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Formation of the Indigenous Knowledge and Values Interest Group

Tamar Schlekat, SETAC Scientific Affairs Manager, Bradley Moggridge, IK&V IG Interim Chair, and Waitangi Wood, IK&V IG Secretary

The SETAC Word Council (SWC) accepted the proposal for the formation of a new global Interest Group (IG) focused on Indigenous Knowledge and Values (IK&V). This cements the support of the SWC behind what has become increasingly evident to many SETAC members, which is the need to build close ties between traditional knowledge systems and research science practices for the benefit of environmental quality.

IK&V are increasingly being applied in approaches focused on improving environmental quality. For example, in many instances culturally significant species are used as indicators in the assessment of air, soil and water quality. Applying an indigenous knowledge lens to any environmental assessment allows for holistic consideration of the impact of chemical and environmental stressors on natural resources and people reliant on them for their cultural, spiritual and physical well-being. It is equally important that indigenous communities have the opportunity for capacity building and access to scientific principles and practices in considering the impact of contaminants to their environments and culture.

The SETAC IK&V IG will provide a mechanism for indigenous and non-indigenous people to collaborate through knowledge sharing, conference papers, new research, publications and mentorship. The IK&V IG will contribute to scientific environmental intelligence by identifying natural alignments between indigenous and non-indigenous knowledge and science systems. The IG will also serve as a mechanism to encourage indigenous peoples to access high-quality environmental science as well as facilitate the dissemination of indigenous knowledge to non-indigenous scientists and stakeholders informing decision-makers and policy development. This IG should lead to positive social, environmental, economic and cultural outcomes for indigenous communities around the world.

As with any IG, all are invited to join to keep abreast of group initiatives and to learn how to contribute. Please visit the IK&V IG group page for more information, or contact interim chair Bradley Moggridge or any member of the founding steering committee.

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