From June 6th-9th, CMN gathered virtually and in person for our second annual Knowledge Sharing Summit on Treaty 7 Territory in Mînî Rhpa Mâkoche, also known as Banff National Park, the home of the Iyârhe Nakoda Nations (Bearspaw, Wesley, Chiniki), the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut'ina – part of the Dene people, Ktunaxa, Secwépemc, Mountain Cree, and Métis. This year's theme was Indigenous Knowledge and Science: Moving Mountains and Beyond. We heard and learned from Indigenous knowledge holders and researchers, who spoke about the fantastic work they are doing to sustain the health and resilience of mountain systems, places and peoples.
CMN’s strong dedication to advancing the understanding and braiding of Indigenous and Western knowledge systems is truly unmatched in Canada and serves as a model for the international community. From advancing Indigenous stewardship and monitoring of lands and wildlife, to supporting the reassertion of Indigenous place names, to facilitating the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge in transboundary agreements, CMN’s work is breaking new ground in Canada’s research ecosystem.
See a slideshow below of the event:
We started our Annual Knowledge Sharing Summit on June 6th with two training workshops geared to supporting Network Members, Hubs, Projects and trainees. The first workshop, “Taking Your Research Public”, was presented by Meg Wilcox, Canadian Mountain Podcast producer, with her team of journalism students from Mount Royal University, and focused on how to create a podcast on knowledge mobilization. The second workshop, “Training Opportunities and Employment Pathways in the Environmental Sector” was presented by representatives from ECO Canada and aimed to inform participants of training opportunities and employment support.
Those who attended the Summit in person were invited to a welcome reception on the evening of June 6th, where diverse attendees, including Indigenous organizations and communities, university researchers, government, business, and not-for-profit partners, were able to network and get to know each other in an informal setting at the beautiful Banff Rocky Mountain Resort.
On Tuesday, June 7th, we heard from CMN-funded Strategic Initiatives and Knowledge Hubs, which are centres of activity that are co-led and co-developed by Indigenous communities, Elders and knowledge holders and Western researchers. This was also the first time some of our seven Strategic Initiatives presented their work: Braiding United Nations Global Agendas: Supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Sustainable Development Goals through CMN; Building Resilience to Natural Hazards in Mountain Communities through Two-Eyed Observation and Monitoring; Reconceptualizing Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management Through Indigenous Knowledge Systems, as well as the Canadian Mountain Assessment, and the Mountain Legacy Project.
The 7 Knowledge Hubs were newly funded in 2021. We were delighted to hear how their first year of activities have gone and impressed at the progress teams have made in such a short time! It was fantastic to hear Clayton Lamb discuss the Indigenous-led caribou conservation happening in British Columbia, as well as Carissa Waugh and Coralee Johns, who shared the work that their group is doing on salmon conservation. These were a few among the many initiatives that were presented on June 7th, 2022.
On Wednesday, June 8th, we heard updates from CMN-funded research projects. Several of these projects have wrapped up their work with CMN and it was great to hear their final presentations and learn about the impacts they have made! The projects making their final presentations were:
From the Mountains to Our Tables: Freshwater Security in Three Canadian Eastern Rocky Mountain Watersheds — Suzanne Tank
Mobilizing Mountain Metrics that Matter: Inuit-Led Environment and Health Monitoring in the Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve —David Borish
Managing Groundwater Resources in Mountainous Areas: Planning for and Adapting to Drought Conditions — Diana Allen
The Mountain Risk Knowledge Exchange – Building Risk Management Capacity and Resilience in Mountain Communities Glyn — William Jones
We thank these projects for their dedication to mountain research and the work that was completed to help better our mountain communities and ecosystems.
Throughout the day we heard from both virtual and in-person presentations outlining their work, with William Snow starting off the day with his team’s work on the reintroduction of Buffalo into Banff National Park. We also heard from projects across a broad range of topics and knowledge areas, from ungulate horn sizes and the effects of big game hunting, caribou conservation, sustainable tourism, Indigenous laws, and concepts of inland hills thought to be mountains.
We took some time to reflect on all the knowledge shared during the Summit: not just listening and learning during presentations but also connecting and reconnecting to build relationships that will bridge the distances as everyone returns to where they came from. We are thankful for the many ways of knowing and doing that came together to share and the opportunity to participate in a community where we can grow from these experiences.
CMN now moves into the second round of the Strategic Science Fund application to further expand our work beyond mountains, where Indigenous Knowledge and Western Knowledge come together for a holistic and inclusive approach to help better Canadian wildlife, ecosystems and communities.
If you joined us virtually or in person click here to view recordings from our Knowledge Sharing Summit.
We look forward to gathering again next year!