How do we gain knowledge about mountain systems? Historically, our understanding of mountains has predominantly been studied using Western scientific methods of research. However, Indigenous knowledge and ways of thinking have often been underappreciated, and in some cases, even excluded from mountain research, which leaves an important part of mountain heritage and knowledge unlearned. This is beginning to shift as more scientists and researchers working in mountains embrace and engage with traditional forms of knowledge and learning.
On the latest Canadian Mountain Podcast episode, Canadian Mountain Network (CMN) investigators Leon Andrew and Glen MacKay discussed the benefits of using both Indigenous and Western approaches, and how their respective methods of understanding work together. Leon is a Shúhtagot’įnę Elder with the Tulít’a Dene Band, who has been helping Glen MacKay integrate traditional knowledge into their collaborative research in the Mackenzie Mountains, Northwest Territories. Glen MacKay is a territorial archeologist with the Culture and Heritage Division of the Department of Education, Culture and Employment of the Government of the Northwest Territories, as well as a Research Associate at Aurora College. Andrew leads the Canadian Mountain Network project, Nı́o Nę P’ęnę́ – Trails of the Mountain Caribou: Renewing Indigenous Relationships in Conservation and MacKay leads the CMN-funded Shútagot’ıne Cultural Landscape Project.