Prof. Faisal Moola, Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics, spoke to CBC North on efforts to reform Canadian conservation policies and practices to recognize the important knowledge of Indigenous peoples.
For years, Moola said, traditional Indigenous land use practices for maintaining healthy ecosystems have been dismissed or ignored by mainstream science, but that has begun to change.
But he said he worries that the biocultural knowledge that give Indigenous people a “deep understanding about their landscapes” is also disappearing.
He noted that the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership launched in 2019 is helping to connect Indigenous leaders with Western scientists to develop a new approach to conservation that preserves biocultural knowledge.
Moola is an ecologist who studies conservation leadership and policy. Before joining U of G, he worked for the David Suzuki Foundation, where he was the director general for Ontario and Northern Canada.