Published on:

20th Sep 2022

Bridging Indigenous knowledge and Western science with Suzanne Greenlaw

There is a growing interest in managing natural resources like forests and waterways using both Indigenous ecological knowledge and Western scientific knowledge. While the intent behind these efforts is often well-meaning, the actual application and integration of these practices does not always take full account of the values and needs of Indigenous peoples.

In this episode, Megan interviews Suzanne Greenlaw, a citizen of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and a PhD candidate in the School of Forest Resources at the University of Maine. In her research, Suzanne weaves Wabanaki ecological knowledge and Western scientific knowledge to improve access to culturally significant plants, such as basket-quality black ash trees and sweetgrass. Suzanne shares her experience integrating Indigenous knowledge and scientific knowledge into natural resource management and the challenges she has observed throughout her career.

Resources and further reading:

We would like to acknowledge the Government of Canada for supporting this project.

Podcast artwork by Emma Hassencahl-Perley and Erin Goodine.

To support Community Forests International, please visit: forestsinternational.org/donate.

Show artwork for Below the Canopy

About the Podcast

Below the Canopy
“Below the Canopy” explores the relationships between people and the forests they care for, with a particular focus on the Wabanaki forest—a special forest type found across the northeast of Canada and the United States. Intensive forest management since colonization has degraded what was once a diverse and resilient forest while creating challenges for the communities who are most reliant on forests for their livelihoods. In this podcast, host and forest ecologist Megan de Graaf speaks to experts from the region to understand how we got here and how we might start to restore the forest to its former abundance. The series paints a hopeful vision for forests in the region, offering lessons for forest stewardship across Turtle Island.

This podcast is part of Community Forests International’s Common Ground Project, which seeks to build solidarity between settler and Indigenous communities through forest care.
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