Although biologists and indigenous people have worked together for centuries, the relationship has tended toward friction. Scientists often looked askance at traditional knowledge, sometimes with harmful consequences for both science and indigenous livelihoods…
…”The hardest thing is to sit in a room with scientists who think they’ve discovered something, but their scientific discovery just confirms what our oral histories have talked about forever,” says William Housty, a member of British Columbia’s Heiltsuk First Nation and director of Coastwatch, a science and conservation program. “That’s been the biggest hump for us to overcome, to get people to think about our culture on the same level as Western science. “Rocky though the transition has been, wildlife biologists like Polfus are today pursuing more respectful and participatory relationships with indigenous people.
READ MORE: What indigenous communities are teaching scientists about nature | Vox
I was both honoured and delighted when Room asked me to compile a list of Aboriginal women authors as part of the 2015 celebration of National Aboriginal Day. While this list is by no means a comprehensive list of all the great Aboriginal women writers in Canada, it includes 14 writers whose work I have either come to know and respect or that are on my “to read” list. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to know many of these writers on a personal level.
We are a relatively small but growing community. I have found gatherings such as the National Indigenous Writers Conference and the Ânskohk Aboriginal Literature Festival to be important as they have offered opportunities to meet and learn from Aboriginal women writers. The authors listed here are all accomplished women that have had, or will have, a major impact on Canadian literature in general and Aboriginal literature in particular. READ MORE: 14 Aboriginal Women Writers to Read this Summer | Room Magazine.
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