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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

Large Study Addresses Indigenous Biodiversity Decline

Chart illustrating biodiversity loss

vector mine/AdobeStock.com

Simon Fraser University (SFU), in British Columbia, is engaging with more than 150 Indigenous organizations, universities and other partners to highlight the complex problems of biodiversity loss and its implications for health and well-being in the Tackling Biodiversity Decline Across the Globe research initiative. The project is inclusive of intersectional, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary worldviews and methods for research, with activities in 70 different kinds of ecosystems that are spiritually, culturally and economically important to Indigenous peoples. One of the project’s six principal investigators, SFU assistant professor Maya Gislason, of the Faculty of Health Sciences, says, “Our work in health will focus on healing from the stresses and losses caused by colonial practices and on building healthier relationships to nature. By 2027, when the project completes, healing and well-being will have been important considerations within the development of holistic and actionable solutions intended to improve stewardship and care for people and the planet.”

SFU professor John O’Neil, former dean of the faculty of health sciences, says of the enterprise, “It is unique from many other large projects in its embrace of governance models like ethical space, Indigenous research methodologies and Indigenous knowledges.”

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