Indigenous knowledge views invasive species as an opportunity: “Every plant and animal is useful to us” – Canada

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‘Every plant and animal is useful to us’: Indigenous professor re-thinking how we deal with invasive species
‘It is our responsibility to figure out how they are useful,’ says anthropologist Nicholas Reo […]

When invasive species show up, Western science tells us they should be dealt with.

But Nicholas Reo wonders whether we should instead ask why they’re here in the first place. […]

“So, if a new plant or animal moves into your home place, how do you fit it in?”

(Ben Shannon/CBC)

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“Even within one small community, there [are] many perspectives about how we relate to these new plants and animals,” said Reo.

That survey found that many Indigenous communities are working with local governments to address concerns. Increasingly, they’re using traditional knowledge to find solutions.

In some cases, invasive species are finding a new place in existing food systems. In others, communities have taken a live-and-let-live approach to their new neighbours. […]

“An approach that’s rooted in kinship would say that we need people to spend more time in these places in order to foster deep, meaningful relationships with the land.”

Written by Jason Vermes with files from Molly Segal. Illustrations by Ben Shannon.

Source: ‘Every plant and animal is useful to us’: Indigenous professor re-thinking how we deal with invasive species
Accessed: 22 April 2018


“The practice of religious rituals, ceremonies and sanctions by specific cultural groups allow such sacred landscapes to be maintained, emphasizing that humans are intrinsically part of the ecosystem. Taboos, codes and customs specific to activities and community members restrict access to most sacred groves. […] The inclusion of local people’s needs and interests in conservation planning is increasingly accepted as essential, both to promote the well-being of human populations, and to ensure that biodiversity and conservation needs are met in the long-term.” – Nazir A. Pala, Ajeet K. Neg and N.P. Todaria in “The Religious, Social and Cultural Significance of Forest Landscapes in Uttarakhand Himalaya, India” (International Journal of Conservation Science, Vol. 5, Issue 2, April-June 2014) | Sacred groves | Biodiversity and development – Himalaya >>

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