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Native Sun News Today: Indian academics join March for Science

Robin Kimmerer, a citizen of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation who serves as the director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at State University of New York, speaks at the March for Science in Washington, D.C., on April 22, 2017. Photo: Hillel Steinberg

Indian academics endorse March for Science
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Today
Health & Environment Editor

RAPID CITY –– Indian academics took part in the April 22 March for Science in Washington, D.C., and other simultaneous satellite marches and in Rapid City to advocate for the further incorporation of indigenous traditional knowledge in solving contemporary problems.

More than 1,200 indigenous scientists, scholars and allies worldwide signed a declaration to endorse the March for Science, they announced April 18.

Co-authored by four leading Native American academics, the declaration “Let Our Indigenous Voices Be Heard” states:
“Our tribal communities need more culturally embedded scientists and at the same time, institutions of Western science need more indigenous perspectives. The next generation of scientists needs to be well- positioned for growing collaboration with indigenous science. Thus, we call for enhanced support for inclusion of indigenous science in mainstream education, for the benefit of all.

“We envision a productive symbiosis between indigenous and Western knowledges that serve our shared goals of sustainability for land and culture. This symbiosis requires mutual respect for the intellectual sovereignty of both indigenous and Western sciences.”

The March for Science highlights the critical role of science in protecting and improving human societies and urgently calls attention to the threat to science by new public policies in the United States, they noted.

March organizers also noted that the event “has generated a great deal of conversation around whether or not scientists should involve themselves in politics. In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery, we might ask instead: Can we afford not to speak out in its defense?” they say.

In a media release, indigenous declaration co-authors Robin Kimmerer, Rosalyn LaPier, Melissa Nelson and Kyle Whyte said, “We imagine the declaration as a powerful statement to illuminate and elevate indigenous science in the minds of the public and scientific communities, for the benefit of people and planet.”

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