Coming together to learn
Arctic ecosystems are transforming at rates that far exceed generations of living memory of Arctic Indigenous residents, resulting in local-to-global impacts. This innovative planning grant centers on collaborative science that incorporates Indigenous values, cultural practices, and frameworks to innovate new forms of scholarship to inform society's most pressing challenges. This approach sets the stage for building responsible, ethical, and intentional relationships drawing upon Indigenous and western knowledge and science, co-conceiving how to most appropriately address the Arctic's most pressing questions and needs, and thus providing a roadmap towards the implementation of future convergence research.
This planning grant was revised in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have retained the original major goals of our project, including: building and strengthening the relationships necessary to ethically and meaningfully engage western and Indigenous scientists fully in collaborative research processes from the development of questions, to data collection, stewardship of data, and interpretation and application of results; developing a mutually respectful process for co-creating research questions and conceptual model that will guide and form the centerpiece of a grant proposal; providing a safe space for mutual learning through the inclusion and mentorship of Indigenous youth as the next generation of scientists and community leaders.
Our team includes University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists, the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island, and First Alaskans Institute. Together we have built relationships and centered Tribal self-determination in this planning project. At the direction of the Tribe, we are co-hosting community workshops in St. Paul with Elders, youth, and community members to gather input and perspectives on marine stewardship and research planning. We are also hosting racial equity dialogues and training with university and agency partners.
In summer / fall of 2022 this project will host a series of workshops on St. Paul Island. In winter of 2022, we will host racial equity dialogues and trainings in Fairbanks.