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Centering Indigenous Knowledges in ecology and beyond

Joseph Gazing Wolf, Danielle D Ignace, Dominique M David-Chavez, Lydia L Jennings, Deondre Smiles, Paulette Blanchard, Ellen Simmons, Diana Doan-Crider, Ruth Plenty Sweetgrass-She Kills, Michelle Montgomery, Melissa K Nelson, Linda Black Elk, Luke Black Elk, Gwen Bridge, Ann Marie Chischilly, Kevin Deer, Kathy DeerinWater, Trudy Ecoffey, Judith Vergun, Daniel Wildcat, James Rattling Leaf

2024 United States

There is a resurgent enthusiasm for Indigenous Knowledges (IK) across settler–colonial institutions of research, education, and conservation. But like fitting a square peg in a round hole, IK are being forced into colonial systems, and then only as marginal alternatives. To address this mismatch, the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Section of the Ecological Society of America (ESA)hosted a 2-day workshop—entitled Elevating Indigenous Knowledges in Ecology—at the 2022 ESA Annual Meeting, which was held on Kanien’keháka (Mohawk) and Ho-de-no-sau-nee-ga (Haudenosaunee) territories in Montreal, Canada. This gathering of21 interdisciplinary Indigenous ecologists included scholars from across the career and professional spectrum. By consensus, workshop participants (including the authors of this article) identified four emergent themes and respective guiding questions asa pathway toward the transformation of settler–colonial institutions into IK-led spaces. We highlight this pathway to support actions toward systemic change, inspire future directions for Indigenous and non-Indigenous ecologists, and nurture stronger relationships between Indigenous communities and the Western sciences, toward actualized decoloniality.