• Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023

UMass Amherst Introduces Center Bridging Indigenous Understanding and Western Science


Sep 18, 2023
UMass Amherst Introduces Center Bridging Indigenous Understanding and Western Science

The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) is partnering with Indigenous communities across the U.S. and internationally to launch a new Center for Braiding Indigenous Knowledges and Science (CBIKS). This center, led by Sonya Atalay, PhD, provost professor of anthropology at UMass Amherst, aims to bring collectively Indigenous and Western scientists to fully grasp and address the interconnected impacts of environmental adjust on meals, culture, and society.

CBIKS will collaborate with 57 Indigenous communities across eight international hubs to conduct investigation and create climate adjust options. Moreover, it will expand its network of 40 organizations, like universities, tribal colleges, NGOs, museums, and sector partners, in order to additional collaborate with Indigenous communities and establish regional hubs.

The center is staffed by a group of more than 50 scientists, several of whom come from diverse Indigenous backgrounds, such as Native American, Initial Nations/Métis, Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native, Māori, and Aboriginal Australian. These scientists will function collaboratively, bridging cultural gaps and involving Indigenous neighborhood members alongside scientific researchers.

In its inaugural year, the Pacific Northwest hub of CBIKS plans to launch a project on conventional clam farming practiced by Native communities along the Pacific coast of Canada and the U.S. This project, as reported by the scientific journal Nature, will be the 1st of several investigation initiatives undertaken by CBIKS.

Notably, CBIKS is the 1st Indigenous information investigation hub to safe funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). More than a 5-year period, it will get $30 million from the NSF, with possible for further funding in the future. This economic assistance highlights the significance and recognition of Indigenous information as a worthwhile resource in scientific investigation.

According to Atalay, the vision for CBIKS is for braided Indigenous and Western methodologies to grow to be mainstream in scientific investigation. The center aims for these methodologies to be ethically utilized by scientists operating in equitable partnership with Indigenous and other communities. By performing so, they hope to address complicated scientific complications and supply location-primarily based, neighborhood-centered options to the urgent impacts of climate adjust on cultural locations and meals systems.