A new science paper from Snowchange, out today, investigates Indigenous ethics and co-management. It is published in the American Journal of Evaluation.
The applicability of Indigenous ethics to the evaluation of ecological restoration is explored through two case examples involving the Indigenous Sámi rivers of Näätämö and Ponoi in the European North.
Six key restoration approaches are described that would have been overlooked had it not been for the use of Indigenous ethics from the start of the work. The detection of rapidly proceeding climate change impacts and species range shifts, algae blooms, documentation of gendered coastal lifestyles, and ultimately the ecological restoration of salmonid habitats were recognized as critical markers of success when these approaches were practiced, lived and cherished by all members of the cogovernance community.
This article asks critical questions about the role of Indigenous knowledge and rights within comanagement and environmental evaluations and makes the case for land-based lifestyles as vehicles for maintaining distinct, culturally relevant ethics processes.