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Incorporating Indigenous Knowledges into Federal Research and Management: What are Indigenous Knowledges?

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Detailed Description

In November 2022, the White House Office of Science and Policy released guidance on how Federal agencies can ethically acknowledge and incorporate Indigenous Knowledges (IK) into science, management, and decision making. This first-of-its-kind document recognizes IK as an important body of knowledge contributing to a more complete understanding of the natural world. It also acknowledges the U.S. government's past history of marginalization of and resource extraction from Indigenous peoples and the impact this left on building trusting relationships.

In this webinar series, speakers will explore what it means to ethically engage with Indigenous Knowledges in resource management and conservation spaces. We will learn from Tribal and Indigenous communities about the frameworks they use to protect and share their knowledges, and from Federal agencies about how they navigate their responsibility to foster respectful, mutually beneficial relationships with knowledge holders.

We hope these sessions are of particular value to Federal employees seeking to build partnerships with Indigenous peoples and to Tribal citizens and Indigenous peoples seeking to understand resources and opportunities for collaborating with Federal partners.

For up-to-date information and to access webinar recordings and transcripts, please go to

This webinar series is hosted by the National CASC in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center, the USGS Office of Tribal Relations, and the CASC’s Tribal Climate Resilience Liaisons. Special thanks to Coral Avery (Bureau of Indian Affairs; Northwest CASC) for designing the graphics used in promotional materials for this series.

Session 1: What are Indigenous Knowledges?

Nisogaabokwe – Melonee Montano, is a mother, grandmother, and an enrolled member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Outreach Specialist for Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) where she helps assess climate change impacts on treaty resources and potential threats to Ojibwe culture and lifeways. She is also a Grad Student at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in the Natural Resources Science & Management Program under the Forestry Department. Prior to GLIFWC she was Red Cliff’s Environmental Programs Manager where she has also served on various committees including EPA’s Regional Tribal Operations Committee, Alliance for Sustainability, Treaty Natural Resources, the Integrated Resources Management Plan, and is currently serving on the Great Lakes Compact Commission. She holds a B.S. degree in Healthcare Administration with a Native American and Environmental Studies emphasis. Lastly and most importantly, she is a lifelong student of her cultural ways.

Daniel R. Wildcat is a Yuchi member of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma. He is director of the Haskell Environmental Research Studies (HERS) Center and member of the Indigenous & American Indian Studies Program at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. In 2013 he was the Gordon Russell visiting professor of Native American Studies at Dartmouth College. Dr. Wildcat received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. In 1994 he partnered with the Hazardous Substance Research Center at Kansas State University to create the Haskell Environmental Research Studies (HERS) Center and subsequently start the HERS summer undergraduate internship program with KU professor Dr. Joane Nagel. He is a noted speaker on Traditional Ecological Knowledges and has offered programs for NOAA, NASA, AGU, ESA, NCAR, and many scientific organizations and universities.




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