Two-Eyed Seeing: A Seventh Generation Approach to Restoring Climate Resiliency to Pacific Northwest Forests
Ashley Russell (miluk coos & pamunkey)
Assistant Director Culture and Natural Resources
The Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians
OSU Faculty Research Assistant FES
Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence, Maybelle Clark Macdonald Director of Tribal Initiatives in Natural Resources, College of Forestry
Climate change, land use shifts related to Euro-American settlement, and the related elimination of Indigenous cultural stewardship practices are increasing the size and severity of wildfires throughout North America. We will discuss how returning Indigenous stewardship to Pacific Northwest forests, including cultural burning, can increase these forests’ climate resiliency. Indigenous Knowledge is best science. We will discuss how Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science, which represent two very different worldviews—can come together in a manner that honors Tribal Sovereignty Rights. We will present about our work with federal agencies and the White House to braid together Indigenous Knowledge and Western science, called Two-Eyed Seeing, to help us heal the damage done to our nation’s forests by settler colonialism. Using our personal stories about forests, grounded in Indigenous Knowledge and multiple ways of knowing, we will illustrate how values of reciprocity, cultural humility, and a Seventh Generation approach can help us find a better path forward for our Nation’s forests and humanity.