Over the past few weeks Lola the underwater remote operated vehicle (named by the Chippewas of Nawash Fisheries Assesment Program) has been swimming all over the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. Lola the ROV is a piece of smart technology that is a part of the Bima'azh project. Lola's smart technology is being used to explore the spawning shoals of Dikameg (Lake whitefish) to help commuity members understand and investigate what could be contributing to their decline, aswell as helping us to gain a deeper understanding of Dikameg behaviour.
This unique piece of smart technology allows for community members to gain a never seen before perspective of what lies under the surface of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. During our field work this past month we have found invasive speices, whitefish sawning shoals, different substrates, and lot of fish friends!
Collective Environmental also got the chance to teach youth from the SON who were apart of a warerfirst science program, how to use the ROV. Oppourtunites for land-based learning and real experiences like this one are so important for the youth involved.
Where will Lola get to explore next? And what will she find?
Last week Collective intern Ruth Duncan attended the Joint Aquatic Systems Meeting, the biggest international meeting about aquatic systems! Ruth presented The Bima'azh Project, and highlighted the importance of using the Two-Eyed Seeing approach with research, the incredible value that Indigenous Knowledge systems hold, and how community-based research can produce sound scientific data, as well as build community capacity and knowledge. Ruth highlighted how useful The Two-Eyed Seeing approach can be when doing community-based work, and how western science doesn't validate community knowledge, but instead gives us a better understanding, and adds to the story. Within the session, lots of different presentations spoke to how important community science is, and how people from all walks of life should be able to contribute to research projects because that is when the most knowledge is shared. There was a theme throughout the entire week of creating collective groups, sharing research and different approaches, and most importantly valuing different knowledge, perspectives, and rights, and using that to work together for more culturally appropriate and sustainable solutions. The week was filled with much fun and knowledge. Check out Collective Environmentals Instagram for more pictures from the conference!
For more information about The Bima'azh Project, check out our past blog post!
This video showcases the collective of personalities working on the Bima'azh project, providing a closer look into the importance that this project holds.
Join Collective Environmental at the Foundations of Jurisdiction and Governance Webinar
You are invited to attend a free webinar to hear from Independent Consultant and former Resources Manager for Saugeen Ojibway Nation, Doran Ritchie as he provides an overview on building strong foundations for Jurisdiction and Governance in First Nations Territories.
Doran will share his successes and lessons learned on structuring and prioritizing the high demand for consultation. The webinar will cover topics that are key for success when establishing or expanding your governance portfolios.
To register or learn more about the webinar visit:
We are so excited to announce that Collective Environmental is working in partnership with the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation Fisheries Assessment Program and Saugeen Ojibway Nation Environment Office on this Smart Great Lakes Project!
Bima’azh (to track along or to follow trail along)
Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation Fisheries Assessment Program | Saugeen Ojibway Nation Environment Office | Collective Environmental Consulting
Ryan Lauzon | Kathleen Ryan | Mary Claire-Buell | Alexander T. Duncan
Over the past two decades, Lake Huron has undergone drastic changes, resulting in the decline of dikameg (lake whitefish; Coregonus clupeaformis) throughout the lake. Dikameg are a socio-ecologically important fish species that play a vital role in the ecosystems of Lake Huron. Since time immemorial, the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) have harvested dikameg for ceremony, trade, and subsistence, developing a strong cultural connection and understanding of this fish species. By applying a two-eyed seeing approach, Bima’azh (to track or to follow trail along) will further our understanding of dikameg habitat and behaviour on a fine spatial scale.
Smart-technology (e.g., acoustic telemetry, remotely operated underwater vehicle), SON-based ecological knowledge, and education will be used to collect and share information on dikameg.
By generating data on the fine spatial scale behaviours, habitat, and movements of dikameg, and by working with the SON, we will obtain a more holistic understanding of dikameg’s relationship to their habitats in the SON Territory and address the SON’s concerns and questions about their decline. Bima’azh will build capacity, assess the status of dikameg habitat, provide an example of two-eyed seeing and smart-technology, and inform decision making to ensure dikameg thrive for another seven generations.
Looking forward to our next steps as we learn more, remove the phragmites, and bring back the medicines.
As part of Mary-Claire's PhD work with the Saugeen Ojibway Nations, and continued work with CE, this project pushes the boundaries of how environmental science is conducted. Shifting the approach to not just include Indigenous Knowledge in a project but to have it be a focal point of approach, execution and evaluation. This was to ensure equitable representation of the knowledge and values of the two partner communities. We hope others can take this example and apply it in their own work as our country moves towards implementing UNDRIP.
Collective Environmental will be at the Magnetawan Land and Resources Conference.
CE Founder Mary-Claire will be speaking about projects that have been co-developed by community partners and our researchers around environmental contaminants.
We will also have a table at the conference, so come say hello! We would love to meet you.