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Bicultural collaboration roadmap

Photo by Zak Sakata on Unsplash

Indigenous knowledge and modern research can combine to generate valuable new information. That’s the findings of a new bicultural study published today in the European Geosciences Union’s journal Earth Surface Dynamics, which sets out a roadmap for how this can work in the area of geosciences.

“There are clear links between Indigenous knowledge and values with respect to geomorphology,” said Clare Wilkinson, a Ph.D. student at Te Whare Wananga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury, “but there is not much research that weaves these two cultural knowledge bases together.”

By pinpointing a range of tools relating to framework methodologies, the review paper provides pathways for the development of bicultural collaboration designed to ‘maintain the integrity and validity of both methodologies’.

Clare highlights the importance of oral histories. In the case of the Aotearoa New Zealand Palaeotsunami Database project, for example, details on tsunamis that occurred before official recordkeeping began can provide vital insight on these ‘potentially destructive mega-waves’.

 “It is an exciting time to be a researcher and to play a part in increasingly important engagements with Indigenous culture and knowledge,” added Wilkinson.

Official UN SDG advocate, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, who is today’s Inside Ideas podcast with Marc Buckley, has a vision to grow support for both traditional knowledge and science to improve resilience to climate change especially for rural communities. Watch/listen now.


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Susan Robertson
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Susan is the co-founder of Innovators Magazine and a consultant for OnePoint5 Media. Susan is also a member of the UNFCCC-led Resilience Frontiers Nexus group and a board member of the APOPO Foundation UK.


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