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Indigenous Knowledge Exchange for land and water governance

Indigenous peoples around the world are asserting their cultural and political governance systems for environmental stewardship and traditional land use practices on their territories. Based on in-person exchanges between Maasai representatives from Tanzania and First Nations in BC and the Yukon Canada, an upcoming manuscript will share key insights from intercultural exchanges that provide a deeper understanding of the ways Indigenous groups assert their place as environmental stewards.


The foundational research approach is community-based and includes a series of participatory videos that show the diversity and richness of the cultural use of, and connection to, land and water.  Bridging knowledge systems in the context of environmental stewardship enabled consideration and diversification of perspectives around achieving ecological governance. This work holds ecological relevance in speaking to ways of upholding and preserving cultural teachings that promote environmental sustainability in a broader context.

An upcoming manuscript is entitled Cross-cultural exchanges to advance place-based action toward Indigenous environmental stewardship describes the outcomes of an Indigenous-Indigenous cross cultural exchange supported by SSHRC Connection Grant (2019) and a Partnership Development Grant (PDG; 2021-23). Elicia Bell's particular role within the broader project is as this articles lead author.

Information for this article was derived in large part from the short film ‘Indigenous Connection’, released in the fall of 2021, highlighting some of the mutual interests and shared concerns of Maasai and First Nations around land and water governance. A second film, 'Indigenous Knowledge Bridging of Land and Water Governance', was produced in 2023.

Broader project conducted in partnership with:

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