A Transboundary Gathering

The Floe team is co-organizing an Indigenous-led collaborative working meeting and coalition-building event with Whiteswan Environmental (WE), the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and the Institute for Multidisciplinary Ecological Research in the Salish Sea (IMERSS). The gathering will bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers, designers, students, and government officials from Canada and the U.S. to consider approaches to ecocultural mapping that respect cultural safety, address issues of data sovereignty, protect sacred knowledge, and ensure Indigenous leadership.

The Digital ecocultural mapping tool provides visualizations and storytelling about the natural, cultural, and historical significance of local ecological communities through the incorporation of biodiversity data, Indigenous language learning, art and other multi-media content. ‚ÄčTaking place on the ancestral land of the Indigenous Lummi people, the Transboundary Gathering will act as a catalyst for establishing an on-going collaborative partnership to support cross-cultural ecocultural mapping efforts in the Salish Sea region, and to share tools and resources that will support similar efforts elsewhere.

Participants will critically examine how an inclusive design approach can help to reconceptualize the design of technologies and cultural systems in ways that centre Indigenous leadership and epistemology. Together with Indigenous and non-Indigenous designers, scholars and technologists, we will undertake collaborative research, exploring the implications of co-design and interdisciplinary knowledge exchange among Indigenous communities, bioscientists, ecologists, and inclusive designers. Building on the development of community-led co-design methods, the gathering will provide an opportunity for workshop participants to critique, extend, and apply these practices to address the challenges of cross-cultural collaboration.