Indigenous knowledge of culturally important plants, and the transfer of this knowledge from Elders to younger generations is an issue of growing importance right across BC and Canada. Ensuring this information is successfully retained within Indigenous communities is critical as continued industrial development, and the resulting loss and degradation of naturally functioning ecosystems, reduces the opportunity to access undisturbed landscapes and threatens the ability to conduct Traditional Ways of Living.
Ecora works alongside our Indigenous partners and other Indigenous Groups on a project basis, in a manner that mutually benefits our environmental sciences staff and those Groups we proudly share our landscapes with. Our work has the shared objectives of educating our ‘western science’ practitioners as well as supporting our Indigenous partners through implementation of current and emerging technologies to support Traditional and Cultural Land Use management. As reliance on Indigenous information and their engagement for project approval continues to grow, the assessment of vegetation and ecosystems is the foundation to understand, assess, and provide mitigation for a wide range of potential effects on cultural values.
The Cultural Plant services Ecora provides include:
- Field visits with Indigenous membership, including youth and Elders, to observe and document plants and their cultural uses
- Field inventories and mapping to describe and identify ecosystems of relative importance
- Development of Traditional Plant Field Guides, with emphasis on making them accessible to technical and non-technical audiences
- Field research on plant growth before and after forest disturbance
- Field research and climate risk modelling
- Modeling of species-specific habitat across large landscapes, incorporating modern technology such as LiDAR and machine learning technologies