FLOWnGROW WORKSHOP: “I created Blue Ecology, by interweaving the best threads of Indigenous and Western Science, to lay a new foundation, to make water-first decisions,” stated Michael Blackstock
Note to Reader:
Michael D. Blackstock is an independent scholar, professional forester and chartered mediator of European and Gitxsan descent. Currently, he is Negotiator/Project Engagement Lead at BC Hydro.
Work by Michael D. Blackstock in pioneering the concept of BLUE ECOLOGY was a source of inspiration for program development for the FLOWnGROW Workshop (November 2016), a joint initiative of the Partnership for Water Sustainability, the Irrigation Industry Association of BC (IIABC), and the Okanagan Basin Water Board.
Below is the video of Michael’s presentation.
Blue Ecology – An Idea Whose Time has Come
“Michael Blackstorck made a profound comment to several of us. He said he is writing for future generations. They are his target audience,” reported Kim Stephens, FLOWnGROW moderator and Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC.
“There is something to that way of thinking because…..when we launched the waterbucket.ca website in 2005, our objective was to record our ‘convening for action’ history as we created it. The stories we post become a resource, a library, that researchers or whoever can readily access.”
“When we go back and re-read the material that we posted a decade ago, for example, we are often reminded of how true we have stayed to the message, and how we have successfully mainstreamed ideas.”
A Water-First Approach
“Michael’s message truly resonated with the audience, namely the interweaving of Western Science and First Nations Cultural Knowledge,” continues Eric Bonham, founding member of the Partnership for Water Sustainability, and moderator for Workshop Module A (Spirit & Science – An Inclusive Journey).
“The essence of Michael’s vision is ’embrace a water first approach..water is a living entity – the sacred centre from which all other activities radiate..western science and blue ecology are truly partners..it is time the marriage was made official’.”
“I believe that this was one of the most important take-away messages of the workshop. Indeed we have been saying something similar, but it is far more powerful and meaningful when it comes from Michael with his First Nations background.”
An Open Letter to the Next Generation
“You are probably now embroiled in a life-threatening ecological and social crisis, due to climate change,” wrote Michael Blackstock in providing his reflections on a takeaway message from FLOWnGROW.“I sadly knew you would have little time to make informed urgent decisions. So I have done my best to prepare you by repairing a flaw in Western Science’s definition of water.”
“I created Blue Ecology, by interweaving the best threads of Indigenous and Western Science, to lay a new foundation, to make water-first decisions.”
“We have learned from our mistakes. We learned we are stronger together by interweaving our knowledge, to solve the incredibly complex and dynamic ecological problems you are now facing. I did my best. You are now our hope.”
To Learn More:
Watch the video of Michael Blackstock’s closing reflections on what he saw as an important takeaway from the workshop.
Contact Michael Blackstock at firstname.lastname@example.org