Nicole Redvers on Bridging Indigenous Systems and Modern Science

On September 27th, Nicole Redvers joined Garrison Institute co-founder Jonathan F.P. Rose for a conversation about the importance of indigenous voices in planetary health and the common good. Nicole, who co-founded the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation, is also author of The Science of the Sacred: Bridging Global Indigenous Medicine Systems. In addition, Nicole is an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and the Department of Indigenous Health at the University of North Dakota, where she helped develop and launch the first Indigenous health PhD Program.

During the discussion, she noted that while in the past Indigenous knowledge and ceremonies have largely been outlawed in the U.S. and Canada, we are now seeing a “resurgence of interest locally, nationally, internationally” in Indigenous peoples, knowledge, and language.  

In fact, the world’s indigenous peoples, who make up about 6% of the world’s population, are stewarding, protecting, and managing about 80% of the remaining biodiversity on the planet. It is clear, she said, that “maybe we are doing something right.” Nicole also discussed how Indigenous traditions have once again become central in the primary health practices of many Indigenous communities while western systems play a supporting, secondary role.

During the discussion, Nicole spoke about the importance of contemplative practices within Indigenous traditions, and of the wisdom gained from being able to “sit and be with the land, and to watch, to see, and learn from all around us.” She contends that we all have wisdom and knowledge from deep within us, which we never lose.  The land is not only a host, she says, but it is an “educator and wisdom giver,” from which many of us have been disconnected.  However if we just go back out into the land, “the knowledge comes back to you.”

Watch the full conversation here:

This interactive online event was part of a continuing series in the Garrison Institute’s Forum on Pathways to Planetary Health (PPH). Pathways to Planetary Health explores the moral, ethical, and human behavioral dimensions of the search for regenerative solutions, including Half-Earth,Ecological Civilization, Regenerative Economics, and The Common Good.

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