’Qátuw̓as (Ga-to-wos) Jessica Brown is the Indigenous Community Liaison for Ocean Networks Canada. She was raised in the Heiltsuk community of Bella Bella located in the central coast of British Columbia, in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. She is proud of her Heiltsuk and Nuu-chah-nulth roots that continue to ground her in her work with Indigenous communities, environmental organizations, and scientific facilities. She holds a degree in Environmental and Indigenous Studies from the University of Victoria.
’Qátuw̓as works to build mutually beneficial relationships between Ocean Networks Canada and Indigenous communities. She is working to bridge Western science and Indigenous knowledge through her active engagement with coastal Indigenous communities on topics of ocean observing systems, climate change, and the changing ocean. She also works with other members of the Learning and Engagement Team to bring Indigenous perspectives into both ocean science procedures and ocean science learning materials.
The Talk: ‘haíɫcístu (turn something around and make it right again): The relationship between Indigenous Knowledge and Ocean Science
’Qátuw̓as explores the relationship between Indigenous knowledge and Western science through her relationship to place and work with Ocean Networks Canada. As society is attempting to drive forward with reconciliation and response to climate change, it is important to learn from evidence-based knowledge that has been built over generations. By examining our relationship with the lands and waters, of which Indigenous and non-Indigenous people are part, she urges for a reconsideration of how society frames the management of, and our interactions with, the natural world and all non-human life.