Dr. Janelle Baker has a home in two worlds. She is Metis and a cultural anthropologist, and is using those two perspectives to guide a unique project in the Fort McKay area
of Northern Alberta. Elders in the area noticed their traditional berry picking areas had changed. The berries looked and tasted different in the area near oilsands development. They had their traditional ecological knowledge to work with but also turned to modern science to help with the measurement and analysis of what they were observing.
Turned out they were right - the berries had changed - and the project has proved that the western scientific method and the Indigenous perspective can benefit each other.
Freelance broadcaster Don Hill talked with Janelle Baker about what contributed to the project's success and about the role of traditional knowledge in Canadian science research.