Indigenous and non-Indigenous approaches to environmental protection will come together in a new degree program that is the first of its kind in Canada.
The four-year bachelor of Indigenous environmental science and practice program (BIESP) will be launched in the fall.
Based in the Ontario Agricultural College’s (OAC) School of Environmental Sciences, the program emphasizes Indigenous knowledge systems alongside cutting-edge training in western environmental science.
Intended for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, it will feature field trips to Indigenous communities and organizations, land-based instruction and participation in discussion circles and ceremony.
Students will work directly with Indigenous communities and organizations on projects, and will learn from First Nations, Inuit and Métis Elders and knowledge holders.
The new program will embrace multiple ways of knowing and seeing the world to support transformational environmental science, said Prof. Jesse Popp, School of Environmental Sciences. Named as OAC Chair of Indigenous Environmental Science, she will play an integral role in teaching and program development.