Indigenous Engagement
The Ocean Frontier Institute launches Indigenous Engagement Guide and training for ocean researchers

OFI Indigenous Engagement Initiatives seek to foster respectful engagement and the creation of meaningful research partnerships between our research community and Indigenous groups and communities.

Inclusive ocean research

The Ocean Frontier Institute engages with Indigenous governments and organizations (indigenous groups) to build strong linkages. OFI is committed to engaging stakeholders and Indigenous peoples in ocean management solutions and building support for ocean research and its applications. OFI is taking action to actively incorporate Indigenous interests and rights into OFI's ongoing vision for North Atlantic and Arctic gateways research and environmental stewardship.

Since 2018, the Ocean Frontier Institute has worked with its Committee on Indigenous (Inuit, Métis, and First Nation) Engagement to develop an Indigenous Engagement Guide for ocean researchers. The Guide was collaboratively developed with Indigenous communities, organizations, and governments and OFI researchers in order to facilitate efforts toward respectful and meaningful engagement with Indigenous groups, and provides an important first step in the active incorporation of Indigenous interests and rights into the Ocean Frontier Institute’s ongoing vision for North Atlantic research and environmental stewardship.

The Guide is now nested in the UNESCO International Ocean Best Practices Inventory which has allowed it to be globally accessed.

Learn about the guide here

Raising the baseline for ocean researchers

In addition to the Guide, the Ocean Frontier Institute launched an on-line Indigenous cultural awareness training program in July 2021 for Dalhousie University and University of Prince Edward Island researchers and staff, with access for Memorial University to follow soon after. The Path: Your Journey Through Indigenous Canada (© NVision Insight Group Inc.) program provides learning opportunities that delve into First Nations, Inuit and Métis histories and stories across Canada, partially meeting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action for Canadians to receive ‘cultural competency training.’

Learn about cultural awareness training

Two-eyed seeing

The foundation of Two-Eyed Seeing rests on principles of collaboration, co-learning, and the co-production of knowledge.

Based on Indigenous experience, the following guide is a process-based and suggests a way forward to achieve true two-eyed seeing.

  • Shelley Denny
    Director of Aquatic Research and Stewardship, Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources
  • Angeline (Angie) Gillis
    Associate Executive Director, Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq
  • Cathy Martin
    Director of Indigenous Community Engagement, Dalhousie
  • Corey Morris
    Appointee, DFO, Canada
  • Melissa Nevin
    Appointee, Atlantic Policy Congress of the First Nations Chiefs Secretariat
  • Paul Snelgrove
    Associate Scientific Director, Ocean Frontier Institute
  • Alanna Syliboy
    Mi’kmaw Knowledge and Community Engagement Manager, Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq
  • Anya Waite
    OFI CEO & Scientific Director, Dalhousie University Associate Vice-President Research (Ocean)
  • Paul Banahene Adjei
    Interim Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Research) at Memorial University
  • Jean-Francois Bousquet
    Transforming Climate Action Associate Scientific Director, Dalhousie University
  • Mike Nester
    Qikiqtani Inuit Association
  • John Vicaire
    Listuguj Mi'gmaq Government
  • Ken Paul
    Canada's Ocean Supercluster
The Ocean Frontier Institute recognizes that our staff and research community are located on diverse ancestral and traditional territories of diverse Indigenous groups. Our Dalhousie University and University of Prince Edward Island partners are located on the ancestral and unceded traditional territory of the Mi’kmaq people of Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia and PEI). Our Memorial University partners are located within the traditional territories of the Beothuk, Mi’kmaq, Innu, and Inuit (Newfoundland and Labrador).

We acknowledge and recognize that the ocean research we undertake and support takes place across Canada and the Atlantic Region and engages a variety of Indigenous communities and cultures. We recognize and offer our respect to these Inuit, First Nation, and Metis people and their communities. We strive for respectful and meaningful partnerships with all the peoples of this country as we honour this land and, together, search for true healing and reconciliation. We are all treaty people and acknowledge the original Peoples of this land.