At UINR we practice Two-Eyed-Seeing in all of our work and it’s easy for us to lose sight of the fact that many people don’t understand the concept.
Etuaptmumk, or Two-Eyed-Seeing, was introduced by our Elder Advisor Albert Marshall over a decade ago and draws on both Mi’kmaw and Western knowledge. With one eye, we look at things from the Mi’kmaw world view–knowledge from the heart, mind, and spirit gained from observations over thousands of years. With the other eye, we look at things from a Western point-of-view– scientific analysis and knowledge. Using both eyes results in a greater and deeper understanding for everyone. It is truly a way of looking at things holistically with the goal of benefiting everyone.
It is a collaborative approach to problem-solving and is a way of operating that is practiced in every project we work on at UINR. In the recent issue of UINR MARTEN alone you can find Two-Eyed-Seeing in action in our partnerships with Ocean Tracking Network, Parks Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Collaborative Salmon Initiative.
You can see it in our methods of developing a management plan for moose, our partnership in protecting the boreal forest in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, in the activities in our Nikani Awtiken Summer Camp for youth, our many partnerships such as the Bras d’Or Lakes Collaborative Planning Initiative, Pitu’paq, and so many more. Think about how much more you can see with both eyes wide open!