Notes from the Field

In recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day

6月 21, 2024

June 21 marks National Indigenous Peoples Day. It’s a day to celebrate and recognize the cultures, contributions, and heritage of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The day also serves as an opportunity to reflect on the challenges faced by Indigenous communities and to promote awareness and understanding of their history and rights. It’s a momentous occasion to honour the rich diversity of Indigenous cultures and foster reconciliation efforts across the country.

In that spirit, “Notes from the Field” shares a powerful experience that bridges the gap between traditional ecological knowledge and modern practices. Through the lens of biomimicry, we join Jamie Miller as he shares his perspective from his experience in Six Nations, Canada’s largest reserve.

“As part of our ongoing efforts for Truth and Reconciliation, we continue to explore the ways in which biomimicry can bridge Traditional Ecological Knowledge with our broader work. Recently, this included a site walk with a potential client in Six Nations, Canada’s largest reserve, and a traditional medicine keeper.

During this walk, I was introduced to a medicine cabinet of healing opportunities in the field I originally saw as a meadow of weeds or, at best, a complex but unknown ecosystem. During our walk, the milk of milkweeds became the medicine for warts and skin tags, red clover for heart health, pine needles for blood health, broadleaf plantains for band-aids and burns, and even green grape vines for hair loss.”

“This half-day interaction expanded my perspective on the value of nature. It helped me further recognize that we miss out on some important assets and relationships every time we build on the land without fully comprehending it.

It all depends on the lens we use. In this case, it depends on our relationships with people who know this land so well.”

“What I appreciated most about this walk was how the medicine holder shared so freely. Despite the bleak history between colonized and colonizer, there was still a willingness to share with a faith that we would do something important with this knowledge. And not just take it. In many ways, I see this as “real impact, made together.”

  • Jamie Miller, Global Director of Biomimicry, Senior Associate