National Indigenous History Month

Jun 4, 2024 12:00 PM

National Indigenous History Month in Canada is a time to reflect on and recognize the rich history, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples.

The relationship between Settlers and the Mi'kmaq people in Nova Scotia dates to the 17th century with the signing of the Peace and Friendship Treaties. As we know, our collective history includes violations and conflicts, the policies of assimilation and forced relocation, and more recently healing efforts towards reconciliation and self-governance. 

As engineers, we have a responsibility to learn more about how to use Indigenous knowledge and practices in engineering and to honour our commitment to building relationships and integrating perspectives with Indigenous communities. This month provides us an opportunity to reflect on the contributions and perspectives of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples in the field of engineering – much of what we take for granted as we live, work, and play in Canada can trace its roots to the artifacts and tools that helped Indigenous People thrive on this land and its waters. Indigenous knowledge systems have a deep understanding of the natural environment and how they can be integrated with Western engineering principles to create innovative and sustainable solutions. As we carry out our work as skilled and ethical engineers, we must consider the importance of ensuring that our engineering projects are culturally appropriate and responsive to the needs of both Indigenous and Settler communities.