Centre for Indigenous Fisheries

Sketch by Nicole Marie Burton. Dipnet fishing for salmon in a river canyon and ceremonially returning their bones to the water.

At the Centre for Indigenous Fisheries, located in UBC’s Institute for Oceans and Fisheries, we are committed to research, teaching, and service that places community needs and interests at the heart of all that we do. Several years in the planning, the Centre is a focused unit launched in 2021. Here, we are building a community of Indigenous scholars and allies that engage in community-based research through which we will train a diverse student population in the fundamentals of aquatic science via experiential learning and practice in traditional territories. We believe that the scale and scope of the contemporary biodiversity and fisheries crises require us to employ the best tools and understandings at our disposal. We intend rising to this challenge by bringing together Indigenous and Western scientific approaches and framings equitably and ethically through, for example, the practice of Etuaptmumk (Two-Eyed Seeing, or the gift of multiple perspectives).

Our work ultimately aims to support the management and protection of culturally significant fish and fisheries in ways that uphold and respect Indigenous rights, values, practices, and knowledge systems. We hope to become a hub nationally and, eventually, internationally, for Indigenous fisheries work, learning, and knowledge sharing with our growing network of Indigenous organizations, fishers and managers, colleagues, governments, and communities across BC and beyond. The Centre’s mandate builds on the UBC Indigenous Strategic Plan and on various Indigenous and academic programs at UBC.

Dr. Andrea Reid, Assistant Professor of Indigenous Fisheries and citizen of the Nisga’a Nation, is the Centre’s Principal Investigator, and Professor Emerita and fisheries historian Dr. Dianne Newell serves as the Interim Director. An additional faculty appointment is anticipated for the near future.

The Centre’s website launch is forthcoming – stay tuned!