We're proud to present the Sacred Science Video Series, a step on our journey of Reconciliation and Indigenous inclusion.

Bringing together Indigenous knowledge and western science creates opportunities for new solutions to environmental challenges, including issues that are important to Indigenous People.

The Sacred Science video series, developed in collaboration with Indigenous communities in Alberta, Alberta Innovates and InnoTech Alberta, tells the stories of how these communities are leveraging these two knowledge systems to tackle complex conservation and land management challenges and to preserve their cultures.

These videos demonstrate successful collaboration between Indigenous communities and natural scientists that create meaningful impact and demonstrate our commitment to reconciliation, particularly in the natural sciences.


The Fort McKay Métis Nation is using its Indigenous Knowledge to inform a community-led water monitoring program on the Red River, also called the McKay River, an important water source for their community that has supported traditional use for generations. 

Members of the Fort McKay Métis Nation, located north of Fort McMurray, have witnessed the impact of industry on their local rivers over the years. Elder Margie Woods remembers when the waters of the Red River were clean and fresh, and brought people together for activities like swimming and fishing. Today, low water levels and pollution have impacted the lifestyle, culture and traditions of the people who have a long history of using the river.  

In response to their concerns about the changes in the Red River, the Nation initiated its own groundwater and surface water monitoring program. Working with Jean Birks, a Principal Researcher in Environmental Impacts at InnoTech Alberta (now with the Government of Alberta), and technicians from Hatfield Consultants, they incorporated their Indigenous Knowledge related to groundwater and surface water interactions, along with feedback on community use of the river, to develop a water quality monitoring program in areas important to them.

Fort McKay Métis Nation’s Councillor, Felix Faichney believes it is important that the community monitors the river itself. By initiating this program, they are creating a baseline of information and monitoring for negative changes in a way they can communicate to industry and government.


Members of the Káínawa – or Blood Tribe – are applying training in western science, alongside their Indigenous Knowledge, to bring buffalo back to their historical habitat in southern Alberta, the traditional territory of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Restoring this iconic animal is part of an intertribal effort to restore the Great Plains ecosystem and to reclaim the traditions of the Indigenous peoples who have occupied these lands since time immemorial.  

Buffalo, also referred to as bison, were once an integral part of the grassland ecosystem. For the Blood Tribe, they also sustained their communities and are deeply connected to their traditional way of life. However, in the 1800s, colonization led to the near extinction of buffalo, impacting both the land and the Indigenous people who relied on them for survival. Justin Bruised Head, Kainai Iinni (Buffalo) Rematriation Project Coordinator with Blood Tribe Land Management, describes buffalo as a cultural keystone to his community. They are a culturally and spiritually significant species and intrinsic to many of their traditional ceremonial practices. This is why for the Blood Tribe, restoring buffalo is about more than restoring the land. 


The Denesųłiné of Cold Lake First Nations (CLFN) are applying both their Indigenous Knowledge and expertise in western science to develop and implement diverse caribou conservation strategies in their territory.  

Caribou populations are in decline across Canada. For CLFN, the loss of this iconic animal also represents the loss of a traditional food source and part of their unique cultural identity. In an effort to address the pressures on caribou populations, CFLN is working with the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI), on a broad caribou conservation project.

Findlay MacDermid, CLFN Traditional Knowledge/Traditional Land Use Group (TK/TLU) Manager, says his group is actively involved in managing their expansive territory. From monitoring water quality to conducting plant inventories to hunting and fishing for their community, their technologists apply a range of scientific field techniques, supported by their Indigenous Knowledge, to monitor and protect their resources.

The Sacred Science videos were produced by Two Canoes Media, an Indigenous-owned film and media marketing company.

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