Are Invasive Species Settler Colonial?

An intriguing examination by Nicholas J. Reo, Laura A. Ogden.

Abstract:  Conservation discourses tend to portray invasive species as biological entities temporally connected to colonial timelines, using terms such as “alien”, “colonizing”, “colonial”, and “native”. This focus on a colonial timeline emerges from scientific publications within conservation biology and invasion ecology and is enacted through invasive species management by state and NGO actors. Colonialism is influential for indigenous nations in myriad ways, but in what ways do indigenous understandings of invasive species engage with colonialism? We conducted ethnographic research with indigenous Anishnaabe communities to learn about the ways Anishnaabe people conceptualize invasive species as a phenomenon in the world and were gifted with three primary insights. First, Anishnaabe regard plants, like all beings, as persons that assemble into nations more so than “species”. The arrival of new plant nations is viewed by some Anishnaabe as a natural form of migration. The second insight highlights the importance of actively discovering the purpose of new species, sometimes with the assistance of animal teachers. Lastly, while Anishnaabe describe invasive species as phenomenologically entangled with colonialism, the multiple ways Anishnaabe people think about invasive species provide alternatives to native–non-native binaries that dominate much of the scientific discourse.

Link to original posting.

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Chasing Seeds: The Incredible Story of Our Ancient Crops

jerusalem artichokes retreat farm 2015

Fred Wiseman will be speaking tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept. 2nd from 6-9 pm) at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism in Montpelier, Vermont. This is the first in a series of presentations on traditional Wabanaki Crops, Agriculture and Cuisine; Fred’s extensive experience in Wabanaki and ethnobotanical studies has been brought to bear on the archaeological and Colonial Period ethnobotany of Vermont’s indigenous peoples and their neighbors.

Retired Professor Tracks Ancient Seeds

The Plattsburgh Press Republican outlines Fred Wiseman’s upcoming presentation at the Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh, VT on July 19 at 3 pm. Professor Wiseman will discuss his 4-year-old Seeds of Renewal project: searching for, collecting, and restoring many varieties of heirloom seeds used in historical and present-day Abenaki agriculture.