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Ethnobiology Phase VI: Decolonizing Institutions, Projects, and Scholarship

McAlvay, Alex C.; Armstrong, Chelsey G.; Baker, Janelle; Black Elk, Linda; Bosco, Samantha; Hanazaki, Natalia; Joseph, Leigh; ... Vandebroek, Ina; + view all (2021) Ethnobiology Phase VI: Decolonizing Institutions, Projects, and Scholarship. Journal of Ethnobiology , 41 (2) pp. 170-191. 10.2993/0278-0771-41.2.170. Green open access

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Abstract

Ethnobiology, like many fields, was shaped by early Western imperial efforts to colonize people and lands around the world and extract natural resources. Those legacies and practices persist today and continue to influence the institutions ethnobiologists are a part of, how they carry out research, and their personal beliefs and actions. Various authors have previously outlined five overlapping "phases" of ethnobiology. Here, we argue that ethnobiology should move toward a sixth phase in which scholars and practitioners must actively challenge colonialism, racism, and oppressive structures embedded within their institutions, projects, and themselves. As an international group of ethnobiologists and scholars from allied fields, we identified key topics and priorities at three levels: At the institutional scale, we argue for repatriation/rematriation of biocultural heritage, accessibility of published work, and realignment of priorities to support community-driven research. At the level of projects, we emphasize the need for mutual dialogue, reciprocity, community research self-sufficiency, and research questions that support sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities over lands and waters. Finally, for individual scholars, we support self-reflection on language use, co-Authorship, and implicit bias. We advocate for concrete actions at each of these levels to move the field further toward social justice, antiracism, and decolonization.

Type: Article
Title: Ethnobiology Phase VI: Decolonizing Institutions, Projects, and Scholarship
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.2993/0278-0771-41.2.170
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.2993/0278-0771-41.2.170
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Ethics, social justice, antiracism, colonialism, parachute science
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10174241
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