Land2Lab Research and Outreach Project
The Land2Lab Camp is a collaborative community project aimed at prioritising Indigenous Science at the University of Alberta (UofA) by bringing together youth, knowledge holders, and Elders from Samson Cree Nation (SCN), as well as researchers from the UofA. This project seeks to facilitate a reciprocal sharing of knowledge and methods between community members and researchers. By participating in land camps, researchers can build relationality with the community they are working with, and situate their research in a context that is informed by the community's knowledge and experiences. The lab component of the camp invites community members into the researchers' space, creating a full-circle collaboration that fosters a deeper understanding and relationship, and leads to co-creation rather than extraction.
The term "Land2Lab" is coined by Emily Quecke (PhD Student) who is working a PhD project that involves the weaving of Indigenous and Western worldviews when it comes to addressing water security issues in rural, Indigenous communities in Canada.
The Land2Lab initiative is a program designed to provide Indigenous youth with land-based traditional education about Pigeon Lake (mîmîw sâkahikan) water quality as well as lab-based activities showing the importance of water quality analysis through Western scientific methodology. This project will center around collaborative efforts and reciprocity. The pilot project was completed in summer 2023 in collaboratiion between Samson Cree Wellness, the Arlos Research Group (Engineering), Johnson Research Group (Sociology) with support from I-STEAM Pathways, Faculty of Engineering, Pigeon Lake Watershed Association, and volunteers from the University of Alberta. Water collection and sampling activities were conducted for quality and monitoring purposes . Participants had the opportunity to connect with culturally significant teachings within the natural laws of Nipiy from Elders and also learn the basics of key water quality parameters; physical, chemical and biological.