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Haskell lands $20M for Indigenous science hub

Haskell Indian Nations University has received a $20M research award. (Haskell Facebook)

Haskell Indian Nations University has received a $20 million National Science Foundation research award to launch an Indigenous science hub project. The Bureau of Indian Affairs announced the award in a news release Aug. 3.

Haskell, located in Lawrence, Kansas, is a tribal school operated by the Bureau of Indian Education.

The release said the research award is the largest ever granted to a tribal college or university by the National Science Foundation. The five-year “Rising Voices, Changing Coasts” award was funded through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

The hub is expected to research and address climate change-related coastal hazards in tribal communities in four regions: Alaska (Arctic), Louisiana (Gulf of Mexico), Hawaii (Pacific Islands) and Puerto Rico (Caribbean islands).

“This is an exciting and much needed opportunity for scientists and Indigenous knowledge keepers to collaborate on how Indigenous people in coastal areas can build resiliency to the dynamic forces resulting from climate change,” Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland said in the release.

The nonprofit Haskell Foundation secured the project’s funding.

“This research hub is a significant part of the growing recognition that traditional ecological knowledge and Indigenous knowledge should be a part of the science that is being done today regarding global climate change,” Daniel R. Wildcat, Haskell faculty member and the hub’s lead investigator, said in the release. “It is a game changer for Indigenous peoples. We have been advocating for years that we need a seat at the table in scientific discussions regarding climate. I think the funding for this hub allows Indigenous knowledge holders to build their own table and invite leading academic trained scientists to take a seat.”

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