As a Biology student, I have certainly learned about this example of trophic cascades in BIOL 121, 230, 209, etc. Today, however, is the first time I’ve learned the context of the reintroduction of sea otters after their 200-year absence due to being hunted to extinction. It is hard to fathom that in 1969 and 1970, the BC Government introduced sea otters into Kyuquot Sound with no consultation of any First Nations groups. In previous years I have only learned about sea otters in the context of the infographic I have attached: “hooray for more kelp and biodiversity!”.
Since the age of 12, I have known about and seen ‘midden’ located in island groups surrounding Vancouver Island (see the picture of me attached). Midden is an archaeological remnant of indigenous shellfish farms and essentially a type of early Aquaculture. This summer I learned about sea urchins being a delicacy in many coastal indigenous cuisines (I have attached a picture where I have a dead sea urchin). Sea urchins were described to me as “almost like a buttery fish”. Yet, I still did not make the connection that the decrease of sea urchins and other shellfish would affect the food security, livelihood, and culture of many coastal indigenous communities until we learned about this topic today.
The above example goes to show that I have a set of perspectives that can be very narrow at times. Luckily, this can be remedied by broadening our minds by encouraging other people with different perspectives to collaborate on our thinking process. The Recognitional dimension of Justice is very new to me. Yet, right now, I recognize this dimension of justice as absolutely critical and perhaps one that people (myself included) may overlook the most. I strive to be proactive in seeking out other perspectives and asking others about their values and worldviews. When I think about democracy, this is what I would like: more recognitional justice. I hope that future politics and projects work collaboratively with indigenous peoples and other historically (and currently) marginalized communities.