This past summer, one of my friends worked for a UBC lab that did research on the effects of regenerative controlled burning (also known as prescribed burns), and at one point they did a presentation on their research to the local Indigenous groups. One of the women in the audience asked why they were spending immense time, money and energy on this research when the Indigenous people in the area had already been doing controlled burns since time immemorial and knew the positive effects it had.
This story demonstrates how colonial frameworks both disrespect traditional Indigenous knowledge and can delay action that may save ecosystems, and are the reason why we are experiencing such intense wildfires in the first place. I envision a world where controlled burns can be used for ecosystem regeneration, and fire can be seen as having the potential to be a positive tool rather than just a destructive and deadly entity. This needs to happen now, not in 50 years. In a broader sense, this means that Indigenous expertise needs be accepted and trusted on its own without needing validation from Western science.