Two-eyed seeing

​In the Fall of 2004, Mi’kmaw Elder Albert Marshall introduced a Mi’kmaw term called Etuaptmumk meaning Two-Eyed Seeing.

​He explains that Indigenous students can accommodate the differences between the Indigenous Way of Knowing and scientific analysis by learning how to view phenomena alternatively from these two perspectives. Briefly, Marshall explains that it is “learning to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of Western knowledge and ways of knowing … and learning to use both these eyes together, for the benefit of all.”

Two-eyed seeing also encompasses looking at a problem by seeing the big picture—that is, seeing how various components interact while still looking deeply at each component.

We encourage and support our faculty and staff to understand and incorporate the two-eyed seeing and integrate the Indigenous Way of Knowing into teaching and research.

We want all members of our community—to benefit from this broader view.

A clarifying example:​

Consider the issue of drinking water contamination

​In the Haudenosaunee tradition, water is considered sacred. Responsibility for the water and instructions for caring for it has been captured in their traditions. Indigenous communities have long held the philosophy that we do not soil drinking water since it will make the water “sick”. The Indigenous view is to find a way to care for the water and its environment so the water remains healthy. Western science view is more focused on treating water after the damage is done.