This focus issue of MRD will highlight knowledge collaborations supporting the wellbeing of mountain people and regions, including how knowledge co-production by mountain researchers and Indigenous Peoples can guide knowledge creation and application. We welcome contributions by scientists as well as Indigenous or other local knowledge holders.
Mountain systems are experiencing increasing threats to their sustainability, including climate change impacts, biodiversity loss, anthropogenic pressures, and habitat destruction. Rapid and disruptive changes to mountain systems also foreshadow impacts on the broader landscape. Indigenous Peoples’ understanding of relationality positions communities and livelihoods as integral parts of mountain systems and emphasizes interconnectedness of all the elements of these systems. Historically, Indigenous knowledge and methodologies have been devalued and constrained in an institutional and peer-review context defined by academic traditions. Academic disciplines have developed related concepts and approaches intended to investigate and communicate system interconnectivity, including ecosystem management, socioecological systems, and biocultural diversity. Importantly, all of these ways of knowing and doing recognize that people are a key element of mountain systems and that human decisions and actions have unique impacts within them. Supporting the resilience and health of mountain peoples and regions requires that Indigenous and academic ways of knowing contribute meaningfully to informed decisions and interventions. Innovative models of knowledge inquiry can empower, respect, and, where useful, bring together Indigenous and academic knowledges and research approaches. Knowledge collaborations can enhance our understanding of the impacts of rapid environmental, economic, and social change on the resilience of mountain systems, while ensuring that decision-making and actions at multiple levels are informed by both Indigenous and academic knowledges.
Articles in this MRD issue will focus on collaborative principles, research ethics, and opportunities for knowledge co-production, and how these approaches can result in outcomes that improve the wellbeing of mountain peoples and regions. Contributions will provide examples of research and knowledge approaches supporting a diverse and collaborative community of mountain system researchers, knowledge holders, and knowledge users.
Reflecting the issue’s focus on Indigenous knowledge, academic knowledge, and the space of possibility between them, articles can be submitted to (1) a peer advisory circle or (2) standard peer review:
1. Articles submitted to the Peer Advisory Circle will be assessed by the guest editors and an editor from MRD and must be submitted as:
MountainViews (Indigenous knowledge): Papers should present Indigenous knowledge, local knowledge, or place-based perspectives related to collaborative principles, research ethics, and opportunities for knowledge co-production by Indigenous Peoples and researchers with an academic background. We are particularly interested in examples of how these knowledge collaborations can support the wellbeing of mountain peoples and regions. Submissions may also include links to nontextual supplemental materials (audio, video, additional artwork).
2. Articles submitted to standard peer-review can be directed toward any of MRD’s 3 peer-reviewed sections:
MountainDevelopment (transformation knowledge): Papers should present systematically validated experiences of how collaborative principles and research ethics can be developed and implemented in support of mountain knowledge co-production by Indigenous Peoples and researchers with an academic background. Papers that present systematically validated experiences where knowledge collaborations were instrumental in shaping interventions toward more sustainable and just pathways in mountain regions are especially welcome.
MountainResearch (systems knowledge): Papers should present cases of knowledge co-production between Indigenous Peoples and researchers with an academic background on topics related to sustainable development in mountains and on the relationships between mountain people and their environment. Papers can also analyze existing collaborative principles and research ethics and systematically assess their effects on mountains and mountain people, as well as how these effects are achieved along with other drivers of change to support sustainable mountain development.
MountainAgenda (target knowledge): Papers can include reviews of existing knowledge, interventions, or policies, as well as analyses on how collaborative principles and research ethics can contribute to training and land-based learning related to sustainable mountain development. These overviews can be based on a systematic stakeholder process or a review of the literature. The analyses should lead to agendas for future research or policy aimed at increasing sustainability in and for mountain people and regions.
Canadian Mountain Network in collaboration with MRD’s Editorial Office, 2 November 2021