Fellow Story

Parker speaks on traditional ecological knowledge at fisheries conference

Keith Parker, Yurok Tribe Senior Fisheries Biologist, was a plenary speaker at the 2022 Cal-Neva Chapter of the American Fisheries Society 56th Annual Meeting, focused on "Centering Diversity and Resilience in Fisheries Science." The conference goal was to promote understanding of the climate changes already occurring, the changes ahead and how the chapter can promote diversity for the resilience of species and diversity of thoughts and ideas stemming from diversity in fisheries professionals.

Speaking to this theme, Keith's work merges the paradigms of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and western ecological knowledge. Salmon, sturgeon, lamprey and other fish have been keystone cultural species for Native American tribes of the Klamath River Basin for thousands of years. Indigenous societal constructs including language, ceremony, culture, law, food source and extraction evolved synchronously, not independently. Therefore, species loss not only represent a loss of biodiversity but a loss of cultural heritage for Tribal people as well.