Indigenizing science: Applying the Thirteen Moons framework to an Indigenous research paradigm to understand Indigenous aquaculture practices


PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Emma Norman (Northwest Indian College)

CO-INVESTIGATORS: Aissa Yazzie (Northwest Indian College)


Many Indigenous cultures traditionally use a lunar calendar to guide their year, often referred to as the 13 Moons. Cycling about every 28 days, each of the 13 Moons marks a seasonal change, intimately connecting the passage of time to the natural environment. Too often, Western research methodologies devalue Indigenous perspectives. Incorporating frameworks such as the 13 Moons into research could promote Indigenous self-determination, knowledge, learning and science.

With funding from Washington Sea Grant, researchers are creating a model for studying Indigenous aquaculture practices in a manner that prioritizes ethical, transformative, participatory and decolonizing approaches, and that foregrounds the needs of Indigenous communities. By adopting and innovating frameworks such as the 13 Moons, the team seeks to develop a replicable, culturally relevant approach to research. They are creating this model based on the practices of the Northwest Indian College’s (NWIC) host community, Lummi Nation.