I recently learned about the concept of “Two Eyed Seeing” through an article in the magazine Sky News magazine which I receive as part of my membership in the Royal Astronomical Society( RASC) . Readers were told about “a duo in Nova Scotia who work together on Mi’kmaw Moons , a learning and teaching project that connects Moon cycles, visual astronomy and Two Eyed Seeing.” The duo, Dave Chapman , a long time member of the RASC and Cathy Leblanc, a member of Acadia First Nation, have been partnering in putting on public presentations which have been well received and attended. In fact, Chapman commented that people are “hungry” for these kind of projects which are living examples of Two Eyed Seeing. So what exactly is “two eyed seeing”? The concept is generally defined as learning to see from one eye with the strength of Indigenous knowledge, culture and ways of knowing and from the other eye with the strength of western science, knowledge and ways of knowing. And then… and here is the most important part – learning to use both these eyes together for the benefit of all!!
Inspired by what I had read, I signed up for a webinar (offered by the RASC) on Two Eyed Seeing and how it is applied to science and astronomy outreach in—guess where? —Hawaii ! The webinar was very informative and although there was no mention of the Mauna Kea situation, I am hopeful that this approach, already being applied to education and outreach in the astronomy sector in Hawaii (which is in fact, a major industry for the Island ) , will be a guiding principle when the working group begins their discussions.