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Cape Breton University research project blends Indigenous knowledge with science – The Journal Pioneer

by ahnationtalk on December 17, 2019110 Views


Birch trees are often considered a species of little value, trampled upon amidst efforts to harvest softwood.
However, a Cape Breton University project that has attracted a major research grant will look at possibly commercializing the traditional Indigenous use of birch bark oil in treating skin ailments.

The effort received a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) project grant of $856,800 for the work on maskwiomin (birch bark oil). The five-year project is one of the largest health research grants ever received at Cape Breton University.

The value that the Mi’kmaq place on the knowledge of their elders is generally well acknowledged. This research project takes a page from that approach.

Word of the grant comes after about five years of collaboration between chemistry professor Matthias Bierenstiel and Tuma Young, assistant professor of Mi’kmaq studies.

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