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Indigenous grizzly bear social justice

If head-scratching amusement is your thing, perusing the MIT SOLVE final award winners each year is a clown show that shouldn’t be missed.

This year’s Beaver’s Best-of-Show is a project in the Indigenous Communities award category. Titled “Coalescence Curriculum on Carnivore Coexistence” its stated mission is to create “A braiding of culture, science, and technology into a decolonial and interactive online education platform where youth can learn how to coexist with large carnivores.”

Grizzly bears, to be precise. Those 900-pound man-eating monsters that scared the hell out of Lewis and Clark.  Dedicated decolonialists have reintroduced them to the American West to restore the habitat enjoyed by the indigenous tribes to whom we all dedicate our land acknowledgement statements.

The problem is, when these beasts are not rifling through garbage, they like to eat livestock and people. Children on Indian reservations are a special treat. Shooting the buggers is apparently not an option as they’re a protected species.

And so, our SOLVE heroine will use her prize money to build “an interactive online platform where learners of all ages can access a resource woven from Indigenous and Western sciences” designed to train edible children on the best ways not to become lunch. As soon as she finds someone who knows how to code.

You just can’t make this up.


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