A year ago, Crossroads principal Rick Budhwa received an unexpected email: His master’s thesis, 15 years after its completion, had caught the attention of Gesa Mackenthun, a professor at the University of Rostock and organizer of anthropological conferences around the world. Dr. Mackenthun invited Rick to present the paper at her symposium, Decolonizing “Prehistory”: Deep Time and Topological Knowledge in the Americas, held in Rostock, north of Berlin, this month.

For the past several months, the Crossroads team has been busy revisiting the thesis, originally titled Correlations Between Catastrophic Paleoenvironmental Events and First Nations’ Oral Traditions in North America’s Pacific Northwest. We took it out, dusted it off, gave it a quick read-through and a new layout — and we discovered something incredible: its relevance to what’s happening in our province and Indigenous communities around the world today. In many ways, this paper is more relevant now than ever.

We’ll be sharing more about the symposium and Rick’s presentation. In the meantime, we’d like to share with you Witnessing Catastrophe, a 15-year-old piece of research that was ahead of the curve in recognizing and promoting the importance of First Nations’ oral traditions in Canada and abroad. Download the PDF file here. We’d love to hear your thoughts.