The Colossal Indigenous Council

A letter from our Co-founder and CEO

BY Ben Lamm

Dear Friends of Colossal, 

Today marks another special day for the company as we work to make extinction a thing of the past. We have long believed that the path to de-extinction and to more broadly eradicating extinction is one paved with partners. This mission is too big for any one company to do alone. We need conservation partners, scientific partners, academic partners, and now, we are proud to announce that we are also working in collaboration with indigenous partners. 

We recognize that indigenous leaders have special historical and cultural relationships with keystone species. And, we believe it’s critical that their voices are included in these conservation initiatives. 

We are launching an indigenous council with leaders from MHA Nation, the Nez Perce tribe, the Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative, and more. We are doing this not just because our mission is better supported with their partnership, but also out of respect.

Indigenous communities are the most impacted by natural land degradation and have long been environmental stewards of land without the funding and recourse of other organizations. We want to support their causes and help them protect and improve their lands. We believe they deserve to have a leading voice in North America as to where we apply our science, to which species, and across which lands, so as to ensure that indigenous communities benefit first and foremost. They deserve the best that today’s science has to offer in support of their centuries long mission to preserve the animals and lands that are significant to their people. We want to provide that science. 

Our core beliefs as a company are in alignment with many of the views expressed by indigenous leaders. We, collectively, believe that humans should live in coexistence with animal species. When those species are harmed by our actions, it is our responsibility to right those harms.

In the face of the Earth’s sixth mass extinction, it is our ethical duty to protect biodiversity. Genetic-related sciences are crucial to that mission, and only if we act now can we stop the degradation of animal life. We all wish that there was an easier path forward, but we are too late. We must act now to save the world’s most precious species. 

We are jointly committed to a better future. This is a future where animal species are no longer at risk. As populations of species stabilize, indigenous communities will better be able to help restore the ecosystems around them. In this way, we are united in creating a more biodiverse world that is healthier tomorrow than it is today. The Indigenous Council will champion conservation efforts, de-extinction, and the rematriation of key species in struggling ecosystems. Today is a massive step forward because for the first time, together with our indigenous partners, we are breaking barriers to achieve the seemingly impossible-to make extinction a thing of the past. 

Ben Lamm

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