INDG-2316EL Lecture 7: INDG 2316 Nov 3

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Indigenous Knowledge and TEK
Source of Indigenous Knowledge
“all knowledge flows from the same source: the relationship between a global flux that
needs to be renewed, the people’s kinship with other living creatures that share the
land, and the people’s kinship with the spirit world”
oSocial interaction
oListening to the natural and spiritual world
“To sustain Indigenous knowledge, one must be willing to take on responsibilities
associated with that knowing, especially putting the knowledge into daily practice.”
Characteristics of TEK
scientific, empirical, experimental and systematic
Localized and social
“operating instructions” for the land
Sources: Creator and spirit world, dreams, contact with animals and plants
Knowledge system is continually being revised; things are expected to change in
predictable and unpredictable ways
Learning by observation
‘Traditional’ refers to the social process of learning rather than antiquity
Encouraged biodiversity
Way of Life
Elders and traditional knowledge holders speak of traditional knowledge as a way of life.
“Minobimaatisiiwin” or living a good life is the basic objective of Anishinaabe and Cree
Cyclical thinking, reciprocity, responsibility, relationships, and balance
Indigenous economic system - decentralized, self-reliant, based on carrying capacity
Attributes of TEK
Cumulative and long-term
Moral and spiritual
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