Indigenous science and traditional ecological knowledge: Persistence in place

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


After being denigrated for centuries as primitive superstition and myth and mar-ginalized for decades as pseudo-science, today Indigenous knowledge is finally getting some recognition and respect by the mainstream academy and Western science fields. Indigenous knowledge or “ways of knowing” refers to the multiple knowledge systems, epistemologies, worldviews, and traditional practices of the world’s roughly 370 million Indigenous peoples. Called variously Indigenous knowledge systems, traditional knowledge, native science, or traditional ecological knowledge, these rich, time-tested ways of knowing and interacting with the world are valid systems of knowledge that have sustained Indigenous and traditional cultures for millennia. Since colonial times, they have been ruptured and erased and until very recently have been severely marginalized intellectual traditions in the Western Eurocentric educational system and in Western sciences. But finally today they are beginning to be recognized as legitimate and compelling knowledge systems by some Euro-American educators and scientists. The terms “Indigenous Knowledge Systems” (IKS), “Traditional Knowledge” (TK), and “Traditional Ecological Knowledge” (TEK) even have their own acronyms-definitely a sign of success in the mainstream academy. But these concepts are not just used in the academy; many native communities and organizations, from grassroots nonprofit organizations like the Indigenous Environmental Network to tribal government offices like the Navajo Nation, use these terms as well. TEK, in particular, as a knowledge-belief-practice concept, is getting a lot of attention these days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe World of Indigenous North America
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781136332005
ISBN (Print)9780415879521
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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