Culture-specific - Must be seen in terms of broadly applicable features
Locally bound, context specific - is knowledge grounded in a specific area, and rich in close observation of details of the surrounding environment.
Non-formal and orally transmitted - passed on informally and orally through language, songs and dance, demonstration and shared work, through rituals and customs of everyday life.
Holistic - In indigenous cultures there is little echo of the distinct classification that most contemporary societies construct of science, literature, history, ethics and religion.
Dynamic and adaptive - Concerned with survival in a particular place, indigenous knowledge keeps a sharp focus on the particular features of the landscape and its life.
Indigenous and "western" knowledge - in natural sciences, knowledge is shared and constructed by decontextualising and depersonalizing knowledge. Within the academic sciences, indigenous knowledge has increasingly been given respect as traditional ecological knowledge and understood to complement scientific understanding.
Historical development : colonialism, globalization - Colonialism and globalization have often fostered insulting versions of indigenous people and their knowledge. Native peoples have either been romanticised as stoic and noble or denigrated as lazy and ignorant.
Accuracy and respect - On the one hand it is urgently important for us to recognise and talk about aboriginal cultural achievements so that they are more widely recognized and appreciated. On the other hand, talking about peoples and their knowledge without their consent, can, for some groups, be an additional offence or theft.
Sophisticated knowledge of the natural world is not confined to science. Societies from all parts of the world possess rich sets of experience, understanding and explanation. Local and indigenous knowledge refers to the understandings, skills and philosophies developed by societies with long histories of interaction with their natural surroundings.
The Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) programme is a UNESCO interdisciplinary initiative that works:
?? What does it mean to be "indigenous"?
?? How reliable are oral traditions in preserving cultural heritage in indigenous knowledge systems?
?? To what extent does the fact that early literature on indigenous knowledge systems was written from a non-indigenous perspective affect its credibility?
?? Why is there often such a strong connection between indigenous knowledge and cosmology?
?? What are the roles of folklore,rituals, and songs in indigenous knowledge systems?
?? What elements of universal significance may we discern in indigenous knowledge systems?
?? To what extent are indigenous knowledge systems influenced by the society and culture in which they are followed?
?? How do perspectives affect knowledge?
?? How is knowledge affected by structures of power?
Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence. Mourning Dove
Only when the last tree has died
and the last river has been poisoned
and the last fish has been caught
will we realize we cannot eat money.
Cree Indian Expression
Envy is a worm that gnaws and consumes the entrails of ambitious men. Pachacuti
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, We borrow it from our Children Indian Proverb
You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.