Tag Archives: indigenous knowledge

Re-examining the Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in the Western Environmental Education for Sustainability: “From Tribal to Mainstream Education” Doreen Vikashni Chandra

This article from the Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability is hosted on the De Gruyter Publishing site. Chandra describes both Western and Indigenous views on sustainable development in education and argues for the importance of incorporating traditional views in mainstream classrooms. The author then attempts to link the challenges facing Indigenous views on sustainability to pedagogical approaches to sustainability education.  The article uses a number of case studies to argue that integrating traditional approaches into education is critical not just for achieving goals of sustainability but for protecting the disappearance of Aboriginal culture in mainstream learning environments.


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Tribal Voice: Indigenous Leading Environmental Protection


“There is resistance: in Canada it’s coming from First Nations. But it’s worth remembering that that’s a world-wide phenomenon. Throughout the world, the indigenous populations are in the lead. They are actually taking the lead in trying to protect the earth. That’s extremely significant.”

Noam Chomsky praised Indigenous people for leading the resistance for environmental protection. And as he mentions this is happening world-wide, and has been for quite some time.

Tribal Voice

The Tribal Voice Project  gives smartphones to indigenous people in the Amazon. They use the phones to record their views and perspectives in order to take part in, and impact decisions concerning their land. Here is a sample recording:




4.1: Boat Trip to Important Stz’uminus Places

Website: Boat Trip to Important Stz’uminus Places

I was intrigued by the website NativeMaps.org, and wanted to learn more about how indigenous peoples were using digital technologies to map traditional territories. I came across this article from the Globe and Mail, which details how Google’s Map Your World Community program can be used in indigenous contexts.

The Globe and Mail article explains how Ray Harris, a Stz’uminus First Nation elder, and an anthropologist from the University of Victoria used Google Maps to map traditional territory. The map they created includes a plethora of indigenous knowledge that would not appear on a regular Google Map, such as the location of a sea wolf petroglyph, the site of a no-longer-standing residential school, and a seagull egg harvesting site.

This has potential for indigenous education. Specifically, Harris discusses the potential to share this information in the Hul’qumi’num language. The article also discusses the potential of using this for land claims purposes. There are, however, issues with broadcasting traditional information. From what I gather, these maps can be made private, and will not appear on regular Google Street View.

“I have been fishing all my life, I’ve never recorded anything, I know the whole coast. And I have a hankering now to record stuff, for my kids and my grandkids.”

Ray Harris, Stz’uminus elder

Worldviews and Aboriginal Cultures: Where hearts are rooted


This article provides an insightful view into the historical relationship between  Aboriginal peoples and the European settlers.  It reiterates that education is the key to recognizing the wrongs that have been committed and by acknowledging the broken past, bridges to a more positive relationship can be made. It includes information about the major historical events and what kind of impact they have had on the lives of Aboriginal people.  It brings to light the notion of incorporating Aboriginal content in ways such as creating a foundation for a solid classroom community or recognizing how our individual actions affect those around us.

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This article talks about the interconnection of Aboriginals and nature and how specifically, the Yupiaq  people in Alaska, are no different.  Due to their remote location with a harsh climate they have come to have vast empirical knowledge of the land.  It breaks down the essence of the Yupiaq lifestyle and how nature plays an important role in all aspects of their lifestyle.  It explains how the encroachment of Western civilization has changed the way they go about many things, including education.  Many of the teachers(non-Aboriginal) don’t recognize that the Yupiaq children learn differently  and are not like European children.   By ignoring their values, beliefs and culture, ultimately they are saying their skills and knowledge is of little importance.  This article offers relevant information from the perspective of the Yupiaq people and what ignoring and encroachment do to Aboriginal children skill acquisition.

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Integrating Aboriginal Perspectives into Curricula


The overall goal of this article is to assist educators with integrating more Aboriginal perspectives effectively into the curriculum.  Historically, the aboriginal perspective of how Canada came to be has been ignored, and it is only recently that that is starting to change.  The Aboriginal culture is based on the view that the universe was made by the Creator and humans must live in harmony with nature.  To foster the changes in perspective and correct social biases, it is indicated that developing curricula with Aboriginal content is a start.  This document looks at all aspects of Aboriginal culture and moves into ways to make Aboriginal content a staple in the curriculum, which will benefit both non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal students.

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Australian Indigenous cultural and intellectual property rights

There seems to have been some really good work produced on Australian Indigenous cultural and intellectual property rights. The Our Culture: Our Future (1999) report provides a comprehensive insight into Indigenous cultural and intellectual property protection. The New Tracks (2012) document is an interesting response to the call for feedback from Indigenous people on future directions about Indigenous knowledge and intellectual property.

Living Knowledge: Indigenous Knowledge in Science Education


This website is a project put together by the Australian Research Council.  The goal of the website is to find good ways for teachers to incorporate aboriginal traditional knowledge in the NSW (Australian) high school curriculum.  Resources are provided to bridge the gap between the indigenous traditional knowledge and western science.  This website also provides a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to introduce indigenous perspectives in western education.