Author Archives: coffeys

Traditional Knowledge & Intellectual Property

This link is to a new book “Traditional Knowledge & Intellectual Property – Law and Practice”, author – Johanna Gibson, published July 19, 2011.

“This is the first comprehensive and practical legal text to examine the protection of, access to, and commercialisation of traditional knowledge, genetic resources and traditional cultural expressions. The topics covered include ownership, benefit-sharing, disclosure of origin, creation of intellectual property rights, coherence and consistency with international intellectual property regimes.”

Inuit Cultural Online Resource

This website is designed to be a resource on Canadian Inuit Culture for Canadian school-aged children and their teachers. The site contains cultural information as text, videos, and weblinks, it also contains downloadable worksheets for classroom use. Created by the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Center, this site was funded by the Canadian Heritage Gateway Fund.

Educator’s Guide to American Indian Perspectives in Natural Resources

The ‘Educator’s Guide to American Indian Perspectives in Natural Resources‘ is a down loadable PDF book that purports to blend traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) with western science and gives important background information regarding tribal use and management of natural resources. Reading it should empower educators to feel comfortable and confident in including the perspective of the native population in their high school science programs. The following are a sample of the questions addressed in the resource:

  1. What is the rationale for including Native perspectives in a natural resource program?
  2. What are some differences between scientific and Native American ways of knowing or understanding of the environment?
  3. Did low population densities affect the historical use and management of resources? How do current population stresses affect tribal use and management practices?
  4. What are the best and most appropriate ways to partner with local tribes? What ethical considerations may be necessary?


Traditional Knowledge Bulletin

The Traditional Knowledge Bulletin is an information service being offered by the United Nations University Traditional Knowledge Institute in Australia. It aims to provide information on traditional knowledge (TK) related discussions at international forums by posting weekly reviews of TK issues in the global news and individual posts on issues relevant to TK at the global level. The blog is active and monthly archives are available back to March 2007.

Alaska Native Perspectives on Earth & Climate – Lesson Plans

Found at the Teacher’s Domain, which is a free digital media service for education use, the ‘Alaska Natives Perspectives on Earth & Climate‘ webpage provides links to student activities, lesson plans, and videos.  The resources are organized under topics of traditional ways of knowing: spirit, air, fire, water, and earth; and Earth as a system: atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. The lesson plans are recommended for grades 6-12, detailed, and are based on Alaskan Native ways of knowing. The site is free to use, although you have to register after 7 uses.

Native American Indian Resources

In our course reading ‘Cyberspace Smoke Signals’ (Zimmerman et al., 2000),  a website ‘Native American Indian Resources’ created by Paula Giese is described. The link given was no longer active but I was able to find the website using Google. The site contains over 300 web pages organized by the topics: maps, stories, art, astronomy, herbal knowledge, food recipes, books, schools, nations, games, Maya, Arvol Looking Horse, and Pocohontas. The site was last update on 6/11/97 as Paula Geise passed away during the summer of 1997, however it has been maintained but many of the external links appear to be broken now.


Zimmerman, L. J. et al. (2000). Cyberspace smoke signals: new technologies and native American ethnicity, In Smith, C. and Ward, G. K. (eds)(2000). Indigenous Cultures in an Interconnected World. Vancouver: UBC Press, 69-86.

Sophie Thomas – Traditional Healer

This website is about Sophie Thomas, a respected Dakelh elder (Carrier Nation in the northern interior of BC) and traditional healer who was dedicated to teaching others about the traditional ways of using plants to heal. She has spoken at elementary schools, high schools, post-secondary institutions, and international conferences sharing her knowledge of herbs and advocating for the preservation of environment. The site contains descriptions of her book ‘Plants and Medicines’ and video ‘ The Warmth of Love, the 4 Seasons’. Sophie was to receive an honorary degree from the University of British Columbia in May 2010 but passed away in her 80s in March 2010.

First Nations Peoples of BC

In recognition of the fact that I know little about the First Nations peoples in my area of Quesnel, BC, I decided to do some research focused on the local area and found some resources that I think others might find useful: – This site has a map of BC showing a current representation of First Nations territories in BC and a table containing the peoples’ names, names used in the past, and language families. – BC Stats web page ‘Aboriginal Peoples of British Columbia’ which provides many links to pages and documents regarding labor characteristics and soci0-economic conditions of Aboriginal peoples in British Columbia.

British Columbia’s Water Plan & TEK

The BC Government website has a page devoted to First Nations traditions and knowledge regarding water use where the BC governments commitments to protecting First Nations’ values around water commitments are given. Protecting water access for social and cultural practices,  the sharing and use of TEK in decision making, and ensuring that all First Nations groups in BC have a plentiful supply of clean water is described.

Forest Management & TEK in British Columbia

Modern forest management practices are reliant on the analysis of information in computers. The anecdotal nature of TEK is difficult to represent in computers. Dr. Alan J. Thompson inititated a project on the elicitation, representation, and use of TEK in relation to resource management by using modern Artificial Intelligence methods to create a knowledge base containing literature background, interview questions, responses, and inferences for use in in further discussions regarding TEK in resource management. The database and background information regarding the project are available on the website: