This pdf is a bit of a review of the discussions and events at the Seven Generations Conference in 2008. Of particular interest to my research is the interview with Daniel Wildcat who is a professor at Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas. His specialty is in Indigenous knowledge, technology, environment and education. The epiphany he describes through story in this interview is my thesis for my paper. While working with NASA and remote sensing satellite images of Earth, he decided that First Nations people were “local sensing” experts and that the two forms of knowing–scientific and indigenous–work together to create a larger, more accurate picture.
Indigenous knowledge can certainly give scientists more specific, holistic information about what is happening at ground level or “in real life” (as opposed to in satellite images on on pages of data), but the rapid rate at which things are changing, and the extreme nature of the changes often renders the problem solving skill set of the particular indigenous knowledge ill equipped to deal. Thus, scientists and indigenous thinkers need to collaborate in order to problem solve and troubleshoot the solutions to this massive issue.