Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainability

The UNESCO Teacher Education Module provides an overview of key topics concerning Indigenous education.  Six modules are provided for teachers to examine:

1.The wisdom of the elders.

2. UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

3. Why is indigenous knowledge important?

4. Living by indigenous knowledge.

5. Indigenous and formal education.

6. Enhancing the curriculum through indigenous knowledge.

Of particular interest to me was the section on Indigenous and formal education.  This section highlighted the differences between Indigenous and Scientific Knowledge.  I was reminded of Marker’s (2006) article, “After the Makah Whale Hunt: Indigenous Knowledge and Limits to Multicultural Discourse.”  The very first point made in the comparison is that Indigenous Education values the sacred and spiritual knowledge, whereas formal education often excludes the spiritual and is very secular.  This correlates with the obliviousness presented by the administrators, teachers and students to the Whale Hunt and the Makah student’s story.

This website is an excellent read for educators to gain an understanding of how to honour Indigenous traditional education, support Indigenous students in the classroom, and provide Indigenous perspective.



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