Module 3 Research Connections

Module 3 Entry #1- Recommended Reading: Education Indigenous to Place: Western Science Meets Native Reality: by Angayuqaq Oscar Kawagley and Ray Barnhardt

This article looks at Indigenous Knowledge Systems, heralds the increasing recognition their validity in a broader context of western education and policy development, and compares and contrasts Indigenous Worldviews with those of Western Worldviews.

The article provides an interesting anecdote in which a 90-year-old elder chides a group of biologists about their record of statistics on fish habitat that is 30 years old, when his people have been monitoring the fish for 300 years.

A worthwhile read, and very much in line with my research interests.


Module 3 Entry #2- Recommended Reading: Indigenous Knowledge Systems/Alaska Native Ways of Knowing by Ray Barnhardt Angayuqaq Oscar Kawagley

This article looks at approaches to integrate the role of indigenous knowledge in mainstream education to enrich learning for all. It is recognized that indigenous students have long been disenchanted with westernized society’s approach to education, but we are now coming to the realization that a mono-cultural approach to education is bound to fail. There is an increasing willingness to look at other approaches to learning that diverge from the conventional form of education that has prevailed.


Module 3 Entry #3- What is Traditional Knowledge- Alaska Native Science Commission

I was led to this site that explains the definition of Traditional Knowledge and contrasts it from non-indigenous knowledge, discusses structure and discusses maintaining ownership and control.

As defined by The Director General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Mayor, 1994) defines traditional knowledge:

The indigenous people of the world possess an immense knowledge of their environments, based on centuries of living close to nature.  Living in and from the richness and variety of complex ecosystems, they have an understanding of the properties of plants and animals, the functioning of ecosystems and the techniques for using and managing them that is particular and often detailed.  In rural communities in developing countries, locally occurring species are relied on for many – sometimes all – foods, medicines, fuel, building materials and other products.  Equally, people’s knowledge and perceptions of the environment, and their relationships with it, are often important elements of cultural identity. 


Module 3 Entry #4- Handbook for Culturally Responsive Science Curriculum by Sidney Stephens

This handbook serves as a practical guide and is geared towards teachers in an effort to integrate traditional native knowledge and western science perspectives. It originates from the Alaska Native Knowledge Network.

Sidney Stephens has attempted to “distill and synthesize the critical ingredients for making the teaching of science relevant and meaningful in culturally adaptable ways.”

The aim of the handbook is to “provide teachers invaluable assistance with the task of developing and teaching culturally responsive science curriculum.”


Module 3 Entry #5- Inuit Qaujisarvingat: Inuit Knowledge Centre

A short video interview with Martin Lougheed, from the Inuit Knowledge Centre, where he makes the case for “a synthesis of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit traditional knowledge) and western science to help better understand, and find solutions to, the significant climatic changes affecting Inuit Nunangat.”

Goals for the Inuit Knowledge Centre include:

  • Promote information
  • Make connections between researchers and Inuit Knowledge
  • Ensure that proper, effective and ethical way
  • Promote traditional knowledge in policy and decision making -video interview


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