Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Information pertaining to Traditional Ecological Knowledge methods.

Using Spatial Information Technology to FuseTraditional Native and Modern Resource Management Strategies

Bryan A. Marozas
GIS Coordinator
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Albuquerque Area Office
P.O. Box 26567
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87125
(505) 346-7109
bryan_marozas@mail.doi.gov

Jhon Goes In Center
President
Innovative GIS Solutions, Inc.
Suite 300, 2000 S. College Ave.
Fort Collins, Colorado 80525
(970) 490-5900 Fax: 490-2300
jgic@innovativegis.com

Abstract: In the past, the tribal decision making process relied upon a valuable set of cultural and ecological knowledge to make resource management decisions. Today, tribes have begun to develop Integrated Resource Management Plans to help make informed resource management decisions. The premise of this paper is that these are two different resource management strategies. One is developed from tribal reference points throughout an aboriginal territory while the other is developed by land use planners within the extent of the reservation boundary. Due to the spatial nature of both management strategies, Geographic Information System (GIS) technology can be used to facilitate the inclusion of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the tribal decision making process.

Paper presented at the "Circles of Wisdom" Historical Reminders - Contemporary Issues - U.S. Global Change Research Program - Native Peoples - Native Homelands - Climate Change Workshop on October 31, 1998. Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Enhancing Tribal Integrated Resource Management Plans by Integrating Traditional Knowledge with GIS Technology

Bryan A. Marozas
GIS Coordinator, Bureau of Indian Affairs

Abstract
In the past, the tribal decision making process relied upon a valuable set of cultural and ecological knowledge to make resource management decisions. More recently, some American Indian tribes have begun developing Integrated Resource Management Plans in an attempt to make informed resource management decisions. The premise of this paper is that it would be important to incorporate traditional cultural and ecological knowledge into the Integrated Resource Management Planning process. Due to the spatial nature of traditional cultural and ecological knowledge, Geographic Information System (GIS) technology can facilitate the inclusion of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the tribal decision making process.

For more information, please contact:

Bryan A. Marozas
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Albuquerque Area Office
Branch of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 26567
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87125-6567
(505) 766-3334

Indigenous peoples and the use of intellectual property rights in Canada

Case studies relating to intellectual property rights
Submitted to:
Intellectual Property Policy Directorate
Corporate Governance Branch
Industry Canada
and to the:
Canadian Working Group on Art. 8(j) of the Biodiversity Convention
by:
HOWARD MANN, LL.M, Ph.D.
International and Environmental Law and Policy
Ottawa, Ontario
 
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Traditional Aboriginal Knowledge and Science Versus Occidental Science

Prepared by Stephen J. Augustine
 for the Biodiversity Convention Office of Environment Canada, October 1997

Introduction

The intent of this paper is to stimulate enlightened discussion about the definition, mechanisms and purpose of traditional knowledge (TK) and occidental science. It aims to provide both a clearer understanding of TK from an Aboriginal perspective and a more objective view of modern science. At best, it will create a renewed approach to the environment—and possibly combine the best of both sources of knowledge—by helping to forge a new sensitivity to Native American world views.

In comparing TK and occidental science, it is important to take the following basic premises into consideration:

1)   In the same way that occidental science does not define itself in relation to TK, TK need not authenticate itself according to the criteria of occidental science. TK exists in its own right, and its intrinsic validity stems directly from survival techniques used by generations of Native Americans. These techniques have been used in harmony with the land and other living entities, and have avoided creating serious ecological damage.

2)   There is considerable confusion in mainstream society over the link between spirituality and TK, which are often viewed as the same thing. Although spirituality is a part of daily life for Aboriginal peoples, it does not, in itself, constitute TK. Aboriginal beliefs arise from Creation stories, dreams and visions, while Aboriginal knowledge is based on observation, direct experience, testing, teaching and recording in the collective memory through oral tradition, storytelling, ceremonies, and songs. This knowledge is exercised within the context of the social values and philosophies of the tribe—that the Earth and every animal, plant and rock upon it is sacred and should be treated with respect. The fact that Native science is not fragmented into specialized compartments does not mean that it is not based on rational thinking, but that it is based on the belief that all things are connected and must be considered within the context of that interrelationship. In order to maintain harmony and balance, this holistic approach gives the same importance to rational thinking as it does to spiritual beliefs and social values.

3)   Althoughthe term "science" is most often taken to mean mainstream society'sscientific community, it is important to recognize that traditionalknowledge also comprises Indigenous science. For the purposes of thispaper, mainstream science will be referred to as occidental science, and Native American science as Indigenous or Native science. Environmental knowledge is an element of TK, and follows these same principles.

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