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ERIC Number: EJ949693
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 0
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1052-5505
Changing Planet, Common Ground
Pember, Mary Annette
Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education, v23 n2 Win 2011
To the casual observer, it might seem that Western science is greatly influenced by Indigenous science and wisdom. Mainstream scientists are showing a surge of interest in the observational data possessed by Indigenous peoples, a growing willingness to work in partnership with them--rather than viewing them as source material, a general increase in respect for the Earth, and concern for the impact of scientific research on future generations. There is a distinct boundary, however, between the two approaches to science. Spirituality is the demarcation between the two epistemologies. Western science values knowledge that is empirical and can be tested within its own frameworks. Like Western science, the Native approach to science and climate change is based on observation. Native peoples, however, also value the spiritual tradition of gifts and insight into natural processes that are every bit as fundamental to them as empirical information. The acceptance of Creator, a greater power, is at the heart of the Native approach to science. Spirituality is implied in everything for Native scientists. Not only that, but Western scientists consider certain information as folklore. They are interested in the data alone. But for Native scientists, there is always a story attached to the data. That story explains how the information should be used. Native scientists agree that traditional ways of knowing, or epistemologies, can make invaluable contributions to a world addressing climate change--if this knowledge is treated respectfully.
Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education. P.O. Box 720, Mancos, CO 81328. Tel: 888-899-6693; Fax: 970-533-9145; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A