The COVID pandemic has highlighted our want for connection and compelled billions of individuals to adapt to a modified world. A lot of this adaptation is closely reliant on know-how, and specifically data know-how, which is getting used to maintain many individuals linked.
Though the pandemic is posing many issues for our fashionable, technological world, it additionally presents a possibility to embrace historical and worthwhile Indigenous knowledges and establish potential inside them in several methods.
The notion of Indigenous know-how is one such alternative.
A historical past of Indigenous know-how
Indigenous know-how is a comparatively misunderstood phenomenon.
This isn’t using know-how by or for the good thing about Indigenous peoples. It refers back to the a number of ways in which Indigenous knowledges are used to enhance the lives of people – historical practices which have existed in numerous elements of the world which can be nonetheless related, and prevalent, immediately
Indigenous knowledges and know-how have been linked from the start of time. Elementary ideas of Indigenous knowledges can and may underpin the event and function of know-how in a number of methods.
These ideas embrace:
relationality and connection
Relationality/connection refers back to the Indigenous understanding of all issues being linked. One motion can impression many others – just like the basic Western scientific idea of “trigger and impact”.
Embracing and understanding reciprocity ensures the advantages of using know-how don’t come on the expense of others (together with folks, crops, animals and the broader atmosphere).
Reflexivity includes the fixed cycle of studying and listening that underpins information creation and switch for Indigenous peoples and cultures. It is usually seen as an necessary ingredient of analysis and improvement on this planet of know-how (significantly related now as we’re creating methods to deal with COVID.
And Nation refers back to the grounding of knowledges in our land and all it accommodates. Our knowledges and languages come from the land, and that is the place they belong. This makes our knowledges contextual and particular to a sure group. Understanding the specifics of a sure group is essential to gaining cultural information.
On the earth of enterprise know-how, this pertains to realizing and understanding your market and their particular needs and desires – a basic precept of selling.
Native meals and meals know-how
Native meals and meals know-how have sustained Indigenous communities everywhere in the world for 1000’s of years. Right now, native meals are utilized in quite a lot of methods, together with connecting folks with tradition by culinary experiences such because the Tasmanian “Wave to Plate” challenge.
In southeast Australia, the Wurundjeri folks’s identify comes from the Witchetty grub discovered within the Manna gum that’s wealthy in Vitamin C and good for pores and skin wounds. Wurundjeri folks nonetheless use crops such because the Manna gum (Eucalyptus), murrnong and tee tree (melaleuca) for each dietary and medical functions.
Native teams in North America have practised plant-based medicinal practices for 1000’s of years, and proceed to this present day. This contains the direct consumption of plant elements, utilizing them as ointments, and boiling them as a part of tea drinks. Some teams additionally use conifer needles to create tonics wealthy in vitamin C for treating ailments.
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Agriculture and aquaculture
Hundreds of years in the past, the Gunditjmara folks of Budj Bim in western Victoria modified pure options and created a sequence of synthetic ponds, wetlands and networks of channels.
These practices allowed water flows between dams to accommodate the farming of eels. The Gunditjmara folks additionally constructed substantial stone buildings near work websites to shelter from chilly southerly winds that may nonetheless be seen in numerous elements of western Victoria immediately.
Indigenous cultural burning and hearth administration is one other historical apply that lives on immediately.
These practises are more and more getting used as instruments for nationwide park administration, emergency companies and different organisations to raised perceive our native atmosphere and join with Aboriginal cultures, peoples and histories.
Astronomy and geology
Conventional Indigenous storytelling has enabled modern-day scientists to find meteorites they may not in any other case have discovered.
And in New Zealand, geologists are persevering with to make use of Maori traditions to raised perceive earthquakes and tsunamis.
Stars that change in brightness shine within the oral traditions of Aboriginal Australians
Well being and well-being
Ideas of Indigenous and Western well being and medication have lengthy differed.
Western well being has primarily targeted on “downside correction” and the affected person’s physiology. Whereas for Indigenous folks, well being and well-being have lengthy included bodily, psychological, non secular and environmental points for each people and communities – what Western well being now calls “holistic care”.
Indigenous peoples have discovered innumerable methods to bodily navigate their Nation, together with with the bark canoe, a logo of transport know-how.
Utilizing the bark from an acceptable tree, the method immediately revisits historical traditions and supplies direct cultural connection for a lot of younger Aboriginal folks. The prevalence of scar bushes in lots of elements of the nation exhibits simply how widespread this apply nonetheless is.
These continued makes use of of Indigenous know-how are an affirmation of tradition and historical past for Aboriginal peoples. It’s additionally a transparent approach for all Australians to attach with a tradition that not solely has a deep, deep historical past on our land, however continues and continues to be rising immediately.
This piece was produced as a part of Social Sciences Week, operating 6-12 September. A full checklist of 70 occasions may be discovered right here. Andrew Peters will seem on the panel dialogue “Indigenous Peoples and Expertise” on Wednesday, September 8 at 10.30am.
Andrew Peters doesn’t work for, seek the advice of, personal shares in or obtain funding from any firm or organisation that may profit from this text, and has disclosed no related affiliations past their educational appointment.