Indigenous knowledge is Earth-centered human knowledge rooted in reverence for the interconnectedness of all things as an expression of Spirit. Despite centuries of suppression and assimilation, indigenous peoples around the planet sustain and develop such knowledge. Indigenous knowledge comprises all knowledge pertaining to a particular people and its territory. The nature or use of such knowledge is transmitted from generation to generation through pedagogy specific to those peoples. These are complete and sophisticated knowledge systems that existed long before empires like those of the Greeks, Romans, Spanish and English imposed their own. (Ireland’s solstice-oriented sacred sites, for example, date from 6000 years ago.) Scientific, agricultural, technical, social, spiritual and ecological knowledge, including sustainable and best use of natural resources, medicines, and of systemic ways to educate and to collectively heal trauma are just some of what indigenous knowledge systems have to offer now. Our wholistic interconnectedness in the web of life makes clear the urgency of our need for improved relationships between humans, the more-than-human world and the Earth right now.
TLC’s use of this term involves the search for ‘epistemological equity’ through reclamation of identity, knowledge and the politics of embodiment. Discussion of how knowledge about our own existence, realities and identities can help produce a form of knowing legitimate in its own right and able to contest other ways of knowing is part of this. Many of us are “meeting places” where bloodlines from indigenous peoples and colonizers can make peace rather than continue in conflict.