James Rattling Leaf
North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center, University of Colorado - Boulder
Boulder, CO, USA
The TEK Section was founded 20 years ago to 1) promote the understanding, dissemination and respectful use of traditional ecological knowledge in ecological research, application and education, 2) to encourage education in traditional ecological knowledge 3) to stimulate research which incorporates the traditional knowledge and participation of Indigenous people and 4) to increase participation by Indigenous people in the Ecological Society of America (TEK section by-laws). Awareness of Indigenous knowledges has grown over this period, with seminal contributions from some of the founding members, built on the deep roots of knowledge and a way of knowing that can only flourish when people have an intimate relationship with the place they inhabit and depend on for their prosperity. Ecologists trained in the western European model have made great advances in our understanding of ecosystems and processes, but are often unaware of the value and insights known by Indigenous knowledge holders. These include, for example, a deep holistic understanding of biotic and abiotic connections within ecosystems as well as practical applications such as management of agro-ecosystems and fire management of forested ecosystems. These and other examples underscore the potential benefits possible with a more inclusive and equitable ecology, one that is open to learning from and collaborating with Indigenous knowledge holders. We explore these ideas in this symposium, connecting the past to the future of Traditional Ecological Knowledge, its relationship and potential for connection with Western science and technology, and connecting Western scientists that make up the vast majority of ESA membership to Indigenous scientists who are conducting research incorporating both ways of knowing. The speakers in this symposium, all Native, are well-established scientists, some who were founding members of the TEK section, and all leading thinkers helping to create the future of Indigenous knowledge. Together, they provide a bridge spanning generations and improving human relations with the world we depend on.
Presenting Author: Gwen Bridge – Gwen Bridge Consulting Ltd
Presenting Author: Ronald L. Trosper – University of Arizona
Presenting Author: Melissa K. Nelson – Arizona State University
Presenting Author: Frank K. Lake – U.S. Forest Service