Tag Archives: indigenous knowledge

Who’s an “Indian”?: classification and implications


Classification carries implications.

(by Eileen Dombrowski, from OSC TOK blog) Who’s indigenous? And does it matter? These are significant questions, with significant answers. They are relevant to TOK both through the new area of knowledge, indigenous knowledge, and an old area of knowledge, ethics – as well as to all the ways of knowing involved in classifying our concepts, and, in the knowledge framework, to the topic of concepts/language. Two stories in this past month’s news bring these questions to life: a court contest in Canada about who is classified as “aboriginal” and a conflict in Tanzania over whether indigenous people have any claim to their traditional land. Continue reading

Schooling the World: free preview this month

schoolingworld(by Eileen Dombrowski) Schooling the World has just announced that their film is available this month for free preview.  Schooling the World: The White Man’s Last Burden is now streamed with subtitles in eleven languages.  Its free downloadable discussion guide has abundant material that is fairly easily re-framed to make it explicitly relevant to TOK.

I recommend this film highly as background for Indigenous Knowledge.  It prompts some giant knowledge questions about shared knowledge in different cultures — what knowledge is considered most important, how it is learned and validated, and how it is shared from generation to generation.  This is a thought-provoking film, beautiful to watch.

How ever did they manage?

(by Eileen Dombrowski, from OSC blog, Sept 20, 2014)   “How ever did they manage?” I ask myself. I’ve spent today at the Mesa Verde World Heritage Site  in Colorado, tromping around pueblo sites and gazing at the cliff dwelling houses of the native peoples of the American southwest. It’s hot out – too hot. How ever did the people get water to drink and irrigate their corn? Simply eating and drinking in this arid environment would be such a problem. Then what comes to my mind is one definition I’ve read of a word that is so difficult to pin down: culture. “Culture,” goes this definition (one of many definitions), “is a set of solutions to problems.” Continue reading

Indigenous Knowledge: definition, implications, and controversy

whale-33817_640(by Eileen Dombrowski, from OSC blog Sept 13, 2014) About all areas of knowledge, we ask questions that take us straight to methodology and social context. Who owns knowledge? How is it passed on as shared knowledge, and within what controls of methodology or power? We may think instantly of the sciences, and even controversies over current scientific conclusions and scientific products (e.g. medicines and technologies). Yet some of the oldest knowledge in the world is equally ignited by these knowledge questions, Continue reading