Indigenous Knowledge, Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology
Routledge – 2010 – 280 pages
Series: Indigenous Peoples and Politics
Indigenous ways of understanding and interacting with the natural world are characterized as Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), which derives from emphasizing relationships and connections among species. This book examines TEK and its strengths in relation to Western ecological knowledge and evolutionary philosophy. Pierotti takes a look at the scientific basis of this approach, focusing on different concepts of communities and connections among living entities, the importance of understanding the meaning of relatedness in both spiritual and biological creation, and a careful comparison with evolutionary ecology. The text examines the themes and principles informing this knowledge, and offers a look at the complexities of conducting research from an indigenous perspective.
Introduction 1. Defining Traditional Ecological Knowledge 2. All Things Are Connected: Communities as Both Ecological and Social Entities in Indigenous American Thought 3. Predators Not Prey: "Wolves of Creation" Rather Than "Lambs of God" 4. Metaphors and Models: Indigenous Knowledge and Evolutionary Ecology 5. Cultural and Biological Creation and the Concept of Relatedness 6. Applying Principles of TEK within the Western Scientific Tradition 7. Connected to the Land: Nature and Spirit in Native American Novels 8. Ecological Indians: European Imaginations and Indigenous Reality 9. A Critical Comment on Both Western Science and Indigenous Responses to the Western Scientific Tradition 10. Who Speaks for the Buffalo? Finding the Indigenous in Academia 11. Traditional Ecological Knowledge: The Third Alternative
Raymond Pierotti is Associate Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Global Indigenous Nations Studies at the University of Kansas.