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Indigenous and Local Knowledge for Social-Ecological Systems Research


Participatory and Collaborative Research in Indigenous Social-Ecological Systems

Rooted in an apparent inclusive participation, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities are often involved in scientific and political spheres to learn and to process concepts, approaches, ways of thinking, and engaging with Western ways. However, the various methods and tools used for that come from Western approaches, thus imposing conditions and concepts on Indigenous knowledge-holders.

Indigenous Science developed and employs an approach that involve methods from the social and natural sciences, but it is fully based on Indigenous understandings, frameworks and conceptions. Our approach includes the active involvement of Indigenous People, it is action oriented, focused on respect, reciprocity, relevance and mutual responsibility with emphasis on issues of privacy, intellectual property, data custody and secondary use of data. It also ensures the participation communities particularly in the interpretation of data and review of research findings, while maintaining respect for community knowledge.

These commitments are put in practice through agreements that follow an explicit process of tailored planning guided by humility and with the principle that all knowledge systems involved are equal.


Mutual Benefits in Research

Indigenous Science foster mutual benefits in research. Since it is fully based on Indigenous understandings and approaches, it considers, to the extend of possible, that the involvement of Indigenous Peoples allows them to collaborate in the definition of research projects and concepts that are relevant for them, as appropriate and in a respectful manner. 

By providing support  to researchers and Indigenous Peoples, we will help to tailor projects to be relevant to Indigenous People's priorities and have the potential to produce valued outcomes from the perspective of Indigenous community.

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