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Abstract Detail

Plenary Address - Robin Kimmerer

Kimmerer, Robin [1].

The Fortress, the River and the Garden: new metaphors for cultivating a symbiosis of indigenous and scientific knowledges.

The most pressing environmental challenges we face, as a global society, lie at the intersection of natural ecosystems and human cultures. There is growing evidence that the traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) of indigenous peoples with a long history of place-based sustainability offers concepts, models, philosophies and practices which can inform the design of new sustainability solutions. Academics, agency scientists and policy makers have increasingly sought traditional knowledge as a wellspring of ideas for emerging models of ecosystem management, conservation biology and ecological restoration and TEK is rich in knowledge of plant biology. TEK has value not only for its wealth of factual information, but also for the cultural framework of respect, reciprocity and responsibility in which it is embedded. Embraced as a complement to western science, TEK offers both key ecological insights and a cultural framework for environmental problem solving that explicitly incorporates human values. While TEK is an ancient body of knowledge, embedded in a sophisticated cultural epistemology, it had long been marginalized and often dismissed by the institutions of contemporary western science, due to limited understanding of its nature and capacity. In the scientific community, much is lost when we fail to consider multiple ways of knowing and much is gained by engagement with intellectual pluralism. The next generation of environmental scientists has a high probability of encountering issues involving TEK; thus exposure to TEK has a legitimate role in the education of the next generation of plant science professionals. A pressing concern for both western and indigenous scientists lies in how we engage with TEK in a way that promotes mutual learning and respects and protects indigenous knowledge.
Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, SUNY Distinguished Teacher Professor, plant ecologist, Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and author of “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants” will introduce concepts of TEK and its relevance to plant sciences and present three models by which we might respectfully engage TEK in research, education and outreach.

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1 - SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, Professor of Environmental and Forest Biology, Director, Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY, 13210

none specified

Presentation Type: Special Presentation
Session: S1, Plenary Lecture
Location: Texas Ballroom G, H, I, J/Omni Hotel
Date: Sunday, June 25th, 2017
Time: 7:30 PM
Number: S1001
Abstract ID:600
Candidate for Awards:None

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