Indigenous Knowledge and Skills

The United Nations defines Indigenous knowledge as the “knowledge that an indigenous (local) community accumulates over generations of living in a particular environment,” including “technologies, know-how skills, practices and beliefs … that enable the community to achieve stable livelihoods in their environment” (United Nations, 2011, n.p.). This definition provides a helpful starting point for considering the role of Indigenous knowledges and Indigenous knowledge systems (IKSs)—more appropriately conceptualized in the plural form—in education. It is important to recognize the heterogeneity of these systems: There are 370 million Indigenous people in the world, residing in 90 countries and on every continent. Each knowledge system and the ways of knowing associated with it are uniquely designed to prepare the young for productive citizenship within a distinctive physical, social, ...

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