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Alternative Perspectives on Sustainability: Indigenous Knowledge and Methodologies

Parsons, Meg, Johanna Nalau, Karen Fisher. 2017. Alternative Perspectives on Sustainability: Indigenous Knowledge and Methodologies. Challenges in Sustainability. 5(1):7-14

Abstract

Indigenous knowledge (IK) is now recognized as being critical to the development of effective, equitable and meaningful strategies to address socio-ecological crises. However efforts to integrate IK and Western science frequently encounter difficulties due to different systems of knowledge production and underlying worldviews. New approaches are needed so that sustainability can progress on the terms that matter the most for the people involved. In this paper we discuss a case study from Aotearoa New Zealand where an indigenous community is in the process of renegotiating and enacting new indigenous-led approaches to address coupled socio-ecological crises. We reflect on novel methodological approaches that highlight the ways in which projects/knowledge are co-produced by a multiplicity of human and non-human actors. To this end we draw on conceptualizations of environmental ethics offered by indigenous scholars and propose alternative bodies of thought, methods, and practices that can support the wider sustainability agenda.

 

Keywords: Aotearoa New Zealand; climate adaptation; colonialism; culture; Indigenous Knowledge; sustainability science

 

The article is available here.

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