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Native & Indigenous Resources at F&M

What are Indigenous Ways of Knowing?

"Decolonization only occurs by re-centering Indigenous ways of knowing, rather than layering them superficially on a Western conception of the world" (Loyer, p. 153, 2018).


Indigenous ways of knowing are multitudinous, and it is important to recognize that they are not static or unchanging. Indigenous ways of knowing can shift and grow, as Indigenous ways of knowing are not products for consumption or transaction, but are "a means of creating relationships" (Littletree, Belarde-Lewis, and Duarte, p. 414, 2020).

As Littletree, Belarde-Lewis, and Duarte further explain in their article, "expressions of Indigenous knowledge are the discernable manifestations of knowledge -- the nouns that are created when we exercise our relationships with the land, water, ceremonies, people, stories, teachings, and observations (Kidwell, 1993). These are the tangible and intangible objects, belongings, art, songs, words, and thoughts..." (p. 414). They rely heavily on Kidwell's definition, "...because it is the outcome of Indigenous ways of knowing: the actions -- the verbs -- that describe how Indigenous peoples deliberately engage with the world, people, places, and ideas, resulting in an enduring intergenerational way of life" (p. 414). 

Indigenous Knowledge Organization (or, IKO) is "...the methodologies and means by which Native and Indigenous peoples create protocols to cohere, name, articulate, collate, and make accessible objects that indicate Indigenous knowledge..." (Littletree, Belarde-Lewis, and Duarte, p. 413, 2020). 

For more about the differentiation between Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous ways of knowing, check out Littletree, Belarde-Lewis, and Duarte's article listed below. 


What is Relationality?

Relationality is an Indigenous concept, about which many scholars have written. 

As cited in Littletree, Belarde-Lewis, and Duarte's 2020 article, Shawn Wilson (2008) defines relationality as "...the acknowledgement that we all exist in relationship to each other, the natural world, ideas, the cosmos, objects, ancestors, and future generations, and furthermore, that we are accountable to those relationships" (p. 414). 



Indigenous Systems of Knowledge by Dr. Sandra Littletree


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