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Category archives for Indigenous Knowledge

Shamans Still Cast Their Spells Along the Modern Silk Road

The babel rose from the cemetery gate. A man grunted as if punched again and again in the gut. Someone else was moaning in a low, weepy singsong. Another burped spasmodically. Underneath it all was the soft, raspy muttering of prayers, like leaves tumbling in an autumn breeze. The prayers came from the shamans. They…

Insisting on Truth – Bhopal and Beyond

“I cut all the pictures out of my textbook…they were so…” My friend Anu doesn’t finish her thought. She doesn’t have to. I know the words that she can use, but they will never fully articulate the horrific, gruesome, tragic images depicting the event of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster, considered by many to be the…

Writer James Welch: A Singular Voice From the Native American Renaissance

Today’s Google doodle celebrates a man whose work helped shape the Native American Renaissance and can still help develop cross-cultural communication in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Standing Rock Sioux Invited to Work With Army on Solution for Pipeline Conflict

[The following text is from an official press release by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.] Statement Regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline Posted 11/14/2016 Release no. 16-027 Contact Moira Kelley (DOA), 703-614-3992, moira.l.kelley.civ@mail.mil Jessica Kershaw (DOI), interior_press@ios.doi.gov Washington, D.C. – Today, the Army informed the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Energy Transfer Partners, and Dakota Access, LLC, that it has completed…

The Lost History of South Africa

The strange creature is half antelope and half bird. Painted in jet black, frozen in flight on the wall, the animal has the hind legs and tail of a buck, and the magnificent wings of a raven that spread out from its shoulders. Above the flying figure, a long scaly reptile with crocodile-like ridges stretches…

All Plants Are Medicine; We Just Need To (re)Learn How

“All plants are medicine,” Dr. Jeetpal Negi, the herbal gardener at Navdanya, exclaims proudly with a hint of mystery to his voice. Dr. Negi bends down to examine a seemingly mundane but prolific weed, “this is used for eye health,” he says before popping the small white diamond-shape flower in his mouth. He stretches above his…

Saving Rice in Pictures

Not pictured: the dozens of hands cutting, sorting and hauling rice. The sweat-soaked saris and brows. The awe of witnessing the preservation of biodiversity.      

Marigolds: an (agri)cultural staple

The first seeds I ever saved were marigold seeds. At the time, I was a garden educator at a small neighborhood environmental nonprofit in Camden, New Jersey. The Center for Environmental Transformation(CFET) is situated in the South Waterfront neighborhood, an old urban community enclosed by industrial facilities which not only restrict access to the nearby waterfront, but…

Our Seed Stories – a Participatory Educational Media Project this School Year

Join me this school year on my journey to India to learn about seed saving, community food systems, and how to cultivate a future for biodiversity!

The Last Ice: Stories From Sacred Spaces

From Pacific islands to Arctic coastlines, indigenous people have been listening to and learning from the environment for millennia. Now more than ever, it’s time for everyone to hear what it’s saying.

Hawaiian Voyaging Canoe and Viking Longship Meet for First Time

Two different traditional voyaging canoes from opposite ends of the globe find parallels in their missions of exploration.

Young Micronesians Explore Nan Madol: A New UNESCO World Heritage Site Located In Their Backyard.

Last month, UNESCO officially announced 21 new additions to the World Heritage Sites list. One of these — located on the Micronesian island of Pohnpei — is the ruins of Nan Madol. In celebration of their island treasure being recognized as a World Heritage Site, a group of local Pohnpeian college students took on the responsibility of providing the international community with their own local stories and images of Nan Madol.

In Canada’s Boreal Forest, ‘The Land That Gives Life’ Inspires a Push for Protection

A couple works to win UNESCO recognition to help save the vast wilderness of Pimachiowin Aki and preserve a culture’s link to the Earth  For millennia, the Anishinaabe people of the Poplar River First Nation, in the Canadian province of Manitoba, have called the boreal forest that surrounds and sustains them Pimachiowin Aki: The Land…

Life in a Harsh Paradise: Surviving Drought on Banaba Island

Drought is a way of life on Banaba—a way of life Taboree Biremon knows all too well. “My wife and I didn’t eat. We fed the children,” explained Biremon, describing life during a drought that hit Banaba a few years back. “There was no food. We fed the children first, but we were starving. We…

Traditional Seafarers Gather to Celebrate Art and Culture in the Pacific Islands

Last month, traditional voyagers from all throughout Oceania sailed to Guam to attend the 12th Annual Festival of the Pacific Arts. This event, happening every four years, brings together islanders from 27 different island nations for a celebration of culture, art, and most importantly, solidarity.