Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Michael W. Simpson
The plural term indigenous knowledges is used to reflect the great diversity not only among native peoples of the world, but within any continent or area. Indigenous means to be of a place. Thus, indigenous knowledges are approaches to understanding reality among persons and groups who understand the living energy and relationships from inhabiting an area for a very long time. This conception excludes Western civilization, which through colonization has carried its knowledge from a primarily European home to all parts of the world. The colonizing Western powers denigrated native ways of knowing, considered themselves superior, and often ignored the great diversity of native peoples and the opportunity to learn from them. While recognizing the great diversity, this entry admittedly cannot do justice to all indigenous peoples' knowledge. Its focus is on the indigenous peoples of North America. Writing is a linear process and involves a complex relationship between the ...