Native Science – Indigenous Knowledge

Native Science – Indigenous Knowledge may be a little difficult to comprehend until you begin to work in field research using this concept. Two tribal elders who are the national leaders of this type of research spoke at a conference in Bath, Ontario, Canada. Here are the presentations of Dr. Leroy Little Bear and Dr. Gregory Cajete.

Dr. Leroy Little Bear is a Blackfoot Indian who is the professor emeritus of the University of Lethbridge in Alberta Canada. He is the founding member who began the Department of Native American Studies at Lethbridge. He launched the same program at Harvard University.

Dr. Gregory Cajete is the Director of the Native American Studies Program at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He wrote the book, Native Science, Natural Laws of Interdependence.

Native Science – Indigenous Knowledge

Dr. Cajete said in his book that, “Native Science, which is also referred to as Aboriginal Science and Indigenous Science, includes the “wide range of tribal processes of perceiving, thinking, acting, and ‘coming to know’ that have evolved through human experience with the natural world.” He went on the say, “It is one aspect of a broader body of Indigenous Knowledge and is characterized by the following traits:

Native Scientific Knowledge includes knowledge of the metaphysical (spiritual) world and reflects a Native view of nature as interconnected and interdependent.

Locally Valid
Native Science – Indigenous Knowledge is rooted in local places and is often practiced to meet community needs for the long-term survival of a people.

Native Scientific Knowledge is derived through direct interaction with the natural world.

Native Science – Indigenous Knowledge assumes responsibility for maintaining harmonious relationships among people, nature, all life, and the spiritual realm.”

Native Science is the study and sense of place. It is connecting to the environment of the place in a holistic way. It is subjective and qualitative. It is sensing the energy of a place using dowsing to connect to the energy flows. It is reading the signs and listening to the elders whose knowledge of a place is of great value in the understanding of a sacred site or of the universe.

Don Hill interviewed Dr Leroy Little Bear, Blackfoot Indian, as they walked about Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada in 2008. His article, published in Alberta Views, was titled Listening to Stones. In that article, Dr Little Bear shared his view of the spiritual connection to place. He told Don Hill that, “The native paradigm consists of several key things. One of them is constant motion or constant flux. The second part is everything consists of energy waves. In the Native world, the energy waves are really the spirit. And, it is the energy waves that know. It is not you who know, it is the energy waves that know. You know things because you we are also made up of energy waves. or a combination thereof.”