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Does Environmental Talk Equal Environmental Knowledge? An Example from Newfoundland

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Abstract

To paraphrase Roepstorff, composite concepts consisting of a catchy or value loaded first word such as local, indigenous, traditional, environmental followed by knowledge have recently become popular in the environmental literature (2000, p. 165). Indeed, the recognition of “the value of traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples, and particularly their traditional environmental knowledge [has] unleashed a flood of research” (Johnson 1992, p. v). This has been motivated in part by the possibility that such knowledge serves as a guide to better resource management (McGoodwin and Dyer 1994), combined with an awareness of “the erosion of indigenous knowledge (IK) systems” (Grenier 1998, p. 4) and of their potential use in securing resource tenure rights for marginalized peoples worldwide. Despite this recent surge in interest, the “concept of Traditional Environmental Knowledge or TEK [and similar acronyms] draws on two older traditions, namely ethnoscience and cultural ecology” (Neis et al. 1999, p. 217).

The original article Local Environmental Knowledge, Talk, and Skepticism: Using “LES” to Distinguish “LEK” from “LET” in Newfoundland appeared in Human Ecology Vol. 35, No. 6, December 2007.

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Palmer, C.T., Wadley, R.L. (2010). Does Environmental Talk Equal Environmental Knowledge? An Example from Newfoundland. In: Bates, D., Tucker, J. (eds) Human Ecology. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5701-6_7

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