Encyclopedia of Science Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone

Values and Indigenous Knowledge

  • Dawn Sutherland
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6165-0_383-2

A fundamental attribute of Indigenous Knowledge is that it is place based (Cajete 2000); therefore, the values tied to much of the knowledge are also place specific. However, Indigenous people also share commonalities in their Indigenous ways of understanding how to live. The commonalities are discussed in the following paragraphs.

The term “coming-to-know” or “coming-to-knowing” is used to describe the process of developing understandings in Indigenous Knowledge (Cajete 2000; Peat 1994). The term means to live properly in ones community and in nature, which includes the “action of living in harmony with the natural environment for the sake of the community’s survival” (Aikenhead and Michell 2011, p. 69). “Coming-to-know” reflects the idea that understanding is a life-long journey, or process, or quest for knowledge (Cajete 2000). Learning, from an Indigenous perspective, is an experience that seeks balance in mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical ways.

The importance placed on...


Human Action Natural Environment Experiential Learning Indigenous People Relational Attribute 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research OfficeThe University of WinnipegWinnipegCanada