Traditional Ecological Knowledge - Guides

The term Traditional Ecological Knowledge, or TEK, is used to describe the knowledge held by indigenous cultures about their immediate environment and the cultural practices that build on that knowledge. Traditional ecological knowledge includes an intimate and detailed knowledge of plants, animals, and natural phenomena, the development and use of appropriate technologies for hunting, fishing, trapping, agriculture, and forestry, and a holistic knowledge, or "world view" which parallels the scientific discipline of ecology (Berkes 1993). Separator Bar TEK Guides

Indigenous Stewardship Methods and NRCS Conservation PracticesIndigenous Stewardship Methods and NRCS Conservation Practices
This guidebook provides guidance to employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and to indigenous cooperators who work with NRCS. It provides a sensitive process in which knowledge is shared, allowing employees to incorporate the indigenous knowledge into NRCS’ assistance through its conservation practices. The indigenous perspective of living in harmony with the earth and the agency perspective of scientific and experiential learning are portrayed in the words of the guidebook. Read more (PDF).

Chief Kerry's Moose.Chief Kerry's Moose
Information — access to it, or access denied — has long been at the root of how communities have expressed who they are, to themselves and outsiders. The oral traditions of First Nations have been — for hundreds of years — cherished and deeply respected ways of communicating complex information about culture, politics, the environment, and what we now call economics. After European contact, these oral communications were given less and less weight, and First Nations were put at a profound disadvantage in negotiating about their lands and resources. Just a few years ago, I remember talking to a provincial cabinet minister about forestry operations that were going to have a serious negative impact on Algonquin lands and the Algonquins’ ability to sustain themselves. The minister said, "Prove it to me!" Clearly, words were not sufficient. That was a seminal moment in my life, and in my work. Read more (PDF).

Research Review Checklist for American Indian and Alaska Native CommunitiesResearch Review Checklist for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities
Regulation of research is becoming an increasingly important issue for many American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. Through whatever mechanism and process they choose, AI/AN communities should carefully regulate research projects throughout all phases: in the initial stage of reviewing proposals, while the research is ongoing, and finally in dissemination and publication of the research findings. The National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center (NCAI PRC) has developed the following checklist as a guide for reviewing research projects from beginning to end. Read more (PDF).

Federal Data Collection in American Indian/Alaska Native CommunitiesFederal Data Collection in American Indian/Alaska Native Communities
This paper presents recommendations to federal agencies for data collection in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. The National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center (NCAI PRC) has developed this paper in response to numerous requests from federal agencies soliciting advice about how to improve data collection processes in AI/AN communities. Overall, we recommend that federal agencies openly consult with Tribal governmental officials, and seek their insights and support. Read more (PDF).

The Shared Charateristics of TEK and Western ScienceThe Shared Charateristics of TEK and Western Science
Please click here to view graphic (PDF).

Last updated: October 28, 2021