Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) refers to the knowledge held by Indigenous peoples and shared orally across generations over hundreds of years through direct contact with, and understanding of, the local environment and traditional territories. Originally named the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Advisory Panel, the Panel members, who are knowledge keepers and Elders, renamed the panel to focus on Indigenous Wisdom. The term Indigenous wisdom reflects an accurate and culturally appropriate recognition of the scope of Indigenous knowledge and world view.
The application of Indigenous wisdom within a contemporary western science perspective is important to ensure a robust understanding of the ambient environment. Environmental Monitoring and Science Division (EMSD) is committed to working with First Nations and Métis communities in Alberta by involving them in the design and implementation of environmental monitoring, evaluation and reporting programs and activities. In collaboration with Indigenous communities, we are working to develop strategies that are respectful and representative of traditional approaches to environmental monitoring and sustaining natural resources.
The purpose of the Indigenous Wisdom Advisory Panel (IWAP) is to provide strategic advice and recommendations regarding meaningful application of Indigenous wisdom and inclusion of Indigenous peoples within the environmental monitoring, evaluation and reporting system, to the Chief Scientist. The IWAP will advise and report on the overall ability of the science and monitoring system to link Indigenous and western scientific approaches in the appropriate context, and support priorities and capacity building at the community level.
Key focus areas of the IWAP may include:
- The respect and protection of Indigenous wisdom.
- Accepted methodology associated with the applications of Indigenous wisdom in an environmental monitoring context and the linkage of Indigenous and western science-based systems.
- Emerging and best practices for application of Indigenous wisdom in a science-based monitoring system.
- Effective and efficient methods for understanding and addressing community-based monitoring priorities for ambient environmental monitoring.