Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Indigenous Knowledge Systems

A Radical Revision of the Public Health Response to Environmental Crisis in a Warming World: Contributions of Indigenous Knowledges and Indigenous Feminist Perspectives

Citation:

Lewis, Diana, Lewis Williams, and Rhys Jones. 2020. “A Radical Revision of the Public Health Response to Environmental Crisis in a Warming World: Contributions of Indigenous Knowledges and Indigenous Feminist Perspectives.” Canadian Journal of Public Health 111 (6): 897–900.

Authors: Diana Lewis, Lewis Williams, Rhys Jones

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Indigenous peoples have long been successful at adapting to climatic and environmental changes. However, anthropogenic climatic crisis represents an epoch of intensified colonialism which poses particular challenges to Indigenous peoples throughout the world, including those in wealthier ‘modern’ nation states. Indigenous peoples also possess worldviews and traditional knowledge systems that are critical to climate mitigation and adaptation, yet, paradoxically, these are devalued and marginalized and have yet to be recognized as essential foundations of public health. In this article, we provide an overview of how public health policy and discourse fails Indigenous peoples living in the colonial nation states of Canada and Aotearoa New Zealand. We argue that addressing these systemic failures requires the incorporation of Indigenous knowledges and Indigenous feminist perspectives beyond superficial understandings in public health-related climate change policy and practice, and that systems transformation of this nature will in turn require a radical revision of settler understandings of the determinants of health. Further, public health climate change responses that centre Indigenous knowledges and Indigenous feminist perspectives as presented by Indigenous peoples themselves must underpin from local to global levels.
 
FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Les peuples autochtones ont de tout temps réussi à s’adapter aux changements du climat et de leur environnement. La crise climatique anthropogène constitue toutefois une époque de colonialisme intensifié qui pose des difficultés particulières aux peuples autochtones du monde entier, y compris ceux des États-nations riches et « modernes ». Les peuples autochtones possèdent aussi des visions du monde et des systèmes de savoir traditionnels indispensables aux efforts d’atténuation et d’adaptation au changement climatique; paradoxalement, ces visions et systèmes sont dévalués et marginalisés et ne sont pas encore reconnus comme étant des bases essentielles de la santé publique. Dans cet article, nous expliquons en général en quoi les politiques et le discours de la santé publique laissent sur le carreau les peuples autochtones vivant dans les États-nations coloniaux du Canada et d’Aotearoa (la Nouvelle-Zélande). Nous faisons valoir que pour aborder ces échecs systémiques, il faut intégrer les savoirs autochtones et les perspectives féministes autochtones au-delà d’une compréhension superficielle des politiques et des pratiques de santé publique relatives au changement climatique, et qu’une telle transformation des systèmes exigera en retour une révision radicale des savoirs coloniaux sur les déterminants de la santé. Plus encore, les ripostes de la santé publique au changement climatique, que ce soit à l’échelle locale ou mondiale, doivent être centrées sur les savoirs autochtones et les perspectives féministes autochtones tels que présentés par les peuples autochtones eux-mêmes.

Keywords: public health, climate change, indigenous, competencies, feminist, santé publique, changement climatique, autochtones, compétences, féminisme

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Health, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems Regions: Americas, Oceania Countries: Canada, New Zealand

Year: 2020

Toward a Feminist Care Ethic for Climate Change

Citation:

Allison, Elizabeth. 2017. “Toward a Feminist Care Ethic for Climate Change.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 33 (2): 152 -8. 

Author: Elizabeth Allison

Keywords: adaptation, climate care, climate ethics, feminist care ethics, indigenous knowledge

Annotation:

Summary:
“Climate change adaptation studies often highlight the specific vulnerabilities of women, particularly those living in developing countries. Among the particular burdens falling more heavily on women are poverty; residence on marginal land susceptible to subsidence, erosion, or flooding; precarious and informal employment; increasing exposure to waterborne and vector-borne disease. Drought requires female water collectors to walk farther with each passing year, during which journeys they can be subject to harassment and abuse and must forego school, employment, and other sorts of productive activities. Attention to these considerations pertaining to women’s specific vulnerabilities is essential in mapping pathways to address climate change. These considerations are intensified when we consider women’s disproportionate caring responsibilities for children and the elderly. Ensuring that women and girls have expansive opportunities to express their full capacities will become more difficult in a climate-destabilized world. Because of these disproportionate vulnerabilities, climate change is indisputably a feminist issue, and the tools of feminist analysis can provide valuable leverage in developing just and equitable responses to this existential challenge” (Allison 2017, 152).

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Year: 2017

Lost and Found Crops: Agrobiodiversity, Indigenous Knowledge, and a Feminist Political Ecology of Sorghum and Finger Millet in Northern Malawi

Citation:

Kerr, Rachel Bezner. 2011. “Lost and Found Crops: Agrobiodiversity, Indigenous Knowledge, and a Feminist Political Ecology of Sorghum and Finger Millet in Northern Malawi.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 104 (3): 577-93.

Author: Rachel Bezner Kerr

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article tells the story of two indigenous, drought-tolerant grains, finger millet and sorghum, once grown in northern Malawi. Sorghum essentially disappeared from the landscape, replaced by maize. Finger millet persisted, despite being discouraged by colonial and postcolonial governments, but is now in decline. This case study of these two crops in northern Malawi uses data from in-depth interviews, focus groups, archival documents, and observations. I suggest that sorghum almost disappeared due to a combination of maize promotion, male migration, and pest problems. An upsurge of tobacco production, in part due to neoliberal policies, combined with gender dynamics that favor maize are reducing finger millet production. Drawing on theories of feminist political ecology, resilience, and indigenous knowledge, I argue that agrobiodiversity and related indigenous knowledge are situated in material and gendered practices. Efforts to improve social resilience in these vulnerable regions need to pay attention to processes and the intersectionality of gender, class, and other subjectivities at different scales that produce particular agricultural practices and knowledge in a given place.

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Este artículo relata la historia de dos granos indígenas adaptados a la sequía, el millo (mijo) perla y el sorgo, que tradicionalmente han sido cultivados en la parte norte de Malawi. El sorgo esencialmente desapareció del paisaje, remplazado por el maíz. El millo perla persistió, pese a que su cultivo fue desestimulado por los gobiernos colonial y poscolonial, pero ahora está en declive. El estudio de caso sobre estas dos cosechas en el norte de aquel país utiliza datos generados en entrevistas a profundidad, grupos focales, documentos de archivo y observaciones de campo. Pienso que el sorgo casi desapareció debido a las campañas de promoción del maíz, combinadas con otros factores como la migración de varones y problemas de plagas. En lo que se refiere al millo perla, su producción se ha reducido por la competencia de la reactivación de cultivos de tabaco, debida en parte a políticas neoliberales, combinado todo esto con dinámicas de género que favorecen el cultivo del maíz. A partir de teorías de ecología política feminista, resiliencia y conocimiento indígena, arguyo que la agro-biodiversidad y el conocimiento indígena pertinente son factores situacionales en las prácticas de materialidad y género. Los esfuerzos para mejorar la resiliencia social en estas regiones vulnerables deben poner atención sobre los procesos y la interseccionalidad de género, clase y otras subjetividades, a diferentes escalas, que producen prácticas agrícolas particulares y conocimiento en un lugar dado.

Keywords: feminist political ecology, gender, indigenous knowledge, Malawi, resilience, ecología política feminista, conocimiento indígena, resiliencia

Topics: Agriculture, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2011

Gender Roles and Practices in Natural Resource Management Among the Kilosa Maasai in Tanzania

Citation:

Massoi, Lucy W. 2019. “Gender Roles and Practices in Natural Resource Management Among the Kilosa Maasai in Tanzania.” Tanzania Journal of Development Studies 17 (1): 102-16.

Author: Lucy W. Massoi

Abstract:

This article empirically describes gender roles and practices in natural resource management among the pastoral Maasai society of Kilosa, Tanzania. Through a qualitative approach, a descriptive case study design was adopted to collect and analyse data using content analysis. Results show that gender roles and practice in land management is gender differentiated. There is a strong patriarchal system in Maasai societies that govern access to, and use of, land. Women have limited access/ownership to land and have to seek permission from men to use land. In this regard, the hardest hit are women who use land without having independent access or muscles for negotiating due to existing norms and values that license their exclusion. The article argues that unless customary practices are addressed, women issues will remain unchanged given the presence of a male-centred customary practice built on strong patriarchal system that side-lines women in land management.

Keywords: gender, gender roles, natural resource management, pastoral Maasai women

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2019

Climate Change, Buen Vivir, and the Dialectic of Enlightenment: Toward a Feminist Critical Philosophy of Climate Justice

Citation:

Cochrane, Regina. 2014. “Climate Change, Buen Vivir, and the Dialectic of Enlightenment: Toward a Feminist Critical Philosophy of Climate Justice.” Hypatia 29 (3): 576–98.

Author: Regina Cochrane

Abstract:

This paper examines the proposal that the indigenous cosmovision of buen vivir (good living)—the “organizing principle” of Ecuador's 2008 and Bolivia's 2009 constitutional reforms—constitutes an appropriate basis for responding to climate change. Advocates of this approach blame climate change on a “civilizational crisis” that is fundamentally a crisis of modern Enlightenment reason. Certain Latin American feminists and indigenous women, however, question the implications, for women, of any proposed “civilizational shift” seeking to reverse the human separation from nonhuman nature wrought via Enlightenment's “disenchantment of nature.” The paper argues that, in order to adequately address both the climate crisis and feminist concerns about buen vivir, a different critique of Enlightenment modernity is necessary—one drawing on Adorno's philosophy of negative dialectics and on Adorno and Horkheimer's nonidentitarian dialectical understanding of Enlightenment. Conceiving Enlightenment as composed of nonsublatable moments of domination and liberation, Adorno and Horkheimer call for a rational critique of reason and for affinity rather than identity with nonhuman nature. The paper ends with a brief discussion of how feminist critiques of buen vivir and approaches to climate justice can be furthered via an engagement with an environmental feminist philosophy informed by a negative dialectical approach to Enlightenment.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Bolivia, Ecuador

Year: 2014

Women, Culture and Africa’s Land Reform Agenda

Citation:

Akinola, Adeoye O. 2018. “Women, Culture and Africa’s Land Reform Agenda.” Frontiers in Psychology 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02234.

Author: Adeoye O. Akinola

Abstract:

Pre-colonial Africa pride itself on adherence to diverse cultural affinity and traditional belief system, which defines the place of women in respect to land access, use and ownership. Land resource continues to play important roles in both agrarian and industrial societies; thus, absence of effective land management and gender construction in land allocations has deepened gender inequality, restricted women’s capacity building and agricultural development in Africa. This article explores the impact of African traditional practices and cultural beliefs on women’s land ownership and use, it also reconciles women’s land rights (access and control) with the realities of land reform in post-colonial Africa. It explores how gender inequalities, in terms of land ownership and rights, have jeopardized attempts at agricultural productivity and sustainable development in Africa. Although, it is tasking to ‘universalize’ Africa culture and locate it in a centre, due to the diverse cultural values found in Africa. However, there are certain belief systems that run through most African communities, such as the denials of women’s land rights and patriarchal nature of the societies. Thus, the article found that, despite the development of legal frameworks that expands women’s property rights, cases of cultural impediments to the exercise of land rights abound in Africa.

Keywords: culture, women rights, land reform, land labour, human capacity building, Africa

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2018

A Radical More-Than-Human Intersectionality in Ecologically Compromised Times

Citation:

Fejzic, Sanita. 2020. "A Radical More-Than-Human Intersectionality in Ecologically Compromised Times." In Handbook of Research on New Dimensions of Gender Mainstreaming and Women Empowerment, edited by Moly Kuruvilla and Irene George, 509-29. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Author: Sanita Fejzic

Annotation:

Summary:
Gender-based analysis+(GBA+) efforts by the Canadian government that attend to climate change often focus on ‘sustainable management' of ‘resources' alongside inclusion of vulnerable groups at decision-making tables; meanwhile, scholars and activists focus attention toward eco- and social-justice models couched in good nation-to-nation relations with Indigenous communities. This chapter suggests that attunement to Indigenous knowledges and other-than-humans (nonhuman animals, plants, and elements such as water) is necessary in the wake of global ecological collapse, founded on principles of responsibility and respect of Indigenous sovereignty over land and attunement to Indigenous ‘caretaking relations' with other-than-humans. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2020

Territorio y el ser decolonial: Pervivencia de las mujeres y los pueblos en tiempos de conflicto, paz y desarrollo

Citation:

Gruner, Sheila. 2018. "Territorio y el ser decolonial: Pervivencia de las mujeres y los pueblos en tiempos de conflicto, paz y desarrollo." In Movimientos indígenas y autonomías en América Latina: Escenarios de disputa y horizontes de posibilidad, edited by Flores Pavel C. López and Guerreiro Luciana García, 259-84. Buenos Aires, Argentina: CLACSO.

Author: Sheila Gruner

Abstract:

SPANISH ABSTRACT:

La autonomía de los movimientos étnico-territoriales está orientada por conceptualizaciones de territorio y los derechos políticoterritoriales, y las relaciones sociales de producción que se producen y reproducen dentro del mismo territorio. Para entender lo que está en juego para pueblos indígenas y negros tanto como sociedad en general, se requiere abordar temas del desarrollo, conflicto y paz en su conjunto, mirar las tendencias de violencia contra las mujeres, y las mujeres racializadas en específico, desde un marco crítico, global y decolonial, tanto como anti-racista y depatriarcal. En este artículo serán explorados movimientos étnico-territoriales en Colombia y Canadá, examinando aquellos que han avanzado hacia formulaciones ontológicas alternativas al desarrollo, representado en conceptos como el buen vivir, ubuntu, y mino-bimaadiziwin. En este escrito se examinarán de igual forma los esfuerzos de los pueblos indígenas y negros en Colombia en cuanto a la construcción de la paz, la defensa del territorio y su autonomía, y la inclusión del Capítulo Étnico en los Acuerdos de paz de la Habana.

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:

The autonomy of ethno-territorial movements is oriented by conceptualizations of territory, political and territorial rights and the social relations of production that are produced and reproduced within this same territory. To understand what is at stake for indigenous and black people, as well as for society in general, issues of development, conflict, and peace must be addressed in relation to each other, examining tendencies of violence against women and racialized women in particular, from within a critical, global and decolonial framework, that is also anti-racist and depatriarchal. Ethno-territorial movements in Colombia and Canada will be explored, examining those that express ontologies alternative to that which underpins dominant development, represented in concepts such as good life, ubuntu and mino-bimaadiiziwin. Efforts of indigenous and afrocolombian communities will also be explored in relation to the construction of peace, the defense of territory, autonomy and will centre on the inclusion of the Ethnic Chapter in the Havana Peace Accords.

Keywords: decolonial, buen vivir, good life, ubuntu, mino-bimaadiiziwin, movimiento etno-territorial, ethnoterritorial movement, territorio ancestral, ancestral territory, Acuerdos de Habana, Havana Accords, Ethnic Chapter, Capitulo Etnico

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Peacebuilding, Race, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, North America, South America Countries: Canada, Colombia

Year: 2018

Gender and Nature in the Matrilineal Society of Meghalaya, India: Searching for Ecofeminist Perspectives

Citation:

Bhutia, Yodida, and Georgia Liarakou. 2018. "Gender and Nature in the Matrilineal Society of Meghalaya, India: Searching for Ecofeminist Perspectives." The Journal of Environmental Education 49 (4): 328-35.

Authors: Yodida Bhutia, Georgia Liarakou

Abstract:

The ecofeminist perspective of the matrilineal society of Meghalaya, India, is intriguing in that it has descent through mother, is matrilocal and daughters inherit parental property, but the different genders possibly do not agree about the relationship between women and nature. Ecofeminism has not yet been studied in a matrilineal society. The purpose of the study was to investigate qualitatively the students' ecofeminist perspectives among the Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo tribes of Meghalaya, through students who were studying in North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India. The sample consisted of 33 students purposefully selected to complete an open questionnaire and unstructured interviews. The responses showed that the women of this matrilineal society seem to be more ecofeminist compared with the men. However only a minority of both male and female expressed an ecofeminist worldview with respect to nature and development indicating that this concept is at early stage of development. 

 

Keywords: ecofeminism, gender, matrilineal society, Meghalaya, nature, worldviews

Topics: Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Men, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2018

Towards an Indigenous Model of Conflict Resolution: Reinventing Women's Roles as Traditional Peacebuilders in Neo-Colonial Africa

Citation:

Isike, Christopher, and Ufo Okeke Uzodike. 2011. “Towards an Indigenous Model of Conflict Resolution: Reinventing Women’s Roles as Traditional Peacebuilders in Neo-Colonial Africa.” African Journal on Conflict Resolution 11 (2): 32–59.

Authors: Christopher Isike, Ufo Okeke Uzodike

Abstract:

Women have always been at the centre of peace processes across different pre-colonial African societies. Their peace agency in these societies can be located in their cultural and socio-political roles as well as their contributions to the overall well-being of these societies. It is noteworthy that women’s peacebuilding roles then were reinforced by perceptions which stereotyped women as natural peacemakers, and as being more pacific than men. However, women in neo-colonial African states appear to have lost this myth/sacredness that surrounded their being and social existence in pre-colonial Africa. This is because apart from being marginalised socially, economically and politically, they have increasingly become victims of male violence. How and why did women transform from being active participants in precolonial politics and peace processes to being passive observers of politics and peacebuilding in neo-colonial Africa? And second, given their pre-colonial peacebuilding antecedents, do women have the potential to transform politics and conflict in neo-colonial Africa?In building towards an indigenous model of conflict resolution and peacebuilding, this paper contends that the feminist ethic of care (defined by ubuntu) that was appropriated by pre-colonial African women to wage peace and maintain societal harmony, is still very much a part of the core of contemporary African women, and can be appropriated in resolving subnational conflicts in neo-colonial Africa. Indeed, it is possible to develop it into a model of African feminist peacebuilding which can be utilised as an ideological rallying point to transform politics and create a suitable environment for development in the continent.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Peace Processes, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa

Year: 2011

Pages

© 2021 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.

Subscribe to RSS - Indigenous Knowledge Systems