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Indigenous Knowledge: Home

A selection of resources to aid in accessing and using indigenous knowledge, native science, and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK).


Be aware that spelling or indigenous ethnonyms may differ from one database or resource to another. For example works on the Navajo may be indexed as "Navaho", "Navajo" or both ways.

Subject Overview

Traditional Ecological Knowledge, also called by other names including Indigenous Knowledge or Native Science, (hereafter, TEK) refers to the evolving knowledge acquired by indigenous and local peoples over hundreds or thousands of years through direct contact with the environment. This knowledge is specific to a location and includes the relationships between plants, animals, natural phenomena, landscapes and timing of events that are used for lifeways, including but not limited to hunting, fishing, trapping, agriculture, and forestry. TEK is an accumulating body of knowledge, practice, and belief, evolving by adaptive processes and handed down through generations by cultural transmission, about the relationship of living beings (human and non-human) with one another and with the environment. It encompasses the world view of indigenous people which includes ecology, spirituality, human and animal relationships, and more. (US Fish & Wildlife Service). 


  • Start with a literature review
  • Seek out expertise and indigenous liaisons
  • Identify appropriate research protocols and ethical considerations

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a supplementary service provided in cooperation with libraries around the world to help the ESF campus community obtain materials needed for research and study that are not available at Moon Library.  ILL service is available to current faculty, staff, and students of the College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Be sure to look for the ESFLinks button ior "Request via Interlibrary Loan" various databases.