Mainstreaming Indigenous Knowledge: Genealogy of a Meta-concept
This chpater examines the dual career of the category ‘indigenous knowledge’ within development practice and science studies. It shows how the interest in indigenous knowledge emerged in tandem with the politicization of indigenous groups and indigenous-rights movements, wherein the indigenous peoples began to demand the right to be heard in development-related decisions concerning themselves. As a result, ‘indigenous knowledge’ came to be lauded as an alternative collective wisdom relevant to a variety of matters at a time when existing norms, values, and laws have been increasingly called into question and in cases where development planning has not delivered on promised results. In other words, indigenous knowledge comes to form part of the project of sustainable development. Thus the possible mainstreaming of indigenous knowledge and indigenous science has begun in earnest as the recognition in the scientific community dawns that the problems of poverty and sustainability are far too complex and risky to be handled by what is received as big science today.
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