Vol 1 No 1 (2010)

Expanding Biocultural Horizons: Integrating Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge Into a Global Framework for Sustainability

Riley Pollom
Athabasca University
Published April 10, 2010


The current ecological crisis that our planet faces, caused by globalization, overconsumption, and overpopulation, demands swift action to revolutionize our global society into one that is, by definition, sustainable. The vast bank of information stored in the biocultural relations and means of subsistence practised by indigenous people around the world has the potential to provide our society with valuable insights for the necessary societal transition that should be sought by our world leaders. Indigenous people’s efficient use of local economies, sustainable land management practices, and reciprocal spiritual relationship to the natural world promote biodiversity conservation and healthy lifestyles for people. The field of ethnoecology has revealed that with the help of traditional knowledge, humanity has the ability to make great strides toward a truly sustainable society that will preserve the world’s natural ecosystems and the priceless services provided by them for future generations.