Ways of Knowing

Today is Columbus Day here in the US. In some states and local communities, it is also know as Indigenous Peoples' Day to highlight the counter narrative to America's 'discovery' by Europeans.

Beneath the history, there is a counter narrative about the very nature of knowing, something called the 'Indigenous Ways of Knowing (IWOK)' that is profoundly distinct from the 'Western Ways of Knowing', defined by the Cartesian Mindset.

>Indigenous Ways of Knowing (IWOK), also referred to as Indigenous worldview, is an epistemological way of knowing and being based in interconnectedness. Indigenous knowledge comes from a community being in an interrelated relationship with the land in a particular location on Earth over many generations and continuously passing that knowledge on to future generations. While it is widely recognized that there is not a single universal Indigenous belief system, since Indigenous peoples throughout the world vary widely in terms of geography, language, and social structure, it is accepted by prominent scholars that there are many key similarities among Indigenous philosophical approaches that together form the foundation of IWOK. > wikipedia

When we speak, then, of the nature of learning, perhaps we might begin to think about it as reclaiming the potential of _natural learning_ – learning that is integrated with ourselves, others and the earth.

It is not that we are calling to reject the immense potential that western analytical thinking has created, but to recognize that it may be limiting us as we seek to learn in increasing complex environments – those best described as non-linear chaotic systems.