What is Indigenous Knowledge?
There is no single definition of Indigenous Knowledge. For our purposes, we understand "Indigenous Knowledge" as a term that refers to a set of complex knowledge systems based on the worldviews of Indigenous Peoples.
Indigenous Knowledge reflects the unique cultures, languages, values, histories, governance and legal systems of Indigenous Peoples. It is place-based, cumulative and dynamic. Indigenous Knowledge systems involve living well with, and being in relationship with, the natural world. Indigenous Knowledge systems build upon the experiences of earlier generations, inform the practice of current generations, and evolve in the context of contemporary society.
Different First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities each have distinct ways of describing their knowledge. Knowledge Holders are the only people who can truly define Indigenous Knowledge for their communities. It is important to note that some Indigenous communities are struggling to maintain their Indigenous Knowledge due to ongoing impacts of colonialism.
Learn about the inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge under the Impact Assessment Act.
This Framework helps guide how the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, Transport Canada, Canada Energy Regulator, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada implement the Indigenous Knowledge provisions of their respective legislation.
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