The Biden administration has released a “guidance” to federal agencies that calls on them to include “Indigenous Knowledge” in decision making:
Today, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) jointly released new government-wide guidance and an accompanying implementation memorandum for Federal Agencies on recognizing and including Indigenous Knowledge in Federal research, policy, and decision making.
You may wonder, what the Hell is “Indigenous Knowledge”? Obviously, there is no such thing. There is just knowledge. Just as there is only science. Not “Indigenous Science.”
The White House press release sheds a little light on what they are talking about, but not much:
Indigenous Knowledge is a body of observations, oral and written knowledge, innovations, practices, and beliefs developed by Tribes and Indigenous Peoples through interaction and experience with the environment. The Biden-Harris Administration has formally recognized Indigenous Knowledge as one of the many important bodies of knowledge that contributes to the scientific, technical, social, and economic advancements of the United States and our collective understanding of the natural world.
If you are looking for specific instances of “Indigenous Knowledge” that is somehow different from anyone else’s knowledge, and that have contributed to “scientific advancements,” you won’t find them in the White House statement. But I think this offers a clue:
To develop the guidance, OSTP and CEQ led a working group of more than 25 Federal departments and agencies. The White House engaged more than a thousand individuals, organizations, and Tribal Nations on elevating Indigenous Knowledge in Federal decision making. Engagement included Nation-to-Nation Consultation, meetings, and input from more than 100 Federally recognized Tribes, public listening sessions, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Roundtables, a Native and Indigenous Youth Roundtable, conference outreach, and dozens of individual meetings with others with experience and expertise on Indigenous Knowledge. In summer 2022, a draft of the guidance was released to Tribal Nations for consultation. Input from that consultation has shaped the final guidance.
Most of the people involved in this boondoggle are reliable supporters of the Democratic Party, and some are getting paid. Indigenous Knowledge includes the understanding that being politically connected can generate rivers of cash, especially in a Democratic administration.
The Daily Caller has more, including a call to respect knowledge provided by “spirits,” and a suggestion that the Maui wildfire disaster may have been contributed to by deference to “Indigenous Knowledge.”