That was my first real introduction to the power of Indigenous Traditional Knowledge. Since then I have been privileged to work cooperatively with indigenous peoples from Canada and other countries and in situations where they contributed to my ability to carry out research, and I was able to reciprocate with some of my knowledge.
Over a period of years, I prepared guides for the Canadian International Development Agency, the World Bank, and other on how to include or interweave traditional knowledge in environmental assessments. They are reproduced in full can be downloaded as pdfs.
Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous Peoples can be a powerful adjunct to science in environmental assessments. Many countries acknowledge this potential but few make use of it. Furthermore, indigenous peoples have a right to make decisions using their traditional knowledge which in many situations is more capable of predicting outcomes of various environmental impacts than is science, primarily because in most cases, the local peoples have far more intimate and long term understanding of the ecological variables. At least at the time of writing no country acknowledges the right of indigenous peoples to make the final decisions over environmental impact decisions, and very few even allow indigenous TK holders to be a part of the final committees to define the recommendations that will ultimately go to decision-makers.
A series of Powerpoint presentations deals with the similarities and differences between Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and western science knowledge systems as well as the approach of interweaving, rather than attempting to incorporate one into the other. One manifestation of the idea is a presentation developed as a preliminary vision of a University of the North aimed at handling both western and indigenous knowledge systems.