The effective and appropriate bridging of Western science with traditional or Indigenous knowledge is an ongoing discussion in the literature and in practice. The discourse transitioned from separate knowledge system to knowledge integration and most recently to knowledge co-production. We argue it is the moral and ethical responsibility of Western scientists working in and with Indigenous communities to make a concerted effort to collectively create mutually advantageous new knowledge while strengthening traditional knowledge and considering the normative impacts of Western science methods. Our knowledge coevolution framework provides guidance for achieving this in a flexible manner that can be applied to an array of research programs. Project governance structure, steps for implementation, checks and balances, and challenges are presented within the context of research project execution. We then illustrate application of the model throughout a harvest study conducted in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, Canada.

, , , ,
Sustainability Science
Department of Biology

Chapman, J.M. (J. M.), & Schott, S. (2020). Knowledge coevolution: generating new understanding through bridging and strengthening distinct knowledge systems and empowering local knowledge holders. Sustainability Science. doi:10.1007/s11625-020-00781-2