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Indigenous Knowledge

Indigenous and traditional knowledge for sustainability

Indigenous knowledge, also called ‘traditional wisdom or local knowledge’, has been passed on from generation to generation through storytelling, ceremony and apprenticeship. This knowledge has been vital for indigenous communities to survive and thrive by keeping alive the knowledge and practices for living in harmony with the land, healing & natural medicine, pregnancy & childbirth, agriculture, food preparation, education and stewardship development, among others.

This important knowledge is quickly disappearing around the world due to multiple factors, including vast modernization, loss of natural habitat for many indigenous communities, disruption of indigenous knowledge sharing through formal education, and abuse of their sacred sites through mining and other invasive practices. Indigenous people have an extensive knowledge how to live ecologically and sustainably. This knowledge is usually not taught and shared through formal educational systems, where indigenous knowledge is often treated as knowledge of the past and considered to have no place in our modern society.

Indigenous & traditional knowledge in the EFS programme

The EFS Programme supports teachers and children to become familiar with indigenous and traditional knowledge for ecological living. The programme also encourages documentation and sharing of local traditional knowledge for ecological living to help preserve the cultural heritage of Mauritius that can support our ecological sustainability.

UNESCO developed a multimedia teacher education programme called ‘Learning for a Sustainable Future': “The new vision of Education for Sustainable Development places education at the heart of the quest to solve the problems threatening our future. Education – in all its forms and at all levels – is seen not only as an end in itself but also as one of the most powerful instruments for bringing about the changes required to achieve sustainable development. Teachers, of course, are vital actors in this process and consequently have been given special attention” (Source – click here). As part of this programme, there is a special section on indigenous knowledge for sustainability that we highly recommend. Click here to access this part of the programme.

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