A Reader- Foreword by Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw
Edited By George J. Sefa Dei
14. Indigenous Knowledge in Transition: The Fundamental Laws of the Diné in an Era of Change and Modernity Lloyd L. Lee 212
For over five hundred years, Indigenous peoples have been fighting to maintain their identity asdistinct human beings. It has been a struggle and a challenge for Indigenous peoples in the Western hemisphere. Our languages, rituals, ceremonies, protocols, and ways of life have been dis- rupted and disheveled. Colonization has also impacted Indigenous knowledge yet Indigenous peo- ples have maintained elements of their epistemology and philosophy . Indigenous scholars and intellectuals such as Greg Cajete, Vine Deloria, Jr., Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Manulani Aluli Meyer, Daniel R. Wildcat, Taiaiake Alfred, Dale Turner, and other Indigenous writers continue to engen- der Indigenous knowledge. This knowledge is viable and key to native nation re-building yet ques- tions and possibly doubts surround the dynamic of Indigenous thought amid tensions in an era of change and modernity in Indigenous communities today . Some Indigenous peoples and non- Indigenous peoples question the validity of Indigenous knowledge to overcome the many socio-eco- nomic problems facing their communities. Some Indigenous leaders advocate a practical and modern approach to resolving these problems while others choose to follow their core values to help them alleviate the issues. Some Indigenous scholars and intellectuals, elders, and Indigenous peoples in general advocate using Indigenous knowledge to help rectify the challenges facing Indigenous communities. For instance, Cajete’s Look to the Mountain , Native Science, and several of his other texts utilize Indigenous knowledge to promote ways to re-build Indigenous education for a holistic experience. Deloria, Jr.’s work also uses Indigenous knowledge to propose many ideas to sustain Indigenous...
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