The importance of using knowledge of Indigenous peoples alongside with science in research, manag ... Read more
The importance of using knowledge of Indigenous peoples alongside with science in research, management and resource development is increasingly acknowledged. Despite political intentions of including the knowledge of Indigenous peoples, the extent and quality of utilizing their knowledge is uneven in the Arctic. The lack of agreed definitions of various concepts used for the knowledge of Indigenous peoples, and their interchangeable and inconsistent use, creates confusion about their meaning and implications. In this article we review the knowledge concepts and their interrelatedness, developing concept maps to visualize their similarities and differences with a view to clarify the confusion and aid to a more consistent engagement and utilization of this knowledge. We argue that Indigenous knowledge is the only concept that emphasize the identity aspect and thus imply the distinct status and collective rights of Indigenous peoples, distinguishing it from other knowledge concepts. Our review suggests that the use of concepts varies significantly in the Arctic, shaped by the colonial and political-economic processes in Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, and Alaska. We also observe a transition in use of concepts from traditional knowledge to Indigenous knowledge.
Mineral extraction is pursued in Greenland to strengthen the national economy. In order that new ... Read more
Mineral extraction is pursued in Greenland to strengthen the national economy. In order that new industries promote sustainable development, environmental impact assessments and social impact assessments are legally required and undertaken by companies prior to license approval to inform decision-making. Knowledge systems in Arctic indigenous communities have evolved through adaptive processes over generations, and indigenous knowledge (IK) is considered a great source of information on local environments and related ecosystem services. In Greenland the Inuit are in the majority, and Greenlanders are still considered indigenous. The Inuit Circumpolar Council stresses that utilizing IK is highly relevant in the Greenland context. Impact assessment processes involve stakeholder engagement and public participation, and hence offer arenas for potential knowledge sharing and thereby the utilization of IK. Based on the assumption that IK is a valuable knowledge resource, which can supplement and improve impact assessments in Greenland thus supporting sustainable development, this paper presents an investigation of how IK is utilized in the last stages of an impact assessment process when the final report is subject to a hearing in three recent mining projects in Greenland.