Integration of Indigenous Knowledge and Science

By Dan Hikuroa, Te Kipa Kepa Brian Morgan, Mason Durie, Manuka Henare and Te Tuhi Robust.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Indigenous knowledge cannot be verified by scientific criteria nor can science be adequately assessed according to the tenets of indigenous knowledge. Each is built on distinctive philosophies, methodologies and criteria. Indigenous knowledge has been considered incompatible with Western empirical based science, mainly because of the inclusion of holistic and spiritual components in the former. While there is considerable debate about their relative merits, contests about the validities of the two systems distract from integration research, and the subsequent opportunities for creating new knowledge. A decision-making framework that achieves integration - the Mauri Model - is discussed.

Keywords: Indigenous Knowledge, Science, Integration, Mauri Model

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.105-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 581.723KB).

Dr. Dan Hikuroa

Community Earth Systems Science Programmes Manager, Institute of Earth Science and Engineering, University of Auckland, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand

After completing a PhD for the British Antarctic Survey in Stratigraphy and Paleontology in 2004 that involved leading a deep field mapping expedition, I undertook a Post-Doc investigating climate change in the past and its effect on the oceans. However, during the course of my PhD I taught some courses for a Degree in Environmental Studies in a Maori Tertiary Institution which sought to include Maori knowledge where applicable. I have continued on this journey and am currently working with Maori groups on a variety of projects, including integrating matauranga with science for an industrial waste site remediation and also a geothermal development. Taking the science to society is an important component of the work I undertake, but just as important is taking society to science.

Dr. Te Kipa Kepa Brian Morgan

Senior Lecturer / Associate Dean, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Auckland, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand

Kepa is a Chartered Professional Engineer and is affiliated to the Ngati Pikiao tribe of Aotearoa New Zealand. Kepa has been recognised for his consulting expertise on numerous occasions, working at the interface between Maori and Engineering, and has broad experience in governance and leadership roles in state and indigenous organisations. Now in an academic role, the focus of his research has been the creation of an integrated decision making framework, the Mauri Model, to improve the quality of sustainability decision making and therefore the commitment to sustainable management of natural resources in Aotearoa New Zealand. Kepa’s work has been published in ICE Engineering Sustainability and Desalination. The Mauri Model has been presented at international conferences as the topic of invited keynote presentations (Royal Society NZ Rotorua Lakes Symposium 2003, IPENZ Convention 2004, Maori Local Government Association 2004, Integrated Concepts in Water Recycling 2005, ANZSYS Systems Thinking / Managing the Complex V 2005, Sustainable Indigenous Communities 2006, IPENZ Congress Vision 2020) and most recently a sustainability workshop at the International Forum on Applied Sustainable Development in Quebec 2007 and Multi Criterion Decision Making 2008.

Mason Durie

Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Dr. Manuka Henare

Director, Mira Szaszy Research Centre, Business School, University of Auckland, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand

Dr. Te Tuhi Robust

Director, James Henare Maori Research Centre, University of Auckland, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand