Episteme (doi:10.1017/epi.2021.37) (forthcoming)

Barry Allen
McMaster University
Indigenous cultures of North America confronted a problem of knowledge different from that of canonical European philosophy. The European problem is to identify and overcome obstacles to the perfection of knowledge as science, while the Indigenous problem is to conserve a legacy of practice fused with a territory. Complicating the difference is that one of these traditions violently colonized the other, and with colonization the Indigenous problem changes. The old problem of inter-generational stability cannot be separated from the post-colonial problem of sovereignty in the land where the knowledge makes sense. I differentiate the question of the value of knowledge (Part One), and its content (Part Two). The qualities these epistemologies favor define what I call ceremonial knowledge, that is, knowledge that sustains a ceremonial community. The question of content considers the interdisciplinary research of Indigenous and Traditional Ecological Knowledge, as well as the issue of epistemic decolonization.
Keywords Indigeneity  knowledge  colonization  ceremony  comparative epistemology
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