Implementing Indigenous Knowledge in Western Science Education Systems and Scientific Research on Alaska’s North Slope

Linda Nicholas-Figueroa, Daniel Wall, Mary van Muelken, Lawrence Duffy


The inclusion of Indigenous knowledge, informal lessons, and place-based instruction in science curricula has shown many positive results in both the classroom and laboratory. Inviting Alaska Native Elders and researchers into local classrooms to co-instruct scientific concepts has increased student understanding and engagement. Field trips further expose students to research conducted on Alaska’s North Slope underlining the environmental and cultural implications of local community issues and the broader scientific concerns. Teaching students the traditional ways of knowing and the correlating Western science concepts develops an appreciation for both perspectives that directly strengthens students’ knowledge and reinforces cultural values.

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