Once-ignored Indigenous knowledge of nature now shaping science
July 28, 2022
If you come into contact with people working in and around natural resources in Minnesota you may hear the term TEK. It’s a popular buzzword, which, confusingly, has little to do with technology.
It’s the acronym for Traditional Ecological Knowledge, an umbrella term for information about the natural world collected by countless generations of Indigenous people.
Through observation and life experience, they gained knowledge — what plants were good to make teas to soothe a sore throat, what bark to harvest to bring down a fever, how certain species adapted to changes in climate and how fire can revitalize the forest floor to produce an abundance of berries.