The COVID pandemic has highlighted our will need for relationship and pressured billions of persons to adapt to a transformed environment. Much of this adaptation is heavily reliant on technologies, and in distinct information technology, which is being utilised to retain lots of folks connected.

Though the pandemic is posing many troubles for our modern-day, technological planet, it also presents an prospect to embrace historical and beneficial Indigenous knowledges and discover prospective within them in distinct methods.

The idea of Indigenous engineering is a single this sort of possibility.

A historical past of Indigenous technology

Indigenous know-how is a comparatively misunderstood phenomenon.

This isn’t the use of technological know-how by or for the benefit of Indigenous peoples. It refers to the a number of techniques that Indigenous knowledges are used to enhance the life of people – historic techniques that have existed in a variety of elements of the world that are still pertinent, and common, these days

Indigenous knowledges and technologies have been joined from the beginning of time. Basic principles of Indigenous knowledges can and should really underpin the growth and role of know-how in a number of ways.

These concepts include things like:

  • relationality and connection
  • reciprocity
  • reflexivity
  • State

Relationality/relationship refers to the Indigenous being familiar with of all factors becoming related. A person motion can effect numerous other people – comparable to the elementary Western scientific strategy of “cause and effect”.

Embracing and comprehension reciprocity guarantees the positive aspects of the use of technological know-how really do not come at the expense of other individuals (together with people today, vegetation, animals and the broader surroundings).

Reflexivity consists of the constant cycle of studying and listening that underpins know-how development and transfer for Indigenous peoples and cultures. It is also noticed as an essential component of study and enhancement in the entire world of technological innovation (particularly suitable now as we are creating approaches to deal with COVID.

And Place refers to the grounding of knowledges in our land and all it has. Our knowledges and languages occur from the land, and this is in which they belong. This can make our knowledges contextual and particular to a selected group. Comprehending the details of a specified group is important to getting cultural know-how.

In the earth of organization technology, this relates to figuring out and knowing your current market and their unique wishes and requires – a fundamental theory of internet marketing.

Traditional bush seeds used for food and agriculture.
Aboriginal woman displaying the regular bush seeds made use of for foods and agriculture.

Indigenous foodstuff and foods technological innovation

Indigenous foods and food items engineering have sustained Indigenous communities all about the earth for countless numbers of years. Currently, indigenous meals are applied in a wide range of ways, which includes connecting individuals with tradition by means of culinary activities this kind of as the Tasmanian “Wave to Plate” job.

In southeast Australia, the Wurundjeri people’s title arrives from the Witchetty grub found in the Manna gum that is abundant in Vitamin C and very good for pores and skin wounds. Wurundjeri men and women nevertheless use vegetation this kind of as the Manna gum (Eucalyptus), murrnong and tee tree (melaleuca) for both equally dietary and clinical functions.

Indigenous groups in North America have practised plant-based medicinal tactics for countless numbers of many years, and carry on to this day. This incorporates the direct use of plant areas, using them as ointments, and boiling them as part of tea beverages. Some teams also use conifer needles to build tonics rich in vitamin C for dealing with conditions.

Study far more:
‘Although we did not create these complications, we endure them’: 3 methods you can assist in NAIDOC’s simply call to Recover Region

Agriculture and aquaculture

1000’s of many years ago, the Gunditjmara people today of Budj Bim in western Victoria modified all-natural characteristics and created a sequence of synthetic ponds, wetlands and networks of channels.

These techniques permitted water flows concerning dams to accommodate the farming of eels. The Gunditjmara persons also designed significant stone constructions close to operate websites to shelter from chilly southerly winds that can nevertheless be viewed in a variety of sections of western Victoria today.

Fire management

Indigenous cultural burning and hearth management is an additional historic follow that lives on now.

These practises are progressively becoming utilized as resources for national park management, crisis solutions and other organisations to superior understand our indigenous environment and hook up with Aboriginal cultures, peoples and histories.

Dhimarru Indigenous Rangers teaching traditional fire making at Garma Festival.
Dhimarru Indigenous Rangers teaching classic fire generating at Garma Festival.

Astronomy and geology

Common Indigenous storytelling has enabled contemporary-day scientists to uncover meteorites they may well not otherwise have uncovered.

And in New Zealand, geologists are continuing to use Maori traditions to much better have an understanding of earthquakes and tsunamis.

Read through extra:
Stars that fluctuate in brightness shine in the oral traditions of Aboriginal Australians

Health and effectively-being

Concepts of Indigenous and Western overall health and drugs have lengthy differed.

Western wellness has generally focused on “problem correction” and the patient’s physiology. Whilst for Indigenous men and women, overall health and very well-getting have long integrated physical, mental, religious and environmental problems for equally people today and communities – what Western wellness now calls “holistic care”.

A scar tree - a tree with a piece removed for shield, shelter or raft.
Scar trees are fashioned when Aboriginal people today get rid of sections of bark for shelters, shields, and rafts.


Indigenous peoples have identified innumerable techniques to physically navigate their Region, like with the bark canoe, a image of transport engineering.

Employing the bark from an ideal tree, the system nowadays revisits ancient traditions and presents immediate cultural link for several young Aboriginal persons. The prevalence of scar trees in many areas of the country shows just how prevalent this apply nevertheless is.

These ongoing takes advantage of of Indigenous technological know-how are an affirmation of culture and history for Aboriginal peoples. It’s also a apparent way for all Australians to connect with a lifestyle that not only has a deep, deep heritage on our land, but continues and is however rising currently.

This piece was developed as section of Social Sciences Week, functioning 6-12 September. A entire checklist of 70 events can be uncovered right here. Andrew Peters will seem on the panel dialogue “Indigenous Peoples and Technology” on Wednesday, September 8 at 10.30am.