Jason Johnston – Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Meeting Was Held On -

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 3:51 PM

Our group was fortunate to welcome Jason Johnston, teacher of Indigenous culture, to a Grey Bruce Humanist Zoom, on the evening of September 9th.

Jason focused on Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), an Indigenous approach to experiencing the world, based on direct involvement with the environment. This knowledge evolved to ensure survival, and involved the best practices of sustainable hunting, fishing and plant agriculture.

TEK is wholistic, meaning it focuses on interconnections, the ‘quality’ of the ecology, not monetary value. Indigenous people recognize that nature is inherently balanced, and seek to keep it that way. They have used ‘storytelling’ to pass the wisdom from generation to generation, over thousands of years.

Western Science is reductionist, breaking down a complex system into its individual parts. Living with, and learning from plants and the natural world over the millennia ensured survival.

Another way of explaining the difference is that the First Nations valued Experiential Learning over Experimental Learning. Unfortunately, the way we currently use our environment is unsustainable. Jason explained that the two systems can work together to create a healthy future for humans and the planet.

Big thanks to Jason for an informative, and important presentation, and for answering our many questions. Miigwuetch Jason.

Grey Bruce Humanist members have access to Jason’s presentation. Please send an email to contact@greybrucehumanists.org if you don’t have the link or need the link resent to you.

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