Indigenous Knowings involve relationality and the sensory engagement of all living beings. Concepts of story and storying, time and space are as a result vastly different and impact on the way we respond to and create information.
Indigenous Knowings are like patterns because everything is interconnected and dependent on each other. A dynamic interplay operates between relationships. Human and non-human inform and are informed by the many diverse languages spoken between all and each of these entities. Indigenous Knowings like a pattern have many different threads and they all come in different colors and shapes, but all and each are connected to and have a relationship with each other. Think about looking at a woven rug for example or a basket. When you stand close you can focus on a single thread. As you move further away you see how the threads create the whole pattern. The whole is more than the sum of its parts. The whole exits in all its parts.
All learning is shaped by the broader nexus of connections that is the world. Locating the self in this nexus, as an equal partner removes any distance in creation.
Indigenous storying is not about finding a right answer, it is about opening up and compiling a bundle of possibilities.
In academia, knowledge is ‘open’. Knowledge is published and public. This is not always the case in Indigenous cultures. Some Knowings are public, but all Knowings are earned dependent on someone’s relationships with Country. Some Knowings are known to a few where Elders are the custodians of most.
Western knowledge compartmentalises knowledge into disciplines. To understand the world is to stand apart from it and to disconnect from surrounding relationships. Humans are privileged but must remain emotionally distant in order to create knowledge. Time and space are linear and are tied to the idea of - more knowledge equates to progress, civilisation and wealth.
Let’s share a story: let’s look at the’ wheel’. Western knowledge values the wheel in terms of resources and material wealth through its connection to the progress of western civilisation. Aboriginal Australians value the wheel in terms of its connection to the tree that it was made from. The wheel is connected to the death of the tree and all associated relationships and connections.
Accept these world views as different. Be nourished by the difference and grow our perspectives in what and how we teach.