Indigenous Knowledge Translation in Action: Learning from Traditional and Community Wisdoms


There is increasing awareness and respect of Indigenous ways of knowing in research. The research world is all about generating and applying knowledge to increase understanding, solve problems or enhance best practices. There is however a long-standing complexity between generating knowledge and applying that knowledge in timely and effective ways. Knowledge Translation (KT) is active in that middle space between knowledge and action, helping to move evidence into practice in the most efficient and effective ways possible. We share Indigenous KT philosophies and strategies.


The knowledge being shared, has been gathered over fifteen years of working with various Indigenous groups nationally and internationally through a combination of observation, interaction and participatory engagement within Indigenous contexts. More recently being community-based participatory health and healthcare research with First Nations and Metis peoples in Manitoba.


Indigenous KT is a process that begins with establishing relevance, valuing particular knowledge sharing and experiencing processes, aiming for predetermined significance, applying meaningful knowledge gathering tools and organically applying evidence to resolve immediate or ongoing issues.


Indigenous knowledge systems have inbuilt KT philosophies and strategies to facilitate quick and practical use of relevant information and knowledge to support community-based health and social well-being. Understanding Indigenous KT that is, how these philosophies and strategies are deployed in gathering and applying knowledge could increase success in data leverage, health promotion and social advancement.


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