What is Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)?

What is Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)? 

Traditional Ecological Knowledge, also called by other names including Indigenous Knowledge or Native Science, (hereafter, TEK) refers to the evolving knowledge acquired by indigenous and local peoples over hundreds or thousands of years through direct contact with the environment.  For examples of TEK incorporation into Federal Land management and Natural Resource conservation see the USFWS Fact Sheet below:

USFWS Fact Sheet

TEK to be Included in Federal Policy Decisions

From the White House:

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy: Indigenous Knowledge

June, 2022 update: 

From March through May 2022, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) engaged more than a thousand individuals, organizations and Tribal Nations in a White House-led effort to elevate Indigenous Knowledge in Federal decision making.  A readout of the initial engagement period has now been posted:
Readout: OSTP and CEQ Initial Engagement on White House Indigenous Knowledge Effort 

March, 2022 update: 
White House announces series of opportunities for Tribal Consultation and public engagement to discuss the White House’s efforts to elevate Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (ITEK) in Federal decision making. See link below.

White House Tribal Consultation and Public Input Opportunities on Indigenous TEK in Federal Policy

Formal Invitation for the upcoming Tribal Consultations and listening sessions regarding the White House's initiative to incorporate ITEK into federal decision making. 

ITEK Tribal Consultation Formal Invitation

November, 2021: 
"The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) jointly released a new memorandum that commits to elevating Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (ITEK) in federal scientific and policy processes... This memorandum  formally recognizes ITEK as one of the many important bodies of knowledge that contributes to the scientific, technical, social, and economic advancements of the United States and our collective understanding of the natural world." 

Read more here
OSTP CEQ Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Federal Decision Making

Check out our TEK Projects