Improving Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Friday, March 4, 2022

In support of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the new White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) memorandum to elevate Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (ITEK), l The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) encourages applicants to include ITEK in their grant proposals, where applicable.

NIFA recognizes the contributions of Indigenous communities to promoting environmental sustainability and responsible management of natural resources. The new statement was added to the call for nominations as a strategy to increase nominations for the benefit of tribal communities and address imbalances in support for tribal communities.

According to the memorandum, “ITEK is a body of observations, oral and written knowledge, practices and beliefs that promote environmental sustainability and the responsible management of natural resources through the relationships between humans and environmental systems. It is applied to phenomena across biological, physical, cultural and spiritual systems.ITEK has evolved over millennia, continues to evolve, and includes information based on evidence gained through direct contact with the environment and long-term experiences, along with insightful observations, lessons, and skills passed down from generation to generation.ITEK is owned by Indigenous Peoples, including but not limited to Tribal Nations, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Hawaiians indigenous.

NIFA funds programs that promote learning, opportunity, and health in tribal communities through numerous grant and extension programs. For more information on NIFA Tribal Support, visit here.

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