Science vs. Traditional
Knowledge in Climate Change:
Can't We All Just Get Along?
Condensed by Native Village
Colorado: The hydrologist had carefully studied the scientific data and knew that water would be present if he drilled. He was so sure that he ignored a Hawaiian elder’s warning against drilling for water in that spot.
The scientist did
indeed hit water—but it was red,
brackish and undrinkable.
He had drilled on a hill with an
Red Water. Nearby, another
site carried the ancient name
Water for Man. That is where the
drinkable water could be found.
It did not take a hydrologist
with fancy instruments to find
Taum, a Native Hawaiian and faculty member at the University of Hawaii, is a director with the Pasifika Foundation. His comments were among many aired during July's Rising Voices of Indigenous Peoples in Weather and Climate Science conference in Colorado.
on science while excluding
thousands of years of careful
observation is helping erode
“The fear of our elders is that
knowledge is running faster than
wisdom,” said Papalii Failautusi Aveglio,
a hereditary Samoan leader and
faculty member at the University of
traditional Native relationships
with the natural world are undervalued by Western
science, the people least affected
had the most to do with creating
The harsh effects could
mean a “whole new Trail of
Tears,” for Native people, said
Daniel Wildcat from the Muscogee Nation
and a faculty member at Haskell
Indian Nations University.
Rising Voices of Indigenous Peoples in Weather and Climate Science conference sponsors included
Village © Gina Boltz
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