With Colin Campbell, Jon Young, Greg Cajete and Luci Attala
How do we know what is 'real?'
On the one hand, we have Western Science – a methodology that is based on reductionism, measurement of parts and the assumption that human intelligence, experienced through human faculties and senses, is the highest appraisal of the reality in which we live and operate. This way of knowing has led us as a species to remarkable accomplishments, but has also had many unforeseen and negative consequences on the earth and human society.
On the other hand, we have what some have termed ‘native science’ – traditional ways of knowing that have evolved in indigenous human societies for thousands of years and are still the primary way of knowing for many cultures worldwide. These tend to be more relational ways of experiencing the universe, from within an interconnected and continuously evolving web of life in which everything is a living phenomenon. This type of knowing acknowledges that we, as human beings, may never be able to know everything about the reality in which we live and operate.
In this three week intensive we explore how we might incorporate both paradigms into our understanding of reality – how we can use both ways of knowing to gain an expanded understanding of our place within nature, our relationships with each other and the likely consequences of our human actions, thus equipping us to better deal with the complex interdependencies between ourselves and the social and natural worlds.
As part of this investigation, we will look closely at the cosmologies and practices of a number of indigenous traditions, focussing specifically on understandings and interactions in the relationship between humans and the natural world. We will explore how elements of indigenous ways of knowing, practice and ritual can inform our personal and collective thinking, feeling, stories and actions around place-making, nature connection and sustainable living.
This will be an intensive that brings together theory and practice, critical thinking and direct experience, as we work together to ask, and hopefully find answers to, some of humanities core questions around the issues of place, home, belonging, connection, indigeny and sustainability.
You will be joined by a number of students from Schumacher College's postgraduate programme in Ecology and Spirituality which will allow for rich interaction between long-term students and short course participants.
Greg is a Tewa author and professor from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. He has pioneered reconciling indigenous perspectives in sciences with a Western academic setting. His focus is teaching "culturally based science, with its emphasis on health and wellness.Currently he is director of the Native American Studies program and associate professor of education at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Currently he is director of the Native American Studies program and associate professor of education at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.