The Importance of TEK
After a slow start to the year, news about the Klamath region is picking up again.
Several stories in this week’s Klamath News refer to TEK which stands for Traditional Ecological Knowledge. So what is TEK and why is it important? TEK is the term is used to describe the knowledge held by indigenous cultures about their immediate environment and the cultural practices that build on that knowledge. Traditional ecological knowledge includes an intimate and detailed knowledge of ecological processes, plants, fungi, animals, and other natural phenomena, the development and use of appropriate technologies for practices such as hunting, fishing, trapping, agriculture, ceremonies, and rituals. TEK is a holistic knowledge, or "world view" which parallels many traditional western scientific disciplines. TEK is the product of a culture living in a place for countless generations and learning how to take care of it.
More and more, agencies and resource managers are looking to TEK and the tribes that carry it, to inform decision making. Clearly, western science still has a lot to learn from the indigenous cultures that lived here for time immemorial as stewards of the salmon runs, forests, and waters.
Explore the first few articles below to learn more.