IK: Other Ways of Knowing 1(1):  ii-iii                                                      2015


From the Editors

Given the proliferation of academic journals, the launch of a new title requires the editors to answer two questions:  what is the journal about and why is it needed?   

This journal is about indigenous knowledge (IK), sometimes called traditional knowledge.   IK is knowledge rising from the experiences of a particular culture or society and is passed from generation to generation.   In many ways it defines a culture and provides a window in how that culture thinks and interacts with the world around it.    IK encompasses a wide range of disciplines including agriculture, anthropology, astronomy, community development, environmental knowledge, traditional medicine, religion, indigenous languages, and law—to name just a few.   And, it is inherently interdisciplinary.    It finds artistic and cultural expression in a myriad of ways including music, dance, storytelling, traditional crafts, and religious ceremonies.  

Why is it needed?  The perceived value of indigenous knowledge is increasing among international and development organizations who recognize the importance of IK in creating vibrant and sustainable communities.   And, increasingly, scholars are turning to indigenous communities to gain a greater understanding of the world we live in.   There are journals that focus on IK.    Some focus on a particular geographic area or a particular discipline.   This journal will take a broader perspective and engage the issues related to IK across all disciplines and across all geographies.   And we hope this journal will provide an outlet for indigenous community members and the scholarly community to exchange ideas and engage in meaningful conversations about the richness IK can bring to our collective understanding of the world around us.

The University Libraries is committed to disseminating the results of its research and scholarship as widely as possible.    Our faculty has pledged to make our research available as widely as possible.   As part of our commitment to open access, this journal is being published through the Libraries Open Journal System (OJS).

This project involved the work of many individuals and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those involved in bringing this journal to fruition.  Barbara Dewey, Dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications for her support of ICIK initiatives.  Mark Mattson and Linda Friend of Publishing and Curation Services for teaching us how to use Open Journal Systems.  Albert Rozo, Research Data Management Specialist, for his assistance with the cover image.  Catherine Grigor, Lana Munip, and Wilson Hutton of the Public Relations and Marketing Department for their assistance in publicizing the journal release.  We would also like to thank the faculty and staff in our libraries, the Life Sciences Libraries and the Social Sciences libraries, for their continued support, encouragement, and patience while we work on this journal project.   A big thank you to Judy Bertonazzi, guest editor and Lori Thompson, layout editor for bringing this issue together.  None of this would have happened without the vision of Audrey Maretzki, PSU Professor Emerita and Co-Director, Interinstitutional Center for Indigenous Knowledge.

Amy L.  Paster and Helen M.  Sheehy, Editors
Co-Directors, Interinstitutional Center for Indigenous Knowledge

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