From the Editors

Title: Audrey Maretzki - Description: portrait of Audrey Maretzki

Audrey Maretzki
Professor Emerita of Food Science and Nutrition
Co-Director, Interinstitutional Center for Indigenous Knowledge
The Pennsylvania State University

Title: Amy Paster - Description: Portrait of Amy PasterAmy Paster
Head of Life Sciences Library
Co-Director, Interinstitutional Center for Indigenous Knowledge
The Pennsylvania State University

Title: Helen Sheehy - Description: Portrait of Helen Sheehy

Helen Sheehy
Social Sciences Librarian
Co-Director, Interinstitutional Center for Indigenous Knowledge
The Pennsylvania State University




Welcome to the second issue of IK: Other Ways of Knowing.  This issue not only includes peer reviewed articles, book reviews, and a new resources section but also contains several new segments.   We are introducing a category called “board reviewed” articles that includes submissions from practitioners, preliminary field work reports, and short descriptions of programs or courses related to indigenous knowledge.   This section includes articles that are less theoretical in nature, but provide a first glimpse of new research areas, programs, and initiatives related to indigenous knowledge.

The peer reviewed research articles in this issue include three from our open call for submissions.  Sarah Casson’s article, “Socially-Just and Scientifically-Sound: Re-Examining Co-Management of Protected Areas,” scrutinizes how co-management strategies can result in unequal partnerships and disadvantage indigenous communities when traditional ecological knowledge is not valued to the same degree as Western scientific knowledge.   “Biocultural Community Protocols: Dialogues on the Space Within” by Kabir Sanjay Bavikatte, Daniel Robinson, and Maria Julia Oliva, surveys the changing landscape of international law on intellectual property rights, traditional knowledge, and genetic resources and offers suggestions for true engagement with indigenous communities that adequately protects community property rights.  In “Indigenous Farmer Networks Mitigate Risky Commercial Seed Adoption: Homophily as a Safety Net,” Vincent Ricciardi examines the role non-commercialized seeds can play as a safety net in preventing the decline of agrobiodiversity.

In the first board reviewed section, we are highlighting reports from the 2013 and 2014 recipients of Penn State’s competitive M. G. Whiting Student Indigenous Knowledge Research Awards.   These awards, given annually since 2013, provide funding to undergraduate or graduate students undertaking research with a significant indigenous knowledge component.   In this issue three field reports are included.  Lan Xue, in “The Transformation of a Rural Village in China,” focuses on the impact of tourism on traditional Chinese communities in the Chongdu Valley.  A second report by Kira Hydock titled “Traditional Methods of Rwandan Goat Production and Management,” contrasts the success of traditional goat herding practices with more modern stabling practices in Rwanda.  The third report, “We Believe in Our Story: Using Indigenous Accounts of Migration Experience to Create Promotional Narratives for Diaspora Tourism” by Svitlana Iarmolenko, examines assimilation of Ukrainian immigrants, the use of indigenous knowledge to create culturally grounded narratives, and diaspora tourism.   We should note that the article by Vincent Ricciardi featured in the peer review section of this issue, is also, in part, the result of research conducted through a 2013 Whiting Award. We encourage other researchers, including students, who would like to present the early results of their field work to submit brief field reports to our journal.

One of the advantages of our online platform is the ability to incorporate media into our articles and we are excited to present our first multimedia enhanced content, “Other Ways of Communicating.” This is the second board reviewed section of the issue. In it, six Penn State faculty and staff as well as an Egyptian ethnomusicologist share their work in the fields of vocal music, dance, instrumental music, and photography.  The six articles in this special section highlight creative and contemporary artistry that is linked to indigenous peoples and their cultures. 

Ann Clements’s article on Maori music describes the historical and contemporary meaning of the songs of Aotearoa, while Kim Powell discusses the history of the taiko drum from its Asian beginnings to its importance in the Japan Towns of San Francisco and San Jose.  Elisha Clark-Halpin illustrates how sacred places in Ireland, the home of her ancestors, have called her to dance with their spirits, and Sarah Watts, a haole (foreign white person) with no previous connection to Hawaii, joined a hula school and, with the help of her kuma hula (hula teacher), learned to perform the complex sounds and motions of hula.  In April 2014, Amy Vashaw helped to bring The Nile Project to Penn State and asked Mina Grigis to explain to our readers how he integrated Nile Basin musicians, using their traditional instruments and songs, to create a new “Nile Sound” to help heal the cultural wounds of the world’s longest river.  Finally, there are stunning photographs of First Nation’s peoples in the Province of Alberta, Canada, and Maori youth in Christchurch, on New Zealand’s South Island, taken by Lonnie Graham in his ongoing Conversation with the World.    We invite other scholars to submit similar pieces.

Our final board reviewed section, “Native American Cultural Engagement Course,” describes how a unique course focused on the Ojibwe of Northern Minnesota has evolved over eleven years, providing an opportunity for  more than two hundred Penn State graduate and undergraduate students to learn the ways of knowing of the Ojibwe that have profoundly changed the students’ lives.  We would be pleased to hear about courses and programs that highlight indigenous knowledge at other institutions.

Looking forward, the Spring 2016 issue will be our second themed issue guest edited by Dr. Pasang Sherpa, Post-Doctoral Fellow for Sacred Landscapes & Sustainable Futures at the New School (New York, NY). That issue will address “Being Indigenous Today” and will explore contemporary issues facing indigenous persons and peoples.  

The Fall 2016 issue will be an open issue and we invite submissions for inclusion in any section of the journal.  

The Spring 2017 issue will be guest edited by Manuel Ostos, Humanities Liaison Librarian in the Pennsylvania State University Libraries. The theme for the Spring 2017 issue will be the challenges and opportunities inherent to indigenous knowledge creation, distribution, and preservation.  This includes a wide range of topics, including research and methodologies applied in indigenous communities, storytelling, and preservation practices, as well as associated issues such as ownership rights, ethics, and policies. 

We hope you enjoy the Fall 2015 issue and welcome your comments and suggestions.



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