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Indigenous Knowledge (IK) is place-based knowledge that emerges in relationship and requires relational accountability. With climate change rapidly eroding the land base of IK, and digital technologies becoming increasingly relied upon in contemporary life and learning, new ways of engaging with IK are necessary. However, protocols for engaging with IK in person and on the land have developed over millennia whereas transmitting this knowledge online has only occurred over decades. Threats of epistemicide must be taken seriously in this digital shift as the educational, institutional and computer-based digital protocols that govern online environments are not epistemically neutral. Through visiting with Métis and Cree Elders and Knowledge Keepers this research sets out to 1) understand how the use of digital technologies changes the IK transmission process, 2) to examine how online environments make IK vulnerable to misuse and exploitation, and 3) to identify methods for protecting and encouraging IK to emerge safely online. This presentation will provide an overview of my proposed PhD project on this topic with a focus on the hermeneutical factors and conceptual framework driving my research.
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