Traditional Knowledge (TK) refers to comprehensive ways of understanding the world, society, and self. TK develops from generations of being in relationships with,
living with, and depending on the spiritual and physical worlds. Long histories of observing, learning about, and depending upon the world—coupled with the unique
socio-economic, cultural and spiritual connections to the land, water, air, and animals—has created complex systems of understanding ecology, which differ and
sometimes struggle with those that are rooted in the practices of western science.
For these reasons, no environmental assessment or community initiative is complete
without an attempt to integrate TK. Your community may seek to document TK for educational programs, land use planning, or other local initiatives.
Trailmark will work with you to ensure that TK is appropriately, respectfully, and successfully recorded in ways desired by TK experts, community members, and leadership.
Ownership of the TK will remain with the knowledge holders or community organizations.
The culture of many indigenous communities—their institutions, social fabric, economies, and identities—remains firmly rooted in unique relationships
with the land and animals. These relationships are shaped by harvesting—even for those communities who suspect that they have been changed by industrial development
and work for wages.
Your community might be engaged in land claim negotiations, consultation, a historical dispute over unlawful dispossession of reserve land, an environmental
impact assessment of a proposed project, or a land use planning exercise. In every case, describing your community’s ongoing relationship with the land will be critical to negotiating a future that everyone can live with.
Typically, TLU research is conducted by an interviewer working with Elders or other active land users to create “map biographies”—their individual and
collective stories of land use remembered and associated to specific places on a map.
The maps and associated stories and analysis create a basis for engagement between indigenous governments, Crown agencies, and proponents.