Decolonizing Ecology: How Do Indigenous Knowledge and Decolonization Contrast and Challenge Eurocentric Conceptions of Ecological Moral Worth?

University essay from Högskolan Dalarna/Religionsvetenskap

Abstract: In a world on the brink of climate apocalypse the question if modern conceptions on the moral worth of nature are failing is no longer rhetorical. During this time of reckoning questioning core ideologies and the places where they originate from is necessary. In matters of ecology, Eurocentric colonial paradigms dominate the scientific and philosophical narrative. Increasing in reach and exposure, Indigenous people and the environmental movements they support, point to a coherent body of knowledge which teaches humans how to live in better relationship to the natural world. This inquiry will be comparing, contrasting, re-evaluating these radically different worldviews and value sets, while seeking to understand the differences between Indigenous knowledge and Eurocentric environmental ethics. The tool with which this will be attempted is decolonization, chosen for its radical questioning of the entrenched colonial and Eurocentric status quo. Perhaps by showing how Indigenous knowledge challenges and contrasts the dominant ecological culture, it can then guide and inform Eurocentric environmental ethics toward a new ecological epistemology and the work of decolonizing ecology can begin in earnest.

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