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					About LINKS
                     The Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) project
                     (www.unesco.org/links) builds dialogue amongst traditional
                     knowledge holders, natural and social scientists, resource
                     managers and decision-makers to enhance biodiversity
                     conservation and secure an active and equitable role for local
                     communities in resource governance. The survival of
                     indigenous knowledge as a dynamic and vibrant resource
                     within rural and indigenous communities depends upon its
                     continuing transmission from generation to generation.

                     The LINKS project strengthens knowledge transmission
                     between elders and youth, and explores pathways to balance
                     community-based knowledge with global knowledge in formal
                     and non-formal education.

                      The LINKS project also seeks to maintain the vitality of local
                      knowledge within communities. Indigenous and local rural
peoples are often marginalized by mainstream society. In the formal school
system, this results in the exclusion, and even denigration, of local knowledge,
values and worldviews. The resulting alienation, loss of identity and self-esteem, is
devastating for indigenous youth and for the society as a whole. In several of its
field projects, LINKS seeks to strengthen ties between elders and youth in order to
reinforce the transmission of indigenous knowledge and know-how.



A Few LINKS Projects
Cree Bush Schools: Renewing Ties Between Elders and Youth

The Eeyou or Cree are the indigenous inhabitants of the remote James Bay region
of Subarctic Quebec, Canada. Over the years, the Cree have lived with change
through conversion to Christianity, settlement in permanent villages and
compulsory schooling where speaking Cree was forbidden. The most impacted
community was that of Chisasibi, who saw hunting territories flooded by dams,
their lands opened up by road construction and an influx of cash and material
goods, including alcohol and drugs.

One elder, Robbie Matthew, observed: "In my own community of Chisasibi, the
human toll has been high and children and youth have suffered greatly. Family
violence, juvenile delinquency, alcohol and drug abuse, depression and suicide …
this is the disturbing legacy borne by our youth."

To break the cycle of violence and self-
destruction, older hunters and their wives
began taking troubled youth out onto the
land as a place of healing. By untangling
young lives from their problematic village
existence and initiating them to a hunting
life, the men and women hoped to re-
establish a connection to Cree tradition, to
the people and the land, and instil a sense
of identity and self worth. That is how
Chisasibi's 'bush schools' began.
In the changing world in which they live today, the Cree know that one way of
knowing cannot be favoured over another. Youth require both western knowledge,
as well as their own traditional knowledge. But each set of knowledge must be
passed on in its own way and has its own place for teaching. "Formal education can
happen in the classroom, but traditional knowledge must be passed on to our
youth out on the land where our people have always hunted, fished and trapped".

For More Information about this and other LINKS projects please visit:
www.unesco.org/links




CD-ROM: Dream Trackers: Yapa Art and Knowledge of the
Australian Desert

                                  One approach targeting youth has been the use
                                  of new information and communication
                                  technologies, such as multimedia CD-ROMs, as a
                                  vehicle for conveying traditional knowledge.

                                  In this interactive CD-ROM, Fifty men and
                                  women, custodians of the Warlipiri land, take you
                                  through their ritual, visual and performing arts,
                                  on the tracks of some of their eternal ancestors,
                                  the Dreamings, embodied in sacred sites, the
                                  book of the earth and its memory.

                                    This CD-ROM represents only a fraction of the
complex cultural, ritual and ecological knowledge of the Warlpiri people. It is based
on the network of the fourteen Dreamings most often painted by the people of
Lajamanu. In fact, all named things in nature and culture have a Dreaming, or
jukurrpa, so there are thousands of stories and named Dreaming places marking
the Warlpiri land, their 'living book', as they call it.

The transposition of Aboriginal
cognitive mapping into an interactive
map allows the user to experience the
interconnectivity of indigenous
cosmology, emulated by the logic of
CD-ROMS or the Web. Unlike
conventional linear text, multimedia is
an ideal tool to convey the dynamism
and wealth of oral traditions. By
strengthening the dialogue between
elders and youth, it reinforces the
transmission of indigenous knowledge.

For More Information about this CD-ROM and other LINKS projects please visit:
www.unesco.org/links
CD-ROM: The Canoe is the People: Indigenous Navigation in the Pacific

The cultures of the Pacific are diverse. For this reason, the story of navigation has
many faces and is told in many ways. This CD-ROM celebrates the similarities and
the differences in these traditions. The focus is on the island of Satawal in the
Caroline Islands of the Federated States of Micronesia, where navigational
knowledge is still very much alive, with substantial contributions from the Cook
Islands and New Zealand. The CD-ROM also involves many examples from other
parts of the Pacific.

                                    The CD-ROM responds to one of LINKS goals -
                                    revitalizing the transmission of indigenous
                                    knowledge by strengthening the dialogue
                                    between elders and youth. New ICT tools like
                                    CD-ROMs are recognized as powerful vehicles
                                    for traditional knowledge and the bolstering of
                                    oral traditions. The CD-ROM includes 70 videos,
                                    41 stories and accounts, 40 images and
                                    diagrams, of which 11 are animated, in addition
                                    to numerous maps, photos and texts.

                                     The CD-ROM primarily serves as an educational
                                     tool illustrating the vitality of indigenous
knowledge, know-how, and identity in meaningful ways for Pacific communities. It
will also become part of an educational package to be proposed for integration
into Pacific curricula. The Storehouse section contains an abundance of additional
information: A glossary; museum references; book references; and the full
printable text version of the CD-ROM. As such, it also acts as a reference resource
helping local communities identify and gain access to a selection of archival
materials lodged in distant locations. In this way, it contributes to a process of
restitution of data to communities.

The Canoe Is the People is the second in a series of CD-ROMs created as part of
the LINKS project. The series uses new information and communications
technologies to attract the interest and imagination of indigenous young people
about their own knowledge systems. It supports the transfer of indigenous
knowledge from elders to youth.




For More Information about this CD-ROM and other LINKS projects please visit:
www.unesco.org/links

				
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