For many years indigenous knowledge has been considered incompatible with western science, mainly due to the differences in knowledge inquiry and transfer, as well as more fundamental beliefs about the inseparable nature of material and non-material aspects of the universe held by the former. Increasingly however, commonalities between the two are being recognised. Both scientists and indigenous knowledge holders, and in particular practitioners, are beginning to work with each other. The recognition that aspects of IK have been generated following the scientific method affords the exciting opportunity to explore how IK can be integrated with science to add to our collective understanding. This seminar will demonstrate that in the field of natural hazards and disasters research, indigenous knowledge can be viewed as an encoded database of natural hazard events and will also discuss a method by which to un-encode that database. This research affords a unique opportunity to explore and build a relationship between indigenous knowledge and science, in essence putting indigenous society into science.
Dr Daniel Hikuroa (Tainui, Te Arawa) is an Earth System Scientist with experience in the integration of mātauranga (Māori knowledge) and science to realise indigenous development. Dan has established himself as a world expert on integrating indigenous knowledge and science and has undertaken many projects including geothermal developments, hazard and vulnerability assessment and industrial waste site rehabilitation. Dan has been the Research Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga since July 2011.