Book, Native Science:|
Natural Laws of Interdependence
by Gregory Cajete
Natural Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence
In Native Science, Gregory Cajete "tells the story" of Indigenous
science as a way of understanding, experiencing, and feeling the natural world. He points to parallels
and differences between the Indigenous science and Western science paradigms, with special emphasis on
environmental/ecological studies. After discussing philosophical foundations, Cajete addresses such
topics as history and myth, primal elements, social ecology, animals in myth and reality, plants and
human health, and cosmology and astronomy.
In the Indigenous view, we human observers are in no way separate
from the world and its creatures and forces. Because all creatures and forces are related and thus bear
responsibility to and for one another, all are co-creators. Five centuries ago Europeans arrived on the
American continent, but they did not listen to the people who had lived for millennia in spiritual and
physical harmony with this land. In a time of global environmental degradation, the science and
worldview of the continent's First Peoples offer perspectives that can help us work toward solutions.
About the Author: Gregory A. Cajete is a Tewa author and professor from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico.
He has pioneered reconciling indigenous perspectives in sciences with a Western academic setting.
His focus is teaching "culturally based science, with its emphasis on health and wellness."
Currently he is director of the Native American Studies program and associate professor of
education at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He has been a New Mexico Humanities
scholar of ethnobotany and is a member of the New Mexico Arts Commission. For 21 years, he taught
at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.