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Towards inclusive practices with indigenous knowledge

Astronomy across world cultures is rooted in indigenous knowledge. We share models of partnering with indigenous communities involving collaboration with integrity to co-create an inclusive scientific enterprise on Earth and in space.

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Fig. 1: Representation of what is required to co-create in collaboration with people with differing worldviews.

Aurore Simonnet, Sonoma State University / Education & Public Outreach

Fig. 2: Conference participants at the 2015 I-WISE meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.


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A.V. gratefully acknowledges support from the University of San Francisco Faculty Development Fund. We dedicate this Comment to the world’s wealth of indigenous knowledge and to two beloved indigenous colleagues who were taken too soon: Dr ‘Auntie’ Verlie Ann Malina-Wright, Hawaiian–Chinese–Irish educator of over 50 years and wise elder; and Dr Paul Coleman, cherished field mentor and the first Native Hawaiian to earn a doctorate in astrophysics. As Paul said to his family, “I offer the lesson of the stone mason; the greatest works require a tremendous effort with surprising patience, one stone at a time.”

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Correspondence to Aparna Venkatesan.

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Venkatesan, A., Begay, D., Burgasser, A.J. et al. Towards inclusive practices with indigenous knowledge. Nat Astron 3, 1035–1037 (2019).

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