President Joe Biden’s administration hosted “Indigenous Knowledge” seminars, including one where a speaker admonished scientist attendees about “disrespecting” knowledge provided by “spirits,” according to a video uncovered by the Washington Free Beacon.
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) told dozens of federal agencies to adopt “Indigenous Knowledge” for “research, policies, and decision making,” in a November 2022 memo. In April, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) hosted a webinar titled “Incorporating Indigenous Knowledges into Federal Research and Management,” in which a speaker warned scientists about “disrespecting” indigenous knowledge, including “spirits.”
“When you ask for knowledge and you take it and use it in a way that you didn’t intend or you misuse it, you’re not only disrespecting that individual that you sought that knowledge from,” Traditional Ecological Knowledge Outreach Specialist Melonee Montano said in the April webinar attended by scientists. “You’re disrespecting the teachers that they obtained the knowledge from. You’re disrespecting those spirits that may have brought that knowledge to them through a dream.” (RELATED: First Nations Critics Say White Professor Shouldn’t Teach Native History)
“The damages may be unseen at times,” Montano added. “However, the damages can be huge and have a major ripple effect throughout time if you don’t make sure you’re protecting that information that you’ve obtained, if you don’t make sure that you’re taking care of those people that have helped to provide those things to you, too.”
The Biden administration promoted the OSTP to a cabinet-level agency in 2021. Moreover, the November OSTP memo also suggests collaborating with “spiritual leaders.” The White House has published over three dozen documents that positively reference “Indigenous Knowledge,” according to the Free Beacon’s investigation. A December memo states the Biden administration acknowledges that “Indigenous Knowledge … contributes to the scientific, technical, social, and economic advancements of the United States.”
On the state level, Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Deputy Director M. Kaleo Manuel advocated for “indigenous knowledge” and delayed a request for water diversion to fight the Maui wildfires due to possible impacts on a local farmer, according to a letter sent by a Hawaiian water management campaign.
Manuel prioritized incorporating “indigenous knowledge to the fields of water advocacy and management in Hawaii,” which allegedly could have contributed to the worsening of the Hawaii wildfires.
The White House, OSTP and USGS did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
Montano is currently on a leave of absence, according to an automatic email response.
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