The Indigenous Partnership recognizes the importance of the collaboration between modern science and traditional knowledge. Modern science can complement local knowledge when communities believe it to be necessary and welcome. Indigenous knowledge systems and innovation in agrobiodiversity management can be strengthened through this epistemological bridge building.
Following this principle, the Indigenous Partnership is assisting collaborations with partners that share this same vision around the world, in order to facilitate the diffusion of this new approach to the knowledge systems. In this direction, an on-going partnership has been established with the Intercultural Maya University of Quintana Roo, which has developed a particular educational model, named “Intercultural”. This educational approach follows glocal (global and local) principles and supports the interaction and cooperation between local indigenous knowledge and scientific knowledge in order to facilitate the creation of a new unique wisdom based on respect and interaction among different knowledge systems. The roots of this learning system perfectly merge with ethical vision of the Indigenous Partnership. We are currently working on the enlargement and reinforcement of partnerships between local indigenous communities, researches and scientists to strengthen dialogues that goes in this direction. Agroecology is an example of how this kind of interaction, based on respect for local communities, can lead to successful results. While providing conditions for intercultural exchanges of knowledge, combining local traditional/indigenous knowledge with modern science, it also allows to reshape sustainable food systems based on social justice and equity in the world.
The contributions of modern science can help to open paths for safeguarding local food systems and food sovereignty in the face of global crises. However, this collaboration must be monitored to ensure that it also strengthens ecosystem diversity in cost-effective, participatory and sustainable ways. The Indigenous Partnership seeks ways to tap into the expertise of agrobiodiversity researchers, advocacy groups and indigenous elders, indigenous women knowledge bearers and motivated young people.
The acknowledgement that indigenous peoples and local communities will be setting the agenda for collaboration is an important way to recognize the leadership of indigenous peoples and to create a context in which to do shared work.