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 paradigms of Indigenous science and Western science, 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 need to live in a manner that is based on an understanding that all things are interconnected, that we are in no way separate from the world and its creatures and natural 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 Indigenous people offers perspectives and irreplaceable knowledge that suggest a possible alternative to the technology-driven processes that threaten the survival of us all.