Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science
February 13 - May 5, 2017
OPENING RECEPTION: February 22, 4 – 6 p.m.
Hale La‘akea Library
A basket weaver from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians weaves a river cane basket. The process of harvesting, splitting, dying and weaving river cane requires specialized techniques and lots of practice. Courtesy Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Corinne Sams of the Confederate Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation fishes on the Columbia River. Courtesy Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Volunteers repair the rock wall of Waikalua Loko Fishpond, Kāne‘ohe, Hawaii. Courtesy Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Members of the Tulalip Tribes cooking salmon traditionally on ironwood sticks over wood coals. Courtesy Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
The Smithsonian traveling exhibition, Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science, explores the ways in which traditional knowledge of indigenous communities and cutting-edge Western science are being applied. The exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the public. Lectures, school tours and a panel discussion for the public are being planned during the exhibition.
Monday–Thursday, 8:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Friday, 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Roots of Wisdom explores four inspiring stories of environmental and cultural restoration from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Tulalip Tribes, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Native Hawaiians. The exhibition tells the stories of these communities, giving visitors examples of how traditional knowledge and Western science provide complementary solutions to ecological and health challenges. The stories featured in Roots of Wisdom reflect the sacred relationship that each community has with its homeland and pass along knowledge of the environment, history, social values and spiritual beliefs.
"We are thrilled to have this Smithsonian exhibit begin its tour of the country here in Hawai‘i at Windward Community College, and we are doubly thrilled that our partnering Waikalua Loko I‘a is featured in it," said Head Librarian Sarah Gilman Sur.
Today, Native Hawaiians are using traditional knowledge and Western science to restore parts of the land divisions or small communities called ahupua‘a, which span from mountaintop to the
ocean. One such restoration project is Waikalua Loko I‘a, one of the few remaining intact ancient Hawaiian fishponds in Kāne‘ohe and the only fishpond restoration project featured in this exhibit.
Through the work of students, community groups, and many others, the restoration of Waikalua Loko I‘a serves to teach Hawai‘i youth the ingenuity of ancient Hawaiians who engineered complex irrigation and aquaculture systems. More importantly, the collaborative efforts of this restoration project, while challenging, are significant for Hawaiian culture and potentially important for future sustainable food sources.
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla) are using their resources to restore waterways and native species in Eastern Oregon and the Columbia River Basin. The Tulalip Tribes of Northwest Washington are rediscovering native
foods, raising organic foods and, in the process, reconnecting to native food and traditional medicine plants. In doing so, they combine traditional knowledge and Western science for a more culturally appropriate approach to health care. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is working with scientists and regional groups to restore river cane in its homelands of Western North Carolina. They are also revitalizing cultural traditions that use the cane, such as basket making.
Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science was developed, produced and circulated by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. The exhibition was made possible with funds provided by the National Science Foundation.
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. Exhibition descriptions and tour schedules are available at sites.si.edu.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present and future—through partnership with Native people and others.
Founded in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is one of the nation’s leading science museums, a world-class tourist attraction and an award-winning educational resource for the kid in everyone. OMSI operates the largest museum-based outdoor science education program in the country and provides traveling and community outreach programs that bring science-learning opportunities to schools and community organizations in nearly every county in Oregon. For general information, call 503-797-4000 or visit omsi.edu.
For more information, to schedule a group tour or educational experience, contact Windward Community College Head Librarian Sarah Gilman Sur at 808-235-7435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPCOMING EVENTS WILL APPEAR HERE WHEN SCHEDULED. PLEASE CHECK BACK.