Indigenous Knowledge Library

Indigenous knowledge—also known as traditional knowledge—refers to information, meanings, purposes, and values that Indigenous peoples have gathered, conceptualized, studied, and passed through generations for thousands of years. Indigenous knowledge offers solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues, from environmental crises and declining biodiversity, to equity, justice, and holistic health systems. 

Prior to colonization, Indigenous ways of knowing formed the basis of all aspects of Indigenous life, including language, culture, spirituality, architecture, agriculture, and technology. During colonization, the racist devaluing and destruction of Indigenous knowledge served as a key justification for Native American cultural assimilation and genocide. Indigenous American knowledge was criticized, banned, erased through cultural assimilation, and purposely destroyed, in favor of Western, Eurocentric views. Over hundreds of years, these colonial practices have created unsustainable development patterns, which now harm all people.

Indigenous peoples have worked tirelessly to maintain Indigenous ways of knowing and being since the advent of colonization. Today, Native American communities and activists are leading a powerful renewal of Indigenous culture, knowledge, and identity. From language revitalization and the renewal of spiritual practices and ceremonies, to Indigenous leadership in environmental crises, the resurgence of Indigenous food sovereignty, and the reclaiming of Two-Spirit identities, Indigenous knowledge is being recentered.

A New Focus on Community Commons

The Indigenous Knowledge Library centers Indigenous knowledge on Community Commons by highlighting over 300 newly-curated resources, tools, and stories that advance cultural renewal, intergenerational healing, health equity, and holistic well-being for Indigenous peoples. The library was developed through a landscape analysis of emerging themes in Indigenous knowledge and prioritizes culturally-appropriate work by and/or for Indigenous authors, creators, and communities. It includes:

  • Indigenous knowledge, research, and storytelling

  • Resources that are related to building and sharing Indigenous knowledge

  • Resources that advance Indigenous health equity broadly

As we work to expand and center Indigenous knowledge on Community Commons, emerging themes include:

  1. Indigenous knowledge, culture, and sovereignty as health care 

  2. Culturally-grounded, community-driven solutions

  3. Moving from acknowledgement and allyship to tangible reparations, land return, and decolonization

  4. Centering intersectional perspectives, including Indigenous people who are disabled, Two-Spirit/LGBTQ+, unhoused, and/or living in economic poverty

  5. Sourcing and leveraging accurate, community-owned data

  6. COVID-19 as a magnifier, emphasizing existing strengths and disparities


Published Date
Published By
Community Commons



CC Original

Case study

Data bank/repository

Screen shot of website cover: AAPI Data
Resource - Data Bank/repository
Bold letters
Priority Populations Channel
Resource - Data Bank/repository
Screen grab of COVID-19 Resources for Indigenous Peoples
COVID-19 Resources for Indigenous Peoples
Resource - Data Bank/repository
Shutterstock image Native American health: Indian Health Service: Fact Sheets
Indian Health Service: Fact Sheets
Resource - Data Bank/repository

Data/mapping tool

Fact sheet


Journal article

Topic - Places

Card image cap
Tribal Communities
Topic - Places

Policy brief

Topic - Possibilities

Card image cap
Trauma-Informed Practice
Topic - Possibilities
Photo of older adult speaking with nurse
Cultural Humility and Competence
Topic - Possibilities
Indigenous person standing in front of a desert landscape in traditional clothing. The bright sun is rising behind them.
Topic - Possibilities
Card image cap
Topic - Possibilities

Topic - Quality of Life

Photo of round bowls of diverse spices
Food Sovereignty
Topic - Quality Of Life
Photo of Muslim family eating dinner together
Culturally Appropriate Foods
Topic - Quality Of Life






Native Americans with Diabetes
Vital Signs: Native Americans with Diabetes
Resource - Website/webpage
Screen capture of article photo: Healthy Tribes
Healthy Tribes
Resource - Website/webpage