Indigeneity and Emergency Management: An Emic ‘Gaze’ on the Role of Traditional Knowledges and Cultural Practices in Emergency Management Contexts
28 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2022
There is increasing recognition within disaster research and practice that Indigenous cultural technologies may be drawn on to strengthen disaster risk reduction. The 2015 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction specifically highlights the importance of adopting diverse and socially inclusive approaches towards managing emergency contexts, such as harnessing local community risk mitigation practices that are informed by traditional knowledges. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Indigenous disaster risk reduction may be contested, with Western perspectives on Indigenous emergency management positioned as authoritative for informing policy and practices. This rapid review presents an emic and discursive analysis of Indigenous emergency management noted in disaster research literature between 2004 and August, 2022. There is a limited body of peer reviewed research literature on this topic, and the majority of relevant articles document the outcomes of social science research. Articles (N=60) that specifically discussed Indigenous Peoples' engagement with emergency management were analysed to identify how traditional knowledges are conceptualised and applied by Indigenous actors to inform emergency responses. Review findings indicate that Indigenous knowledges and practices are shaping and being directly incorporated into emergency management initiatives locally, regionally and nationally. Yet epistemological tensions between Western European science and Indigenous understandings of emergency management have impacted effective uptake of Indigenous knowledges within disaster science and emergency management policies and initiatives.
Keywords: indigenous, emergency management, disasters, emic, Sendai Framework, disaster risk reduction
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