Background/Question/Methods Ecosystem services are defined through processes, or functions performed by species and ecosystem features that benefit humans. Increasingly, the role of anthropogenic modifications to ecosystems are being incorporated into our understanding of the provisioning and resiliency of ecosystem services. This trend has resulted in an increasing ability to create space for Indigenous Knowledge into the future of ecology and evidence-based policymaking. The incorporation of humans within ecological networks provides a conceptual tool to build a more realistic understanding of the world, however, it is inefficient in being able to incorporate Indigenous needs, principles or values. Indigenous and other local knowledge systems often encompass culturally specific concepts and beliefs of how the world should (and does) operate or what values need to be prioritized. Through providing the opportunity for communities to better elaborate Indigenous Knowledge and research priorities we are enabling the ability of ecology and scientific research to better fulfill it's responsibility to society.
Results/Conclusions Indigenous Knowledge represents distinct logic model associated with specific Indigenous communities and peoples knowledge of the natural world and the relationships within it. These knowledge systems generally encompass more than simple information or facts, but a complex epistemology with unique knowledge translation and transmission pathways happening generationally through sharing of stories and experiences, detailed observations over time, problem-solving or adaptive management, cultural practices and rituals, and ceremonies. The variety of pathways in which knowledge is created and transmitted results in a holistic network of environmental data, values, and ethics, and modes of transmission to allow all elements within an ecological network to maintain their relationships and responsibilities to each other. Building analytical tools and decision-making tools alongside Indigenous Knowledge practitioners will provide improved conservation and management outcomes relative to simple incorporation of Indigenous Knowledge into conventional practice.