A Review of Indigenous Perspectives in Animal Biosciences

Annu Rev Anim Biosci. 2023 Feb 15:11:307-319. doi: 10.1146/annurev-animal-051622-091935.


This article addresses the underrepresentation of Indigenous perspectives in animal sciences by challenging the exclusive use of Western scientific paradigms in research and education. Because of the systematic exclusion of Indigenous peoples, Indigenous perspectives have rarely been represented through empirical study, leading us to believe this is a key reason for the underrepresentation of Native people in these fields. We conducted a literature review, searching for Indigenous contributions in animal sciences and finding a handful of articles in three areas: human-animal bonds, genetic testing and breeding programs, and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Given the interconnected paradigm of Indigenous worldviews, we suggest that the ongoing siloes of scientific disciplines and the hierarchy of methodology contribute to the dearth of Indigenous perspectives. We suggest increased support for proper tribal consultation, contextualization of the history of research in Native communities, and the creation of scholarly spaces to support these conversations.

Keywords: American Indian; Indigenous; Native American; One Health; Traditional Ecological Knowledge; animal sciences.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Husbandry*
  • Animals
  • Breeding
  • Ecology
  • Human-Animal Bond
  • Humans
  • Indigenous Peoples*
  • Knowledge