Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę Gots’ę́ Nákedı
Sahtú Renewable Resources Board

pdf 1992 Knowledge and Authority - Scott Rushforth Popular

In this article the author proposes to discuss selected aspects of the significance to Dene of learning through personal experience. He focuses on the relationship between personal experience andknowledge among Sahtuot'ine ("Bearlake People"),' for this relationship is central to an understanding of Bearlake autonomy, knowledge, power, and authority; is relatively public (meaning that Bearlakers do not usually hesitate to discuss it and there is widespread agreement among them about it); and is accessible in the sense that it is not as exotic as other aspects ofthe belief system under consideration. The remainder of the article is organized into four sections. In the first, author reviews selected ideas from Western epistemology that are useful to an understanding of pertinent Sahtuot'ine beliefs and values. In the second, he discusses the Bearlake Athapaskan perspective on personal experience and knowledge. In the third, author offers an interpretation of the preference that SahtUot'ine have for primary knowledge and epistemic justification. This preference and related social practices derive historically from the Bearlake hunter-gatherer modeof production and are linked to Bearlake social relations of production: namely, to disengagementfrom private property and to egalitarian patterns of authority. In the final section, he offers a short summary and suggestions for future research.