Pluriverse with Shuar: the Politics of Knowledge Production in the Ecuadorian Amazon
Paper uses a feminist political ecology framework to explore critical Geographies in the Ecuadorian Amazon, with families of the Indigenous Shuar Community through community-based participatory research to decolonize knowledge production through the understanding of TEK within their ancestral territories. I am working with families of the Indigenous Shuar Community from the Sevilla Don Bosco Parish who live along the Cordillera de Trans Kutukú to preserve their TEK for future generations. This paper will present initial findings from my research to understand how Shuar TEK and ontology can contribute to planetary health, geographies of peace and the Pluriverse while examining the complexities in doing so. I will have completed my data collection by February 2023 using semi-structured interviews and participatory mapping to understand what Shuar traditional knowledge in the Cordillera region in the province of Morona Santiago looks like. Investigations into these "micro-geographies" of Indigenous knowledge help to counter colonial hegemonic thinking and foster decolonial thinking (Gómez-Barris, 2017). I am exploring the transcultural idea of the Pluriverse in a search for multitude ways of being that “resist injustice and seek harmony living with nature” (Kothari et al., 2019, vi). This paper would examine the politics of knowledge production in the region. Exploring how colonialism has affected the political ecology of the region such as knowledge about nature, stewardship, health, perspectives on territory and the environment. I am hoping these findings will contest colonial knowledge about the natural world but also explore its complexity as the line becomes blurred through generations.