Pentagon Shells Out Half a Million Dollars for ‘Indigenous Knowledge’ Research

Pentagon Shells Out Half a Million Dollars for ‘Indigenous Knowledge’ Research

  • May 31, 2024

Joseph Simonson, Free Beacon

The Pentagon awarded nearly $500,000 to a small firm in rural Alaska to research “indigenous knowledge,” according to federal records reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.

The Pentagon contract appears to be the first time the U.S. military has hired outside “indigenous knowledge” experts for consulting. Other federal agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control will soon employ “indigenous knowledge” in their research.

The Biden administration has drawn on “indigenous knowledge” in numerous decisions related to Alaska, likely due to the state’s large native Indian population. Last year, the Department of the Interior cited “indigenous knowledge” as part of the reason it blocked seven oil and gas leases there. 

And in March, the Interior Department mentioned “indigenous knowledge” at least 14 times in its preliminary environmental review of a proposed road in Alaska that leads to copper and zinc deposits. Those deposits are estimated to hold billions of dollars of critical minerals used for a variety of renewable energy projects such as electric vehicles. Politico reported in April that the Biden administration is expected to block the project.

The “indigenous knowledge” push throughout the federal government is in large part the brainchild of Jane Lubchenco, who serves as deputy director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Lubchenco is barred from publishing scientific studies or working with the National Academy of Sciences after she was sanctioned in 2022 for violating the organization’s ethics rules.

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