In this relationship then of indigenous knowledge and traditional environmental knowledge, we speak of binding relationships into a unity. There is an interesting paradox here. The paradox of verbal forms like binding that suggest the world is in movement, the telling of the story, the drumming, and yet we also have noun forms like knowledge and we have the fact of the drum itself, an object. These suggest that the world has form and can be fixed. If the sound of the drum and storytelling are exemplary forces in Native American religions and ecology then their movement accords with the verbal mode which is characteristic of native languages in North America. That is, verbal forms predominate and one example is the word "minnehaha" in the Nakota language. It translates most clearly as "laughter is happening to me'". Minnehaha. The world of impinging forces such as laughter comes to a person. Definition and contexts then move in relationship to one another. This bond between the unity of knowledge and the process of knowing creates the possibility of life way. Two Native scholars expressed it this way. Perhaps the closest one can get to describing unity in indigenous knowledge is that knowledge is the expression of the vibrant relationships between people, their ecosystems, and other living beings and spirits that share their lands. All aspects of knowledge are interrelated and cannot be separated from the traditional territories of the people concerned. To the indigenous ways of knowing, the self exists within a world that is subject to flux. The purpose of these ways of knowing is to reunify the world or at least to reconcile the world to itself. Indigenous knowledge is the way of living within the context of flux, paradox, and tension, respecting the pull of dualism and reconciling opposing forces. Developing these ways of knowing leads to freedom of consciousness and to solidarity with the natural world. This is a profound insight into their own traditions by these Native scholars and making connection to the ways of living, the life way of the people. These close connections of land and indigenous knowing help us understand what is intended by the phrase "Native American religions and ecology". The binding of vibrant relationships of the people to their land activates personal freedom and solidarity with the larger life community. Another expression of this way of knowing has been described as traditional ecological knowledge or TEK. TEK, Traditional Ecological Knowledge. The relationships that constitute traditional ecological knowledge are the subject of intense debate among scholars especially as TEK relates to indigenous knowledge. Are they the same or are they different, indigenous knowledge and traditional ecological knowledge? For our purposes let's consider four interrelated levels of indigenous knowledge. First, the local and empirical knowledge of animals, plants, soils, and landscapes. Let's consider this traditional ecological knowledge. It's obviously a observational or empirical knowing and it's located within the sphere of the local. So it has the sense of my relationship to the place in which I've been born and in which I travel. First level. Second level, the connecting of this analysis of changes in forests, movement of animals, and seasonal variations. We're expanding the first level into the seasonal, the larger forests. These two we can say constitute a management system. This management system then, as we said earlier, is not to control the natural world, but rather to enter into this connectedness. The third level of indigenous knowledge in which we're situating traditional ecological knowledge , social institutions, rules, norms, values, and social relationships that affirm this knowledge as inherent to the life and survival of the people. Let's take as an example of this third level, the buffalo hunt in traditional times. Namely, when the buffalo were spotted it was among many planes people the duty of a particular group of warriors and individuals to really monitor the people so that no one charged the buffalo too early. So these are institutions, rules, and norms that embed on knowledge and transmit this knowledge that are related to the subsistence of the people. Fourth then and let's call it the largest level, a worldview level of meaning that shapes perception and gives rise to the sense of spiritual presences guiding individuals and communities. This is obviously the cosmological level. It's important that we realize that the cosmological level is obviously folded back into the first-level also that we have a sense of the inter-relatedness of these levels of indigenous knowledge. If we consider these four levels then, we realize that they're intimately related and they're related in the ever-expanding human awareness of the larger world of the cosmos. The fourth level, this larger sense of the cosmological relatedness, is as we suggested folded back into daily activities. We have to emphasize that the buffalo hunting example that I used earlier is traditional, but these four levels are still found among many fishing oriented native peoples, plant gathering, so that there are institutional rules and traditional environmental knowledge which is still being transmitted today. We sense then that traditional ecological knowledge is not something different from indigenous knowledge, but it serves as a portal into these four overlapping spheres of knowledge. Also we can consider self-determination and sovereignty. They stand in relationship with indigenous knowledge, not simply as contemporary statements of Native American political resurgence. They do that, of course. But in our overview, what we're suggesting is that self-determination is the voice of the people and that sovereignty is the assertion of deep values of community coherence. That all of them flow from an interrelationship to ways of knowing, which we've characterized in these four levels. These then are the pulsating rhythms that emanate from the drum of the life way of the people.