At the simplest level, “technology” essentially means a “skilled process”. However, Eurocentric bias has meant that the term is overwhelmingly associated with Western narratives of continuing progress. If we can think about industrial processes such as carbon capture as environmental technologies, surely then our thinking can extend to conceiving of Indigenous mechanisms, processes and skills as such, too.
In the heritage sector, science and technology museums tend to collapse technology into wider histories of industrialisation – rendering the processes and tools developed by other cultures and thought-systems either as belonging to humanity’s collective past or as absent altogether. This reinforces the false dichotomy between “tradition” and “modernity” and groups certain peoples as pre-modern, pre-industrial and pre-technological, perpetuating problematic, yet enduring stereotypes of vanishing and erasure.