This chapter demonstrates the importance of local history, in both theorised conceptions of indigenous knowledge (IK) and in the practice of development and conservation in Papua New Guinea. It focuses on a broad definition of local history in relation to debates on indigenous knowledge and specifically on ‘local knowledge’. The chapter presents an evaluation of the connotations of the term ‘indigenous knowledge’, critiquing the predominance of scientific value and biological and economic prerogatives often implied by its use. Historically, people of the two distinct ethnic groups with which we have worked in Papua New Guinea have had relationships based on the exchange of women and sago and on alliances during times of regional conflict. The chapter also focuses on ethnography and narratives about grass airstrips and aeroplanes in the history of development on the lands of both groups. Anthropologists and other social and natural scientists that have written about IK often make reference to the notion of ‘value’.