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Indigenous Philosophies and Critical Education

A Reader- Foreword by Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw

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Edited By George J. Sefa Dei

An important academic goal is to understand ongoing contestations in knowledge in the search to engage everyday social practice and experiences, as well as the social barriers and approaches to peaceful human coexistence. This reader pulls together ideas concerning Indigenous epistemologies (e.g., worldviews, paradigms, standpoints, and philosophies) as they manifest themselves in the mental lives of persons both from and outside the orbit of the usual Euro-American culture. The book engages Indigenous knowledges as far more than a «contest of the marginals», thereby challenging the way oppositional knowledges are positioned, particularly in the Western academy. Subsequently, this book is a call to recognize and acknowledge Indigenous knowledges as legitimate knowings in their own right, and not necessarily in competition with other sources or forms of knowledge. The project offers an opportunity for the critical thinker to continue on a de-colonial/anti-colonial intellectual journey in ways informed by Indigenous theorizing.

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Acknowledgments xv

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Iacknowledge many have helped along the way in making this work come to fruition. First of all,I sincerely thank Shirley Steinberg for proposing my name when the idea of doing this volume was initially discussed and supporting me throughout the process. I trust this collection of essays will not disappoint the original dreams and hopes expressed. I could not have succeeded in my task with- out the help of Isaac Darko, whose call to duty went beyond the usual expectation of a “graduate assistant.” His overall assistance has been amazing from the initial correspondence with prospec- tive contributors to ensuring the final technical details before the draft manuscript went to the pub- lishers. Similarly, my thanks go to Rainos Mutumba of the Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, Marlon Simmons, Yumiko Kawano, Eric Riskes, and Dr. Arlo Kempf, all of the Department of Sociology and Equity S tudies of the Ontario Institute for S tudies in Education, University of Toronto (OISE/UT), for their varied assistance including reading and making insightful comments on drafts of the manuscript before and after all the chapters from contributors were put together . I also cannot forget the anonymous reviewers! This book came about by “invitation only,” and I want to thank all the contributors for being willing to share their knowledge. Even a few who could not honor the invitation sent messages wishing me well in such an intellectual undertaking. I acknowledge that there is a growing interest in the pragmatics/praxis of Indigenous...

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