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Indigenous Philosophies and Critical Education

A Reader- Foreword by Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw


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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8. Ruminations on Red Revitalization: Exploring Complexities of Identity, Difference and Nationhood in Indigenous Education Martin Cannon 127


This chapter considers the importance and challenges associated with bringing Indigenous knowl-edge into postsecondary institutions of learning. I also provide an in-depth discussion of colo- nialism and racism, and the way this has shaped my own identity as an Indigenous (Onyota’a:ka, Six Nations) person. I then chronicle my involvement in developing a degree specialization from 2002 to 2007 offering undergraduates at a Canadian university an opportunity to think and work with- in Indigenous traditions, conceptual frameworks, and knowledge. The goal of the chapter is to pro- vide greater clarity and specificity about the individual and institutional challenges facing some of us as scholars engaged in developing programs that incorporate Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing. I want to raise critical questions about identity , difference, and belonging, the way this shapes knowledge production as well as the definition, delivery , and development of Indigenous knowledge education in the academy. In the conclusion to the chapter, I offer my own personal and scholarly reflections on the mobilization of Indigenous knowledge, and the vision and praxis of decol- onizing Aboriginal education. FIRST WORDS: WHERE IT IS THAT WE COME FROM In his article “Indigenous Knowledge and the Cultural Interface,” Martin Nakata (2002) asks edu- cators to take seriously an oversimplification that has pervaded much of intellectual thinking about Indigenous knowledge in the academy. In raising the question “what is Indigenous knowledge?” he does not contest the existence of these knowledges but is rather concerned with the tendency to regard them as standing in...

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