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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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11. Education for Endogenous Development: Contrasting Perspectives from Amazonia and Arabia Serena Heckler & Paul Sillitoe 171


Our concern in this chapter is the role of higher education in supporting particular types of devel-opment, notably the paradigm of endogenous development. We explore the topic of this vol- ume, namely Indigenous knowledge (IK) and education, vis-à-vis the following questions: what is the role of Indigenous knowledge in endogenous development; what is the role of education in endogenous development; and what does an education for endogenous development look like? We address these questions with particular reference to our involvement with endogenous development in two radically different contexts: amongst the Indigenous peoples of Ecuador and the Arab pop- ulation of Qatar. We argue that endogenous development differs from participatory development in the centrality of IK, or rather Indigenous worldviews, which should form the perspectives that set the goals of development. The people involved—previously considered the “recipients” of devel- opment—set out to identify the barriers to their own identified goals, what they, not outsiders, per- ceive as progress. These barriers often involve education. Consequently, one of the primary objectives of endogenous development is to create appropriate educational systems that enable people to inter- act effectively with the structures that determine the distribution of resources and aford them some agency in drawing on their own identities as sources of empowerment and well-being. Both authors have long-standing interests in the role of Indigenous knowledge in development contexts which have recently extended to an interest in education as a means of supporting, resist- ing, or outright challenging existing development paradigms. Sillitoe’s...

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