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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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19. ‘Glocalising’ Indigenous Knowledges for the Classroom Ocean Ripeka Mercier 299


In the universities of Aotearoa New Zealand, teaching about Indigenous people used to be thedomain of anthropology, and Māori academics have been involved in this discipline for decades (Buck, 1938). The seedlings of both Māori Studies and Indigenous knowledge (IK) were wards of this discipline up until 30 years ago (Mead, 1997a). Since the pioneering move to an independent school by founding professor Hirini Moko Mead, Māori S tudies has become a thriving area of enquiry, with schools in all eight of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Universities. In the last two decades, whare wānanga, or tribal tertiary institutions (Mead, 1997b), have radically changed the Indigenous teaching landscape. Academics in Māori Studies have also long been interested in the experiences of other Indigenous peoples: our narratives have resonance, our struggles with colonial powers are similar and we share similar values. The institutionalising of activity related to Indigenous knowl- edge—seen, for example, in the re-naming of certain schools of Māori S tudies to Māori and Indigenous Studies1—is a reflection of the extent to which Māori S tudies staff engage with other Indigenous academics and their discourses. Māori Studies has become the place within the acade- my to nurture Indigenous knowledge as an area of enquiry (rather than anthropology or history; Hereniko, 2000). In spite of occupying an ar guably more marginal space in the university, Indigenous ways of knowing are being held in higher esteem across our academies. The global anxiety about...

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