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Indigenous Higher Education as a Tool for Decolonization in the Hemisphere: Comparative perspective between decolonial projects in Ecuador and USA

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Indigenous Higher Education as a Tool for Decolonization in the Hemisphere: Comparative perspective between decolonial projects in Ecuador and USA

Drouin-Gagné, Marie-Eve (2019) Indigenous Higher Education as a Tool for Decolonization in the Hemisphere: Comparative perspective between decolonial projects in Ecuador and USA. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

In the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to actions, many Canadian Universities are considering “Indigenizing the Academy”. My dissertation examines what universities could learn from existing Indigenous higher education programs and institutions. In the last fifty years, Indigenous nations and organizations across the continent have developed their own higher education in response to colonial education systems. Transforming our academic institutions, with the purpose of decolonization, can therefore build on these decades of educational experiences.
I begin the dissertation with an analysis of the history of colonization in a hemispheric perspective, pointing at the Doctrine of Discovery as a shared colonial framework in all nation states of the Americas, showing its impact and significance in terms of knowledge hierarchy and Indigenous education. I then compare Indigenous responses to this colonial framework, including decolonial projects undertaken in higher education. The analysis of Indigenous higher education as a tool of decolonization therefore reveals existing links between international processes of colonization and decolonization, and local articulations of decolonial projects in higher education.
I then compare four case studies of Indigenous higher education in Ecuador and the United States to better understand their respective contributions to processes of decolonization. This comparison draws on transversal themes from the literature on Indigenous higher education, including the articulation of transformative projects, and the engagement with Indigenous knowledges and communities. The comparative description and analysis show that all of these programs and institutions contribute to decolonial projects of survivance, storying, and resurgence, in their own ways. I also identify some limits to the accomplishment of these projects, in particular the resurgence project, which would require a better integration of land-based and place-based pedagogy. Despite these limitations, Indigenous higher education offers valuable learning opportunities for mainstream universities, such as integrating Indigenous knowledges and building reciprocal relationships with Indigenous communities, in order to unsettle colonial hierarchies still in place in higher education and in the general society.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Drouin-Gagné, Marie-Eve
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Social and Cultural Analysis
Date:5 January 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):Watson, Mark
ID Code:985164
Deposited By: MARIE-EVE DROUIN-GAGNE
Deposited On:07 Jun 2019 16:53
Last Modified:07 Jun 2019 16:53
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