Decolonization and Transformation of Higher Education for Sustainability
Integrating Indigenous Knowledge into Policy, Teaching, Research, and Practice
Keywords:higher education, decolonization, Indigenous Knowledge, sustainability
This article argues that institutions of higher education (IHEs) require a fundamental paradigm shift toward an Indigenous Knowledge (IK) model inclusive of Indigenous Peoples, perspectives, and values. This model acknowledges the sacred value of nature, the rights of non human species, and the power and potential of transformative learning via collaboration with Indigenous communities. Through four personal experiences from one IHE, we highlight challenges and opportunities to decolonize higher education across the domains of policy, research, teaching, and programs. Examples include the Graduate Student Government's resistance to university policies of unsustainable construction projects; incorporating IK from Eastern traditions and world spiritual practices into course curriculum; Indigenizing higher education courses and projects through inclusion and collaboration with local Indigenous tribal members; and finally, ongoing transnational research and education collaborations with an Indigenous Mebêngôkre-Kayapó community in the Brazilian Amazon.
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