Rematriation of Indigenous Epistemologies in Education
EDS 5970/EDAH 5970
Sabina Vaught - Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
Heather Shotton - Native American Studies
There is an ongoing movement toward, and a new recognition of, Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) within U.S. institutional education contexts. Indigenous women have always been and continue to be at the forefront of these movements. These movements are framed, in part, as a rematriation of knowledge. “Rematriation is a powerful word Indigenous women of Turtle Island use to describe how they are restoring balance to the world...it means ‘Returning the Sacred to the Mother,’”(rematriation.com). Rematriation of knowledge in educational contexts pushes back against the heteropatriarchal underpinnings of the term repatriation. It works to reject narratives and theories that have been used against Indigenous peoples by restorying ontological and epistemological knowledges that are sites and subjects of Indigenous sovereignty. Specifically, rematriation challenges the reductive notion of the “return” of objects by focusing on the assertion of Indigenous Knowledges that cannot be made by settler logics into artifacts or taken and returned. This course takes up Rematriation to consider how Indigenous Knowledges powerfully shape educational contexts and institutions.
Rematriation in education invites us to address the following questions:
- What are knowledge and educational connections to place?
- How can education function as a tool of Nation building and self-determination?
- How does reclamation serve as a mechanism of reasserting Indigenous Knowledge?
- In what ways does rematriation upend the heteropatriarchal underpinnings of settler colonialism?
This Presidential Dream Course is divided into 4 sections that are organized around three primary questions that get at the core considerations of the rematriation of Indigenous knowledges and epistemologies in education: How is rematriation of knowledge grounded in place and Indigenous nation building? How does Indigenous gender knowledge disrupt the settler colonial project? How do you tell the story? We will begin by examining settler colonialism and its manifestations in gender, knowledge, and educational systems.
Public Lecture Series
Rematriation: Indigenous Knowledge and the Disruption of the Settler Colonial Project
Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua (Kanaka Maoli)
Professor & Chair
Political Science, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua is a Kanaka Maoli who was born and raised in Hawaiʻi. She is professor and chair of Political Science at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where she teaches Hawaiian and Indigenous politics. Noe is the author of The Seeds We Planted: Portraits of a Native Hawaiian Charter School (Minnesota, 2013), and the co-editor of A Nation Rising: Hawaiian Movements for Life, Land and Sovereignty (Duke, 2014) and The Value of Hawaiʻi, 2: Ancestral Roots, Oceanic Visions (UH Press, 2014). Her most recent book, Nā Wāhine Koa: Hawaiian Women for Sovereignty and Demilitarization (UH Press, 2019) is a collaboration with four activist women elders who played key roles in catalyzing the contemporary Hawaiian movement. Noe’s research interests in Hawaiian social movements, Indigenous education and decolonial future-making are deeply connected to her work beyond the academy. She is a co-founder of Hālau Kū Māna public charter school and an active board member for non-profit organizations that use Native Hawaiian ocean-based practices to help create resilient Indigenous futures. She recently completed a three year term as secretary of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. Her most treasured role is being a mom to her three children.
Jennifer Denetdale (Diné)
Professor, American Studies
University of New Mexico
As the first-ever Diné/Navajo to earn a Ph.D. in history, Dr. Jennifer Denetdale is a strong advocate for Native peoples and strives to foster academic excellence in the next generation of students interested in Indigenous Studies. Denetdale is a Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico and teaches courses in Critical Indigenous Studies, Indigenous gender & sexuality, Indigenous feminisms and gender, and Navajo Studies. Professor Denetdale is the author of three books and numerous essays, articles, and book chapters. She is the director of UNM’s Institute for American Indian Research (IFAIR) and the chair of the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission. As a commissioner on the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, she has advocated for Navajo women and the LGBTQI community. She has been recognized for her scholarship and service to her nation and community with several awards, including the Rainbow Naatsiilid True Colors for her support and advocacy on behalf of the Navajo LGBTQI and the UNM faculty of color award for her teaching, research and service in the academy. In the spring of 2015, she was recognized for Excellence in Diné Studies by the Navajo Studies Conference, Inc. She is also very proud to have been selected to deliver the inaugural address before the 23rd Navajo Nation Council upon their inauguration in January 2015. In 2017, she was awarded the UNM Presidential Award of Distinction.
Dian Million (Tanana Athabascan)
Associate Professor, American Indian Studies
University of Washington
Dr. Dian Million (Tanana Athabascan) has been teaching in AIS since 2002. Dr. Million received her M. A. in Ethnic Studies in 1998 and her Ph. D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 2004. Currently Dr. Million is an Associate Professor in American Indian Studies and an Affiliated faculty in Canadian Studies, the Comparative History of Ideas Program, and the English Department at UW. Dian Million’s most recent research explores the politics of mental and physical health with attention to affect as it informs race, class, and gender in Indian Country. She is the author of Therapeutic Nations: Healing in an Age of Indigenous Human Rights (University of Arizona Press, Critical Issues in Indigenous Studies Series, 2013) as well as articles, chapters, and poems. Therapeutic Nations is a discussion of trauma as a political narrative in the struggle for Indigenous self-determination in an era of global neoliberalism. Reading unprecedented violence against Indigenous women and all women as more than a byproduct of global contention Therapeutic Nations makes an argument for the constitutive role violence takes in the now quicksilver transmutations of capitalist development. As an active writer and poet she strives to bring experiential and felt thought to classrooms. Dian Million has been part of an ongoing Indigenous conversation on theory and Native studies. Million is the author of “Felt Theory: An Indigenous Feminist Approach to Affect and History,” “Intense Dreaming: Theories, Narratives and Our Search for Home,” and most recently “A River Runs Through Me: Theory from Life” in Theorizing Native Studies (Audra Simpson and Andrea Smith, Eds., Duke University Press, 2013). She teaches courses on Indigenous politics, literatures, feminisms and social issues.
Sovereignty of the Soul: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America
Sarah Deer (Muscogee Creek)
University of Kansas