Increasingly, a discourse of indigenizing is being articulated in United States higher education. This article contributes to the limited existing research that examines how indigenization processes, well underway in Canada, are able to transform post-secondary institutions and/or how transformation is resisted and contained. With attention to institutional dynamics, Native studies’ centering of community accountability, and patterns of settler-colonial power, the study centers the perspectives and experiences at one university of Indigenous students, faculty, staff, and community partners. Interviews reveal four tensions or challenges of indigenization. “Hidden contributions” are the result of Indigenous people bearing the burden of rectifying the institution’s default colonial practices. Many individuals attempt to satisfy a challenging “dual accountability” to both First Nations and the university. Contradictions and uneven advances across the university create starkly varying experiences and reveal both promising change and disappointment. Finally, participants envision going beyond indigenization and decolonization by centering Indigenous intellectual autonomy and increasing accountability to First Nations. Interpreting these experiences and perceptions through logics of inclusion, reconciliation, and decolonization, the study suggests strategic approaches to address these tensions in future efforts in Canada and the United States.
Cautionary Stories of University Indigenization: Institutional Dynamics, Accountability Struggles, and Resilient Settler Colonial Power
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Erich Steinman, Scott Scoggins; Cautionary Stories of University Indigenization: Institutional Dynamics, Accountability Struggles, and Resilient Settler Colonial Power. American Indian Culture and Research Journal 1 January 2020; 44 (1): 73–96. doi: https://doi.org/10.17953/aicrj.44.1.steinman_scoggins
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