Advertisement

International Review of Education

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 87–116 | Cite as

Educate to perpetuate: Land-based pedagogies and community resurgence

  • Jeff CorntasselEmail author
  • Tiffanie Hardbarger
Original Paper

Abstract

Indigenous youth today are in a precarious position. The elders who guided their grandparents and parents often suffered from direct racism and dislocation from cultural practices, land, medicine, language, knowledge and traditional lifeways. Family and community kinship networks that provided emotional, spiritual and physical support have been brutally and systematically dismantled. When perpetuation is discussed within an Indigenous context, it often refers to the transmission of Indigenous knowledge to future generations and how they act on and regenerate it. This perpetuation of Indigenous knowledge and nationhood occurs every day, often in the shape of unnoticed or unacknowledged actions carried out within intimate settings, such as homes, ceremonies and communities. Focusing on everyday acts of resurgence shifts the analysis of the situation away from the state-centred, colonial manifestations of power to the relational, experiential and dynamic nature of Indigenous cultural heritage, which offers important implications for re-thinking gendered relationships, community health and sustainable practices. The authors of this article examine ways in which land-based pedagogies can challenge colonial systems of power at multiple levels, while being critical sites of education and transformative change. Drawing on a multi-component study of community practices in the Cherokee Nation conducted by the second author, this article examines strategies for fostering what have been termed “land-centred literacies” as pathways to community resurgence and sustainability. The findings from this research have important implications for Indigenous notions of sustainability, health and well-being and ways in which Indigenous knowledge can be perpetuated by future generations.

Keywords

Indigenous resurgence Cherokee Nation everyday acts decolonisation colonisation Indigenous knowledge land-based education experiential learning 

Résumé

Éduquer pour préserver : pédagogies adaptées au milieu ambiant et renaissance communautaire – Les jeunes autochtones se trouvent aujourd’hui dans une situation difficile. Les aînés qui avaient guidé leurs parents et grands-parents ont souvent souffert d’un racisme ostensible et d’un éloignement de leurs pratiques culturelles, territoires, systèmes de guérison, langues, connaissances et modes de vie traditionnels. Les réseaux familiaux et de parenté communautaire, garants d’un soutien émotionnel, spirituel et physique, ont été brutalement et systématiquement démantelés. Quand la préservation est abordée dans un contexte autochtone, elle désigne souvent la transmission du savoir indigène aux futures générations, ainsi que la manière dont celles-ci traitent et revitalisent ce savoir. Cette préservation des connaissances et de la nationalité autochtones s’accomplit chaque jour, souvent sous forme d’actions inaperçues ou méconnues, effectuées dans des cadres intimes tels que foyers, cérémonies et communautés. L’examen des actes quotidiens de cette renaissance fait passer l’analyse situationnelle des manifestations de pouvoir coloniales et centrées sur l’État vers la nature relationnelle, expérientielle et dynamique de l’héritage culturel autochtone. Ce dernier contient d’importantes implications permettant de repenser les relations entre les sexes, la santé communautaire et les pratiques pérennes. Les auteurs de l’article examinent comment les pédagogies adaptées au milieu peuvent ébranler à de nombreux niveaux les systèmes coloniaux de pouvoir, tout en constituant des espaces critiques d’éducation et de changement en profondeur. À partir d’une étude de cas à plusieurs composantes sur les pratiques communautaires dans la nation cherokee menée par la seconde auteure, ils explorent les stratégies censées stimuler ce que l’on appelle les « alphabétisations adaptées au milieu », pour en faire des moyens de renaissance et de pérennité communautaires. Les résultats de cette étude comportent d’importantes implications pour les notions autochtones de pérennité, de santé et de bien-être, ainsi que pour la façon dont les générations futures peuvent préserver le savoir indigène.

Notes

Acknowledgments

Although the opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Cherokee Nation, we thank the Cherokee Nation for their continued support. Open image in new window /wado [thank you] to the guest editors, Elizabeth Sumida Huaman, Miye Tom and Teresa McCarty, for all of their amazing work on this special issue and for their feedback on earlier versions of this article. The second author would like to thank Stilwell High School and Northeastern State University for being supportive partners as well as the American Philosophical Society for providing research funding through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Native American Scholars Initiative Postdoctoral Fellowship. Additionally, we want to say Open image in new window /wado [thank you] to the many people who offered their voices as a part of this work, as well as the editors and reviewers for their feedback.

References

  1. Alfred, T., & Corntassel, J. (2005). Being Indigenous: Resurgences against contemporary colonialism. Government & Opposition, 40(4), 597–614.Google Scholar
  2. Altmann, H. M., & Belt, T. N. (2008). Reading history: Cherokee history through a Cherokee Lens. Native South, 1(1), 90–98.Google Scholar
  3. Altmann, H. M., & Belt, T. N. (2009). Tõhi: The Cherokee concept of well-being. In L. J. Lefler (Ed.), Under the rattlesnake: Cherokee health and resiliency (pp. 9–22). Tuscaloosa, AL: The University of Alabama Press.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, K. (2011). Life stages and Native women: Memory, teachings and story medicine. Winnipeg, MB: University of Manitoba Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bang, M., Curley, L., Kessel, A., Marin, A., Suzukovich, E. S., & Strack, G. (2014). Muskrat theories, tobacco in the streets, and living Chicago as Indigenous land. Environmental Education Research, 20(1), 37–55.Google Scholar
  6. Barnhardt, R., & Kawagley, A. O. (2005). Indigenous knowledge systems and Alaska native ways of knowing. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 36(1), 8–23.Google Scholar
  7. Battiste, M. (2011). Reclaiming Indigenous voice and vision. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press.Google Scholar
  8. Brave Heart, M. Y. H., Chase, J., Elkins, J., & Altschul, D. B. (2011). Historical trauma among Indigenous peoples of the Americas: Concepts, research, and clinical considerations. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 43(4), 282–290.Google Scholar
  9. Cajete, G. (2015). Indigenous community: Rekindling the teachings of the Seventh Fire. St. Paul, MN: Living Justice Press.Google Scholar
  10. Carm, E. (2014). Inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge System (IKS): A precondition for sustainable development and an integral part of environmental studies. Journal of Education and Research, 4(1), 58–76.Google Scholar
  11. Carroll, C. (2015). Roots of our renewal: Ethnobotany and Cherokee environmental governance. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  12. Carroll, C., Garroutte, E., Noonan, C., & Buchwald, D. (2018). Using photovoice to promote land conservation and Indigenous well-being in Oklahoma. EcoHealth, 15(2), 450–461.Google Scholar
  13. Castleden, H., & Garvin, T. (2008). Modifying photovoice for community-based participatory Indigenous research. Social Science & Medicine, 66(6), 1393–1405.Google Scholar
  14. Childers-McKee, C. D. (2014). Forging bonds and crossing borders with youth participatory action research. Urban Education Research and Policy Annuals, 2(1), 48–56.Google Scholar
  15. Chilisa, B. (2011). Indigenous research methodologies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  16. Corntassel, J. (2012). Re-envisioning resurgence: Indigenous pathways to decolonization and sustainable self-determination. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 1(1), 86–101.Google Scholar
  17. Corntassel, J., & Bryce, C. (2012). Practicing sustainable self-determination: Indigenous approaches to cultural restoration and revitalization. The Brown Journal of World Affairs, 8(11), 151–162.Google Scholar
  18. Corntassel, J., & Gaudry, A. (2014). Insurgent education and Indigenous-centered research: Opening new pathways to community resurgence. In C. Etmanski, B. Hall, & T. Dawson (Eds.), Learning and teaching community-based research: Linking pedagogy to practice (pp. 167–185). Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  19. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  20. Gaudry, A. J. (2011). Insurgent research. Wicazo Sa Review, 26(1), 113–136.Google Scholar
  21. Goeman, M. (2013). Mark my words: Native women mapping our nations. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  22. Goodyear-Ka’ōpua, N. (2013). The seeds we planted: Portraits of a Native Hawaiian charter school. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  23. Green, J. (Ed.). (2017). Making space for Indigenous feminism (2nd ed.). Winnipeg, MB: Fernwood Publishing.Google Scholar
  24. Haig-Brown, C. (2005). Toward a pedagogy of the land: The Indigenous knowledge instructors’ program. In L. Pease-Alvarez & S. R. Schecter (Eds.), Learning, teaching, and community: Contributions of situated and participatory approaches to educational innovation (pp. 89–110). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  25. Hardbarger, T. (2016). Sustainable communities: Through the lens of Cherokee youth. PhD thesis, Arizona State University. Retrieved 18 October 2018 from https://repository.asu.edu/attachments/181215/content/Hardbarger_asu_0010E_16655.pdf.
  26. Hardbarger, T. (2019). Cherokee perspectives on Indigenous rights based education and indigenous participatory action research as decolonizing and transformative praxis. International Journal of Human Rights Education (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  27. Hokowhitu, B. J. (2009). Indigenous existentialism and the immediacy of the Indigenous body. Cultural Studies Review, 15(2), 101–118.Google Scholar
  28. Hunt, S., & Holmes, C. (2015). Everyday decolonization: Living a decolonizing queer politics. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 19(2), 154–172.Google Scholar
  29. IHS (Indian Health Service) (2018). Indian health disparities [fact sheet]. Rockville, MD: Indian Health Service. Retrieved 19 October 2018 from https://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/includes/themes/responsive2017/display_objects/documents/factsheets/Disparities.pdf.
  30. Kovach, M. (2009). Indigenous methodologies. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  31. LaDuke, W. (2005). Recovering the sacred: The power of naming and claiming. Cambridge, MA: South End Press.Google Scholar
  32. McIntyre, A. (2000). Constructing meaning about violence, school, and community: Participatory action research with urban youth. The Urban Review, 32(2), 123–154.Google Scholar
  33. Nelson, J.B. (2014). Progressive traditions: Identity in Cherokee literature and culture. American-Indian Literature and Critical Studies series, Vol. 61. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.Google Scholar
  34. Nicholas, S. E. (2009). “I live Hopi, I just don’t speak it” – The critical intersection of language, culture, and identity in the lives of contemporary Hopi youth. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 8(5), 321–334.Google Scholar
  35. Perdue, T. (1998). Cherokee women: Gender and culture change, 1700–1835. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
  36. Peter, L., & Hirata-Edds, T. E. (2006). Using assessment to inform instruction in Cherokee language revitalisation. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 9(5), 643–658.Google Scholar
  37. Simpson, L. (2004). Anticolonial strategies for the recovery and maintenance of Indigenous knowledge. The American Indian Quarterly., 28(3&4), 373–384.Google Scholar
  38. Simpson, L. (2011). Dancing on our turtle’s back: Stories of Nishnaabeg re-creation, resurgence, and a new emergence. Winnipeg, MB: Arbeiter Ring Press.Google Scholar
  39. Simpson, L. B. (2014). Land as pedagogy: Nishnaabeg intelligence and rebellious transformation. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 3(3), 1–25.Google Scholar
  40. Simpson, L. B. (2017). As we have always done: Indigenous freedom through radical resistance. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  41. Smith, L. T. (2012). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples. London: Zed Books Ltd.Google Scholar
  42. Stremlau, R. (2011). Sustaining the Cherokee family: Kinship and the allotment of an Indigenous Nation. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  43. Suzack, C., Huhndorf, S. M., Perreault, J., & Barman, J. (Eds.). (2010). Indigenous women and feminism: Politics, activism, culture. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press.Google Scholar
  44. Teuton, C. B. (2012). Cherokee stories of the Turtle Island Liars’ Club: Dakasi Elohi Anigagoga Junilawisdii (turtle, earth, the liars, meeting place). Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  45. Tuck, E., McKenzie, M., & McCoy, K. (2014). Land education: Indigenous, post-colonial, and decolonizing perspectives on place and environmental education research. Environmental Education Research, 20(1), 1–23.Google Scholar
  46. Tuck, E. (2009a). Suspending damage: A letter to communities. Harvard Educational Review, 79(3), 409–427.Google Scholar
  47. Tuck, E. (2009b). Re-visioning action: Participatory action research and Indigenous theories of change. The Urban Review, 41(1), 47–65.Google Scholar
  48. Wang, C., & Burris, M. A. (1997). Photovoice: Concept, methodology, and use for participatory needs assessment. Health education & behavior, 24(3), 369–387.Google Scholar
  49. Wang, C. C., Cash, J. L., & Powers, L. S. (2000). Who knows the streets as well as the homeless? Promoting personal and community action through photovoice. Health Promotion Practice, 1(1), 81–89.Google Scholar
  50. Wilson, S. (2008). Research is ceremony: Indigenous research methods. Black Point, NS: Fernwood Publishing.Google Scholar
  51. Zavala, M. (2013). What do we mean by decolonizing research strategies? Lessons from decolonizing, Indigenous research projects in New Zealand and Latin America. Decolonization Indigeneity, Education & Society, 2(1), 55–71.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning and Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indigenous Studies DepartmentUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  2. 2.Cherokee & Indigenous Studies DepartmentNortheastern State UniversityTahlequahUSA

Personalised recommendations