Refiguring Presences in Kichwa-Lamista Territories: Natural-Cultural (Re)Storying with Indigenous Place

  • Marc HigginsEmail author
  • Brooke Madden


In this chapter, we turn to Nxumalo’s (International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 29(5): 640–654, 2016) ‘refiguring presences’ to attend to and trouble absent presences (e.g. curriculum of Land as settler property and economic resource) and present absences (e.g. Indigenous resurgence) that shape response-able possibilities of engaging Indigenous and place-based education. From this orientation, we consider: (a) the Western modernist nature/culture binary and (b) Indigenous forms of storying place to generate new analytic questions, types of findings, and possibilities for representing knowledge claims. Next, we provide glances at our place(d) stories of (re)learning to listen to and be taught by human, natural, and spirit worlds in relation with/in a month-long graduate-level summer institute in Lamas, Peru. Lastly, we discuss how Indigenous relational ontologies—with deep roots in living places and spiritual practices—enhanced our understanding of their role in reimagining pedagogy, practice, and research in higher education. We conclude with a call to labour the shared and divergent spaces between Indigenous and new materialist approaches to challenge (neo-)colonial logics and relationships, as well as enhance commensurate commitments and projects.


Indigenous education Place-based education Higher education Relational ontologies Indigenous storywork 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Secondary EducationUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Educational Policy StudiesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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