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Global Review of Indigenous Education: Issues of Identity, Culture, and Language

Abstract

Introducing a topic as broad and important as indigenous education is difficult to do in a series of volumes, let alone in a single book. The focus of our book and this chapter is to highlight the interconnectedness of indigenous peoples in families, communities, nation states, and worldwide. We begin by defining foundational key terms (indigenous, indigeneity, and indigenous education) to provide readers with the standpoint from which we ground the focus of this book. We also introduce three issues of paramount importance to indigenous education—language, culture, and identity. The chapter also examines indigenous education literature from a global perspective as well as from six major geographic regions. Next, we introduce the 21 additional chapters in this book. Finally, a clarion-like call to action is made to indigenous leaders, policy makers, and educators everywhere to underscore the need that indigenous peoples have for representation, equality, and the ability to preserve their languages, cultures, and identities.

Keywords

  • Indigenous education
  • Language
  • Culture
  • Identity
  • Indigeneity

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Fig. 1.1

Notes

  1. 1.

    We recognize that many authors choose to consistently use capitalization of this term when referring to indigenous people in order to legitimize and recognize their formal status and prestige, just as Spaniards, African-Americans, and members of Deaf culture benefit by this form of respect. We have elected not to in order to remain consistent with the most common usage of the term in the literature, in most government documents, and according to the United Nations use of the term.

  2. 2.

    Métis peoples are also recognized as indigenous peoples at the provincial but not federal level in Canada.

  3. 3.

    Some important organizations involved with indigenous education initiatives in the United States and Canada include the Alaska Native Knowledge Network; Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative; American Indian Education Foundation, American Indian Education Knowledgebase Mid-Continent Comprehensive Center; American Indian Higher Education Consortium; American Indian Science and Engineering Society; Assembly of First Nations; Bureau of Indian Education; California Indian Education Organization; Consortium for Alaska Native Higher Education; First Nations Schools Association; Indian-Ed.org: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State; National Indian Education Association; Native Hawaiian Education Council; Office of Indian Education, U.S. Department of Education; and the Tribal Education Departments National Assembly.

  4. 4.

    Pacific Islanders developed multiple navigation skills and mastered the art of oceanic voyaging through their knowledge of the stars, wind patterns, oceanic currents, and by following schools of fish and flocks of birds. Various ship designs commonly used throughout the Pacific were invented to fit the needs of the diverse geographic contexts. Double-hulled and outrigger canoe vessels were used extensively throughout the greater region, which enabled voyagers to more easily traverse over reefs, in between islands during low and high tides, and up rivers and tributaries to reach destined trade ports and entrepots. The use of large, double-hulled canoes in the Pacific dates back thousands of years and enabled Pacific Islanders to traverse vast regions of the world’s largest ocean on a regular basis. These vessels were also generally easier to navigate than often larger and single-hulled vessels especially when traveling through thousands of islets, and reefs germane to the region. Single-hulled vessels were also developed primarily along the mainland and ports in the region were often adapted to accommodate these commercial vessels (Jacob and Ji 2012, pp. 82–83).

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Jacob, W.J., Cheng, S.Y., Porter, M.K. (2015). Global Review of Indigenous Education: Issues of Identity, Culture, and Language. In: Jacob, W., Cheng, S., Porter, M. (eds) Indigenous Education. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9355-1_1

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