Encyclopedia of Science Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone

Indigenous Students

  • Megan BangEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6165-0_366-4


Indigenous People Indigenous Community Indigenous Knowledge Tribal Community Indigenous Student 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Aboriginal students; Alaska Native students; American Indian students; First Nations students; Native Hawaiian students; Native students

The term Indigenous has come to identify those groups of people whose cultural, political, and ancestral genealogy and identity are connected to and have historical rights in particular territories. Many Indigenous people around the world have experienced colonization, attempted genocides, or formations of contemporary nation states that have bearing on their own sovereignty and self-determination. There are estimated more than 350 million Indigenous peoples across the earth. Indigenous peoples have, to varying degrees, maintained, won, or struggled for cultural and political distinction from mainstream culture and political system of nation states within the border of which many indigenous many communities are now enclosed. However, there are many Indigenous communities who do not have sovereign recognition by nation states. It is important to note that this does not mean these communities are not Indigenous; rather it is an indicator of the ongoing tensions and struggles over territory and cultural and political self-determination. Indigenous students are the children and adults with communal and genealogical ties to Indigenous communities – that is, students who themselves and/or their families are engaged in the communal and cultural life of Indigenous peoples. Many Indigenous peoples have rich knowledge systems, traditions, and traditional knowledge that are a vibrant part of community life. For many Indigenous peoples, their knowledge systems are intimately connected to their lands. Indigenous communities have been impacted by colonization in a myriad of ways, one of which is through generations of intermarriage, forced removal from homelands to new land bases, and a variety of assimilation and relocation policies that encouraged and demanded separation from tribal communities into urban locations. For some, these imposed separations were not permanent: many relocation survivors have created rich and vibrant contemporary Indigenous communities in ceded urban territories. However, these intertribal communities increase the complexity in understanding Indigenous children because many are mixed race and multi-tribal with diverse connections and participation in their cultural practices.



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of EducationUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA