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Indigenous Knowledges in Global Contexts: Multiple Readings of Our Worlds / Edition 1

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Indigenous knowledges are understood as the commonsense ideas and cultural knowledges of local peoples concerning the everyday realities of living. This definition refers to the epistemic saliency of cultural traditions, values, belief systems and world views that, in any indigenous society, are imparted to the younger generation by community elders. It is also refers to world views that are products of a profoundly direct experience of nature and its relationship with the social world.

Bringing new and complex readings to the term 'indigenous', this collection of essays from Canadian and international contributors is an invitation to critically engage in the discussion of indigenous knowledges and their implication for academic decolonization. The essays are divided into four sections: Situating Indigenous Knowledges: Definitions and Boundaries; Indigenous Knowledge: Resistance and Advocacy; Indigenous Knowledge and the Academy; and Indigenous Knowledge and Transforming Practices. Collectively the essays situate indigenous knowledges in relation to conventional knowledges, validate the existence of multiple sources of knowledge, and examine the varying strategies, projects, and theories that are currently being developed in support of indigenous knowledges.

The book draws attention to some of the nuances, contradictions, and contestations in affirming the place of indigenous knowledges in the academy, while maintaining that different bodies of knowledges continually influence each other to reveal the dynamism of all knowledge systems.

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Editorial Reviews

Definitions and boundaries, resistance and advocacy, the academy, and transforming practices are the overall themes of the 16 essays by professionals in education and the social sciences, many of them indigenous people themselves. Taking an anticolonial rather than postcolonial stance, they challenge the continuing absence, erasure, and subordination of local people's knowledge, history, and experience from academic texts, discourses, and material social and political practices, particularly in Northern societies. There is no index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802080592
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
  • Publication date: 9/1/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

George J. Sefa Dei is Professor, Department of Sociology in Education, University of Toronto.

Dorothy Goldin-Rosenberg is Professor, Department of Sociology in Education, OISE/UT.

Budd L. Hall is co-chair of the UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education and a professor of community development in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vii
Preface xi
Introduction 3
Part I. Situating Indigenous Knowledges: Definitions and Boundaries
1 Updating Aboriginal Traditions of Knowledge 21
2 Heart Knowledge, Blood Memory, and the Voice of the Land: Implications of Research among Hawaiian Elders 37
3 Indigenous Knowledge: Lessons from the Elders--A Kenyan Case Study 54
4 African Development: The Relevance and Implications of 'Indigenousness' 70
Part II. Indigenous Knowledges: Resistance and Advocacy
5 Oral Narratives as a Site of Resistance: Indigenous Knowledge, Colonialism, and Western Discourse 89
6 The Retention of Knowledge of Folkways as a Basis for Resistance 102
7 Indigenous Nations and the Human Genome Diversity Project 120
8 Toward Indigenous Wholeness: Feminist Praxis in Transformative Learning on Health and the Environment 137
Part III. Indigenous Knowledges and the Academy
9 Native Studies and the Academy 157
10 Toward an Embodied Pegagogy: Exploring Health and the Body through Chinese Medicine 168
11 Not So Strange Bedfellows: Indigenous Knowledge, Literature Studies, and African Development 184
12 Breaking the Educational Silence: For Seven Generations, an Information Legacy of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples 202
Part IV. Indigenous Knowledges and Transforming Practices
13 Ayurveda: Mother of Indigenous Health Knowledge 215
14 Partnership in Practice: Some Reflections on the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy 234
15 Peace Research and African Development: An Indigenous African Perspective 248
16 Mpambo, the African Multiversity: A Philosophy to Rekindle the African Spirit 265
Contributors 279
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