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The Turn Toward the Indigenous Beitrag open-access

Knowledge Systems and Practices in the Academy

Kerstin Knopf

Amerikastudien/American Studies, Volume 60 (2016), Issue 2-3, Page 179 - 200

Since the late 1990s, Indigenous scholars have called for an ‘indigenizing of the academy’ (Mihesuha and Wilson 2004), integrating Indigenous knowledges into discourses and practices of institutions of higher education worldwide. The calls to integrate Indigenous and Western knowledge discourses and practices mainly come from Indigenous researchers throughout the world. They indict the ‘self-evident’ primacy of Western knowledges and presumptuous disregard for Indigenous knowledges in universities that re-produce colonial dominance and epistemic violence. This article analyzes the relationship between Indigenous and Western knowledge systems and practices. It also discusses the Indigenous concepts of Saytk’ilhl Wo’osim’ (resource-sharing), Enowkinwixw (consensus-finding), Tsawalk, and Haḥuułism (a synthesis of Indigenous and Western philosophies articulating the unity of creation) and suggests their applications in the political and social sciences, economics, and environmental studies.

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