University Sin Fronteras


Minnesota campus (Red Lake)


Seminar: Decolonizing Education: Native American Heritage Knowledge


Wednesday August 13, 2014



Bemidji State University, American Indian Resource Center….

[*This is a collaboration with the BSU Council of Indian Students]

Room #

1:00 – 4:00…with time for conversation til 5:00 pm


Seminar Lesson Plan:


  1. Share and establish Indigenous Knowledge
  2. Begin a decolonizing process of education (ReGenerate)
  3. Root emancipatory education here (University Sin Fronteras)



University Sin Fronteras uses collective process and shared knowledge, so we go round-robin in the discussion because we want everyones participation and knowledge in the circle.

We do not raise our hands, nor do we speak out of turn…and we assume all of the knowledge and wisdom we need is in the room.



I. Introductions

1:00 PM

(15 minutes)

name, organization and where you belong


II Exercise one: road life map (how you got here?)

1:15 PM

(20 Minutes)

In 15 minutes please take out blank sheet of paper and answer the question how I got here? Meaning what made you into the person that is here today? What formed and informed you in life events that became landmarks of your development and thinking and behavior today?

Turn I with name and e mail address


(20 minutes round)




III. Exercise three: who are the knowledge whisperers?


1:55 PM


(30 minutes)




In producing knowledge as theory, I recognize that the worth of any social theory must be measured both by its philosophical grounding, as well as its ability to offer a social and political corrective.


This point speaks to the notion of consciousness and responsibility to/of producing, sharing, claiming, and gaining knowledge.


Being knowledge producers makes us deeply implicated in colonial power relations and means that we have a responsibility to consider the foundations and consequences of our work.


An important theoretical supposition that frames my own academic scholarship is that the transformation of social realities must start with re-conceptualizing education,


e.g., asking new questions about the whats, hows, and whys of education. Specifically, it is important for us to ask: What sorts of education should be taking place in our schools today?


How do learners of today come to know using multiple lenses of critical inquiry?


Given that no one tells the full story, how do we tell and understand multiple stories that, all considered, help us to understand the whole story?


How do learners read and understand our worlds in different ways and share such multiple knowings as ‘communities of learners’?




IV Exercise four:  What is your identity?


2:25 PM


(45 minutes)


No doubt culture as a social system is at the roots of coming to know.


In this context race is engaged critically as part of our identities (class, gender, sexuality, disability, sexuality, etc) and importantly linked with knowledge production. This knowledge speaks to a politicized affirming of culture and race (as opposed to the problematic denial of the significance of race, and the purposeful racial labeling intended for negative/oppressive ends) as well as the affirmation of cultural identity (see also Ivy, 1959; King, 2005).



Place Space and Land (histories) matter!


It is about rooting knowledges and practices into their appropriate soils, cultural contexts, histories and heritages. That is, in addition to resisting colonial education and knowledges, it is important to work, learn, and engage in knowledge production, sharing and critical inquiry in contexts that affirm or are suitable given the histories, heritages and cultures that shape our ways of understanding the world. There is a need for a rebirth of Indigenous epistemologies informed by local languages, perspectives, social values, cosmologies and worldviews (see also Nyamnjoh, 2012, p. 10).




V. Exercise five: How do we begin to decolonize?


3:10 PM


(45 minutes) Round Robin Discussion




  1. Exercise six:  What will you do tomorrow to begin a decolonizing process?


3:55 PM


(15 minutes)


Write your reflection paper of one page in your own writing to answer the question         above, and put your name and e mail address.  You will be getting the one page reflection paper digitally by e mail. Turn your one page reflection paper in please.



  1. Question and answers? Pop corn style


4:10 PM


What do you think decolonization is and how to implement it?

(45 minutes)



Close: 4:55 PM


Ruben Solis Garcia, University Sin Fronteras


9 Gammon Ave SE

Atlanta, GA 30324


210 378 5699





  1. Colonialism & Coloniality (colonial, post-colonial, neo-colonial, Imperialism etc.)


  1. Emancipation & Liberation (Sovereignty, Self Determination, Autonomy)


  1. Emancipatory education (Critical Liberation theory)


  1. Social Movements


  1. Peoples Movement Assembly


  1. Indigenous Heritage knowledge


  1. Epistemology (root of knowledge) (school of knowledge)


  1. Theory of knowledges


  1. Pedagogy of Liberation


10. New knowledge


  1. Theory of change  (social change)


  1. Convergence


  1. Synthesis


  1. Situational analysis


  1. ReGeneration (history)





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