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The cultural interface tension: doing Indigenous work in the academy

Abstract

This article explores Vanessa Anthony-Stevens and Sammy Matsaw’s paper “The productive uncertainty of Indigenous and decolonizing methodologies in the preparation of interdisciplinary STEM researchers”. That paper reports on a small qualitative study on how STEM students in the field of natural resources management react to the inclusion of Indigenous ways of knowing in their interdisciplinary research methodologies course. The authors are engaging contested intersections of knowledge that are notoriously difficult to negotiate. I argue that the inclusion of Indigenous ‘ways of knowing’ into the water resource management curriculum is based on Morgan’s (in: McKinley, Smith (eds) Handbook of indigenous education, Springer, Singapore, pp 111–128, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-3899-0) idea of the ‘guest paradigm’. At the same time, and in contrast, I also argue that the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge in the curriculum cannot just occur in the classroom but needs to be considered at an institutional and individual level as well. The project should be seen as a small step within a wider Indigenous agenda of decolonizing the Eurocentric curriculum.

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Correspondence to Elizabeth McKinley.

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This review essay addresses issues raised in Vanessa Anthony-Stevens and Sammy Matsaw’s paper entitled: The productive uncertainty of indigenous and decolonizing methodologies in the preparation of interdisciplinary STEM researchers. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11422-019-09942-x.

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McKinley, E. The cultural interface tension: doing Indigenous work in the academy. Cult Stud of Sci Educ 15, 615–621 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11422-019-09963-6

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Keywords

  • Indigenous knowledges
  • Decolonizing methodologies
  • Ways of knowing
  • Indigenous curriculum