This article examines the role of Indigenous knowledges in higher education through an exploration of internationalization at U.S. Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs). We affirm that examining internationalization efforts with historically marginalized and underserved populations provides an opportunity for interrogating inequitable power dynamics in knowledge construction, production, and transference vis-à-vis education and within a Western hegemonic model of modernity. Our discussion is anchored in decoloniality and Indigenous sustainable self-determination, which highlight educational initiatives that bolster Indigenous identities while addressing social, political, and environmental complications created by coloniality. Drawing from a five-year mixed-methods case study with TCUs, we offer Indigenous perspectives on place-based higher educational initiatives in relation to local and global concerns, specifically human and ecological sustainability. We propose a critical lens in Indigenous internationalization wherein Indigenous worldviews are vital responses to dominant notions of internationalization and historical limitations of education for Indigenous peoples.
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We are grateful to the TCUs, including TCU Presidents, faculty, and student leadership, American Indian Higher Education Consortium staff and Research Review committee, and the Northwest Indian College IRB (special thanks to Dr. Bill Freeman, Board Chair Dave Oreiro, and Colleen Berg). This study was conducted with the support of the U.S. Department of Education, International Research and Studies, and we thank the members of our research advisory board and our wonderful research assistants Michael Munson (Salish) and Jon Ray (Laguna Pueblo). We also thank Tonija Hope Navas for her passion to increase representation and empowerment of minoritized peoples in higher education.
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- Indigenous knowledges
- Tribal colleges