Interview About Implementing Indigeneity Workshops

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Todays podcasts is a rebroadcast podcast of an interview done with Eddie Webb with their New Media Lab Experience at Mesa Community College.

In this podcast we learn about the work happening in Fall 21 with a series of virtual workshops on how to implement more indigenous practices in the spaces and places we work!

PC to Host Indigeneity Workshops this Fall with MCLI Horizon Grant

Funded and sponsored by the Maricopa Center for Learning and Innovation (MCLI) through the Horizon Grant, the Phoenix College Committee on American Indian Initiatives, Programs, and Projects (CAIIPP) is hosting a series of guided online/virtual workshops that center on “Implementing Indigeneity: Co-creating Institutional Spaces for Indigenous Collaboration.” The workshops are scheduled on three different dates for Fall 2021 (see details below).

The CAIIPP is an entity driven to improve the quality of Phoenix College and greater Maricopa by engaging in positive dialogue relative to the initiatives, programs, and projects on campus that affect American Indian faculty, staff, and most importantly, students.

Reflecting on a formal statement provided by the MCCCD Chancellor entitled Commitment to Indigenous Community, the goals of the workshops encompass an intent to culturally, holistically, and sustainably Indigenize both our campus and the MCCCD system by incorporating systems and processes of mutuality and reciprocity rather than relying on those that exploit and marginalize.

The workshops take an innovative, trans-disciplinary approach, bringing together individuals of diverse disciplines to address critical topics and issues that affected Indigenous peoples in the past, that affect them in the present day, and that will, more than likely, affect them in the future.

“Historically, the federal government mandated colonial paternalistic policies for educational institutions to create experimental structures based on forced assimilation to mainstream Indigenous students into Western society,” says Roland R. Walker. Mr. Walker is one of the Tri-Chairs of the CAIIPP as well as American Indian Studies Faculty at PC, and member of the Diné Nation. “The outcomes of these policies resulted in generational Indigenous cultural trauma and loss. In today’s America, there is no escaping the effects of the trauma and loss that occurred; unfortunately, they have become a part of the Indigenous identity.”

The workshops provide a holistic experience about the navigational journey of Indigenous students in higher education in terms of equity, inclusion, and accessibility – much of which include many barriers for Indigenous students to succeed and achieve.

“The remnants of colonization still heavily burden the everyday lives of Indigenous Peoples. To move forward and progress toward a better Native America for Indigenous peoples, decolonization as an impetus for institutional change and Indigeneity in education needs to be the immediate center of discussion. Time is of the essence for the cultures of Indigenous Peoples,” adds Walker.

The journey of the Indigenous student, at the forefront of the workshops, includes colonial entanglement and decolonization, which speak to the current forms of tribal and inter-tribal governments (e.g., as trustees/stakeholders of education) and the contemporary positionality of intertribal narratives on higher education.

“Education, like any system built by colonial powers, suffers from patterns of hierarchical thinking, systemic exploitation, and marginalization, says CAIIPP member and PC Communication Faculty, Rowdy Duncan. “While efforts to move toward decolonization are underway, this workshop posits: what exists beyond decolonization?”

Moving beyond decolonization, and instead shifting toward Indigeneity, a concept that recognizes the vital contribution and inclusion of Indigenous culture, religion, perspective, and holism in institutional spaces to spark and empower indigenous innovation, creates a more positive experience for the Indigenous college student and others.

The workshops also address matters of importance to the MCCCD’s United Tribal Employees Committee (UTEC) surrounding the issues of equity, inclusion, and access in a manner that provides a balanced pathway to high-quality learning to implement a paradigm shift in perspective on how to better serve our Indigenous students, faculty, and staff. Examples include providing Indigenous students with a culturally, holistic and balanced learning environment, increasing the visibility of Indigenous cultures on campus, acknowledging current cultural and historical Indigenous contributions to society, and broadening educational and career opportunities by providing Indigenous students with meaningful connections to tribal nations).

“How can we work to adopt practices and create indigenous spaces where we co-create opportunities to create more outcomes for ongoing relational maintenance, mutual reciprocity, and flat non-hierarchical leadership?” Duncan continues. “All these outcomes from implementing indigeneity help us to also address conflict through consensus building and proactive peacemaking. Let us all learn and teach one another how we might implement indigeneity in all our circles of influence.”

Workshop Details:

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