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Pimatisiwin : indigenous knowledge systems, our time has come



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This naturalistic inquiry explored the contributions of Indigenous Knowledge to higher learning with the intention of improving life for all Indigenous Peoples. An interdisciplinary approach was used to examine the participation of Indigenous Peoples through the disciplines of native studies, education, and health. Critical theory was used by including feminists of color, post colonialists and other scholars who examine cultural, political and intellectual domination as a means of social control.Indigenous peoples represent approximately seven percent of the world’s population. They have developed knowledges that reflect their circumstances, environments and challenges and that meet the needs of peoples who for the most part have not been industrialized. Indigenous knowledges reflect the many aspects of life that make up community comprising agriculture, arts, medicines, architecture, weather and other aspects of culture such as stories, music, dance and languages. Indigenous scholars and community-based groups are integrating their knowledge into higher learning and within other educational centers. This dissertation contains our stories.Storytelling was a central research tool throughout this dissertation employed to gather stories from the regions of South Africa, the Pacific, and North America who have long been active in the field of education as well as community activism. Using respectful research that paralleled the ideals of participatory action research, the overarching research question originated from the communities of the Indigenous participants. Through a polyphonic text that presents multiple voices of participants, meanings garnered through conversational interviews, focused participant observation are juxtaposed with meaning-making by the storytelling of the researcher. Critical theory problematized and critically analyzed insights into Indigenous participation within the academic community.The findings for this study suggest the range of work that is to be done and as well it shares stories of how this is being undertaken in several regions in our extended global community. The participants were interested and encouraged to participate collaboratively in the production of a document which asked how community based and higher learning institutes could contribute to the quality of life for Indigenous peoples and entire communities.



Indigenous Knowledge



Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Interdisciplinary Studies


Interdisciplinary Studies


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