Essays & articles


The Other Way of Knowing

"My grandmother spoke no English and went about her tasks singing. She sang to things I couldn’t see, to stones and water. She spoke to the breezes that came off the sea. This was not odd to me. No question of sanity or need of counseling entered my mind...."

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Do Indigenous Peoples Benefit from “Development?”

"Development, at least for most tribal peoples, isn’t really about lifting people out of poverty, it’s about masking the takeover of their territories. The deception works because the conviction “we know best” is more deeply ingrained even than it was a generation ago…"

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Indigenising curriculum: questions posed by Baiga Vidya

"Perhaps the most important feature of 'learning vidya' is the learner’s autonomy and initiative-taking. This aspect of initiative-taking by the learner is a common feature throughout childhood where the child is almost never coerced into doing anything..."

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Indigenous Knowledge Systems / Alaska Native Ways of Knowing

"While western science and education emphasize compartmentalized knowledge which is de-contextualized and taught in the detached setting of a classroom or laboratory, indigenous people have traditionally acquired their knowledge through direct experience in the natural world..."

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To Hell With Good Intentions

"Next to money and guns, the third largest North American export is the U.S. idealist, who turns up in every theater of the world: the teacher, the volunteer, the missionary, the community organizer, the economic developer, and the vacationing do-gooders.”

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Childhood in an Indian Village

“I have been to numerous communities across Canada and I still do not find where Indians teach… One of the practiced ethics of the community was non-interference. No one interfered with us, and this way of living still exists today...”

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Education is Ignorance

"Mass education was designed to turn independent farmers into docile, passive tools of production. That was its primary purpose. And don't think people didn't know it. They knew it and they fought against it. There was a lot of resistance to mass education for exactly that reason..."

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"Generations from now we'll look back and say, 'How could we have done this kind of thing to people?'"