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7 c h a p t e r 1 The Need for Indigenizing Research in Higher Education Scholarship Charlotte Davidson (Diné/Three Affiliated Tribes: Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara) Heather J. Shotton (Wichita/Kiowa/Cheyenne) Robin Starr Zape-­tah-­hol-­ah Minthorn (Kiowa/Apache/Umatilla/Nez Perce/Assiniboine) Stephanie Waterman (Onondaga, Turtle Clan) Well chronicled is the view of higher education, as a traditional structure of colonization , and its failure to maintain a cultural memory Indigenous to the earthen back upon which its buildings have been erected. Thus, the particular and contemporary impact this lack of remembrance has pedagogically prompted is the exclusion of Indigenized forms of research and its potential role to weave a new—­ and at the same time, layered—­ narrative into the academy. Writing on the dialectic of Indigenous and non-­ Indigenous knowing, Williams and Tanaka (2007) ardently point to how space-­ making, in the material and pedagogical sense, can impact the sensibilities belonging to the mainstream:“It is not a question of choosing one pedagogical perspective over the other. Rather, it is finding a way to make space for both—­ and to be enriched by both. This is a process that requires the dominant academic discourse to pause, listen, and make room for a discourse that may seem incongruous and dissonant at times” (p. 16). Thus, the concept of Indigenizing is not meant to express a destination, but a process that encourages Indigenous scholars to privilege what is within themselves as a starting point for scholarly and research inquiry. This is critical to understand, 8 Davidson, Shotton, Minthorn, and Waterman because Indigenous and non-­ Indigenous research approaches and practices are not coterminous. However, in circling back to Williams and Tanaka, the possibilities that exist from the willingness to expand research and scholarly perspectives depend precisely on the pedagogical positions of the scholar or researcher. What is further made clear by Tanaka and Williams is that it is often Indigenous scholars and researchers who make concerted efforts to gain a more balanced perspective. To that end, we hope the ideas put forward in this book inspire readers to render a response to our clarion call for scholarship and research to increasingly become a site that holds positive regard for Indigenous perspectives and approaches.Along with this is the hope that those who read this book will acquire an appreciation of new definitions of what it means to Indigenize research in higher education. This chapter explores the landscape and foundation of what currently exists within the realm of Indigenous research in higher education, particularly focusing on research that is Indigenous authored and focused on Indigenous methodologies. The Need for Indigenous Research in Higher Education Much has been written about Native education, particularly the historical development of Native education in this country and Native students in K-12 systems . However, the research on Native people and issues in higher education remains limited (Brayboy, Fann, Castagno, & Solyom, 2012). Some scholars have pointed out the disturbing lack of attention paid to Native students in higher education research, despite the increasing enrollment of Native students over the years (Willmott, Sands, Raucci, & Waterman, 2015). In their analysis of 20 years (1991–­ 2011) of scholarship in the leading higher education journals, Willmott et al. (2015) found that out of 2,683 articles, only 36 dealt with Indigenous people in higher education. Their findings assert that Indigenous experiences and voices have long been excluded from the broader higher education scholarship. What is even more troubling is that much of the early research pertaining to Indigenous people in higher education was conducted by non-­ Indigenous scholars. The limitations and problematic nature of Western dominated scholarship about Indigenous people in academia has been well noted. Vine Deloria, Jr. (2004) was very critical of scholarship on Indigenous people written by non-­ Indigenous scholars, acknowledging the inherent challenges and issues: They were content to perpetuate the old stereotypes of Indians that they had learned in graduate school decades before. Academia has often been a hotbed of racism because scholars are taught to pretend that they can observe phenomena objectively. In fact they observe data through culturally prescribed categories that restrict the possible answers and understandings to a The Need for Indigenizing Research 9 predetermined few selections. With Western thought primarily a binary, yes/ no method of determining truth, so much data is excluded. (p. 18) At the heart of the problematic nature of this type of research is that it has allowed for the privileging of Western perspectives, ignoring critical Indigenous...


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