An excellent piece by Eric Ritskes, PhD student in Sociology and Equity Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and a Managing Editor of the Open Access, online journal Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, on the challenge Indigenous scholars face in mediating between making their work accessible, meaningful and timely for Indigenous movements, and the demands of academic publishing.

Decolonization

by Eric Ritskes

I write this piece for those of us who are academics. We trumpet our forward thinking research, yet so often fail to be forward thinking on how we engage with our communities, how we spread our thoughts, and what it means to live out and generate a decolonizing praxis.

How do you envision your role as an academic, particularly in regards to the communities you live in, engage with, and research in/with? Often, academics are described as living in an “ivory tower”, as being cloistered and out of touch with what happens in the daily lives of people who don’t have their scholarly privilege. And, to a large degree, the critics are right. For many of us who work, write, seek, and live out a decolonizing praxis, we often challenge these ivory tower ideals – we desire connection, the back and forth exchange of theory with reality…

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Author: Makere

A transplanted New Zealand Scots/Maori academic/grandmother/random singer and sometime activist, my life is shaped by a deep conviction of the necessity for active critical engagement in the multi-faceted global and local crises of being and survival of species that confront us in the 21st century, the urgency of re-visioning the meaning of thriving together, and the contribution of Indigenous knowledge systems to a truly sustainable and just global society.

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