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Learning through an 'undisciplined' lens: the centring of Indigenous knowledges and philosophies in higher education in Australia and Sweden 
Kristina Sehlin MacNeil (Várdduo - Centre for Sámi Research, Umeå University)
Jillian Marsh (Victoria University)
Melissa Nursey-Bray (The University of Adelaide)
Sheelagh Daniels-Mayes (University of Sydney)
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Knowledge Production
Wednesday 23 June, 10:00-11:45 (UTC+3)

Short Abstract:

This roundtable provides unique insight into how learning can be undertaken through an 'undisciplined' lens that centres and privileges Indigenous knowledges and philosophies in higher education, rather than conforming to Western philosophies and post-colonising disciplines.

Long Abstract

Increasingly social justice has become part of higher education discussion found in university mission statements, graduate qualities and university rhetoric globally. It must be remembered that universities were built by and for colonisers, with Indigenous epistemologies and ontologies routinely dismissed and ridiculed as having no value. The creation and re-centring of Indigenous curriculum and pedagogy, and the undertaking of Indigenous-led research, requires careful thought and planning by those who understand the need for a systemic approach to reconciliation and transformation.

In this roundtable discussion we use two theoretical frameworks: Indigenous Standpoint Theory and Critical Race Pedagogy. Indigenous Standpoint Theory provides a method for deconstructing power relationships, highlighting diverse and oppressed positionalities, and critiques white privilege. It honours Indigenous lived experiences and worldviews, reveals social and intellectual inequalities, and re-informs dominant knowledges that enables culturally responsive solutions. Critical Race Pedagogy teachers place their constructions of 'race' at the centre of their critical reflections of practice. Together these frameworks will be used to interrogate higher education's responsibilities in realising social justice for Indigenous peoples, and for wider society.

In this roundtable discussion critical reflections are shared and theorised to offer practical ideas about how teaching and research can be undertaken in decolonising ways. We focus our discussion on Indigenous ecology, extractive violence, and climate change in which we teach and research - and through a number of case studies, show how higher education can deliver on their promises of contributing to social justice.