Decolonizing Sustainability through Indigenization in Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions
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Vizina, Yvonne N.
Vizina, Yvonne N. "Decolonizing Sustainability through Indigenization in Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions." Societies 12(6) (2022), article no. 172. DOI: 10.3390/soc12060172.
Sustainability discourse indicates a need to reconsider our approaches to social, economic, and environmental issues because, without deep transformation, global human survival is in jeopardy. At the same time, post-secondary education institutions in Canada are Indigenizing their settings but have rarely taken up sustainability and Indigenization as related concepts. In this research, participants delivering Indigenous programming in ten colleges and universities across Canada contributed their insights on the relationships between Indigenous worldviews and sustainability in their territories and institutions. The five key findings that emerged from the study are: (1) Indigenous worldviews are based on a belief in the sacred, which orients Indigenous knowledges and responsibilities for sustaining life on Earth; (2) sustainability is expressed as a function of tradition linking Indigenous identity with culture, language, and environmental health; (3) entrenching Indigenous knowledges throughout institutions is to sustain cultural identity; (4) national and international standards supporting Indigenous self-determination are primary drivers for the inclusion of Indigenous knowledges and advance the underlying principle of sustainability; and (5) Indigenous holistic learning includes social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability.