Performing Survivance: (Re)Storying STEM Education from an Indigenous Perspective


  • peter cole assistant professor university of british columbia
  • Pat O'Riley University of British Columbia



indigenous education equivalence of epistemologies ecojustice education indigenous research



There is a growing realization from academics, the public, and Indigenous Peoples for compelling new narratives to reshape the ‘progress narrative’ of modernity based on the classical scientific paradigm that has privileged mind over body, heart and spirit; human over more-than-human; and overlooked the worldviews and knowledges of Indigenous Peoples. The prevailing narrative has created an imbalance that impacts the ethnosphere and the biosphere. Regardless, mainstream education is uncritically promoting STEM (science-technology-engineering-mathematics) thinking, an agent of empire fueling the state-military-industrial-education complex,

This paper is a call to widen the Eurocentric and anthropocentric knowledge base of mainstream education to include as ‘equivalent’ Indigenous and other Other(ed) worldviews and epistemologies. This (re)storying of STEM is based on the teachings of my Elders and recent research with my community in British Columbia in solidarity with Indigenous communities in Peru as we work to regenerate more complex, culturally-inclusive possibilities for living together on a shared planet.

Author Biography

peter cole, assistant professor university of british columbia

I am a member of the xa'xtsa first nation of the st'at'imc tribal group in southwestern british columbia and an assistant professor in EDCP at UBC






(Re)Considering STEM Education