The Indigenization Controversy

For Whom and By Whom?


  • Don (Four Arrows) Trent Jacobs Fielding Graduate University



Decolonization, Indigenizing Education, Indigeneity, curriculum


 Efforts to decolonize and Indigenize education are occurring throughout Canada, and to a lesser degree in the United States. Although initially about addressing the historical and continuing oppression of Indigenous peoples, I expand the goals to include the survival of all humans and our non-human relatives. In light of our global crises, we must move more forcefully toward truth, reconciliation and Indigenous sovereignty, while at the same time decolonizing and bringing Indigenous worldview and local Indigenous knowledge into and across the curriculum for the benefit of all students.  Unfortunately, resistance from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous critics of this mandate continue. A main concern relates to who should be allowed to implement such education and who should have access to it. I offer a rationale for engaging all people in this enterprise in spite of the complexity and risks that are outweighed by the profound potential for bringing our world back into balance. Pointing out the important difference between pan-Indigenousism and local place-based knowledge and why both are needed, conclude with specific suggestions for how all educators can help with decolonizing and  Indigenizing schooling immediately.

Author Biography

Don (Four Arrows) Trent Jacobs, Fielding Graduate University

Professor Educational Leadership for Change at Fielding Graduate University