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Indigenizing and Decolonizing Higher Education on Nicaragua's Atlantic Coast

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-71
JournalSingapore Journal of Tropical Geography
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Abstract

Some universities in postcolonial settler nations such as New Zealand and Canada have begun to acknowledge their need for a more inclusive approach toward indigenous cosmologies and epistemologies, lest they continue to alienate indigenous students; nevertheless such change is not proving easy for these universities. In the North Atlantic Region of Nicaragua, there is however a community university which is successfully using higher education to empower indigenous and Creole students and intellectuals against a backdrop of long histories of racism, discrimination, poverty and marginalization. The pedagogic model in operation at the University of the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast is based on the concept of interculturality and aims to provide access to higher education for individual students but without losing sight of education as a collective good. The concept of interculturality and its articulation in diverse sites is of critical interest to postcolonial geography given its connections to the geopolitics of place and space and its origins in black and indigenous social movements in Latin America.

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