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Michigan State University

Decolonize the University

Created Spring 2023

Recommended Reading

Decolonization is not a metaphor | Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society | Vol 1, Issue 1

Our goal in this article is to remind readers what is unsettling about decolonization. Decolonization brings about the repatriation of Indigenous land and life; it is not a metaphor for other things we want to do to improve our societies and schools. The easy adoption of decolonizing discourse by educational advocacy and scholarship, evidenced by the increasing number of calls to “decolonize our schools,” or use “decolonizing methods,” or, “decolonize student thinking”, turns decolonization into a metaphor. By Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang

"Decolonizing" Curriculum and Pedagogy: A Comparative Review Across Disciplines and Global Higher Education Contexts | Review of Educational Research | Vol 92, Issue 1

Drawing on the global interdisciplinary literature on decolonizing curriculum and pedagogy (DCP) in higher education, we critically examined the idea of decolonizing in the context of disciplines and universities around the world. By Riyad A. Shahjahan, Annabelle L. Estera, Kristen L. Sura, and Kirsten T. Edwards

Decolonial? Postcolonial? What does it mean to ‘decolonise ourselves’? | Newcastle University | January 21, 2021

"I wish to use the first post of this blog series to offer some preliminary thoughts on the terminologies of the ‘decolonial’ (and ‘postcolonial’), in order to get the sharing and conversation started. As I will explain below, sharing, after all, lies at the heart of the project of decolonisation for me. If we need to decolonise ourselves, we cannot do so by keeping our thoughts in our mind; we need to say them out loud and start conversations based on them." By Michael Tsang

Land Grab Universities | High Country News | March 30, 2020

Expropriated Indigenous land is the foundation of the land-grant university system. By Robert Lee and Tristan Ahtone

From Land-Grant to #LandBack: A Story of Loss and Resilience | Native Land Information System | February 21, 2022

"Nestled in the hills, meadows, marshes, and forests, between the Ohio and Mississippi River systems and the Great Lakes, are The University’s of Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Kentucky, Cornell University, Pennsylvania State University, West Virginia University, Purdue University, Michigan State University, and Ohio State University. These are all Land Grant Universities, or LGUs. Four of these LGUs, Purdue, Ohio, Illinois, and Kentucky, rank among the top ten of the original 52 Land Grant Universities, for which the greatest amount of land from indigenous tribes, bands, and communities was ceded or seized." By Aliyah Keuthan

Articles - General Tips for Searching

IMPORTANT: the dominant structure for organizing information is from a western perspective, for this reason you may need to use outdated (sometimes offensive) terminology to find resources; do not hesitate to contact us for assistance navigating this.

Try these basic strategies to begin your research:

Keyword Searches

Combine keywords relating to the concept of Indigenous identity AND keywords about research. For example:

  • "First Nations"
  • Indigenous
  • Aboriginal
  • Indian
  • "Indians of North America"
  • Native
  • Inuit
  • Métis
  • Ojibwe (or any nation)
  • "Research method*"
  • Pedagog*
  • "Research ethic*"
  • "Traditional knowledge"
  • Methodolog*
  • Praxis

Helpful Hints for Keyword Searches

  • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase.
    Example: "First Nations"
  • Use an asterisk to truncate a term to search for words with the same stem.
    Example: Method* retrieves Method, Methods, Methodology, Methodologies, Methodological, etc.


Other Databases at the Library

Use this box to look for additional databases by subject. You can also use the A-Z database list to browse.