The principles of empowerment through a new expression of Indigenous education are facilitated by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people recognizing the hidden oppression and uneven levels of power and privilege which are the legacy of colonialism. The stories of the oppressive history of America must be heard. The historic and contemporary forms of trauma, grief, and loss of Indigenous people must be acknowledged. There must be a recognition that the effects of marginalization and racism are ongoing.
To address these effects, a contemporary Indigenous education theory must validate the inherent strength of Indian people in their resiliency and instinct for survival. It must allow for trust in Indigenous Peoples’ ability to develop a new expression of education over time. There must be a deep and long-term commitment to create and enact a transformative vision of the role of a contemporary expression of Indigenous education can play. Such a vision must be built upon mutual respect and shared power for all participants. In many ways, this movement toward defining a new vision for Indigenous education has already begun. What is most important in these beginning stages is listening to the voices of Indian people, validating their positions, and understanding their need for empowerment as they strive to create a new and transformative vision for Indigenous education in the 21st century.
Native Minds Rising presents the research and stories of a new group of Indigenous scholars and practitioners who are researching or participating in the development of Indigenous-based research while working in Indigenous communities.