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Open Access Publications from the University of California

“I Came Here to Learn How to be a Leader”: An Intersection of Critical Pedagogy and Indigenous Education


According to Indigenous educational philosophy, in learning how to become a complete human being, an individual has to become aware of their own worth and role in contributing to the well being of their community. This philosophy resonates with critical pedagogy, an educational approach intended to transform the lives of individuals from oppressed populations. Yet it departs from critical pedagogy in its emphasis on service to community, rather than individual liberation. This article demonstrates how the Tribal Resource Institute in Business, Engineering, and Science (TRIBES), a summer program for Native students at the University of New Mexico, intersects with critical pedagogy and Indigenous education to restore Indigenous goals in education by encouraging its students to develop critical Indigenous consciousness and to make a commitment to their communities.

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