Yeknemilis and Buen Vivir. Decolonial approaches to indigenous language and education

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Show simple item record Benton Zavala, AM en
dc.coverage.spatial Auckland, New Zealand en 2020-04-16T03:18:44Z en 2018 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract Latin American countries share an extraordinary diversity and overwhelming inequality. Indigenous people in this region are overly represented among the disadvantaged and face a variety of challenges that demand for linguistic, political and educational considerations. Within this context, an indigenous community initiated an educational grassroots project to help their children navigate an unequal school process that disregards indigenous language and culture. Local bottom-up projects such as this have often been more effective than government top-down programs designed to this effect. Based on a qualitative study -a critical ethnography on local language planning- I am presenting the case of ‘Tosepan Kalnemachtiloyan’, a Nahuat immersion and indigenous bilingual school from the sierra de Puebla, Mexico. Their educational effort focuses on indigenous language revitalization within their school, and the (re)value of indigenous knowledge. This effort has had quite an impact on power and knowledge in this context, locating them in a decolonial stance and fissure (Mignolo, 2007; Walsh, 2015). The school’s curriculum is guided by ‘Yeknemilis’. This indigenous concept means: vida buena, vida digna. It can be roughly translated as ‘a good life' –a dignified one– within the indigenous perspective and ethical values: solidarity, reciprocity and high respect for nature’. Yeknemilis comes from Nahuat indigenous epistemologies; it has echoes of Sumak Kawsay and Buen Vivir. These concepts challenge the idea of ‘development’ as a Western construct (Escobar, 2007) and the notion of life centred on progress, and ‘modern’ possessions. Tosepan Kalnemachtiloyan is within a fight for their own alternative (Mignolo & Escobar, 2013), for their own epistemology –and methodological view. The wider effort of this indigenous school –and community– has allowed them to challenge the oppressing power relations between mestizos and indigenous people traditionally seen in the Mexican context. Their effort might illuminate and connect decolonial thinking in Mexico and Latin America, with decolonial perspectives in Aotearoa New Zealand. As such, Tosepan’s organic perspective will be discussed, as well as the daring adaptations they have made to facilitate their journey. A journey to claim their place in a region that seems to have overlooked them for a long time. en
dc.description.uri en
dc.relation.ispartof Sociolinguistics Symposium 22 (SS22) en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
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dc.title Yeknemilis and Buen Vivir. Decolonial approaches to indigenous language and education en
dc.type Conference Item en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en en
pubs.finish-date 2018-06-30 en
pubs.start-date 2018-06-27 en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.subtype Conference Paper en
pubs.elements-id 794965 en Libraries & Learning Services en Libraries & Learning Services en Learning and Teaching Mgmt en Learning and Teaching Mgmt en Learning and Teaching Development en Learning and Teaching Development en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2020-02-21 en

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