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Decolonization: Home

List of resources on decolonization that support MCC Faculty, Educator, and Students

Land Acknowledgment

Indigenous land in MassachusettsMiddlesex Community College* resides on the ancestral lands of the Pennacook with the Pawtucket Village and Wamesit Village (present-day Lowell) and the Massachusett Tribe with Penacook and Nipmuc communities (present-day Bedford). We acknowledge that these communities were removed from their land through hegemonic and colonial processes that caused pain and displacement. By acknowledging the connection of this land and its first inhabitants, we seek to show "respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth" (U.S. Department of Arts & Culture, n.d.). We also acknowledge the history of Caribbean, Latinx, Black American, and Asian settlers and guests, whose history has also been marked by colonialism, violence, and loss. We work to acknowledge and put forth the history of those who have been silenced and whose history has been subject to erasure as the result of systemic oppression.

 

*This is not an official land acknowledgment by MCC.

What is Land Acknowledgment?

Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture. Acknowledgment by itself is a small gesture. It becomes meaningful when coupled with authentic relationships and informed action. But this beginning can be an opening to greater public consciousness of Native sovereignty and cultural rights, a step toward equitable relationship and reconciliation. Naming is an exercise in power (National Evironmental Education Foundation, n.d.)

As an educational institution, it is important to acknowledge the history of the land and the effects that it has had on the forced displacement of its communities indigenous communities. Land acknowledgment provides the opportunity to acknowledge the hegemonic structures that have created higher education institutions, libraries, cultural institutions, museums, and archives (Indigenous Land and Territorial Acknowledgements for Institutions, 2024).

"Decolonize your Syllabus. Image by Yvette DeChavezWhat does it mean to decolonize education, syllabi, and classrooms?

"Decolonization is understood as an intentional decentering of dominant voices, an interrogation of whiteness, and a move toward pedagogies incorporating Indigenous epistemologies and social justice practices" (Criser & Knot, 2019).

The decolonization of education is the response to how the United States higher education institutions are implicated in the "grounding, validating, and/or marginalizing systems of knowledge production" (Shahkah et al., 2022). The focus of a decolonial curriculum is the centering of indigenous voices, as well as those that have been silenced by systems of oppression (i.e., the Global South). The decolonial curriculum addresses the multifaceted practices within the epistemic knowledge and the hidden curriculum (Shahkah et al., 2022; Boston University, 2020; Alsubaie, 2015.)

Below are some recommended articles about decolonizing the curriculum, syllabi, and classrooms in higher education.

 

 

 

 

Websites and Articles about Land Acknowledgment

Recommended Subject Guides

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