Suspension Before Entanglement

N. Martin Nakata, Victoria Nakata, Sarah Keech & Reuben Bolt
"Decolonial goals and pedagogies for Indigenous studies"
Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society Vol. 1 No. 1 2012

At the introductory level, we do not dispute the usefulness of presenting the Indigenous-settler relation in binary terms. Nor do we dispute, that non-Indigenous students in the course of their learning need to or will be confronted and "unsettled". But we would suggest, initially at least, teaching the practice of "suspension " viz., suspension of pre-suppositions and suspension of foregone conclusions while engaging the implications of the knowledge interface for Indigenous analysis, Indigenous resistance, Indigenous knowledge revitalization, Indigenous practices, and Indigenous futures. This is [a] disruptive but intellectualized practices of a less personalized nature which still engages students in the politics of knowledge production and ultimately the politics of their location and of social reproduction. It is not an easily mastered practice either and requires academics to think about how to manage dialogue and discussion in lecture rooms so students do not revert to resigned fence-sitting but move on to re-thinking and re-articulating more complex positions. We argue it is a worthwhile skill to develop in students who will graduate into the human service professions which engage Indigenous people and practices at the interface of ongoing knowledge entanglements.
What gains traction here with me is the questioning of binary positioning, the enumeration of analysis, resistance, revitalization, practices and futures, the characterization of the interface as a set of entanglements. There is a whole ecosystem of knowledge production and social reproduction at work here.

And so for day 1911
07.03.2012