Horizons of Belonging: Co-Creating Transformative Indigenization and Internationalization in Higher Education

  • Author / Creator
    Tannis, Derek
  • Across Canada, post-secondary institutions are embarking in policy-driven strategies to engage Indigenization and internationalization of their campuses. These strategies are tied to national and provincial policies with multiple intent, ranging from increasing fee-paying international student enrolment to enacting recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Policy analysis of these policy emphases in higher education are typically treated separately, where in practice, they are often lived concurrently by faculty, staff and students, in their day-to-day work. This interpretive research study explores the tensions and intersections of these policy and strategy emphases as they are lived by faculty, staff and students. Drawing from a post-intentional phenomenological methodology, this study seeks examines the question: What is it like to engage in transformative intercultural practice in higher education and how can a deeper understanding of this practice inform Indigenization and internationalization policy-making in the post-secondary sector? Transformative intercultural practice is a term developed to reflect the scope and intent of deep, integrative and transformative approaches to Indigenization and internationalization in higher education, including teaching, helping or leading individuals or groups of students, staff or faculty in a manner that assumes shared responsibility for creating the conditions for critically aware engagement in the pursuit of meaningful inclusion, equity, reconciliation and social justice on campus and beyond. Research involved interviews and focus groups with 23 faculty, staff and students, as a phenomenologically oriented study, drew further insights from academic literature, poetry, film and theatre. Each analysis chapter interweaves insights upon the deliberation, enactment and co-creation of transformative Indigenization and internationalization, culminating in three broad themes: the importance of beginning with belonging; gathering with intention/attention; and, honouring freedom. Analysis of the deliberation of transformative Indigenization and international leads to a discussion on what it can be like to experience refusing, acknowledging and inviting what and who is (being) spoken of in relation to (un)speak-able known, unknown and hidden entities in spaces of deliberation on Indigenization and internationalization. From this perspective, enactments of transformative Indigenization and internationalization are shown to involve (at)tending to and allowing for the experiences of one’s own and others’ sense of vulnerability, imminence/immanence and purposefulness in spaces of (up)rooting that come with initiating and cultivating transformative intercultural practices. The co-creation of such spaces of deliberation and enactment of transformative Indigenization and internationalization is shown to engage us in the lives of our colleagues and students in ways that can be deeply personal. In the evolving certainties and enduring liminality of our work, it is also shown how the demands of kindness can often intercede, revealing our inherent responsibility for one another, through the sharing of difficult life events and traumatic histories, in dealing with highly charged situations with serious implications, and in seeking to overcome what would seem to be irreconcilable differences.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2019
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
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