One of the best ways to learn about the work and interests of faculty and students in the Community Liberation Indigenous and Eco-Psychologies (CLIE) specialization is to read our 2020 annual publication, Hearing Voices. As a preview, we would like to introduce you to a sample of the work of Professor Nuria Ciofalo.
INDIGENOUS PSYCHOLOGIES AND DECOLONIALITY
by Nuria Ciofalo, Ph.D.
Hegemonic systems of knowledge production embrace a doctrine
that promotes the exploitation of others for the benefit of a few, the
abuse of natural resources and animal life, the usurpation of other
knowledges, and the imposition of beliefs and practices in the
name of progress and civilization. Industrialization, urbanization,
and the expansion of technology have been supporting the
invasive tentacles of imperial globalization, reaching out to even
more remote regions where rich biodiversity exists. In spite of the
insidious colonization and modern coloniality to which Indigenous
communities around the globe have been exposed for centuries,
their knowledge systems and praxes still exist and thrive.
Psychology has been historically legitimized within Western
scientific paradigms imposed as universal truths that are taught in
universities used to maintain and perpetuate colonization,
oppression, exclusion, and erasure of other epistemologies and
Indigenous Psychologies are based on plurilogues of decolonial
epistemologies and praxes that embrace holistic thinking, feeling,
and acting and are applied to the preservation of cultural heritage
and the care of Mother Earth. These are psychologies from which
we must learn to address the pressing ecocide and pervasive
epistemicide assisted by hegemonic regimes such as globalization,
technology, the mass media, and academia.
Indigenous Psychologies are constituted by peoples’ profound
understanding of themselves based on their own cosmogonies,
cosmologies, mythologies, axiologies, epistemologies, spirituality,
relationships, dreams, and visions of the future. This source of deep
understanding makes our presence in the world meaningful and
strengthens our capacity to act upon our surroundings in
ecologically and socially just and responsible ways.
Indigenous psychologists contest fragmentation of being and apply
pluriversal approaches to the understanding of holistic
manifestations of nature and culture. Important contributions to
these psychologies have emerged from scholars from the Global
South who are proposing alternatives to (rather than of) modernity to
make the road de otra manera (otherwise).
Learning from Indigenous psychologies, generating affective
conviviality in profound being with communities, exercising
resistance to warrant epistemic and ecological justice, and building
networks of solidarity are some examples of methodological
approaches we can apply to co-construct pathways toward
decoloniality (Ciofalo, 2019).
To read the rest of Dr. Ciofalo's article, please see our Hearing Voices 2020 here.
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*Art by Gabrielle Tesfaye