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ERIC Number: ED536498
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 503
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2670-1533-4
Red Earth, Brown Earth: Walking in Two Worlds, the Journey of Indigenous Women in Academia
Herrera, Michelle D.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, California Institute of Integral Studies
This dissertation is both an autobiographical and collaborative exploration of the complexities experienced by Indigenous women in their academic journey. But more than that, the entire study was conducted in ways that are in accordance with Traditional Indigenous worldview, Indigenous Storytelling/Oral Tradition and the role of women in Indigenous Spirituality. This study explores the obstacles experienced by Indigenous women entering the Academy, and the strengths we have called upon to successfully negotiate this difficult rite of passage. Organic Inquiry and Heuristic research approaches have been chosen as the academic models that are closest to the Oral Tradition of Indigenous Storytelling as a means of teaching. The dissertation embodies Indigenous Traditions and ways of "knowing." The experience of "walking in two worlds" is a theme that runs like a river through the stories of Indigenous women in academia and is an important focus of the work. The inquiry attempts to illuminate the distinction of the two worlds through literature that contrasts western and Indigenous Spirituality. "Walking in two worlds" describes the experiences of Indigenous women who find themselves living within and between the overlapping and mutually exclusive perspectives of two distinct ways of life: the Indigenous and the academic. Each of the women interviewed self-identifies as Indigenous and has completed or is in the process of completing her graduate studies. Each woman interviewed had to overcome socio-economic issues, resist oppressive cultural values, and had to define her own cultural and ethnic identity within her program. Their stories exemplify the resilience, strength and courage needed for Indigenous women to successfully complete their graduate studies in Western academic settings, the clash of worldviews and the inherent struggles thereof. These stories call upon and share wisdom which has come from the roots of our upbringing, from prayer, Visions, dreams, Ceremony and through our daily lives. We bring our knowledge and wisdom to the academy with the intention of a mutual exchange and of teaching with respect, from the heart and through Spirit. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A