Celebrate our WINHEC partnership

Feb 19th, 2015 | By | Category: 26-3: Global Indigenous Higher Education
By Carrie Billy

We are all related. Over the past several years, I’ve experienced the richness and vitality of those words as a member of the executive board of the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium. Since 2011, I have had the honor of working with and learning from the Indigenous educators and thinkers who took a dream called WINHEC and made it a reality. As you will read in this edition of Tribal College Journal, TCUs, with Indigenous higher education leaders from around the world—Maori, First Nations, Saami, and Aboriginal—established WINHEC in 2002. I attended the historic signing in Alberta and I am pleased to report that today WINHEC is a vibrant and growing community of intelligent, spiritual, culturally grounded, and hard-working people committed to the vision of self-determination and collective synergy through Indigenous control of Indigenous higher education. On behalf of all TCUs, I thank Boni Robertson, Trevor Moeke, Verlieann Malina Wright, Laura and Delbert Horton, Turoa Royal, Peter Hanohano, Jan Henry Keskitalo, Ray Barnhardt, and so many more for their selfless work to make the dream of WINHEC real.

Over the past decade, WINHEC has established an accrediting framework for Indigenous institutions of higher education, an accrediting process for pre-K-12 schools, a biennial international research conference, a scholarly journal, and most recently the new World Indigenous Nations University. We’ve great plans for the future—join us at the 2015 WINHEC meeting at Manidoo Baawaatig in Kenora, Ontario on August 10-15 and get involved!

In support of our WINHEC partnership, AIHEC is nearing completion of a three-year study on internationalization at TCUs. Our goal is to help our colleges develop international programming and become more engaged in global partnerships. At the same time, we hope to elevate tribal voices in national efforts to build global citizens through higher education. While the study will provide important information on global education needs at TCUs, it will also highlight diverse and vital perspectives on what it means to be globally minded as Indigenous educators and students within tribal institutions. By offering tribal perspectives on globalization and education, we will dispute the existing language of internationalization. Most important, AIHEC’s study will illustrate how threatened all tribal nations are and how much tribal colleges have to offer through their unique cultural, linguistic, and historical missions and practices. To each threat our nations face, TCUs have a critical response. It is through these responses that we have much to share with Indigenous peoples throughout the world, because after all, we are all related.

Ahéhee’!

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