Indigenous internationalization: Indigenous worldviews, higher education, and Tribal Colleges and Universities


  • Elizabeth Alva Sumida Huaman University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Belinda Chiu Hummingbird Research Coaching Consulting
  • Carrie Billy American Indian Higher Education Consortium



Tribal colleges, internationalization, Indigenous knowledges


This article examines the role of Indigenous knowledges in higher education through an exploration of internationalization at U.S. Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs). We affirm that examining internationalization efforts with historically marginalized and underserved populations provides an opportunity for interrogating inequitable power dynamics in knowledge construction, production, and transference vis-à-vis education and within a Western hegemonic model of modernity. Our discussion is anchored in decoloniality and Indigenous sustainable self-determination, which highlight educational initiatives that bolster Indigenous identities while addressing social, political, and environmental complications created by coloniality. Drawing from a five-year mixed-methods case study with TCUs, we offer Indigenous perspectives on place-based higher educational initiatives in relation to local and global concerns, specifically human and ecological sustainability. We propose a critical lens in Indigenous internationalization wherein Indigenous worldviews are vital responses to dominant notions of internationalization and historical limitations of education for Indigenous peoples.


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Author Biographies

Elizabeth Alva Sumida Huaman, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Elizabeth Sumida Huaman (Wanka/Quechua) is associate professor of Comparative and International Development Education at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her work focuses on the link between Indigenous environments and natural resources, Indigenous knowledge systems, and cultural and educational practices in the US, Canada, and Peru. Recent publications have appeared in Curriculum Inquiryand International Review of Education, and she is the lead editor of book publications, including Indigenous innovations in higher education (Brill).

Belinda Chiu, Hummingbird Research Coaching Consulting

Belinda Chiu, Ed.D. is an international education researcher and principal of Hummingbird Consulting. She is the author of The One-Hundred-Year History of the Phelps-Stokes Fund as a Family Philanthropy and publications on environmental sustainability in Environmental Communicationand Peace & Change.

Carrie Billy, American Indian Higher Education Consortium

Carrie Billy (Diné) is the President and CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. She is an attorney and graduate of the University of Arizona and the Georgetown University Law Center. Her career reflects a commitment to public service and to protecting and promoting the cultures, rights and well being of American Indians and improving the quality of life and educational status of all Americans. 




How to Cite

Sumida Huaman, E. A., Chiu, B., & Billy, C. (2019). Indigenous internationalization: Indigenous worldviews, higher education, and Tribal Colleges and Universities. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 27, 101.



The Construction of Knowledge in Higher Education Studies