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Indigenous Ways of Knowing Reading and Resource List

Indigenous Ways of Knowing Reading and Resource List

Through colonization, Western constructs have become socially understood as “natural” throughout much of the global population. White supremacist, transphobic, homophobic / queerphobic, misogynistic, sexological (hetero[sexual] desire as “natural”), amatonormative (romantic coupling as “natural”), ableist, and capitalist ideologies were disseminated throughout the world via violence, exploitation, and genocide as cultural imports of non-Indigenous European colonizers. These ideologies function together and are empowered as “truths” in Western society through control over the narrative, which maintains the status quo. Much, if not all, of how we know what we know (our epistemology) is therefore informed by the Western model as a colonial legacy.

By a very young age, many of us understand Western ideologies (capitalism, white supremacy, heteronormativity, etc.) as “truths” rather than as constructs because Western society holds the institutional power to condition its model into us through the education system, mass media, etc. It is our human responsibility to empower decolonial and Indigenous ways of knowing and support Indigenous people in order to work to unravel the Western paradigm and decolonize our thought processes so that healing of the personal, communal, and global can expand throughout the world. I have compiled a list of lectures, readings, talks, books, anthologies, and academic articles which affirm, represent, or provide insight to this mission of amplifying the Indigenous paradigm and vision of interconnectedness and sustainability.

I’ve organized the sources by accessibility. All lectures, readings, and talks are freely accessible through online video platforms.

Lectures / Readings / Talks

Chief Arvol Looking Horse, “Prophecies, World Peace, and Global Healing
Cash Ahenakew, “We Too Are IDLE NO MORE: UBC
Charlene Sul, EMAVoicesOfTheEarth Interview
Dave Courchene, “Indigenous Perspective on Health & Wellness
Gregory Cajete, “An Ecological Philosophy of Native Science: Living the Earth, Facing the Sun, Seeking the Light
Gregory Cajete, “Rebuilding Sustainable Indigenous Communities: Applying Native Science
Kim TallBear, “Decolonial Sex and Relations for a More Sustainable World
Kim TallBear, "Making Love and Relations Beyond Settler Sexualities"
Layli Long Solider, “Lunch Poems
Lee Maracle, “at North House
Lee Maracle, “Celia’s Song
Lee Maracle, “Connection between Violence against the Earth and Violence against Women
Lee Maracle, “Waterloo Indigenous Speakers Series
Leroy Little Bear, “Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science
Leslie Marmon Silko, “An Evening with Leslie Marmon Silko
Lisa Grayshield ”Indigenous Ways of Knowing In Counseling & Psychology
Lisa Grayshield “My Washoe Way of Knowing & My Professional Identity
Malidoma Somé, EMAVoicesOfTheEarth Interview
Mona Polacca, Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance, Rita Long Visitor Holy Dance, “Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers
Ohlone Spoken Word,” hosted by Vincent Medina
Panashe Chigumadzi, “Ubuntu as a solution to the crisis of the Western imagination
Pat McCabe, “Earth Talk: Thriving Life - The Feminine Design and Sustainability
Pat McCabe, “The Earth Talks: Indigenous Ways of Knowing
Patrisia Gonzales, ”The Unseen Realm in Indigenous Healing Systems
Paula Gunn Allen, “The Sacred Hoop” (Part 1) and (Part 2)
Vine Deloria, Jr., “American Indian politics, academic freedom, and ethnicity
Vine Deloria, Jr., “The World We Used To Live In

Books / Anthologies / Articles

Deborah A. Miranda, “Extermination of the Joyas: Gendercide in Spanish California” in GLQ
Four Arrows, Gregory Cajete, and Jongmin Lee, Critical Neurophilosophy & Indigenous Wisdom
Gregory Cajete, A People's Ecology: Explorations in Sustainable Living
Gregory Cajete, Look to the Mountain: An Ecology of Indigenous Education
Gregory Cajete and Leroy Little Bear, Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence
Guillermo Bonfil Batalla, México Profundo: Reclaiming a Civilization
Indigenous Men and Masculinities: Legacies, Identities, Regeneration
, edited by Robert Alexander Innes and Kim Anderson
Ilarion Merculieff, Wisdom Keeper: One Man's Journey to Honor the Untold History of the Unangan
Layli Long Soldier, Whereas
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
Nora Naranjo-Morse, Mud Woman: Poems from the Clay
Patrisia Gonzalez, Red Medicine: Traditional Indigenous Rites of Birthing and Healing
Paula Gunn Allen, The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions
Paula Gunn Allen, The Woman Who Owned The Shadows
Scott Morgensen, Spaces Between Us: Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Decolonization
Spider Woman’s Granddaughters: Traditional Tales and Contemporary Writing by Native American Women
, edited with an introduction by Paula Gunn Allen
Will Roscoe, Changing Ones: Third and Fourth Genders in Native North America


“We use plant, strong plant medicine, to connect in that way, to remove all the stuff that we carry in our minds, to remove all the sickness that we carry in our bodies, to remove all of this negativity that we keep in our spirits. Plant medicine heals us, cleans us, and then opens a profound understanding of our connection to the universe…” – Eda Zavalda

“Doing things without thought may be a difficult concept for Western-trained minds to understand since the mind is perceived as the center of intelligence, whereas Indigenous people know that true intelligence comes as a result of suspending thought.” – Ilarion Merculieff

“Broken men. Violated land. Violated women. We’ve been here before… We know that if you’re disconnected from the Earth you will be disconnected from each other, you will be disconnected from creation, and then you’ll violate creation. That’s what it is. And we’re creators [women], so we’re the first to get violated.” – Lee Maracle

“We have not to seek the truth, we have only to remove the lie that the truth can stand in all of its radiant beauty.” – Osho Zenmaster

“I was told that these teachings, they aren’t anything new. They’re called the original instructions.” – Mona Polacca

“In the centuries since the first attempts at colonization in the early 1500s, the invades have exerted every effort to remove Indian women from every position of authority, to obliterate all records pertaining to gynocratic social systems, and to ensure that no American and few American Indians would remember that gynocracy was the primary social order of Indian America prior to 1800.” – Paula Gunn Allen

“If any of you were ever taught from history books, it’s all a lie. Now, of course, we’re [Indigenous people] in these halls of educational facilities, institutions, where we’re telling the truth. And it’s not for anyone to feel guilty about, it’s to bring a consciousness, bring about an awareness that it’s [miseducation is] a disease of the mind.” – Paula Horne

“…I also proposed that we look to indigenous cultures because they’re very fascinating but, and here’s the real reason, is because they know the science of sustainability, they have known how to live in one place for an extended period of time, thousand years, 2,000 years, 3,000 years, with relative health, harmony, and happiness. They hold the science to sustainability.” – Pat McCabe

“What made me come back to this dearest place is that my great grandparents are made from the soils and the winds of this place. I too, am made of this soil.” – Roy Sesana

“In truth, the ground American society occupies may have been the queerest continent on the planet. The original peoples of North America, whose principles are just as ancient as those of Judeo-Christian culture, saw no threat in homosexuality or gender variance.” – Will Roscoe

Please suggest more resources to add to this list in the comments section or via Twitter @mxparamo. I am adding sources as I continue to do more research and watch more lectures, readings, and talks, as well as read more books, anthologies, and articles, which address Indigenous ways of knowing.

We Are Whole

We Are Whole