chapter  Chapter 13
13 Pages

Decolonising health in education

Considering Indigenous knowledge in policy documents
WithKatie Fitzpatrick, Jean M. Allen

Histories of colonisation and western imperialism have positioned Indigenous ontologies of health and wellbeing at the margins. This chapter discusses postcolonial analyses of the marginalisation of Indigenous and non-western ways of knowing. B. B. Swadener and K. Mutua argue that decolonising research involves ‘resisting the lures and mires of postcolonial reason that position certain players within postcoloniality as more “valid” postcolonial researchers/scholars’. In relation to epistemologies of health, Indigenous healing practices, for example, have historically been viewed, not only as inferior, but deeply suspect and even dangerous. Decolonisation requires Indigenous and other non-western epistemologies and ontologies to be centralised. Abjection has a particular historical background, manifest in different ways in various colonial nations in different time periods. Colonial histories continue to frame, among other things, public institutions, including education and public health. In ontological terms, pathologising Maori serves the allegorical function of describing the desired healthy body’.