He Ala Kuikui Lima Kānaka: The Journey Toward Indigenizing a School of Social Work
Keywords:Native Hawaiians, Kanaka ‘Ōiwi, critical race theory, Indigenization, decolonization, social work curriculum
AbstractThis article focuses on decolonizing, or specifically Indigenizing, a school of social work that has a stated focus on Native Hawaiians, other Pacific Islanders, and Asian populations in the Pacific region. Armed with Kanaka ‘Ōiwi critical race theory (CRT), a recent theoretical model that centres Native Hawaiian Indigeneity, we reflect on lessons learned after the 10th year of an articulated process of Indigenization and discuss the implications for future decolonization projects in social work education. Mo‘olelo, or narrative stories, are provided to analyze this journey through a Kanaka ‘Ōiwi CRT lens. Believing that Indigenization is dynamic and ever-changing, we provide our mana‘o, or thoughts, on challenges and successes. Key lessons learned advise social work educators to: (a) acknowledge and push through the complexity of fitting Indigenous protocols and values into a Western institution; (b) understand the distinction between form (technical knowledge) and essence (embodiment); and (c) value co-learning from students and community practitioners, thus validating Indigenous ways of knowing.
Intersectionalities is an open access journal. Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).