On this page you’ll find some definitions of key terms and further resources to help you host conversations in your own communities, classrooms and workplaces. We’d love you to use our film to do so, complemented by our survey and discussion guide. Please know our list is evolving and not comprehensive; we welcome suggestions for additional resources.
Definitions of some key terms
We understand decolonisation as commitment and action taken to recognise the marginalisation of Indigenous knowledges and people in and beyond universities, transform relationships in a way that dismantles oppressive relations of power, and reorient our work towards that which honours the sovereignty and deep knowledge of Indigenous people.
This project discusses calls to ‘decolonise’ academic workplaces, practices and their associated intellectual genealogies. This doesn’t refer to the decolonisation of states from under the rule of colonial occupiers, like what might be discussed in geopolitical and international relations terms. Rather, we’re talking about dismantling of more abstracted and less visible (but all the while just as impactful) processes of coloniality, like how we learn, behave, and relate to each other.
For decolonial theorists concerned with how coloniality affects academia, the project of decolonisation requires not just awareness of colonialism, but a series of fundamental transformations to what academic work is, who it is for, and what it seeks to achieve. In this way, we draw a direct relationship between how we think and how we act.
A term used to describe the process by which people (settlers) claim other land as their own, displacing Indigenous people, often violently. Indigenous scholars have written about the ways that settler colonialism embeds itself within our societies, making it seem inevitable and without end.
When we talk about the academy, we’re referring to all the things that make up the university system in a broad sense. This includes research, teaching, campus communities, and external things like publications, associations, and so on.
Our film uses a trans-Indigenous framing. This means that we bring Indigenous people together in conversation and collaboration, finding ways to support each other. We think of this as a potent act of decolonial kin-making, as we link up Indigenous scholars and students across Australia, Asia and the Pacific. If we commit to radically re-centring Indigenous people’s experiences, knowledges and work, this means shifting the way we talk about connections in the academy.