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Why SST and Why ASU?

All too often, boundaries and borders—whether local, tribal, state, or national—create dividing lines that separate our shared visions for access, equality, equity, and quality within a society that is democratic and just. In SST and at ASU, we like to think beyond these boundaries and borders that stretch our thinking and action by using creativity and innovation. The Pueblo Indian Doctoral Cohort is one example of doing this work in a way that honors the voices and lives of people who call the Southwest their homelands. While we share these hopes with our fellow institutions of higher education in the Southwest, the following themes exemplify why SST at ASU is a great place to share your visions with us.

We listen to you

Our faculty are interested in the issues and priorities that are most pressing to Indigenous peoples today. We are interested in not only working to confront those issues with you, but also in preparing you to face those issues with your communities while building a strong network of colleagues who are also working towards social change.

We build with you

In addition to SST faculty commitment to working with Indigenous communities across the Southwest, in the U.S., and globally, our leadership at ASU has charged us with a vision for transforming higher education. ASU President Crow’s design aspirations for a “New American University” include major themes that you will see across SST, from faculty projects to new and refreshing courses based on our cutting-edge research. They include,

Leverage Our Place

Transform Society

Value Entrepreneurship

Conduct Use-Inspired Research

Enable Student Success

Fuse Intellectual Disciplines

Be Socially Embedded

Engage Globally

These design aspirations are directives that challenge us to consider our roles as educators. They signify to us a change in the way we deliver higher education, but most importantly, the way in which we construct higher education opportunities that are meaningful to you.

We advocate with and for you

Patricia Sandoval, the Director of Planning and Evaluation at the Santa Fe Indian School, has said that “the education of Indigenous peoples is a social justice issue, and where better to address this issue than in a School of Social Transformation.” Within SST, not only do we see beyond boundaries and borders, but we also share with you the work and commitment towards a world that is socially just.

One of the major struggles in the education of Indigenous peoples is that within institutions of learning, the individual is asked to conform to demands that may not be relevant to the things that are most important to them. SST represents an interdisciplinary faculty with a proven record of building creative and innovative programs at all levels of education and within multiple contexts. We listen to you and with you in order to build courses of study within our JSI curriculum that will meet your demands and exceed your expectations for a respectful and relevant undergraduate and graduate educational experience that is itself transformative. We believe in your power to address the things that are most critical to your families and communities and are honored to stand with you.

Indigenous institutions

The core curriculum for the Pueblo cohort programs involves partnerships with Indigenous and Indigenous-serving institutions and communities. Cohort members work on site with other Indigenous institutions and on Indigenous homelands in order to learn from and exchange with other Indigenous peoples, dialogue about Indigenous knowledges and practices, and build ideas and solutions regarding Indigenous social issues.

We are grateful to the following institutions and communities for their partnership with the Pueblo cohort projects:

  • Indigenous languages and arts: Simon Ortiz, Department of English, Arizona State University; and Nora Naranjo-Morse of Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Indigenous law and governance: The Centre for Sami Studies, the Arctic University of Norway—the University of Tromsø (UiT) and the Center for Northern Peoples and Museum for Northern Peoples, Manndalen, Norway
  • Indigenous health and families: McGill University, Transcultural Psychiatry, and Kahnawake Mohawk Territory
  • Indigenous research and sovereignty: University of Waikato, New Zealand; University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, University of Hawai’i at Hilo; and Kamehameha Schools
  • Indigenous education: Salish Kootenai College; Nk̓ʷusm school; and Salish Pend d'Oreille Culture Committee
  • Indigenous ecologies: Wanka and Quechua communities in Junín and Cusco, Peru

Networks and Connections

We are interested in the cultivation and growth of a network of individuals, communities, and institutions that will work with the Pueblo cohort during their time at ASU and beyond. If you would like to be added to this network, please send the following information to Dr. Sumida Huaman at esumidah@asu.edu.

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