Participatory mapping of the youth’s living environments in Amazonia

Maps are useful media for illustrating and analysing the spatiality of many social and environmental phenomena. Since the 1980s, researchers have increasingly recognized the value of ordinary people’s local knowledge and perceptions for research and spatial planning (Chambers 2006). Indigenous and other minoritized groups have also started to create their own maps to communicate their place-based knowledge and relations, and to resist the “official” images of the places mediated by the maps produced by external state authorities or scientists (Peluso 1995, Wood 2010, kollektiv orangotango+ 2018). In Ecuador, for example, the community maps recently played an important role in the fight of the Waorani over their right to their territory and in winning a legal court case (Scacca & Nenquimo 2021).

In 2019, before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, our project also carried out participatory mapping in intercultural bilingual upper secondary schools in Pastaza province. Three schools were selected for the study: Camilo Huatatoca in Santa Clara (majority of the students kichwas and mestizos), Kumay in the shuar territory and Sarayaku in the kichwa community. We were particularly interested in how the students perceive their living environment and their journeys between home and school. The students were asked to mark on the maps the places they like, do not like, places they think should be improved somehow and the places they find culturally important. In addition, they were asked to point out places where they had encountered some environmental problems. The students were also interviewed about their mappings.

Extract from the map drawn by the students in Kumay. The Río Titinkiem crosses the road near the community of Kawa. Stars indicate the places that the students like (e.g., Río Titinkiem because of swimming and fishing, the road). Red dots are environmental problems (e.g., logging and littering) and the brown ones culturally important places (e.g., Río Titinkiem and a cemetery). The points marked with green stickers need improvement (e.g., a bus stop “parada”) according to the students.

Continue reading “Participatory mapping of the youth’s living environments in Amazonia”

Educación y luchas territoriales indígenas: Un estudio sobre las experiencias de la nacionalidad Sapara con el sistema educativo en la Amazonía ecuatoriana

Texto y fotos: Riikka Kaukonen Lindholm

[Click here for English version]

Riikka Kaukonen Lindholm escribió su tesis de maestría sobre las luchas territoriales y educativas experimentadas por el pueblo Sapara como parte del proyecto de investigación Goal 4+: Including Eco-cultural Pluralism in Quality Education in Ecuadorian Amazonia. Ahora ella es una investigadora de doctorado en estudios de desarrollo global en la Universidad de Helsinki. Su investigación de doctorado trata sobre el conocimiento ecocultural indígena y las alternativas al extractivismo en la Amazonía ecuatoriana. Esta publicación de blog presenta el tema y los argumentos centrales de su tesis de maestría.

 La tesis se enfoca en la educación de los pueblos indígenas, especialmente ¿cómo la educación se puede facilitar la autodeterminación territorial y la emancipación política? Los movimientos indígenas en todo el mundo y en Ecuador se han centrado en crear una educación respetuosa y relevante a la culturas y conocimientos indígenas. La tesis explora la interconexión de la educación y la política territorial indígena, como han estado juntas en la vanguardia del movimiento indígena en Ecuador, y han vinculado la lucha epistemológica por el reconocimiento de los conocimientos indígenas con los problemas ambientales prevalentes en el país dependiente del extractivismo. Dado que los pueblos indígenas a menudo habitan regiones ambientalmente vulnerables, la tesis examina ¿cómo para los grupos indígenas de la Amazonía ecuatoriana la relación entre educación y territorio puede aspirar a ser mutuamente beneficiosa, fomentando tanto la preservación de las diversas culturas como el medio ambiente en los paisajes bioculturales?

Riikka Kaukonen Lindholm: El rio Conambo, Llanchamacocha
El rio Conambo, Llanchamacocha

Continue reading “Educación y luchas territoriales indígenas: Un estudio sobre las experiencias de la nacionalidad Sapara con el sistema educativo en la Amazonía ecuatoriana”

Master’s thesis: Education and Indigenous Territorial Struggles : A study on the Sapara people’s experiences with the education system in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Text and photos: Riikka Kaukonen Lindholm

[Haz clic aquí para version en español]

Riikka Kaukonen Lindholm wrote her master’s thesis about the territorial and educational struggles experienced by the Sapara people as the part of the research project Goal 4+: Including Eco-cultural Pluralism in Quality Education in Ecuadorian Amazonia. She  is a doctoral researcher in global development studies in the University of Helsinki. Her PhD research deals with indigenous ecocultural knowledge and alternatives to extractivism in the Ecuadorian Amazon. This blog post introduces the topic and central arguments of the master’s thesis.

The focus of the thesis is on the education of indigenous peoples, especially on how education can facilitate territorial self-determination and political emancipation for them. Indigenous movements world-wide and in Ecuador have focused on creating education respectful of and relevant to indigenous cultural background and knowledge. The thesis explores further the interconnectedness of education and indigenous territorial politics, as they have been together in the forefront of the indigenous movement in Ecuador, and they link the epistemological struggle of recognising Indigenous knowledges to environmental issues prevalent in the country dependent on extractivism. As indigenous peoples often inhabit environmentally vulnerable regions, the thesis examines how for the indigenous groups of Ecuadorian Amazon the relationship between education and territory can aim to be mutually beneficial, encouraging both preservation of the diverse cultures and environment in the biocultural landscapes.

The Conambo river, Llanchamacocha

Continue reading “Master’s thesis: Education and Indigenous Territorial Struggles : A study on the Sapara people’s experiences with the education system in the Ecuadorian Amazon”

Educational emergency in the Shuar territory

Text:  Tuija Veintie, Photo: Comunicación Confeniae

The Federation of the Shuar Nationality of Pastaza (FENASH-P) declared a state of emergency in education.

People gathered for the assembly in Tsuraku, Pastaza.

On 20 January 2021, the FENASH-P organized an emergency assembly to discuss and bring forward the untenable educational situation in the Shuar territory. The event gathered together people from 34 Shuar communities in Pastaza. 

The Shuar Federation together with the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) and Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazonian (CONFENIAE) state that intercultural bilingual schools in the Shuar territory in Pastaza lack adequate infrastructure, educational materials and even teachers, and the pandemic has seriously aggravated the educational inequality. The emergency assembly set an agenda for the necessary improvements in education in the Shuar territory: Continue reading “Educational emergency in the Shuar territory”

Educational situation in the Amazon at the start of the year

Text: Nathaly Pinto

The year started with immense worries regarding the current situation of students in the amazon region. Marlon Vargas, president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazonian (CONFENIAE) expressed:

The organization is deeply concerned about the situation of education of the peoples and nationalities of Ecuador, as well as the peasant and proletarian sectors of the country for whom the right to education has become a privilege by not being able to access.

In a public declaration, shared on January 8, 2021 CONFENIAE’s anticipating the International Day of Education (an annual international observance day dedicated to education), Vargas highlighted how by prioritizing virtual education in the context of COVID–19, the Ministry of Education excluded indigenous girls, boys and teenagers from education, by ignoring the amazonic geographical contexts, lack of proper infrastructure and social inequities in the region.

Continue reading “Educational situation in the Amazon at the start of the year”

Ecuadorian repository of literature on Interculturality and Ethnoeducation: open access

Repositorio

A new bibliographic Repository of Intercultural Bilingual Education, Ethnoeducation and Interculturality is online.

The project has addressed the problem of fragmentation and loss of research on interculturality and etnoeducation. The Repository includes books, articles, essays, and theses that are in different public or private libraries and archives. This activity has been coordinated by the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar Sede Ecuador (UASB-E), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE), Universidad de Cuenca, Universidad Politécnica Salesiana (UPS), the publisher house Abya Yala, and UNICEF. Universidad Estatal Amazonica will also take part in this effort.

The digital repository is freely accessible for all:

http://www.repositoriointerculturalidad.ec/

 

Una conversación sobre la refundación de la Universidad Intercultural Amawtay Wasi

¡La investigación continúa gracias al zoom! El 30 de septiembre tuve el placer de hablar sobre la reconstitución de la Universidad Intercultural de las Nacionalidades y Pueblos Indígenas Amawtay Wasi, que finalmente debería reabrir el próximo año académico. A la reunión asistieron, además de mí, Ruth Arias, rectora de UEA, Nelson Calapucha, CONFENIAE, miembro de la comisión asesora del Sistema de Educación Intercultural Bilingüe, y Ángel Ramírez, miembro de la comisión gestora de la Amawtay Wasi en esta fase de refundación, luego del cierre por parte del gobierno de Correa, en 2013. La Amawtay Wasi se basa sobre el paradigma de la soberanía epistémica de la Abya Yala (con respecto al proyecto occidental de origen colonial), y el modelo educativo de la interculturalidad como instrumental a la plurinacionalidad, que Ramírez explica como un “modelo nuevo de estadio de monocultural a plurinacional, caracterizados por lenguas, pensamientos, espiritualidades, y colectivos sociales diferentes”, desde los cuales pueden representarse adecuadamente los pensamientos críticos de las varias nacionalidades y pueblos. La colaboración con los representantes de organizaciones como la CONFENIAE es muy importante para establecer los vínculos de la educación superior con los conocimientos, deseos e intereses de las comunidades. La defensa y revitalización de la diversidad epistémica puede apoyar la respuesta resiliente a los cambios profundos de esta época, caracterizada por la deforestación y degradación del medio ambiente y el cambio climático, hasta el de la emergencia sanitaria actual. La educación es un medio fundamental para vencer la marginación y la pobreza, y los conocimientos deben basarse sobre el territorio: como dice Ramírez, ¡los territorios son espacios epistémicos!
Otro principio de la universidad intercultural es el de la proximidad: no se puede esperar que continúe la centralización de los institutos universitarios, especialmente en Quito. Es la universidad la que debe acercarse a los estudiantes. Por ello, la Amawtay Wasi abrirá 6 sitios regionales, dos para la región Amazónica, dos en la Sierra y dos en la Costa; y utilizará todos los canales de comunicación posibles, con una política activa para garantizar el acceso a los cursos para todos, incluso de forma remota.
Mas informaciones el 19 de octubre a las 9:00 (en Ecuador) o 17:00 (en Finlandia), en el webinar sobre “Pluralismo eco-cultural en la educación de calidad” que será presentado ese día, en el seminario de derechos humanos en la Amazonia, por el derecho a la educación, organizado en el marco de la celebración del 18º aniversario de fundación de la Universidad Estatal Amazónica.

CfP: Special Issue “Education and Socio-environmental Justice in the Pluriverse”

Editors: Paola Minoia, University of Helsinki/Università di Torino & José Castro-Sotomayor, California State University Channel Islands

Expressions of interest in contributing a paper to this special issue for the journal Globalizations are invited in the form of a working title and 600-word abstract of your proposed paper by 10 September 2020, to be submitted by e-mail to paola.minoia@helsinki.fi and jcs@csuci.edu.

Abstracts should include paper title, authorship, author affiliation(s) and contact information (including the email addresses of all authors) and keywords (maximum six). Full papers will be invited following a review of submitted abstracts. Authors will be notified of the outcome no later than 30 September 2020. 

The deadline for the submission of full papers will be 30 January 2021. All submissions will be subject to the journal’s normal high standards of peer review. All accepted papers will be published online without delay, with print publication of the special issue to follow.

A lack of involvement of indigenous and other alternative forms of knowledges persists in most national education plans, confining the notion of quality of education within the western ideology of modernization. The comprehensive development project manifested in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposes through the SDG4 an overall engagement on “quality education for all.” The SGD4 endeavors to support social justice by promoting equal access to education for the most deprived groups; however, it does not acknowledge ontological and epistemic diversity around the world and the need to support alternative ways to learn and produce knowledge. Neither does SDG4 contain any reference to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) adopted in 2007, although the role of education to achieve social and environmental justice is not new. At the institutional and international level, the debate around education has become central in the post-2015 development agenda (McCowan, 2016), drawing attention to education institutions such as intercultural universities. Therefore, the implementation of the UNDRIP in consonant with SGD4 goals particularly regarding education needs more scrutiny. Continue reading “CfP: Special Issue “Education and Socio-environmental Justice in the Pluriverse””

La emergencia sanitaria COVID-19 no justifica que la educación pública pague la crisis económica

(publicado en Inglés en el blog de ESDLA: Edición especial-Covid19)

Redacción: Paola Minoia

#NoalRecorte campaña en Ecuador.

Covid-19 se está expandiendo en Ecuador, pero aún más rápido ha sido la reacción del gobierno para restringir ciertos derechos. Nadie se atreve a impugnar el bloqueo, uno de los más estrictos del mundo, que prohíbe la movilidad de las personas desde las 2 de la tarde hasta las 5 de la mañana. Sin embargo, algunas restricciones que involucran derechos fundamentales para el pueblo ecuatoriano, es decir, educación para todos, están causando descontento. El enfoque en esta publicación de blog es el derecho a la educación superior, especialmente para los grupos de personas de bajos ingresos que asisten a universidades públicas. Mi conocimiento de la Universidad Estatal Amazónica (UEA), desde mi primera visita en 2015, me permite afirmar que el personal administrativo y académico de esta Universidad, ubicada en la provincia de Pastaza, verdaderamente se compromete a servir a sus estudiantes lo mejor que puedan. Continue reading “La emergencia sanitaria COVID-19 no justifica que la educación pública pague la crisis económica”

The Covid-19 health emergency cannot be a justification for making public education pay for the economic crisis

(reposted from ESDLA blog: Special Issue-Covid19)

By Paola Minoia

#NoalRecorte campaign in Ecuador banner. Source: Internet.

Covid-19 is expanding in Ecuador, but even more rapid has been the reaction by the government to restrict certain rights. No one dares to contest the lockdown, one of the strictest worldwide, that forbids the mobility of people from 2 pm until 5 am. However, some restrictions that are involving fundamental rights for the Ecuadorian people, i.e.: education for all, are causing discontent. The focus in this blog post is the right to higher education, especially for the less affluent groups of people who attend public universities. My knowledge of the Universidad Estatal Amazonica (UEA) – since my first visit in 2015, allows me to tell how much the administrative and academic staff of this University, located in the Pastaza province, is committed to serve their students to the best of their possibilities. Continue reading “The Covid-19 health emergency cannot be a justification for making public education pay for the economic crisis”