Cultural Resilience and Survivance

Topic 5: Cultural Resilience and Survivance

Overview and Goals of the lesson

Non-western ways of knowing, including Indigenous Epistemologies, have persisted despite attempts by the US federal government to systematically erase knowledges that center relationality and collectivism. In this session, learners will be introduced to the Mohave Project - Salt Songs of the Nuwuvi. Learners engage in dialogue around asset-based understandings of Native and Indigenous resistance and survivance and critically reflect upon notions of cultural appropriation and the ways in which scholars engage with Indigenous knowledge systems within the academy.

How can we leverage asset-based and culturally-relevant scholarship and practices toward racially and culturally equitable change in higher education?

Keywords: cultural survivance, Native and Indigenous Epistemologies, culturally-relevant student support


Discussion questions

  • What are the implications of modern deficit-based approaches to BIPOC student support and engagement in higher education?
  • Considering the Mohave Project - Salt Songs of the Nuwuvi, how might ways of knowing inform approaches to culturally-relevant pedagogical and co-curricular experiences?
  • When and where is it appropriate to introduce non-western ways of knowing and how do we actively disrupt cultural appropriation?

Foundational Theoretical Scholarly Engagements

Brayboy, B. M. J. & Maughan, E. (2009). Indigenous knowledges and the story of the bean. Harvard Educational Review, 79(1), 1-21.

Anthony-Stevens, V. (2017). Cultivating alliances: Reflections on the role of non-Indigenous collaborators in Indigenous educational sovereignty. Journal of American Indian Education, 56(1), 81-104.


Illuminating Survivance in Research Methods and Analysis


Video Panel: Indigenous Methodologies Series with Dr. Sandy Grande, Janene Yazzie, & Valerie Shirley


Praxis Scholarly Resource

Mohave Project - Salt Songs of the Nuwuvi: https://mojaveproject.org/dispatches-item/bringing-creation-back-together-again-the-salt-songs-of-the-nuwuvi/

8 min audio recording: Matt Leivas Sr., Salt Song Singer


Additional Resources

Paris, D. & Winn, M.T. (2014). Humanizing research: Decolonizing qualitative inquiry with youth and communities.

Grande, S. (2014). Red Pedagogy: Native American social and political thought. 10th Anniversary Edition. Rowman & Littlefield.

Reyes, N. A. S. (2017). A space for survivance: Locating Kānaka Maoli through the resonance and dissonance of critical race theory. Race Ethnicity and Education, 1-18.

Smith, L. T. (2013). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples. Zed Books Ltd.

Garcia-Olp, M., Nelson, C., Hinzo, A., & Young, D. A. (2020). Indigenous epistemologies: Implementing Indigenous Practices and Perceptions to the Area of STEM. Curriculum & Teaching Dialogue, 22.

Keene, A., Tachine, A. R., & Nelson, C. (2017). Braiding our (in)visibility: Native women navigating the doctoral process through social media. Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity, 3(1), 43-76.


Support ASHE!


Purchase ANY item sold on Amazon.com, through the link above, and ASHE will receive 6% of the purchase price.