One of the most critical aspects of decolonising knowledge is freeing those knowledges that have remained captured in indigenous communities – that have been suppressed and made invisible in the Western canons of academic disciplines. These knowledges have been further marginalised through erased and endangered languages, located outside mainstream culture and academia.
This project aims to establish a Global Research Network for Indigenous Knowledge Restoration with global indigenous scholars tackling the challenge of cultural understanding of indigenous knowledge, languages and cultural practices and addressing their marginalisation through the development of a co-designed digital archive. It aims to provide a strong platform from which comparative research in indigenous knowledge restoration – which has thus far been limited to isolated pockets of research – can take place.
Through its Research Development Fund, the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) has thrown its weight and funding behind the establishment of the San and Khoe Research Unit at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
The San and Khoe Research Unit is an interdisciplinary unit that will address important research questions around indigeneity, identity, non-racialism and anti-racism within the framework of land reform and language restoration. It will also host cultural programmes, programmes on research ethics and the repatriation of unethically acquired human remains.
Archaeology is changing, slowly. But it’s still too tied up in colonial practices
For many people, the mention of archaeology makes them think of Indiana Jones. He’s the hero of the 1980s movie franchise – but any archaeologist will tell you that Indiana isn’t very good at his job.
For starters, he destroys so much of the contextual information that could tell people more about the site where an artefact was found, the climate at the time, what material was used to make something and whether that material was local or from another area. That’s all just as important as the exciting artefact he’s trying to find.
See links below to read the tribute articles remembering and celebrating the life of Professor Harry Garuba.