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INDG100: Introduction to Decolonization

Authority in Academia

In an academic or scholarly setting, consider the following questions:
  • Do they have previous experience?
  • What kind of education do they have? Do they have any degrees or qualifications?
  • What else have they written or what areas do they do research?
  • How does their work connect with other sources on the topic?
  • Are they affiliated with an organization or institution, such as a prestigious University?
But how can we extend this?
  • Whose expertise, knowledge, and authority gets prioritized, privileged and stored?
  • What formats of knowledge and information are seen as valuable and worth storing?


Authority in Indigenous Contexts

In Indigenous Studies, we come across many different expressions of authority, including:

  • Elders and family (lived experiences)
  • Oral histories (how information is passed down)
  • Art (representations of history and culture)
  • Community relationships (interpersonal and within larger community)


Libraries are not always good at reflecting and respecting these expressions of authority.