Unsettling Engagements: Collaborations with Indigenous Nations, Communities, and Individuals


  • Scott Scoggins Pitzer College
  • Erich Steinman Pitzer College


Higher Education, Indigenous Communities, Community Engagement


The presence of urban Indian communities and American Indian tribal nations in and near metropolitan areas creates tremendous potential for expanding campuscommunity collaborations regarding teaching, research, and service. However, many challenges must be addressed, including acknowledging the colonial context of relations between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in general as well as the specific role that education has played in the ongoing marginalization of American Indians. Rather than simply serving American Indian communities, academic engagement must be premised on self-scrutiny and intercultural respect that will unsettle taken-for-granted academic perspectives, logics, and procedures. Such efforts can generate deeply rewarding and valuable outcomes.