Indigenous Women Futuring

This panel is an introduction to Indigenous Futures and Learnings Taking Place, an edited volume with contributions from Indigenous women, women of Indigenous backgrounds, Black, Red, and Brown women, and women whose scholarship is committed to Indigenous matters across spaces and times. Indigenous Futures Taking Place disrupts the common sense of “futures” in education or “knowledge for the future” by examining the multiplicity of possible destinies in coexistent experiences of living and learning. Taking place is the intention this book has to embody and world multiplicity across the landscapes that sustain life. The book contends that Indigenous perspectives open spaces for new forms of sociality and relationships with knowledge, time, and landscapes.

Through Goanna walking and caring for Country; conjuring encounters between forests, humans, and the more-than-human; dreams, dream literacies, and planes of existence; the spirit realm taking place; ancestral luchas; Musquem hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ Land pedagogies; and resoluteness and gratitude for atunhetsla / the spirit within, the chapters in the collection become politicocultural and (hi)storical statements challenging the singular order of the future towards multiple encounters of all that is to come. In doing so, Indigenous Futures Taking Place offers various points of departure to (hi)story educational futures more responsive to the multiplicities of lives in what has not yet become. The work in the chapters often defies prescriptions of academic conventions, and at times occupies them to enunciate ontologies of the not yet. As people historically fabricated the “women” writers, and their scholarly production critically intervenes on time to break teleological education that births patriarchal-ised and master-ised forms of living. What emerges are presences that undiscipline education and educationalised social life breaking futures out of time.


Associate Professor Sana Nakata, Associate Dean, Indigenous, Faculty of Arts and co-director of the Indigenous Settler Relations Collaboration, the University of Melbourne.


Ligia (Licho) López López is of Abiayala, an uninvited guest on Wurrundjeri Country, and a Senior Lecturer at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education-University of Melbourne. She is the author of The Making of Indigeneity, Curriculum History, and the Limits of Diversity (Routledge, 2018). Her work has appeared in Race Ethnicity and Education, British Journal of Sociology of Education, and Curriculum Inquiry.

Gioconda Coello is a doctoral candidate in the department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research is interdisciplinary and looks at the history of ideas in education and their relation to the politics of being, Indigenous, Brown and Black lives, and environmental education in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Her work has appeared in Revista Asia-America Latina.

Grace Pimentel Simbulan is a documentary filmmaker whose works have been screened throughout the Philippines, South Korea, Japan, and China. Her first feature film appeared on CNN Philippines Top 10 Films of 2019. She is a 2nd year MA student at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies- University of Wisconsin-Madison where her research focuses on the various forces affecting Indigenous groups in the Southern Philippines.

Roberta Hill (aka Roberta Hill Whiteman) (1947-), Oneida, is a poet, fiction writer and scholar. Poetry collections include Star Quilt (Holy Cow! Press, 2001); Philadelphia Flowers (Holy Cow! Press, 1996) and Cicadas: New and Selected Poetry (Holy Cow! Press, 2013). Her poetry has appeared in magazines and anthologies, including Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas (2011). Her most recent short story, “Reading the Streets” appeared in Narrative Witness #2, “Indigenous Peoples: Australia-United States”.

Dr Jo Anne Rey is a Dharug community member connected into Sydney’s Dharug colonial storying through Ancestors, Presences and Places, particularly Wallumattagal Country: the place and people of the Wallumai, the Snapper fish. She cares for Ngurra through thoughtful academic, creative, and poetic writing as well as community involvement.

Early in 2019, Jo completed her doctoral thesis: Country Tracking Voices: Dharug women’s perspectives on presences, places, and practices at Macquarie University. It presents the voices and perspectives of seven Dharug women, yarned from their significant places of connection, about Dharug continuity when Country is a colonised, cosmopolitan city. Later that same year, Jo was invited to develop a first-year undergraduate unit within the Indigenous Studies department based on her thesis, which she has since been delivering.

In 2020, Jo became a Research Fellow with Macquarie University’s Indigenous and Geography Departments, weaving postdoctoral Dharug research across three Dharug sites. Her journey walks with Dharug community, her Ancestors, and weaving across Ngurra. Yanama budyari gumada: Walking with good spirit.

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