Author (Your Name)

Joshua Gerber, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Anthropology Dept.


Jeffrey D. Anderson


The following chapters address Ecuadorian history, identity politics. and the education system to analyze UINPI's role in the reformation of indigenous identity. To provide a backdrop for UINPI's identity project, chapter one establishes a historical framework of the development of racialized constructions of indigenous identity in Ecuador. It utilizes Plumwood's hierarchical dualism to address the ways in which identity ideology justified and motivated the often-brutal socio-political domination of euro-mestizo peoples in Ecuador. Chapter two addresses the role of identity at UlNPI, arguing that the university's identity project is oriented towards the reformation of indigenous identity, rather than the representation of a concrete, primordial construction of indigenousness. UINPI's methodology is presented in chapter three, which addresses the tactics that the university is utilizing to legitimize and assert its constructions of identity. Chapter three addresses scientific multiculturalism and the ethnopolitical nature of the university's identity constructions. Chapter four calls UlNPI's focus upon identity into question, arguing that to benefit the indigenous community, the university must maintain a balance between practical and academic programs. I analyze some of the structural problems affecting indigenous higher education, and argue that to address the needs of indigenous communities. UINPI must focus upon socio-economics as well as identity. The chapter makes use of the American Indian tribal college model to present an alternative that addresses both identity and the socio-economic needs of the community.


Indigenous peoples -- Ecuador, Indigenous peoples -- Education (Higher) -- Ecuador, Indigenous peoples -- Ethnic identity, Education, higher -- Social aspects -- Ecuador

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