Board of Affirmation recommendations to WINHEC Board 2005
At the WINHEC formation meeting in Canada in August 2002 the Executive Board asked fellow Board member Dr. Ray Barnhardt to Chair the WINHEC Working Party on Accreditation. Dr. Barnhardt had been researching and developing accreditation ideas and models over a number of years and the Board recognized his experience and expertise. This Working Party was charged with creating an accreditation body for Indigenous education iniatives and systems that identify common criteria, practices and principles by which Indigenous Peoples live.
In November 2002 the Working Party on Accreditation conducted a series of meetings in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Otaki, New Zealand. The two meetings, consisting of representatives of Indigenous Peoples from around the world, produced a draft set of guiding principles (listed below) which were approved by the WINHEC Executive Board and then served as a basis for constructing an Indigenous higher education accreditation system, which was adopted by the WINHEC Board in Honolulu, Hawai’i on 12 August 2003.
Guiding Principles for WINHEC Accreditation Authority
[Adopted by WINHEC Executive Board on Nov. 10, 2002]
Following are the guiding principles considered in the formation of an Indigenous higher education accrediting system for implementation under the auspices of the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium.
- The WINHEC Accreditation Authority will serve as a vehicle for strengthening and validating Indigenous higher education institutions and Programmes based on standards and procedures developed and implemented by WINHEC member institutions.
- The criteria for accreditation review will be founded upon the diverse Indigenous language and cultural beliefs, protocols, laws and practices that provide the epistemological and pedagogical basis for the institutions and Programmes under review, and will be applied in a manner that is consistent with the principles outlined in the 1993 United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the 1994 Mataatua Declaration on Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the 1999 Coolangatta Statement on Indigenous Rights in Education.
- The primary focus of the WINHEC Accreditation Authority will be the internal congruence and cultural integrity of the institutions/Programmes under review, with secondary consideration given to linkages with external/mainstream institutions and accreditation systems.
- The WINHEC Accreditation Authority will provide a means for institution-level accreditation of Indigenous-controlled higher education institutions, as well as Programme-level accreditation of Indigenous-oriented Programmes within Indigenous and mainstream institutions (including teacher education Programmes).
- The accreditation review process will include the role of locally respected Elders and recognised cultural practitioners, and the use of the heritage language(s) as reflected in the institution/Programme under review.
- The WINHEC Accreditation Authority will promote Indigenous research that is respectful of cultural and intellectual property rights and closely integrated with the communities being served.
- The WINHEC Accreditation Authority self-study process will be guided by local cultural standards that are developed by the respective Indigenous communities, and thus will provide international recognition and validation for educational initiatives grounded in Indigenous world views, knowledge systems and ways of knowing.
- The WINHEC Accreditation Authority will provide accredited institutions and Programmes with access to the following WINHEC services:
- Each accredited institutional member shall receive formal acknowledgement and recognition of its accreditation status in the form of an official certificate from WINHEC, have one vote on the Accreditation Authority Board, and be invited to participate in Programme reviews of other Applicants for Accreditation.
- Each accredited member shall be included in the planning and implementation of cooperative activities (e.g., conferences, scholar/student exchanges, shared Programmes/curricula, cooperative research initiatives) of WINHEC Programmes and institutions.
- Each accredited member shall have opportunities to enrol students in and contribute to the offerings associated with articulated international baccalaureate and graduate degree Programmes focusing on Indigenous studies, including the acceptance of approved transfer credits among all member Programmes and institutions.
- Accredited members shall have opportunities for faculty and students to form partnerships on joint research activities and to participate in faculty/student exchanges among member Programmes and institutions.
- Accredited members shall be responsible for contributing to and have access to a database of Indigenous scholars for external review of research papers, theses, grant proposals, manuscripts, etc.
- Accredited members shall be invited to participate in and contribute to international seminars, conferences, policy papers and comparable initiatives that pertain to the interests of the member Programmes and institutions.
The WINHEC Accreditation group are also guided by the WINHEC Vision, Mission & Goals:
“We gather as Indigenous Peoples of our respective nations recognizing and reaffirming the educational rights of all Indigenous Peoples. We share the vision of all Indigenous Peoples of the world united in the collective synergy of self determination through control of higher education. Committed to building partnerships that restore and retain Indigenous spirituality, cultures and languages, homelands, social systems, economic systems and self determination.”
Provide a forum and support for Indigenous peoples to pursue common goals through higher education.
The purpose of WINHEC is to provide an international forum and support for Indigenous Peoples to pursue common goals through higher education, including but not limited to:
- Accelerating the articulation of Indigenous epistemologies (ways of knowing, education, philosophy, and research);
- Protecting and enhancing Indigenous spiritual beliefs, culture and languages through higher education;
- Advancing the social, economical, and political status of Indigenous Peoples that contribute to the well-being of Indigenous communities through higher education;
- Creating an accreditation body for Indigenous education initiatives and systems that identify common criteria, practices and principles by which Indigenous Peoples live;
- Recognizing the significance of Indigenous education;
- Creating a global network for sharing knowledge through exchange forums and state of the art technology;
- Recognizing the educational rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- In addition, Protecting, preserving and advocating Indigenous cultural and intellectual property rights, in particular the reaffirming and observance of the Mataatua Declaration on Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples (June, 1993); and
- Promoting the maintenance, retention and advancement of traditional Indigenous bodies of knowledge.
For further information contact Ray Barnhardt at: email@example.com