Photo of Elizabeth Sumida Huaman in a green field among ruins of tan stone wallsAt Pikillaqta, an archaeological site in Cusco, Peru

Exploring Indigenous knowledge systems

Indigenous knowledge and culture is the focus of a new faculty member in comparative and international development education

Elizabeth Sumida Huaman aims to address how Indigenous knowledge systems—what Indigenous peoples know about the world around us—inform both in- and out-of-school educational experiences for children and community members.

Sumida Huaman comes to Minnesota from the University of Arizona. She joins the comparative and international development education track faculty as an associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development.

Scholarship for her is both personal and global.

“I come from a beautiful community in the Andean highlands of Peru,” she says. “As a Wanka and Quechua female scholar, my cultural identity and academic life have been shaped by my dedication and responsibility to my home community and to our Andean peoples and ancestral homelands.”

Sumida Huaman has built long-term collaborative research relationships with Indigenous communities and tribal institutions in North and South America, which she incorporates into her teaching. This spring she plans to offer a course called Indigenous Education: Research, Policy, and Practice.

“The course will merge new approaches in comparative and international education with innovative work on reconceptualizing education that is being done by Indigenous peoples across the globe,” she explains. She is excited to join the CEHD community.

“As a comparative education researcher, I am looking forward to being in a space with colleagues who are shaping our field and open to conversations about confronting coloniality,” she says. “The connections I’ve started to make at the University have really impressed upon me the openness and support of colleagues who are genuinely interested in each other’s work. Our world really needs healing, and for people to put that kind of good energy into doing that work is inspiring.”

Learn more about Elizabeth Sumida Huaman in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development.

Story by Alex Evenson | Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Sumida Huaman | Winter 2019