Indigenous Graduate and Professional Students Decolonizing, Reconciling, and Indigenizing Belongingness in Higher Education
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Although belongingness has been conceptualized by higher education institutions in marginalizing ways, we reclaim the construct as authentic relationships characterized by humanization, mutuality, and respect for students' cultural assets, values, and social identities. To dismantle colonizing perspectives and foreground Indigenous ways of knowing and being, our study reflects narratives of three cis-male, Indigenous graduate and professional students and their educational experiences in the U.S. Through a collective case study with an autoethnographic lens, our findings highlighted decolonizing aspects of belongingness of embracing Indigenous values of the Peoplehood Matrix, emphasizing relationality in community, and bridging Indigenous knowledge with academia.