LAWRENCE — In honor of Native American Heritage Month, departments at the University of Kansas are bringing Alex Red Corn, assistant professor of educational leadership at Kansas State University, to offer a presentation titled “Liberating Sovereign Potential in Indigenous Education: Building Capacity and Confronting Colonial Entanglements.”
The lecture will take place at noon Nov. 17 at The Commons and center tribal sovereignty, as well as feature opportunities to reconsider Indigenous education systems so that they prioritize Indigenous values and the governance systems of Native nations.
Red Corn’s lecture introduces tribal sovereignty and explains the need to engage in the complexity of Indigenous relationships with education while introducing the liberating sovereign potential model. The event is sponsored by the KU Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging; the Office of the Director of Tribal Relations; and The Commons.
A citizen of Osage Nation, Red Corn has published on this work in the Journal of School Leadership, in which he introduces a model for evaluating and advancing education systems for Native students that considers communities in which students live, prioritizes growth of students across professional domains and actively interrogates existing systems to identify opportunities for growth and change within them.
“Through ‘Liberating Sovereign Potential,’ I want to encourage educators to critically reflect on how educational systems are still working towards the original goals of settler-colonialism and assimilation,” Red Corn said. “There is a need to confront these entanglements that we have all inherited and reconsider the potential of our systems if we allow for a re-centering of our thinking around the cultural and political systems found within Native nations.”
At K-State, Red Corn also is the coordinator of Indigenous partnerships, the co-chair of the Indigenous Faculty and Staff Alliance, the executive director of the Kansas Association for Native American Education and program coordinator for the Qualitative Methods Graduate Certificate. Red Corn is also a graduate of the KU School of Education & Human Sciences, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees.