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The thesis on which this book is based is a culmination of my research which drew on tyangi wedi tjan Rak Mak Mak Marranunggu and Marrithiel knowledge systems. These awa mirr spiritual knowledge systems have guided our Pilu for millennium and have powerful spiritual affiliation to the land and our continued presences. The understandings of the spiritual connectedness and our practices of relatedness have drawn on Pulitj, our deep awa mirr spiritual philosophy that nourishes us on our country. This philosophy gave us our voice and our presence to act in our own ways of knowing and being on the landscapes created by the Western bureaucratic systems of higher education in Australia to bring forth our Tyikim knowledge systems to serve our own educational interests.
From this spiritual ‘Puliyana kunun’ philosophical position the book examines colonising constructions of Tyikim peoples, Tyikim knowledge systems in education, Tyikim research and access to higher education for Tyikim students. From the research, it is argued that the paradigm, within which the enclave-derived approach to Indigenous higher education is located, is compatible with the normalising imperialistic ideology of higher education. The analysis of the Mirrwana/Wurrkama participatory action research project, central to the research, supported an argument for the Mirrwana/Wurrkama model of Indigenous higher education. Further analysis identifi ed fi ve key pedagogical principles embedded within this new model as metaphorically equivalent to wilan~bu of the pelangu. The book identifies the elements of the spirituality of the narrative exposed in the research-in-action through the “Marri kubin mi thit wa!”. This is a new paradigm for Tyikim participation in higher education within which the Mirrwana/Wurrkama model is located. Finally, the book identifies the scope for Tyikim knowledge use in the construction of contemporary ‘bureaucratic and institutionalised’ higher education ngun nimbil thit thit teaching and learning experiences of Tyikim for the advancement of Tyikim interests. Here the tyangi yigin tjan spiritual concepts of narrative and landscape are drawn upon both awa mirr metaphorically and in marri kubin mi thit wa Tyikim pedagogical practice.
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