Turtle Island (North America) Indigenous Higher Education Institutions and Environmental Sustainability Education





Indigenous higher education, Indigenous Peoples, environmental education, North America, comparative discourse analysis


This article explores the environmental and sustainability programs of Indigenous Higher Education Institutions (IHEIs) in North America. There are 38 Tribal Colleges and Universities in the United States and 26 Indigenous post-secondary institutions in Canada. Deploying a critical discourse analysis, the study examines IHEI websites to document Indigenous environmental sustainability education (ESE) program offerings. The comparative analysis of IHEI programming in each national context finds that 41 out of 62 IHEIs in Canada and the United States have Indigenous ESE programs. Findings also indicate that ESE programs are more prevalent among IHEIs in the United States than in Canada. Moreover, IHEIs in the United States also offered greater diversity of program types, from certificates to graduate studies. The findings highlight the importance of IHEI environmental and sustainability education program design for centering Indigenous Knowledge in higher education through Indigenous-controlled institutions.


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Author Biography

Kelsey Leonard, University of Waterloo

(Shinnecock Nation)

Assitant Professor, Faculty of Environment


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How to Cite

Leonard, K. (2021). Turtle Island (North America) Indigenous Higher Education Institutions and Environmental Sustainability Education. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 13(Summer), 90–133. https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v13iSummer.3279



Summer 2021 Special Edition