‘He too has the Right to be Educated’: Inclusion and Identity in Ecuador’s Indigenous Movement, 1927-2009’

Abigail Koffler, University of Pennsylvania

This paper was part of the 2014-2015 Penn Humanities Forum on Color. Find out more at http://www.phf.upenn.edu/annual-topics/color.


The first chapter examines the organizational tactics and goals of activists in the 1930s and 40s, with a special focus on collaboration with communist and socialist organizations and the value of urban and rural partnerships. In chapter two, the narrative jumps to the 1980s where organization shifts including the formation of confederations push the state to assume the mantle of educating Indigenous citizens. These confederations and the burgeoning relationships with the state set the stage for further structural evolution: the creation of an indigenous political party and several highly visible campaigns. In addition, Chapter two begins to examine the model of intercultural bilingual education and how various actors developed and advanced it. Chapter three includes a case study of the Achuar people and the complexities of education in that context and examines the academic movements and discourse around the intercultural bilingual education with a focus on the intentions of educations regarding the indigenous role in society. An epilogue surveys the two most pressing issues facing Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples today, one pragmatic and political and the other conceptual: oil and national identity. Petroleum resources and land control and rights are of the utmost urgency as is defining what it means to be Ecuadorian. Plurinationalism comes with many promises.


Date Posted: 17 November 2016