Mapuche People in Academia: Challenging Narratives About Displaced Indigenous Identities


Human Arenas
Otros Autores: Camila Pérez

This paper explores the trajectories of the authors as indigenous women who are members of the Mapuche people. It focuses on the experience of constructing indigenous identities in colonial urban spaces and positioning in academia. This qualitative study follows a flexible methodology oriented to producing and analyzing personal narratives related to the journey of self-identification and the subsequent insertion in the academic space. The findings reveal the difficulties of constructing indigenous identities amidst the dispossession of land, loss of native language, and diaspora, which are the most notorious consequences of the internal process of colonization promoted by the Chilean state against the Mapuche people. This affects both past and new generations of indigenous people, giving rise to the construction of different profiles, emerging from nuanced circumstances that do not fit in with ingrained beliefs or stereotypes about indigeneity. In the cases of the authors, this means questioning their indigenous authenticity, since they are part of a generation born outside the ancestral territory and have lost their Mapuche surnames. The results also expose the obstacles faced by indigenous people in accessing academia and in validating their perspective of research on indigenous topics. Moreover, this study appeals to the accountability of academic institutions to eradicate the mechanisms through which the exclusion of indigenous peoples is perpetuated.

Como citar: Sepúlveda, D., & Pérez, C. (2022). Mapuche People in Academia: Challenging Narratives About Displaced Indigenous Identities. Human Arenas.