Council on Anthropology and Education
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
In today’s neoliberal times, a new phase seems apparent, where the ideology of extractivism is intertwined with indigenous education (directly or indirectly), in an idiom of corporate philanthropy, yet with a complex agenda – a process termed ‘extraction education’ (Walker 2018). It explains how extractive companies are funding ‘education for, through and as extraction’, i.e funding schools not just as a means to gain legitimacy, but also to bring about a rapid change of mindset and values for indigenous youth, likely to turn them into willing workers as well as to undermine movements against extraction. If extractivism is ‘re-engineering’ education in a ‘developed’ country such as Canada, how does one understand the momentous influences of this extractivism-education nexus on indigenous children in ‘developing countries’ such as India and Ecuador, not just in how they understand the world, but also as ‘future people’ (Watene 2011) in how they operate in it, leading productive lives in an economy increasingly dominated by extractivism? Extractivism dominates the economy in the Andean countries, as in central India that has large tribal populations as well as extensive mineral deposits. It also gives rise to an overarching ideology that emphasizes material progress. The ‘neoextractivism’ promoted in Ecuador uses revenues from extractive projects to fund social welfare ‘for the people’. Given this, the paper fleshes out different forms which the nexus between extractivism and education assumes in these two contexts, with varying degrees and nature of indigenous politics but a shared pursuit of increasing economic growth through extractivism.