Survivance: Indigenous Scholarship & Community Engagement
IndigeNations Scholars Program:
Survivance Studies involves four-semester courses: Sovereign Knowledge, Metacognition of Indigeneity, Chicana/o Studies, and Latin American Studies offered to all students in grades eleven and twelve. This year, students in these grade levels are engaging in this course material through the existing courses including art and design, Chicana/o Studies and College Preparation. Additionally, all twelfth-grade students are enrolled in a weekly intensive cultural arts and knowledge course with the Head of School. Through these courses, all students are engaged in the organization of a reflective project in which students identify, analyze, critically discuss and evaluate an ethical issue arising from their survivance studies and career-related studies culminating in three key learning experiences. First, is an international student summit focused upon the issues faced by indigenous students. Second, is an experiential learning cultural exchange with indigenous nations across the continent. Third, students will engage in an educational mission to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. These integrated and extended learning opportunities encourage students to engage in personal inquiry, action and reflection, and to develop strong research and communication skills. The model is based upon an autodidactic online platform developed by indigenous peoples accessed by all eleventh and twelfth grade students. All participating students have chosen from non-linear quests that are structured in the phases of the Indigenous life journey. All students are on track to complete project requirements.
Anahuacalmecac College-ready Diploma Matrix Grades 11 and 12 Culminating program pathways
Anahuacalmecac has emerged from its thirteen-year experience with indigenous education, firmly rooted in strong foundations prepared to advance the design of a unique career-related certificate-styled program to serve our students as an extension of our IB MYP program and unique cultural and linguistic needs as Indigenous Peoples. Anahuacalmecac also aims for all students continuously enrolled to earn a UC approved A-G aligned high school diploma with a seal of biliteracy from the State of California. As with all program design in Anahuacalmecac, further development will be decided upon through a collaborative process involving the school’s co-principals, founding teachers and Curriculum Committee following the guidelines of University of California requirements, the College Board, the International Baccalaureate and California State Priorities and the Common Core State Standards.
Reflective Project: The Survivance Game
Survivance among Indigenous Peoples is defined as “the human drive for education and the important purpose of exposing worldviews and epistemologies in education”.
Through a reflective project, students identify, analyze, critically discuss and evaluate an ethical issue arising from their survivance studies and career-related studies. Survivance Studies involves four-semester courses: Sovereign Knowledge, Metacognition of Indigeneity, Chicana/o Studies, and Latin American Studies. The reflective Project is only one aspect of Survivance Studies but it is the crystallization of the student’s own metacognitive analysis of colonization, decolonization, deculturalizaton and regeneration as paradigms of human existence.
The project can be submitted in different formats including an essay, web page or short film.
This work encourages the student to engage in personal inquiry, action and reflection, and to develop strong research and communications skills. The model is based upon an autodidactic online platform developed by indigenous peoples. Survivance is a social impact game that asks us to explore our presence and create works of art as a pathway to healing. Players choose from non-linear quests that are structured in the phases of the Indigenous life journey. At the end of each quest, players create an act of survivance—a form of self-determination based on Anishinaabe scholar Gerald Vizenor’s term “survivance.” Survivance merges survival and endurance in asserting Indigenous presence in contemporary media. The game is composed of three steps Questing, Acting and sharing.
Acts of Survivance
An act of survivance is Indigenous self-expression in any medium that tells a story about our active presence in the world now.
The act of survivance can be shared online or offline.
 Villegas, M., Rak Neugebauer, S., & Venegas, K. Editor’s Introduction: Indigenous Knowledge and Education, Sites of Struggle, Strength and Survivance. Harvard Educational Review. 2008.