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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/29656

Title: Yoruba Indigenous Knowledges in the African Diaspora: Knowledge, Power and the Politics of Indigenous Spirituality
Other Titles: N/A
Authors: Adefarakan, Elizabeth Temitope
Advisor: Dei, George Jerry Sefa
Department: Sociology and Equity Studies in Education
Keywords: Sociology of Education
Ethnic and Racial Studies
Philosophy of Religion
Spirituality
Indigenous Studies
African Diaspora - Canada
Biblical Studies
Gender Studies
Issue Date: 29-Aug-2011
Abstract: This study investigates how Yoruba migrants make meaning of Yoruba Indigenous knowledges in the African Diaspora, specifically within the geopolitical space of dominant Canadian culture. This research is informed by the lived experiences of 16 Africans of Yoruba descent now living in Toronto, Canada, and explores how these first and second generation migrants construct the spiritual and linguistic dimensions of Yoruba Indigenous identities in their everyday lives. While Canada is often imagined as a sanctuary for progressive politics, it nonetheless is also a hegemonic space where inequities continue to shape the social engagements of everyday life. Hence, this dissertation situates the historical and contemporary realities of colonialism and imperialism, by beginning with the premise that people in diasporic Yoruba communities are continuously affected by the complicated interplay of various forms of oppression such as racism, and inequities based on language, gender and religion. This study is situated within a socio–historical and cosmological context to effectively examine colonialism’s impact on Yoruba Indigenous knowledges. Yet, inversely, this study also involves discussion of how these knowledges are utilized as decolonizing tools of navigation, subversion and resistance. The central focus of this research is the articulation of colonial oppression and how it has reconfigured Yoruba Indigenous identities even within a purportedly ‘multicultural’ space. First, the historical dis/continuities of the Yoruba language in Yorubaland are investigated. This strand of the research considers British colonization, and more specifically, the Church Missionary Society’s (CMS) efforts at translating the Bible into Yoruba as pivotal in the colonial project. What kinds of categories does missionary education create that differ from pre-colonial categories of Yoruba Indigenous identity? How are these new identities shaped along lines of race and gender? In other words, what happens when Yoruba cosmology encounters colonialism? The second strand of this research investigates how these historical colonialisms have set the framework for enduring contemporary colonialisms that continue to fracture Yoruba Indigenous knowledges. This dissertation offers insights relevant to diversity and equitable pedagogy through careful consideration of the complicated strategies used by participants in their negotiations of Yoruba identities within a context of social inequity and colonialism.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/29656
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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