Deadline Extended for the 2021 Special Issue on Indigenous and Trans-Systemic Knowledge Systems


                                                                               CALL FOR PAPERS

                                                 SPECIAL ISSUE (Volume 7, Issue 1, Spring 2021)

                                       INDIGENOUS & TRANS-SYSTEMIC KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS

                                                                                Guest Editors:

                                                          Marie Battiste and J.Y. Henderson

In 1982, Canada ended its colonial relations with Great Britain and generated a post-colonial nation that is founded on Aboriginal and treaty rights with the Aboriginal nations. It reaffirmed a new order based on constitutional supremacy and the rule of law that guarantees the effective enjoyment of the constitutional rights of Aboriginal peoples, both collectively and individually. These constitutional rights together with the first generation of First Nations, Metis and Inuit to be educated in Eurocentric or western knowledge systems in Canadahave created a cognitive nexus for a trans-generational alliance between knowledge systems.  This nexus is unfolding and generating many innovative dialogues, quandaries, and growing opportunities for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars. It has caused a proliferation of literature on Indigenous knowledge. Over the last 40 plus years since the federal policy on Indian Control of Indian Education, Indigenous peoples have been advancing Indigenous knowledge systems and languages in schools and generated new scholarship, methodologies, protocols and relationship with Eurocentric knowledge in the curriculum. This required administrators and educators to ethically explore, accommodate and understand the interrelationship of the diverse knowledge systems of Canada systematically. The quandary is how to generate a cognitive symbiosis of these knowledge systems with dignity, ethnically and honourably approaches and principles.  This cognitive reconciliation requires expanding the development of new methodologies and searches that overarchingly link these knowledge systems and their languages together to reveal a fair and equitable Canadian thought.

The UN Declaration of the Rights of IndigenousPeoples has affirmed those knowledges and rights that are protected by the Canadian constitution. Article 31 provides that Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, and in conjunction with Indigenous peoples, states shall take effective measures to recognize and protect the exercise of these rights. These include both tangible and intangible knowledge and heritage.  The Universities Canada and ministers of education in Canada have advanced narratives about the inclusion of Indigenous knowledges at universities and schools, even more so since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission advanced its Calls to Action based on the UN Declaration.

Indigenous knowledge is still not fully understood, nor has it gained its balanced place in the education system. The Tri-Council Policy Statement on ethical research involving the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples of Canada, with the participation and consent of Indigenous scholars in Canada, have adopted a negotiated, minimal, operational definition of Indigenous knowledge. Generally speaking, Indigenous knowledge has four key attributes. First, it is an expression of an intellectual, social and cultural heritage that holistically links a people to the land and seas that generates a cosmology and cognitive orientation. Second, Indigenous knowledge belongs to specific peoples rather than the public domain that create specific law, customs and protocol about who can use, teach, know and continue to use certain parts of that knowledge. Third, Indigenous knowledge is continuously being nurtured, developed and refined similar to ecologies. Fourth, Indigenous knowledge is an inherent right to life-long learning.

At the moment, Indigenous knowledge systems are continuing to be poked and prodded, studied and analyzed from the perspectives of Eurocentric diverse disciplinary knowledges for its benefits. Yet, Indigenous knowledge systems exist separate from disciplinary knowledges of the Eurocentric or western tradition. It has unique purposes, foundations, languages, protocols and processes for engaging those knowledge systems. New communities of interest in Indigenous knowledge are emerging based on appropriate alliances, collaborations, protocols, principles, discourses and methodologies. They demonstrate a growing necessity of constructing and evaluating a trans-systemic method that is an honourable reconciliation between the knowledge systems regarding what can be known, shared and appropriately used in research and new technologies as well as to address new ways of thinking about the universe we live together in.

Trans-systemic is a term created by the faculty of Law at McGill University to reconcile the common law with civil law. This concept has been expanded to reconcile British common law and Indigenous law. Trans-systemic Indigenous knowledge is an orientation that borrows from both Eurocentric and Indigenous knowledge systems.  Most Indigenous scholars today find themselves in this liminal space, having developed their academic traditions from the Eurocentric disciplinary knowledge foundations and with these and innovative experimentation from Indigenous knowledges have inspired an animation and advancement of Indigenous knowledge foundations, protocols, teachings, theory, methods, for reconciliation and restorative purposes, including transforming education from elite assimilative to inclusive and transformative learning.

This thematic journal then seeks to find scholars, communities of interest, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous who are engaged in research, study or active exploration of applied methods or approaches that advance an understanding and appreciation of Indigenous knowledge system(s) as well as trans-systemic approaches. This theme concerns how each approach can be developed holistically, or how Indigenous knowledge might combine with Eurocentric disciplinary methods to create new awareness, new explorations and new inspirations.

We invite diverse presentations, papers, reports of research in progress, audio, artistic or visual outcomes, interviews with Elders or community knowledge holders, poetry, stories, research, experiential learning, book or dissertation reviews, community service learning and scholarship of engagement. An online link to work will be provided beyond the paper and online journal to support the platform of visual or audio submissions.

Please submit your expression of interest in the form of a 200-word abstractby Monday, September 30, 2019. Your abstract can be inserted in the text of your email or as an attachment. Contact information is below.

All submissions will undergo either editorial or peer review. Submissions for the Essays Sectionof the Journal will be subject to double, blind peer review, submissions to other Journal sections will undergo editorial review.

Essays to be subject to blind peer reviewing should:

  • Represent original, unpublished work that is not under consideration by other journals or collections of essays
  • Written in accessible language, to respect multidisciplinary nature of the Journal and the diversity of our readers. Acronyms and abbreviations should be kept to the minimum.
  • Be maximum 8,000 words
  • Include an abstract (200 words) and indicate up to five keywords
  • Be typed, double-spaced throughout, in 12-pt Times New Roman font
  • Be formatted in the American Psychological Association (APA) style, 6th edition
  • Have a separate cover page that includes the names, institutional affiliations, addresses, and contact information of all authors
  • Include author biography/ies (no more than 50 words per author) on a separate sheet
  • Indicate that appropriate Institutional Research Ethics Board approval was secured, if applicable
  • Be formatted and saved in Microsoft Word (no PDF please)
  • Be submitted in two versions, one should include all information to be published, and in the other copy information to be ‘blinded’ should be substituted with blank underlined spaces. Information to be ‘blinded’ includes all text or data that will have to be removed from the essay for blind peer review purposes
  • Submission should be accompanied by authors’ recommendations of at least four scholars, including community-based scholars when applicable, from the author’s field who the Journal may approach with the request to peer review of the issue’s contributions. Such recommendations should include the description of (a) the credentials of the prospective reviewers as well as (b) the professional distance between the authors and the proposed reviewers.

 Please submit via email to


Deadline forproposals:                           Monday,September 30, 2019

Deadline for allcontributions:               Friday, December 6, 2019

Expected date of publication:                  Spring 2021


For further details, please consult our website or talk to us at the


Engaged Scholar Journal

Natalia Khanenko-Friesen, Editor

Penelope Sanz, Managing Assistant

University of Saskatchewan

332.1 Thorvaldson Building

110 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5C9 CANADA

Tel. No.: +1306-966-2665    Fax. No.: +1306-966-5571