Indigenous intercultural universities, Latin America

In Latin America, a network of indigenous intercultural universities—Universidad Indígena Intercultural (UII) [i]—has been established, where indigenous students undertake post-graduate courses supportive of professional development and technical excellence in the service of indigenous peoples’ development with culture and identity. Integral to the curriculum are modules taught by indigenous women and men respected for their wisdom, expertise, leadership, cultural knowledge or spiritual guidance, speaking directly from their experiences as interlocutors for indigenous peoples’ self-determination. This mobile faculty —named Itinerant Indigenous Chair—forms the backbone of the UII network which currently includes 26 associated academic centres, which are universities, study centres or research institutes experienced in providing university-level education programs for and with indigenous peoples. Instead of creating a new institution, the UII network builds on the academic centres’ teaching staff, their knowledge and practices, as well as their infrastructure, and in addition develops new curricula and enriches existing ones with new perspectives and contents based on the worldviews and proposals of the indigenous peoples.

[i] Global Innovation Exchange (n.d.) Intercultural Indigenous University-UII. Global Innovation Exchange. Available at:

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