(Re)Storying Queer Land Education: Pedagogical Hub-Making of Two-Spirit/Queer Indigenous Educators
Pablo Montes

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of Texas

Primary Discipline

This collaborative project is a culmination of stories, memories, testimonios, dreams, life histories, and Two-Spirit and Queer Indigenous educators’ experiences. I spend a year with 2S/Queer Indigenous educators to engage with what Opaskwayak Cree Nation Two-Spirit scholar Alex Wilson poses as Queer(ing) Land Education. Queer(ing) Land Education disrupts the gender-based essentialisms ubiquitous within environmental and nature educational discourses by attending to non-binary approaches of human and more-than-human worlds and Indigenous gender and sexual diversity within pedagogy, curriculum, and educational praxis. The project is both ethnographic and autoethnographic as Indigenous paradigms in education argue that Indigenous researchers cannot be disentangled from the community since that would be severing already formed relationships imperative to Indigenous knowledges and ways of being. I host five community circle gatherings, attend ceremonies, and engage in inter-reflexive work throughout one year to focus on how Two-Spirit and Queer Indigenous educators create pedagogical and curricular hubs guided by their relationship to their Indigenous communities, ancestors, and Land. I deploy Land education (Tuck, McKenzie, & McCoy, 2014) as a theoretical guide and the hub (Ramirez, 2007) as an organizational theory to make sense of Two-Spirit and Queer Indigenous educators’ learning-building capacities. The following questions will guide this work to foreground a Queer Land Education: How are Two-Spirit and Queer Indigenous educators (re)storying their Land relations by creating queer Indigenous hubs that center Land-based pedagogies and curriculum? How does centering Two-Spirit and Queer Indigenous educator voices provide avenues to re-imagine curriculum building, gender fluidity, and community epistemologies?
About Pablo Montes
Pablo Montes is a descendant of the Chichimeca Guamares and P’urépecha people from the valley of Huatzindeo, specifically from a small rancho called La Luz at the foot of the Culiacán mountain. They are a proud child of formally undocumented parents and are a first-generation student. They currently reside in Tza Wan Pupako (Austin, TX) and are a Ph.D. Candidate in the Cultural Studies in Education program at the University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Their main research interests are at the intersection of queer settler colonialism, indigeneity, and Land education. Their dissertation project emphasis the transformational learning spaces that Two-Spirit and Queer Indigenous educators create. Additionally, they consider how Queer educational discourses often leave settler colonialism unattended and argues for a nuanced critique of Queer theory in pedagogy, curriculum, and learning.Alongside graduate school, they are the Youth Director for the Indigenous Cultures Institute (ICI) in San Marcos, TX, led by the Miakan-Garza Band of Texas elders, Dr. Mario Garza and Maria Rocha. In fact, it is through this opportunity that they were able to witness how Two-Spirit and Queer Indigenous educators transform learning during the annual ICI summer encounter – a week-long ceremonial and educational experience for Indigenous youth. Lastly, Pablo holds a B.S. in Sociology and Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where they were also a McNair Scholar and an M.A. in Cultural Studies in Education from the University of Texas at Austin.

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