Indigenising University Mathematics

Indigenous Mathematics

"Indigenous Mathematics" is led by Edward Doolittle and Naomi Borwein.
Edward Doolittle is a Mathematician, a member of the Kanyen’kehaka (Mohawk) Nation, and Associate Professor of Mathematics at First Nations University of Canada. Naomi Borwein is an interdisciplinary researcher whose work intersects with English, History, Mathematics and Mathematics Education.

A video preview of ideas in this session is available here


This session starts with the question, as proposition and provocation,
If math is/not math, what is math is (not) math. One way of answering these questions is to explore the lens of Indigenous “ways of knowing” numerical, algebraic, and geometrical math concepts, and a philosophical inspection of the intersection of culturally-specific ways of knowing among, for instance, Aboriginal Australians, Maori, or the Anishinaabe, and dominant math culture. We want to investigate the complex extensions of this series of questions. This includes, but is not limited to, looking at various mathematical principles and Indigenous ontologies, or metaphysics surrounding the nature of being and inter-relatedness; intersection of regional manifestations of Indigenous traditions and any ethno-national or/more global math tradition; notions of optimization and space; tactile engagements and philosophy of math; Mathematical Humanism, agency and Aboriginality; and, the mathematical Commons; Applied Math and Indigenous mathematics across the Pure/Applied hierarchy or divide; the place of experimental and experiential mathematics in “Indigenization”; and, the place of experimental mathematics in Indigenous mathematical practice–the flavor of Applied mathematics, for example, in hand, bowl, and dice (chance) games. As part of a critically-aware inspection of Indigenous mathematics in this session, “What does ‘Indigenous Mathematics’ mean to us?