Critical Latinx Indigeneities and Education: An Introduction

  • Luis Urrieta, Jr. University of Texas at Austin
  • Melissa Mesinas Stanford University
  • Ramón Antonio Martínez Stanford University


Indigenous Latinx children and youth are a growing population that has been largely invisible in U.S. society and in the scholarly literature (Barillas-Chón, 2010; Machado-Casas, 2009). Indigenous Latinx youth are often assumed to be part of a larger homogenous grouping, usually Hispanic or Latinx, and yet their cultural and linguistic backgrounds do not always converge with dominant racial narratives about what it means to be “Mexican” or “Latinx.” Bonfil Batalla (1987) argued that Indigenous Mexicans are a población negada—or negated population—whose existence has been systematically denied as part of a centuries-long colonial project of indigenismo (indigenism) in Mexico and other Latin American countries. This systematic denial in countries of origin often continues once Indigenous people migrate to the U.S., as they are actively rendered invisible in U.S. schools through the semiotic process of erasure (Alberto, 2017; Urrieta, 2017). Indigenous Latinx families are often also overlooked as they are grouped into general categories such as Mexican, Guatemalan, Latinx, and/or immigrants. In this issue, we seek to examine the intersections of Latinx Indigeneities and education to better understand how Indigenous Latinx communities define and constitute Indigeneity across multiple and overlapping colonialities and racial geographies, and, especially, how these experiences overlap with, and shape their educational experiences.