Humanities2016, 5(3), 62; doi:10.3390/h5030062 - published 15 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This article examines how Native places are made, named, and reconstructed after colonization through storytelling. Storying the land is a process whereby the land is invested with the moral and spiritual perspectives specific to Native American communities. As seen in the oral traditions and written literature of Native American storytellers and authors, the voices of indigenous people retrace and remap cartographies for the land after colonization through storytelling. This article shows that the Americas were storied by Native American communities long before colonial contact beginning in the fifteenth century and demonstrates how the land continues to be storied in the present as a method of decolonization and cultural survivance. The article examines manifestations of the oral tradition in multiple forms, including poetry, interviews, fiction, photography, and film, to demonstrate that the land itself, through storytelling, becomes a repository of the oral tradition. The article investigates oral narratives from precontact and postcolonial time periods and across numerous nations and geographical regions in the Americas, including stories from the Mayan Popol Vuh; Algonkian; Western Apache; Hopi; Haudenosaunee/Iroquois; and Laguna Pueblo stories; and the contemporary poetry and fiction of Joy Harjo (Mvskoke/Creek Nation) and Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo).
Humanities2016, 5(3), 61; doi:10.3390/h5030061 - published 15 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Yolŋu mathematics refers to the complex matrix of patterns, relationships, shapes, motions and rhythms of time and space that underpin the ways that Yolŋu people, Indigenous people of North East Arnhem Land in northern Australia, nourish and are nourished by their environments. Through its fundamental reliance on human and more-than-human connectivity and situatedness, Yolŋu people mobilise the concept of Yolŋu mathematics to challenge Western knowledges, including Western ideas of mathematics and environment. This paper discusses Yolŋu mathematics and the relationships between humans and more-than-humans, which co-produce a world that is living and interconnected, and which reveals all knowledge as situated.
Humanities2016, 5(3), 60; doi:10.3390/h5030060 - published 15 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This article examines a new set of policies embraced by indigenous leaders in the Upper Napo region of the Ecuadorian Amazon, driven, in part, by a growing appreciation for “wilderness” —large areas where humans exercise a very light touch. In the past few years, leaders have pursued wilderness conservation initiatives while simultaneously promoting petroleum extraction in their own backyards. Both political positions run counter to those pursued in previous decades, when opposition to both oil development and strict forms of conservation within their territory was strong. To address this reversal, I trace some of the development interventions and North-South collaborations that have contributed to the emergence of “nature” as a meaningful imaginary for Amazonian indigenous leaders and for a new generation of young people, drawing connections to William Cronon’s critical analysis of how wilderness conservation became a priority in the United States. I conclude that more than two decades of conservationist interventions in the Upper Napo region have led to some largely unintended consequences, as Amazonian leaders increasingly subscribe to Northern environmentalists’ romanticization of “the Amazon” as a wild place, one that therefore must be distant from the places where they work and live.
Humanities2016, 5(3), 59; doi:10.3390/h5030059 - published 15 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Recognized as Japan’s indigenous peoples in 2008, the Ainu people of Hokkaido have sought to recuperate land and self-determination by physically reenacting Ainu traditional knowledge through ecotourism in Hokkaido. Colonization and assimilation have severed most contemporary Ainu from relations with nonhuman sentient beings (A. kamuy) rooted in land and waterways. Ecotourism provides a context for reenacting an ancestral ontology through engaging in wild food gathering, relearning subsistence practices for cultural transmission, and reinscribing Ainu cultural logics onto the land through stewardship and language. At the same time, the Japanese government’s campaign to have Siretok nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage site can be interpreted as an attempt to legitimate Japanese claims to Shiretoko and reinscribe the authority of Japan, as both the proper steward to ensure responsible conservation of Shiretoko but also the rightful owner and proper occupant of the promontory and its surrounding waterways. The article reveals how Ainu attempts to establish relationships and assert ancestral claims with the kamuy in the landscape are stymied by the ongoing reality of settler colonialism and erasure of Ainu presence in the landscape. Further, it explores how a capitalist-driven economy of ecotourism unleashes new dynamics in relations between local Ainu fishers and farmers in Shiretoko and outsider Ainu who seek to develop ecotourist initiatives.
Humanities2016, 5(3), 58; doi:10.3390/h5030058 - published 15 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Among American Indian nations, the White Mountain Apache Tribe has been at the forefront of a struggle to control natural resource management within reservation boundaries. In 1952, they developed the first comprehensive tribal natural resource management program, the White Mountain Recreational Enterprise (WMRE), which became a cornerstone for fighting legal battles over the tribe’s right to manage cultural and natural resources on the reservation for the benefit of the tribal community rather than outside interests. This article examines how White Mountain Apaches used the WMRE, while embracing both Euro-American and Apache traditions, as an institutional foundation for resistance and exchange with Euro-American society so as to reassert control over tribal eco-cultural resources in east-central Arizona.
Humanities2016, 5(3), 57; doi:10.3390/h5030057 - published 15 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The food sovereignty movement initiated in 1996 by a transnational organization of peasants, La Via Campesina, representing 148 organizations from 69 countries, became central to self-determination and decolonial mobilization embodied by Indigenous peoples throughout the world. Utilizing the framework of decolonization and sustainable self-determination, this article analyzes the concept of food sovereignty to articulate an understanding of its potential for action in revitalizing Indigenous food practices and ecological knowledge in the United States and Canada. The food sovereignty movement challenged the hegemony of the globalized, neoliberal, industrial, capital-intensive, corporate-led model of agriculture that created destructive economic policies that marginalized small-scale farmers, removed them from their land, and forced them into the global market economy as wage laborers. Framed within a larger rights discourse, the food sovereignty movement called for the right of all peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food and the right to define their own food and agricultural systems. “Indigenizing” food sovereignty moves beyond a rights based discourse by emphasizing the cultural responsibilities and relationships Indigenous peoples have with their environment and the efforts being made by Indigenous communities to restore these relationships through the revitalization of Indigenous foods and ecological knowledge systems as they assert control over their own foods and practices.