Indigenous Identity and Community

A special issue of Genealogy (ISSN 2313-5778).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 June 2021) | Viewed by 99907

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Indigenous Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Interests: indigenous identities; global indigeneity; indigenous cultural, social and political engagements on social media

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Indigenous Studies, Macqaurie University, Syndey, Australia
Interests: Indigenous social media; digital technologies; online social spaces; digital citizenship; metal music studies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Genealogy invites essays on the topic: “Indigenous identity and community”. The topic of Indigenous identity and community has drawn much interest from Humanities and the Social Sciences, in particular from Anthropologists and Historians. The topic enjoys frequent media coverage, where commentators grapple with definitions of Indigenous identity. This commentary generally gets bogged down in debates about benefits and fraudulent claims to welfare, and is often reduced to calls for a reversion to the politics of blood quantum. To counter this, in more recent times, we have seen an increase in Indigenous writers, public commentators, and scholars writing about identity and community from an Indigenous standpoint highlighting kinship, Country, belonging, and relationality as key concepts. The definition of community, like Indigenous identity, is also routinely questioned. Is community a specific place or location, or is it something more abstract as defined by Benedict Anderson (1983) as socially constructed or imagined by the people who perceive themselves as part of that group? In recent times, the Internet has impacted our lives, our individual identities, and our sense of community. Indigenous people are avid social media users and join online communities to connect with friends, family, and community locally, nationally, and globally. The online world is a site for Indigenous people to assert their individual identities and engage with community, yet as we know, the online world also presents a realm of limitations and possibilities.

We invite Indigenous scholars from across disciplines (Indigenous Studies, Sociology, Media and Communications, Journalism, Indigenous Health, Humanities, etc.) to contribute manuscripts that speak to the topic of Indigenous identity and community. We are also interested in contributions that consider the possibilities and limitations for Indigenous people in online spaces.

Some potential areas of focus may include the following, although other submissions are welcome and encouraged:

  • The politics of identity;
  • Cultural expressions of Indigenous identity and community;
  • Online Indigenous identity;
  • Online Indigenous community;
  • LBGTQI+ Indigenous identity/online identity;
  • LBGTQI+ Indigenous community/online community;
  • Sovereign identities;
  • Indigenous identities and connection to Country;
  • Indigenous identities and relationality.

Abstracts due: 30 December 2020

Submission of full papers: 1 April 2021

Peer review: 1 April–1 May 2021

Send to authors for corrections/revisions: 2 May 2021

Authors submitting to this special issue, the journal would not charge the APCs.

Prof. Dr. Bronwyn Carlson
Dr. Tristan Kennedy
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genealogy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Indigenous
  • identity
  • community
  • politics
  • genealogy
  • kinship
  • culture
  • online identity
  • online community
  • sovereignty
  • LBGTQI+

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

9 pages, 263 KiB  
Article
Reaching Back to Traditional Teachings: Diné Knowledge and Gender Politics
by Souksavanh Tom Keovorabouth
Genealogy 2021, 5(4), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5040095 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4223
Abstract
As Diné, we must understand the traditional teachings that were once in place through oral traditions and teachings. There are many troubles Diné (Navajo) women and Nadleeh (Two-Spirit) people face from outside the community, but due to western influence, we endure the same [...] Read more.
As Diné, we must understand the traditional teachings that were once in place through oral traditions and teachings. There are many troubles Diné (Navajo) women and Nadleeh (Two-Spirit) people face from outside the community, but due to western influence, we endure the same effects from within our own Nation. Through this paper, I aim to propose resolutions to move our Nation in the right direction for social change and build a community of acceptance by reaching back to traditional teaching philosophies without the influence of cis-heteronormative patriarchal structures. I argue that adoptions of these western institutions have severe effects on Diné women and Nadleeh (Two-Spirit) livelihood and well-being. In this paper, I examine three areas of Diné philosophy and cosmology: (1) the central role of K’é (family) and the matrilineal clanship, (2) Diné women and Nadleeh voices in our creation stories, and (3) Hozhó, the beauty way, to understand the masculine and feminine energies of Diné cosmology in order to address the importance of women and Nadleeh on Dinétah. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Identity and Community)
11 pages, 263 KiB  
Article
Remembering Lugones: The Critical Potential of Heterosexualism for Studies of So-Called Australia
by Madi Day
Genealogy 2021, 5(3), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5030071 - 30 Jul 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 6744
Abstract
Heterosexualism is inextricably tied to coloniality and modernity. This paper explores the potential of Argentinian philosopher Maria Lugones’ theorisations of heterosexualism and the colonial/modern gender system for sustained critical engagement with settler colonialism in so-called Australia. ‘Heterosexualism’ refers to a system of relations [...] Read more.
Heterosexualism is inextricably tied to coloniality and modernity. This paper explores the potential of Argentinian philosopher Maria Lugones’ theorisations of heterosexualism and the colonial/modern gender system for sustained critical engagement with settler colonialism in so-called Australia. ‘Heterosexualism’ refers to a system of relations between settlers and Indigenous peoples characterized by racialized and gendered power dynamics. Lugones’ theory on the colonial/modern gender system unpacks the utility of social and intellectual investment in universalised categories including race, gender and sexuality. Such categories are purported to be biological, thus, prior to culture, settlers and colonial institutions. However, the culturally specific nature of knowledge produced about race, gender and sexuality reveals that the origins, and indeed the prevalence, of heterosexualism in Australia is inextricable from settler colonialism. This paper exhibits how heterosexualism and the colonial/modern gender system operate in service of settler colonialism, facilitating settler dominance and reproduction on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Identity and Community)
7 pages, 223 KiB  
Article
A Māori and Pasifika Label—An Old History, New Context
by Dion Enari and Innez Haua
Genealogy 2021, 5(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5030070 - 29 Jul 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 10329
Abstract
The term ‘Māori and Pasifika’ is widely used in Aotearoa, New Zealand to both unite and distinguish these peoples and cultures. As a collective noun of separate peoples, Māori and Pasifika are used to acknowledge the common Pacific ancestry that both cultures share, [...] Read more.
The term ‘Māori and Pasifika’ is widely used in Aotearoa, New Zealand to both unite and distinguish these peoples and cultures. As a collective noun of separate peoples, Māori and Pasifika are used to acknowledge the common Pacific ancestry that both cultures share, whilst distinguishing Māori as Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa (New Zealand), and Pasifika as migrants from other lands in the Pacific region. The term ‘Māori and Pasifika’ is a ‘label’ established in New Zealand to combine the minority cultural populations of both Māori, and Pacific migrant peoples, into a category defined by New Zealand policy and discourse. Migration for Māori and Pasifika to Australia (from Aotearoa) has generated new discussion amongst these diasporic communities (in Australia) on the appropriate collective term(s) to refer to Māori and Pasifika peoples and cultures. Some believe that in Australia, Māori should no longer be distinguished from Pasifika as they are not Indigenous (to Australia), while others believe the distinction should continue upon migration. Through the voices of Samoan and Māori researchers who reside in Australia, insider voices are honoured and cultural genealogy is privileged in this discussion of the label ‘Māori and Pasifika’ in the Australian context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Identity and Community)
9 pages, 219 KiB  
Article
The Colonial Project of Gender (and Everything Else)
by Sandy O’Sullivan
Genealogy 2021, 5(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5030067 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 22545
Abstract
The gender binary, like many colonial acts, remains trapped within socio-religious ideals of colonisation that then frame ongoing relationships and restrict the existence of Indigenous peoples. In this article, the colonial project of denying difference in gender and gender diversity within Indigenous peoples [...] Read more.
The gender binary, like many colonial acts, remains trapped within socio-religious ideals of colonisation that then frame ongoing relationships and restrict the existence of Indigenous peoples. In this article, the colonial project of denying difference in gender and gender diversity within Indigenous peoples is explored as a complex erasure casting aside every aspect of identity and replacing it with a simulacrum of the coloniser. In examining these erasures, this article explores how diverse Indigenous gender presentations remain incomprehensible to the colonial mind, and how reinstatements of kinship and truth in representation fundamentally supports First Nations’ agency by challenging colonial reductions. This article focuses on why these colonial practices were deemed necessary at the time of invasion, and how they continue to be forcefully applied in managing Indigenous peoples into a colonial structure of family, gender, and everything else. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Identity and Community)
9 pages, 210 KiB  
Article
Pussy Power: A Contemporaneous View of Indigenous Women and Their Role in Sex Work
by Corrinne T. Sullivan
Genealogy 2021, 5(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5030065 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 7991
Abstract
Sex work is the trade of sexual services in exchange for money or other goods of value. In the context of Indigenous Australia, sex work often produces narratives of victimisation and oppression reinforcing the patriarchal power and colonial dominance that is rife in [...] Read more.
Sex work is the trade of sexual services in exchange for money or other goods of value. In the context of Indigenous Australia, sex work often produces narratives of victimisation and oppression reinforcing the patriarchal power and colonial dominance that is rife in Australia over Indigenous women’s bodies and behaviours. Drawing from interviews with Indigenous women who are engaged with sex work, this paper challenges these narratives by examining the motivation and meanings that shape Indigenous women’s decisions to undertake sex work, offering a compelling counter-narrative that discusses how Indigenous women seek and enact agency, sexuality, and sovereignty through the pussy power of sex work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Identity and Community)
7 pages, 209 KiB  
Article
Complexities of Displaced Indigenous Identities: A Fifty Year Journey Home, to Two Homes
by Lou Netana-Glover
Genealogy 2021, 5(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5030062 - 1 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3508
Abstract
In colonised territories all over the world, place-based identity has been interrupted by invading displacement cultures. Indigenous identities have become more complex in response to and because of racist and genocidal government policies that have displaced Indigenous peoples. This paper is a [...] Read more.
In colonised territories all over the world, place-based identity has been interrupted by invading displacement cultures. Indigenous identities have become more complex in response to and because of racist and genocidal government policies that have displaced Indigenous peoples. This paper is a personal account of the identity journey of the author, that demonstrates how macrocosmic colonial themes of racism, protectionism, truth suppression, settler control of Indigenous relationships, and Indigenous resistance and survivance responses can play out through an individual’s journey. The brown skinned author started life being told that she was (a white) Australian; she was told of her father’s Aboriginality in her 20s, only to learn at age 50 of her mother’s affair and that her biological father is Māori. The author’s journey demonstrates the way in which Indigenous identities in the colonial era are context driven, and subject to affect by infinite relational variables such as who has the power to control narrative, and other colonial interventions that occur when a displacement culture invades place-based cultures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Identity and Community)
11 pages, 253 KiB  
Article
Feeling Seen: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ Peoples, (In)Visibility, and Social-Media Assemblages
by Andrew Farrell
Genealogy 2021, 5(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5020057 - 12 Jun 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5633
Abstract
This article explores shifting social arrangements on social media as experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ+) peoples. These digital social assemblages are situated within a broader context of heteropatriarchy and settler colonialism in Australia [...] Read more.
This article explores shifting social arrangements on social media as experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ+) peoples. These digital social assemblages are situated within a broader context of heteropatriarchy and settler colonialism in Australia and beyond. In digital spaces, multiple marginalised groups encounter dialogic engagements with their friends, followers, networks, and broader publics. The exploration of how digital discourses (in)visibilise Indigenous LGBTIQ+ diversities underline the intimate and pervasive reach of settler colonialism, and highlight distinctly queer Indigenous strategies of resistance. Through the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ artists, activists, and celebrities, this article demonstrates the shifting unities and disunities that shape how we come to know and understand the complexities of Indigenous LGBTIQ+ identities and experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Identity and Community)
21 pages, 1737 KiB  
Article
“You’re the One That Was on Uncle’s Wall!”: Identity, Whanaungatanga and Connection for Takatāpui (LGBTQ+ Māori)
by Logan Hamley, Shiloh Groot, Jade Le Grice, Ashlea Gillon, Lara Greaves, Madhavi Manchi and Terryann Clark
Genealogy 2021, 5(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5020054 - 4 Jun 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 7162
Abstract
Takatāpui (Māori LGBTIQ+) challenge static notions of relationality and belonging or whanaungatanga for Māori. Explorations of Māori and LGBTIQ+ identity can often polarise experiences of family as either nurturing spaces or sites comprised of actors of spiritual and physical violence. However, such framing [...] Read more.
Takatāpui (Māori LGBTIQ+) challenge static notions of relationality and belonging or whanaungatanga for Māori. Explorations of Māori and LGBTIQ+ identity can often polarise experiences of family as either nurturing spaces or sites comprised of actors of spiritual and physical violence. However, such framing ignores the ways in which cultural practices for establishing relationality for takatāpui extend beyond dichotomies of disconnection or connection within families and into spaces of new potential. In this paper we outline a bricoleur research praxis rooted in Māori ways of being which underpins the research. We engage in photo-poetry as an analytic tool, constructing poetry from our interviews with Waimirirangi, a twenty-year-old whakawahine (Māori term for trans woman or trans femme) and bring them into conversation with the images she provided as part of the broader research project. As the interface between her ancestors and future generations, Waimirirangi demonstrates the potentiality of whanaungatanga as a restorative practice for enhancing takatāpui wellbeing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Identity and Community)
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21 pages, 7848 KiB  
Article
Cultivating Positive Health, Learning, and Community: The Return of Mesoamerica’s Quetzalcoatl and the Venus Star
by Santiago Andrés Garcia and Claudia Itzel Márquez
Genealogy 2021, 5(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5020053 - 26 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 8172
Abstract
For more than 3500 years, since Olmec times (1500–400 BC), the peoples of Mesoamerica have shared with one another a profound way of living involving a deep understanding of the human body and of land and cosmology. As it stands, healing ways of [...] Read more.
For more than 3500 years, since Olmec times (1500–400 BC), the peoples of Mesoamerica have shared with one another a profound way of living involving a deep understanding of the human body and of land and cosmology. As it stands, healing ways of knowing that depend on medicinal plants, the Earth’s elements, and knowledge of the stars are still intact. The Indigenous Xicana/o/xs who belong to many of the mobile tribes of Mesoamerica share a long genealogical history of cultivating and sustaining their Native American rituals, which was weakened in Mexico and the United States during various periods of colonization. This special edition essay sheds light on the story of Quetzalcoatl and the Venus Star as a familial place of Xicana/o/x belonging and practice. To do so, we rely on the archaeological interpretation of these two entities as one may get to know them through artifacts, monuments, and ethnographic accounts, of which some date to Mesoamerica’s Formative period (1500–400 BC). Throughout this paper, ancestral medicine ways are shown to help cultivate positive health, learning, and community. Such cosmic knowledge is poorly understood, yet it may further culturally relevant education and the treatment of the rampant health disparities in communities of Mesoamerican ancestry living in the United States. The values of and insights into Indigenous Xicana/o/x knowledge and identity conclude this essay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Identity and Community)
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13 pages, 244 KiB  
Article
Us Mob Online: The Perils of Identifying as Indigenous on Social Media
by Bronwyn Carlson and Tristan Kennedy
Genealogy 2021, 5(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5020052 - 24 May 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5763
Abstract
Social media is a highly valuable site for Indigenous people to express their identities and to engage with other Indigenous people, events, conversations, and debates. While the role of social media for Indigenous peoples is highly valued for public articulations of identity, it [...] Read more.
Social media is a highly valuable site for Indigenous people to express their identities and to engage with other Indigenous people, events, conversations, and debates. While the role of social media for Indigenous peoples is highly valued for public articulations of identity, it is not without peril. Drawing on the authors’ recent mixed-methods research in Australian Indigenous communities, this paper presents an insight into Indigenous peoples’ experiences of cultivating individual and collective identities on social media platforms. The findings suggest that Indigenous peoples are well aware of the intricacies of navigating a digital environment that exhibits persistent colonial attempts at the subjugation of Indigenous identities. We conclude that, while social media remains perilous, Indigenous people are harnessing online platforms for their own ends, for the reinforcement of selfhood, for identifying and being identified and, as a vehicle for humour and subversion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Identity and Community)
13 pages, 487 KiB  
Article
Métis Women’s Experiences in Canadian Higher Education
by Bryanna Scott
Genealogy 2021, 5(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5020049 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 3629
Abstract
In Canada, there are three groups of Aboriginal people, also referred to as Indigenous peoples, and these include the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. Although often thought of collectively, each has its distinct history, culture, and perspectives. The Métis people are mixed-culture people [...] Read more.
In Canada, there are three groups of Aboriginal people, also referred to as Indigenous peoples, and these include the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. Although often thought of collectively, each has its distinct history, culture, and perspectives. The Métis people are mixed-culture people stemming from a long history of Indigenous people and European settlers intermixing and having offspring. Furthermore, the living history representing mixed ancestry and family heritage is often ignored, specifically within higher education. Dominant narratives permeate the curriculum across all levels of education, further marginalizing the stories of Métis people. I explore the experiences of Métis women in higher education within a specific region in Canada. Using semi-structured interview questions and written narratives, I examine the concepts of identity, institutional practices, and reconciliation as described by Métis women. Results assist in providing a voice to the Métis women’s experiences as they challenge and resist colonial narratives of their culture and expand upon a new vision of Métis content inclusion in higher education as reconciliation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Identity and Community)
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12 pages, 1151 KiB  
Article
Indigenous Identity as Country: The “Ing” within Connecting, Caring, and Belonging
by Jo Anne Rey
Genealogy 2021, 5(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5020048 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 5275
Abstract
Within the Australian Indigenous community, it is often said that Aboriginality is a verb. It is a “doing” word, not a noun. As such, identifying actively is at the heart of being Australian Aboriginal. Doing identification, rather than owning a label of identification, [...] Read more.
Within the Australian Indigenous community, it is often said that Aboriginality is a verb. It is a “doing” word, not a noun. As such, identifying actively is at the heart of being Australian Aboriginal. Doing identification, rather than owning a label of identification, is critical to understanding the relationality that underpins Indigenous identity. It is the ‘Ing’ of relationality which acts as an interconnected web of presences (including people), places, and practices. When this web is ancestral, it marks our belonging. For Dharug, this is our “Country”, our Dharug Ngurra. It is physical and metaphysical. It is also known as most of the Sydney basin, Australia. The agency that connects us, strengthens our caring, and generates our belonging helps us co-become as a Country. This paper engages the author’s “Ing” as Ngurra through her connections to three sites, their presences, places and practices, that activate her belonging to/with the Dharug community: Brown’s Waterhole, Blacktown Native Institution, and Yallomundee. Using undergraduate teaching experiences and a current post-doctoral research project for specific context, questions around the ‘Ing’ of being Indigenous as Country-in-the-city are raised, while the significance of changing relationships for custodial caring in a climate challenging reality are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Identity and Community)
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14 pages, 259 KiB  
Article
E hoki mai nei ki te ūkaipō—Return to Your Place of Spiritual and Physical Nourishment
by Amohia Boulton, Tanya Allport, Hector Kaiwai, Gill Potaka Osborne and Rewa Harker
Genealogy 2021, 5(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5020045 - 30 Apr 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 6432
Abstract
This paper presents the findings of the Perceptions of Papakāinga project, which explores the connection between place, genealogy, and identity for two Māori (New Zealand’s Indigenous people) communities: one living within an iwi (tribal) context, and one living within an urban context. The [...] Read more.
This paper presents the findings of the Perceptions of Papakāinga project, which explores the connection between place, genealogy, and identity for two Māori (New Zealand’s Indigenous people) communities: one living within an iwi (tribal) context, and one living within an urban context. The research explores how Māori-specific concepts which define home and identity are perceived and enacted across all participants, and how participants define ‘home’ in relation to fluid understandings of genealogy, community, and identity. Across the diverse experiences of participants, the concept of ‘whakapapa’ (genealogy), can be seen to act as a way to understand the connections between identity, people and place. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Identity and Community)
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