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This chapter analyzes the semiotic construction of US claims to sovereignty in Hawai‘i. Building on semiotic theories in sociology and theories within critical Indigenous…
This chapter analyzes the semiotic construction of US claims to sovereignty in Hawai‘i. Building on semiotic theories in sociology and theories within critical Indigenous and settler colonial studies, it presents an interpretive analysis of state, military, and academic discursive strategies. The US empire-state attempts to construct colonial narratives of race and sovereignty that rehistoricize the history of Hawaiians and other Indigenous peoples. In order to make claims to sovereignty, settler-colonists construct narratives that build upon false claims to superiority, advancement, and discovery. Colonial resignification is a process by which signs and symbols of Indigenous communities are conscripted into the myths of empire that maintain such sovereign claims. Yet, for this reason, colonial resignification can be undone through reclaiming such signs and symbols from their use within colonial metanarratives. In this case, efforts toward decolonial resignification enacted alternative metanarratives of peoples' relationships to place. This “flip side” of the synecdoche is a process that unravels the ties that bind layered myths by providing new answers to questions that underpin settler colonial sovereignty.
This research considers the potential for renewable energy partnerships to contribute to Canada's efforts to overcome its colonial past and present by developing an…
This research considers the potential for renewable energy partnerships to contribute to Canada's efforts to overcome its colonial past and present by developing an understanding of how non-Indigenous peoples working in the sector relate to their Indigenous partners.
This study is part of a larger research program focused on decolonization and reconciliation in the renewable energy sector. This exploratory research is framed by energy justice and decolonial reconciliation literatures relevant to the topic of Indigenous-led renewable energy. The authors used content and discourse analysis to identify themes arising from 10 semi-structured interviews with non-Indigenous corporate and governmental partners.
Interviewees’ lack of prior exposure to Indigenous histories, cultures and acknowledgement of settler colonialism had a profound impact on their engagement with reconciliation frameworks. Partners' perspectives on what it means to partner with Indigenous peoples varied; most dismissed the need to further develop understandings of reconciliation and instead focused on increasing community capacity to allow Indigenous groups to participate in the renewable energy transition.
In this study, the authors intentionally spoke with non-Indigenous peoples working in the renewable energy sector. Recruitment was a challenge and the sample is small. The authors encourage researchers to extend their questions to other organizations in the renewable energy sector, across industries and with Indigenous peoples given this is an under-researched field.
This paper is an early look at the way non-Indigenous “partners” working in renewable energy understand and relate to topics of reconciliation, Indigenous rights and self-determination. It highlights potential barriers to reconciliation that are naïvely occurring at organizational and institutional levels, while anchored in colonial power structures.
Despite Australia’s history as an exemplary migrant nation, there are gaps in the literature and a lack of explicit conceptualisation of either “migrants” or “migration”…
Despite Australia’s history as an exemplary migrant nation, there are gaps in the literature and a lack of explicit conceptualisation of either “migrants” or “migration” in the Australian historiography of schooling. The purpose of this paper is to seek out traces of migration history that nevertheless exist in the historiography, despite the apparent silences.
Two foundational yet semi-forgotten twentieth-century historical monographs are re-interpreted to support a rethinking of the relationship between migration and settler colonialism in the history and historiography of Australian schooling.
These texts, from their different school system (state/Catholic) orientations, are, it is argued, replete with accounts of migration despite their apparent gaps, if read closely. Within them, nineteenth-century British migrants are represented as essentially entitled constituents of the protonation. This is a very different framing from twentieth century histories of migrants as minority or “other”.
Instead of an academic reading practice that dismisses and simply supersedes old work, this paper proposes that fresh engagements with texts from the past can yield new insights into the connections between migration, schooling and colonialism. It argues that the historiography of Australian schooling should not simply be expanded to include or encompass the stories of “migrants” within a “minority studies” framework, although there is plenty of useful work yet to be accomplished in that area, but should be re-examined as having been about migration all along.
To examine the trend of “witness tours” that travel to the North American Arctic to experience, document, and then advocate on behalf of environmental issues in the North…
To examine the trend of “witness tours” that travel to the North American Arctic to experience, document, and then advocate on behalf of environmental issues in the North. These tours are presented as part of a colonial legacy that has long witnessed the North as a space of potential investment from the South. Especially in their reliance upon suffering as a narrative practice to justify their experience, these tours repeat patterns that reduce the agency of Northern communities and peoples to address changes they are facing. The chapter also provides best practices for such excursions and compares their approach to Northern-based expeditions that also advocate for environmental conservation and protection.
In the first part of the chapter, the history of colonialism and exploration sets the foundation for understanding the recent trend in witness tours. These tours are then examined through a discourse analysis of their narratives to highlight their connection with colonial approaches to the North. The final section of the chapter presents three necessary steps to reduce the reliance upon colonial legacies for these tours.
The witness tours examined are heavily dependent upon using their resilience of the travels to travel through harsh landscapes to make their case for caring about these landscapes. Far from being an innocent narrative strategy, this reliance upon suffering provides a level of elitism to these narratives at the same time as it reproduces colonial patterns. The chapter suggests three steps to avoid these problems: (1) Recognize the stories of people who live in the North; (2) Do not present the Arctic as a timeless wilderness landscape; and (3) Understand our limited perspective on the North as outsiders.
The chapter suggests that witness tours need to be understood within the context of a history of colonial exploration in the Arctic as well as the agency of Northern peoples to address both environmental change and colonialism.
In this paper, I foreground the concept of economic sovereignty in order to clarify strategies that undergird the practices of, and hindrances to, political sovereignty. I…
In this paper, I foreground the concept of economic sovereignty in order to clarify strategies that undergird the practices of, and hindrances to, political sovereignty. I argue that current critical discourses on sovereignty can be significantly furthered with careful examination of the framework of economic strategies that support, and are often driving forces of, these political actions. To illustrate the importance of these complex strategies, I focus on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ (EBCI) casino and small-business markets during the volatile years of the Great Recession. This discussion begins by investigating continued Native Nation economic precarity in the context of economic actions taken by US governments specifically with regard to gaming regulation. I then explain the strategic methods by which Native Nations have addressed and mitigated some of these incursions, thereby highlighting how such strategies disrupt the settler–colonial narrative of the agency-less indigenous state. These strategies are enacted at both government and individual levels through (1) the economic development experiences of Native Nations in relation to their distinctive hybrid political–economic governmental structures, such as the EBCI’s charter of incorporation that also serves as its national constitution, and (2) the strength of the EBCI small-business market in supporting these efforts. In arguing for this framework of economic strategies, this study contributes to understandings of global indigenous communities’ current strengths and vulnerabilities by thoroughly disentangling models of economic sovereignty from economic power, demonstrating how discussions of political economy must engage with issues of economic sovereignty.
Race scholars often refer to the colonization of Indigenous peoples in the Americas and the enslavement of Africans as a founding moment in the making of today's racial…
Race scholars often refer to the colonization of Indigenous peoples in the Americas and the enslavement of Africans as a founding moment in the making of today's racial hierarchies. Yet their narrative of this initial moment often mischaracterizes early European states, erases Indigenous and African states, and naturalizes racial group belonging. Such practices are counterproductive to the antiracist project. Following the lead of decolonial scholarship, much recent work by historians has sought to recover and reconstruct the institutions, social structures, and agency of African and Indigenous peoples, as well as revisit assumptions about European power, institutions, and agency in their historical encounters with their continental “others.” I highlight the potential of this approach for sociologists of “race” by narrating two significant historical events in the making of the modern Atlantic world: the conquest of Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztec empire, and the transatlantic enslavement of subjects of the kingdoms of Kongo and Ndongo (in today's Angola) in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. I analyze how particular European, Indigenous, and African actors made decisions in the context of their own and others' historically situated and dynamic political and social structures. I read these historical events through the lens of decolonial scholarship, and sociological literatures on group-making, state formation, and the emergence of capitalism, to make sense of the violent social process that led to the breakup of African, Indigenous, and European political and social structures and the making of colonial and racially hierarchical social structures in the Atlantic world.
This chapter studies a political rationale by which colonial law forged socially assigned individuals as criminally accused persons. Focussing on archived documents of a…
This chapter studies a political rationale by which colonial law forged socially assigned individuals as criminally accused persons. Focussing on archived documents of a preliminary examination that took place in 1883 in the North West Territories (now Alberta), it highlights how an accused person was moulded as a culpable individual. Arranged by a justice of the peace, and member of the North West Mounted Police, the investigation in this case reveals how colonial law unleashed an individualising force that obscured power relations behind the settlement it aimed to further. The unequal ways in which certain distinctions of person were legally recognised and individualised may be traced to long-standing western uses of social hierarchies as ‘masks’ from which law unequally recognised persons. Challenging such approaches to personhood, the analysis works off Naffine’s ‘legalistic’ ideas of persons as fictions, calling for a retelling of the fictions around accused persons. By pointing out the possibility of accusing relational rather than individual constructions, it concludes with a brief insinuation of legal forms directed at ‘collective persons’, interrupting a key political logic of colonial criminal law with allied promises of social justice beyond colonisation.
This chapter looks at how the concept of biopolitics can be used to understand the settler colonial legal orders. The focus is on the evolution of the definition of…
This chapter looks at how the concept of biopolitics can be used to understand the settler colonial legal orders. The focus is on the evolution of the definition of ‘Indian status’ in the Indian Act, which is the central piece of legislation in Canada’s Indian administration regime. Historically, the legal concept of Indian status was used as a way to constitute a population in relation to colonial sovereignty, and later was adapted as a mechanism to internally dividing the population through complex forms of legal domination. Scholars have turned to Michel Foucault’s studies of biopolitics and racism to understand how settler colonial sovereignty relates to a population on a territory. This chapter argues that Foucault’s analysis was radically historically embedded in a way that shapes its relevance to understanding settler colonialism. In Foucault’s original analysis, racism emerges as tool of the state in the relation between territory and sovereignty, which was characteristic in feudal Europe. In settler colonial legal orders such as Canada, however, sovereignty’s relation to the population is constituted in the absence of a prior connection to the land.
This chapter provides a genealogy of the Gladue–Ipeelee principle of special consideration of Indigenous circumstances at sentencing. The principle is codified in the 1996…
This chapter provides a genealogy of the Gladue–Ipeelee principle of special consideration of Indigenous circumstances at sentencing. The principle is codified in the 1996 statutory requirement that “all available sanctions other than imprisonment … should be considered for all offenders, with particular attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal offenders” (s. 718.2e of the Criminal Code of Canada). Using the Foucaultian genealogy method to produce a “history of the present,” this chapter eschews normative questions of how s. 718.2e has “failed” to reduce Indigenous over-incarceration to instead focus on how practices of “special consideration” reproduce settler-state paternalism. This chapter addresses three key components of the Gladue–Ipeelee principle: the collection of circumstances information, the characterization of those circumstances, and finally their consideration at sentencing. Part one focuses on questions of legitimacy and authority and explicates how authority and responsibility to produce Indigenous circumstances knowledge was transferred from the Department of Indian Affairs (DIA) to Indigenous Courtworker organizations in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Part two identifies how authority shapes problematization by examining the characterization of Indigenous circumstances in the two eras, finding that present-day Gladue reports articulate an Indigenous history and critique of colonialism as the root cause of Indigenous criminalization, whereas DIA reports prior to 1970 generally characterized this criminalization as a “failure to assimilate.” Part three focuses on the structural reproduction of power relations by exploring historical continuities in judicial and executive-branch consideration of Indigenous circumstances, suggesting that the Gladue–Ipeelee principle reinscribes a colonial “mercy” framework of diminished responsibility. The author discusses how the principle operates in the shadow of Indigenous over-incarceration as a form of state “recognition” and a technique of governance to encourage Indigenous participation in the settler justice system and suggests that the Gladue–Ipeelee principle produces a governing effect that reinforces settler-state authority by recirculating colonial practices and discourses of settler superiority.