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Decolonizing Native Histories

Collaboration, Knowledge, and Language in the Americas

Floencia E. Mallon, editor

Publication Year: 2012

Decolonizing Native Histories is an interdisciplinary collection that grapples with the racial and ethnic politics of knowledge production and indigenous activism in the Americas. It analyzes the relationship of language to power and empowerment, and advocates for collaborations between community members, scholars, and activists that prioritize the rights of Native peoples to decide how their knowledge is used. The contributors—academics and activists, indigenous and nonindigenous, from disciplines including history, anthropology, linguistics, and political science—explore the challenges of decolonization. These wide-ranging case studies consider how language, the law, and the archive have historically served as instruments of colonialism and how they can be creatively transformed in constructing autonomy. The collection highlights points of commonality and solidarity across geographical, cultural, and linguistic boundaries and also reflects deep distinctions between North and South. Decolonizing Native Histories looks at Native histories and narratives in an internationally comparative context, with the hope that international collaboration and understanding of local histories will foster new possibilities for indigenous mobilization and an increasingly decolonized future.

Published by: Duke University Press

Series: Narrating Native Histories

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi

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About the Series

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pp. vii

Narrating Native Histories aims to foster a rethinking of the ethical, methodological, and conceptual frameworks within which we locate our work on Native histories and cultures. We seek to create a space for effective and ongoing conversations between North and...

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Introduction: Decolonizing Knowledge, Language, and Narrative

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pp. 1-19

This book was born at a conference entitled Narrating Native Histories held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in April 2005, a meeting which itself was the result of exchanges and collaborations among faculty colleagues from various disciplinary departments and...

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Part One: Land, Sovereignty, and Self- Determination

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pp. 21-78

Since the 1970s the internationalization of indigenous mobilization and the formation of globalized coalitions of Native peoples have changed the face of indigenous cultural politics and of indigenous claims to autonomy. One of the venues through which Native...

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Hawaiian Nationhood, Self- Determination, and International Law

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pp. 27-53

U.S. Senator Daniel Kahikina Akaka’s assurances, made in 2001, were in regard to a legislative initiative to recognize a Native Hawaiian nation within the confines of U.S. federal policy on Tribal Nations that still remains before the U.S. Congress. Beginning...

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Issues of Land and Sovereignty: The Uneasy Relationship between Chile and Rapa Nui

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pp. 54-78

On New Year’s Eve 1999 a large crowd gathered at the ceremonial site of Tahai on Rapa Nui to celebrate the advent of the new millennium.1 Rapa Nui, the small island in the South Pacific also known as Easter Island, was annexed by Chile...

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Part Two: Indigenous Writing and Experiences with Collaboration

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pp. 79-174

The three essays in part 2, bounded on both sides by sections that establish a dialogue between North and South, are about Latin America. Taken together, they tell a particularly Latin American story of more than a generation of activism...

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Quechua Knowledge, Orality, and Writings: The Newspaper Conosur Ñawpagman

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pp. 85-121

In this essay I reflect on some aspects of Quechua knowledge, orality, and writing found within a concrete case inscribed in writing: the Conosur Ñawpagman newspaper.1 To this end, I offer reflections on this means of communication, focusing...

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Collaboration and Historical Writing: Challenges for the Indigenous–Academic Dialogue

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pp. 122-143

More than three decades ago, Delmos Jones proposed that a “native anthropology” would become viable only when it developed “a set of theories based on non- Western precepts and assumptions in the same sense that modern anthropology is based...

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The Taller Tzotzil of Chiapas, Mexico: A Native Language Publishing Project, 1985–2002

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pp. 144-174

Between 1976 and 2002 the Taller Tzotzil (Spanish for “Tzotzil Workshop”) published more than thirty booklets by indigenous authors in Tzotzil- Maya, a language spoken by some four hundred thousand people in Mexico’s southernmost state...

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Part Three: Generations of Indigenous Activism and Internal Debates

In the first decade of the twenty- first century, as globalized indigenous movements completed their fourth decade of struggle, a new generation of Native intellectuals took shape and found its own voice. As the two essays in part 3 make..

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Dangerous Decolonizing: Indians and Blacks and the Legacy of Jim Crow

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pp. 179-195

For the past ten years I have been doing ethnological and historical research in the southeastern United States that revolves around federal recognition of Indian tribes. One of the thorniest issues to negotiate with people I interview has been the place of blackness...

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Nationalist Contradictions: Pan- Mayanism, Representations of the Past, and the Reproduction of Inequalities in Guatemala

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pp. 196-218

For over three decades the Maya peoples of Guatemala have been transforming the ways in which they struggle against continuing colonial power relations in the country. Local processes of protest are now accompanied by protests with a national...

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pp. 219-220

When Noenoe Silva and Stéfano Varese attempted, at the close of our conference in Madison, to summarize our discussions as a frame for our last plenary session, they highlighted both the promises and the difficulties in taking the kind of international...


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pp. 221-241


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pp. 243-245


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pp. 247-262

E-ISBN-13: 9780822394853
Print-ISBN-13: 9780822351375

Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Narrating Native Histories