NAISA

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Conference

June 13 - 15, 2013

Saskatoon, SK
Canada

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Schedule

Please select a time slot below for more detailed program information:

Friday A.M.

7:30am - 5:00pm
Registration
8:00 - 9:45am
9:30 - 10:30am
Refreshment Break
10:00 - 11:45am
11:45am - 2:00pm
Lunch

Friday P.M.

2:00 - 3:45pm
3:15 - 4:15pm
Refreshment Break
6:00 - 8:00pm
Reception: American Indian Culture & Research Journal to launch Special Double Issue
7:30 - 9:30pm
Reception: NAISA Council

Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm

These Feathers are Digital

Session #93
Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm ARTS 200

Abstract

Indigenous artists and activists are using digital mediums as a forum for resistance to colonial incursions. With an increasingly young, urban and technologically savvy population Indigenous nations are turning these linked-in activists to engage their citizens, and inspire collective action. At the forefront of the electronic revolution are Indigenous young women, who live their nehiyaw wiyasiwewina, using art as one way to communicate fundamental Cree values across borders and nations. The reinterpretation of our laws through digital media is an act of resurgence, guided by tâpwewin, speaking the truth. Although the medium may be new, the digital revitalization of our language and culture remains rooted in the protocols handed down to us from our ancestors. Multi-media creations are a continuation of the Cree oral tradition, and panelists will reflect on their nehiyaw identity as a driver for their contributions to the global digital information exchange. Panel participants are all Indigenous community-based artists and scholars who create multi-media works that are rooted in nehiyaw language, and laws. This dynamic roundtable will include presentations of Joi Arcand’s nationally exhibited oskinīkiskwēwak (Young Women) visual art project, spoken word performances by Mika Lafond, and Chair Lindsay Knight aka Eekwol as well as examples of digital community governance projects from Jarita Greyeyes.

Chair

Lindsay Knight, University of Saskatchewan

Participation

Joi Arcand, Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Center Mika Lafond, University of Saskatchewan Jarita Greyeyes, Muskeg Lake Cree Nation Tara Williamson, Fleming College

Histories of U.S.-Indigenous Violence: Challenging Representations and Representing Challenges

Session #94
Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm ARTS 207

Chair

Scott Manning Stevens, Newberry Library

Comment

Scott Manning Stevens, Newberry Library

Presentations

Abstract

Following the Modoc War of 1872-73 (popularly known as California’s so-called last Indian War) and the death of General Edward R.S. Canby, six Modoc headmen – Captain Jack, Schonchin John, Boston Charley, Black Jim, Barncho, and Slolux – were tried before a military tribunal for “murder, in violation of the laws of war.” The resulting Attorney’s General opinion, known as The Modoc Indian Prisoners (1873), cleared the way for their trial and eventual execution but it also exposed an emerging paradox within American military and imperial jurisprudence: if the Modoc War was a war, how could they be accused of murdering a U.S. soldier? If they were to be tried for murder, why present the case before a military tribunal rather than a civilian court? Legal scholars and politicos debated these questions. But, as this paper argues, the court of public opinion ultimately proved decisive. Exploring representations of American Indian violence in the Gilded Age press as well as the challenges of incorporating courtroom testimony of Indigenous defendants into histories of US-Indian violence, this paper considers the conditions under which American Indians became enemy combatants in the late-nineteenth century. I argue, moreover, that American capitalism and colonialism continue to structure our understanding of the Indigenous experience today and to reinforce Americans’ persistent belief in the innocence of their empire, a belief underscored by the inclusion of The Modoc Indian Prisoners as justification for the detainment and torture of enemy combatants in John C. Yoo’s infamous Torture Memo of March 14, 2003.

You Seem Like A Pied Man: Indian Violence and Racial Binary in the Jim Crow South

by Malinda Maynor Lowery, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Abstract

The advent of Jim Crow laws and a rigid binary racial structure in the post-emancipation American South left little room for fluid social constructions of peoples who did not belong in one category or the other. Binary color lines evolved alongside tremendous economic and demographic change to ensure the supremacy of whites in the region. The Lumbee Indians of North Carolina, the largest Indian group east of the Mississippi, developed multiple strategies to both resist and adapt to white supremacy. By examining a murder committed in blackface by three Lumbees who had recently relocated to a Georgia to work in the turpentine industry, this paper examines how violence exposed the origins of Jim Crow in the ambiguous construction of race in Southern communities in the late 19th century. Contradicting the standard narrative of whites using violence to uphold their supremacy, this story shows how Indians used violence to forestall the construction of the racial binary that made white supremacy possible.

Abstract

The two statue groups that stood on the cheek-blocks of the Capitol building’s east front were curiously removed in 1958. Greenough’s Rescue, depicting a violent struggle between a hulking settler and muscular Native man, and Persico’s Discovery of America, portraying a triumphant Columbus posed in front of an alarmed and hesitant Native woman, were commissioned, carved, and placed in the 1830s-50s; and although there were initial critiques, the statues served as fixtures at every presidential inauguration for over a century. A campaign led by Leta Myers Smart (Omaha) and the California Indian Rights Association, resulted in the permanent removal of the statues. Smart wrote dozens of letters, including one that was published in Harper’s Weekly, suggesting that the iconographic message of the statues was not only inaccurate, but it’s stark imagery continued to enact the violence of conquest. She garnered the support of congressmen, senators, and the Architect of the Capitol. In framing this episode, part of a larger project examining the tensions between the lived and commemorative landscapes of Washington, D.C., I argue that Smart’s successful campaign is one example in a long, complex history of Native people challenging the iconographic program of the capital and claiming/reclaiming a space of their own within the city. Furthermore, Smart’s work in the 1950s connects with the twentieth-century history of Native activism, perhaps pushing us to think in more sophisticated ways about the period between the creation of National Congress of American Indians (1944) and the American Indian Movement (1968).

Critical Indigenous Studies II

Session #95
Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm ARTS 133

Abstract

In appearance Indigenous studies has acquired all the trappings of a discipline, although the accounts of its formation vary. It is formally recognised as part of university curricula in New Zealand, Canada, Hawaii the United States and Australia and is included in inter-disciplinary contexts and degree programs or is offered as a program and degree in its own right. Indigenous scholarship is being published in unprecedented numbers with publishing houses competing for manuscripts. In addition, Indigenous studies professional associations have been established organising research related activities as well as convening conferences to enable intellectual engagement and the formation of national and international networks. The nature and extent of this institutionalisation and the conditions of existence, though often marginalised and under resourced, speaks to the disciplinary status of Indigenous Studies but also the lack of debate about its epistemological boundaries and constitutive elements in the 21st century. The papers to be presented in the Critical Indigenous Studies Panels 1 and 2 begin to address these issues to reinvigorate discussion and debate for critical engagement and possible future directions.

Chair

Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Queensland University of Technology

Comment

Audience

Presentations

Abstract

The University of Hawaii-Mānoa’s Indigenous Politics MA/PhD program is the first of its kind in the United States to offer students an opportunity to study indigenous cultures, histories, and politics informed by the cultural and geographical specificity of Hawai'i nei, the Pacific and the Americas. Indeed, the mookūauhau (genealogy) of Indigenous Politics at UH Mānoa must be traced to the Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies and Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language and yet, Indigenous studies is significantly different revealing a persistent question in the field: How is Critical Indigenous Studies distinct from Native Studies and yet fundamentally linked to it? My presentation focuses on the academic exchange between the University of Hawaii Indigenous Politics (UHIP) program and the Indigenous Governance (IGOV) program at the University of Victoria, BC, Canada in order to understand how the global and comparative scope of Critical Indigenous Studies diverges from the local, place-based focus of Native studies and yet dependent on it in order to maintain connections to āina (land) and kanaka (people). I offer the Hawaiian concept of Kuleana (responsibility), the theme of the 2012 exchange, as a guiding principle for doing engaged scholarship while also holding individuals accountable to the people and the lands upon which we visit or dwell. It is my contention that Critical Indigenous Studies must incorporate the community and be grounded in indigenous practices of learning by doing if we are to decolonize the academy.

Abstract

This paper is driven by two persistent questions: How can Indigenous people and settler allies come together to unmake settler colonial relations? And, what are the possibilities for doing so within and against settler colonial institutions, such as state-funded public schools and universities? To address these questions, I make two moves. First, if settler colonial relations are built on the enclosure of land as property that can then be alienated from Indigenous peoples, ending settler colonial relations must include transforming private property land tenure systems. I look to Native Hawaiian ethical practices of kuleana (right, authority, genealogy and place) as resources for helping us re-imagine possibilities for decolonial futures. Second, I argue that educators invested in ending settler colonial relations must create spaces for our students to practice such work “on the ground.” As several Indigenous studies and settler colonial studies scholars have pointed out, unmaking settler colonialisms and negotiating coalitional politics is extremely complex. “Ma ka hana ka ʻike;” we learn by doing. Indigenous studies should prepare students to not only critique colonialisms but also to practice creating different ways of living and being. I describe a graduate level exchange between the University of Hawaiʻi Indigenous Politics and the University of Victoriaʻs Indigenous Governance programs. The highly-experiential exchanges have allowed students to explore and practice negotiating the complexities of restoring kuleana or celanen. By engaging—across regions and positionalities—with Indigenous communities in land-based practices, participants gain richer understandings of how to transform the enclosures that undergird settler colonialisms.

Abstract

How might we conceptualise Critical Indigenous Studies and, within this, how do we identify the discipline’s subject/object positions? The first half of this question is addressed by an exploratory mapping of the parameters of the field of study, the theoretical and methodological palette, the epistemic boundaries and the underpinning knowledge creation/defining objectives of Critical Indigenous Studies (developed by Moreton-Robinson and Walter). The second half of the opening question posits that the operationalisation of subject/object positions is a precursor for determining the field of Indigenous studies. The major problematic is that the term ‘Indigenous’ is increasingly applied to peoples and/or knowledge systems whose shared trait is that they are non-western. For example, Denzin et al. (2008) includes Indigenous methodology chapters from African and Middle Eastern scholars alongside those from Central, Southern and Northern America, Aotearoa and Hawaii (but not Australia). Such burgeoning classificatory designations not only render the term ‘Indigenous’ relatively meaningless, they also ignore the criticality of the histo-cultural and social frames that circumscribe our own subject positions and our relationships with our objects of study. In response, I argue, for the demarcation of an Indigenous Colonised First World Peoples Studies. This sub-field recognises that the shared colonised histories and contemporary social, economic and political positioning of Indigenous peoples living in Anglo colonised First World nations bound our Indigeneity and the paradigmatic perimeters of our scholarship.

Capital Indians

Session #96
Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm ARTS 210

Chair

Julianne Newmark, New Mexico Tech

Comment

Audience

Presentations

Abstract

This paper considers the evolution of Gertrude Bonnin’s oratorical and epistolary advocacy in the specific context of the United States capital. By examining Bonnin’s delivery of speeches (specifically, Congressional testimony) to U.S. law-makers from the 1910s through the 1930s and collating such testimonies with her epistolary output, I will reveal in this paper Bonnin’s strategies of emplacement: her tactics of unequivocally placing Native people in the national political conversation. This paper charts the range of her involvement with elected and appointed government officials and with activist and political clubs in the Washington D.C. area, from her early contributions to The Congressional Record (specifically a well known 1916 letter repudiating peyote) to various speeches of the late 1920s, delivered by her as the principal representative of the organization of which she was founder and President, the National Council of American Indians. Many scholars have considered Bonnin’s involvement in issues surrounding Native American use of peyote on reservations in the 1910s (to name a few: Hafen, Lyons, Willard, Maroukis) yet far fewer have put such early political forays into direct communication with her work of later decades, such as speeches of the late 1920s (such as her 1928 speech against the Cramton Bill, which John Collier describes as one of “great feeling and power”). This paper offers an expanded analysis of Bonnin’s D.C.-area and Capitol-specific speech-making and writing, highlighting significant texts over three decades that shed illuminating light on works better known to scholars and students of her work today.

Abstract

In 1880, Northern Paiute activist and author Sarah Winnemucca and a delegation of Northern Paiutes met with President Rutherford B. Hayes and Secretary Schurz in Washington, D.C. During this visit, government officials, fearful of Winnemucca’s skillful use of the news media, kept her from conducting press interviews. The Newspaper Warrior, Cari M. Carpenter and Carolyn Sorisio's new collection of newspaper articles by and about Winnemucca, includes items that testify to her time in the nation's capitol. This paper analyzes those articles, considering what they tell us about both the restraints against this important American Indian activist and her skillful negotiation of the reporters and politicians she encountered in this key site.

Abstract

This presentation will examine the “Dacotah Ode to Washington,” a speech authored by Sioux activist Gertrude Simmons Bonnin and performed on June 22, 1922. Her recitation, as part of a larger civic ceremony intended to honor the installation of a commemorative stone for the State of South Dakota within the Washington Monument, managed to meet traditional expectations for epideictic but simultaneously reworked this rhetorical form as pointed socio-political critique. This discussion will specifically examine the rhetorical strategies Bonnin employed within her provocative speech to disrupt prevailing discourses regarding “the Indian” or “Indians” as a national fantasy of absence and erasure. By reconstituting the classical ode form with the presence of native story, by reclaiming the eagle as a sacred cross-cultural totem, by invoking Dakota traditions regarding honor, service, and community, and by working to ensure assertions of indigeneity within official recordings of this event, Bonnin effectively called her intended audiences to engage more meaningfully with both native presence and native absence. To conclude, this presentation will question the actual, persuasive effect of such an oration, and take up notions of delivery through polyvocality and reinscription in order to explore how Bonnin’s speech act continues to function within national sites of archive and memory as a permanent, troubling crease within ongoing, official discourses of power and dominance.

The Holistic Medicine Line: Organic Culturescapes and Dissolving Borders

Session #98
Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm ARTS 143

Chair

Nicole St. Onge, University of Ottawa

Comment

Nicole St. Onge, University of Ottawa

Presentations

Abstract

‘When He Returned from Red River’: Spokane Garry’s Use of Fur Trade Networks The man now known as Spokane Garry was the son of Illim-Spokanee, a head man of the Spokane people at the time they first came into contact with Euro-Canadian fur traders. Between the years 1824 and 1829, a teenage Garry left his Columbia River Plateau home to attend school at the Red River Mission School, an Anglican school on the banks of the Red River near what is now Selkirk, Manitoba. When Garry returned to his Spokane community in 1829 he brought with him the religious, cultural, geographic, political, and economic knowledge he had acquired while attending the mission school. Garry became a popular and devoted teacher, reading from the Bible and encouraging literacy among Spokane people, but also among indigenous communities from surrounding areas. Garry is perhaps most well known for encouraging Spokane people to peacefully resist American encroachment. As early as 1858, Garry was discouraging the Spokane people from engaging in combat with Americans, a theme that would continue until his death, even after suffering from repeated dispossession of his lands at the hands of the American government, its citizens, and railways. Garry’s life is indicative of the mobility of indigenous people within the context and framework of the North American fur trade and his actions and experiences are a microcosm of the social and cultural effects of indigenous people who deliberately accessed fur trade transportation networks and social structures for their own purposes.

Abstract

This presentation discusses new scholarship that identifies the Nehiyaw Pwat Confederacy (aka, the Iron Alliance) as a major Aboriginal “League of Nations” on the northern Great Plains. Métis scholarship over the past thirty years has brought to light new information that reveals the Nehiyaw Pwat and more firmly grounds the Métis in Aboriginal history. The people of the Nehiyaw Pwat Confederacy – essentially Cree, Assiniboine, Ojibwa, and Métis – traveled extensively and intermarried among many peoples of the Northern American continental interior, though primarily on the northern Great Plains. Polyethnicity and co-residency were hallmarks of historic Northern Plains tribal life and foundational to intertribal conceptions of politics, economics, arts and technology, land use, warfare, and sovereignty, predating and outside of EuroAmerican nation-state and cultural understanding. The Nehiyaw Pwat utilized and expanded those intrinsic principles to form a new Aboriginal reality – correlative to the Comanches and Hispanos – growing out of cultural catastrophe, as a new overarching Aboriginal socio-political construct open and flexible enough to accommodate the vast transformation occurring on the Great Plains during the 18th and 19th centuries. We look at the Trottier Brigade, of the Montana/Saskatchewan range, as an illustration. A more full and accurate concordance of North American western history, reconciling misunderstood and maligned relationships, and transcending inter-tribal and nation-state borders, is found when considering the Nehiyaw Pwat Confederacy.

Abstract

This paper examines how mobility was key to the broader economic and political strategies of Plains Metis communities in the mid-nineteenth century Prairie borderlands. It focuses on the experiences of a handful of Plains traders and their families who engaged in the buffalo trade in present-day Montana, Saskatchewan, and North Dakota. It traces the commercial networks they built, their relations with kin and neighbors, and their dealings with new representatives of nation-states. It suggests that the marking of commercial and national boundaries during the middle decades of the nineteenth century fostered the expansion of Metis borderland communities, enhanced the prosperity of many of these trading families, and bolstered their political power in unexpected ways. Rather than foreclose trans-border movement, the border became thoroughly embedded in the political economy of those Metis communities that dedicated themselves to the buffalo trade on the northeastern Plains. Metis cross-border trade and smuggling, and their political organizing for the right to trade freely, likewise affirmed both their emerging sense of nationhood and their claims of indigeneity. Despite—or perhaps, because of—their mobility, the members of these trading families expressed a rootedness in the borderlands and a determination to enhance the autonomy that living on the Plains brought them.

Abstract

During the negotiation of Treaties Four, Five, Six, and Seven in Western Canada after 1870, no policies for recognition of Métis aboriginal rights (i.e. distribution of scrip) were enacted. No enumerations of métis were undertaken prior to negotiating these treaties. Instead, individuals were give the option to ‘take treaty’ as Indians should they desire to do so. After 1885, the Canadian government revised the Indian Act to facilitate the removal of métis from treaty rolls. There were a number of economic and political benefits realized by this change in policy from the government perspective, including cost savings in paying treaty annuities, and the removal from treaty of individuals deemed to have too much influence over their fellow band members. This presentation focuses on the withdrawal of people deemed “Métis” or “halfbfreed” from treaty after 1885. Through an analysis of case studies of different métis individuals and groups who withdrew from treaty after 1885, the varied circumstances governing individual and collective withdrawals from treaty is put into social, political, and economic context.

Interdisciplinary Health Research in Aboriginal Communities in Manitoba

Session #99
Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm ARTS 146

Chair

Kim Anderson, Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford

Comment

Audience

Presentations

Abstract

Between 1940 and 1965, thousands of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people were treated for tuberculosis (TB) in three sanatoria in Manitoba dedicated primarily to the treatment of “Indian TB”: Dynevor Indian Hospital (Sekirk), Clearwater Lake Indian Hospital (The Pas) and Brandon Sanatorium (Brandon). TB treatment at these hospitals included bed-rest, surgery and antibiotics as well as programs of education, occupational therapy and rehabilitation. In this paper, I will explore a newly-available archive of records kept by the Sanatorium Board of Manitoba (SBM) and interpret SBM’s rehabilitation in the context of post-war Indigenous education, health and employment history. I will show how medical treatment in the years fully embraced contemporary Indian policy and its focus on economic and social integration.

Abstract

Early childhood caries (ECC) is the most prevalent chronic disease amongst Aboriginal children in Canada. The causes of this condition are multi-faceted including many social determinants of health, and are most easily characterized by infant feeding practices. Intervention research such as dental care providing to expectant mothers, fluoride varnishing for infants, and talk therapies including motivational interviewing and anticipatory guidance have shown varying successes as it pertains to behavior modification. This research explores traditional approaches to healthy infant feeding practices as they pertain to the development of good oral health in children. In partnership with Norway House Cree Nation health division, this qualitative study uncovers some of the traditional ways in which parents were taught and supported about proper infant feeding such as breast feeding, and how oral health in infants was managed. Developing Aboriginal specific interventions in the development of good oral health practices in children based on traditional understandings of health and parenting practices is an important part of reducing the prevalence of this chronic disease.

Abstract

This paper explores Manitoba Hydro’s representations of the environment, land, and Indigenous peoples, with a focus on Lake Winnipeg. Rather than rehearse the Crown corporation’s already well-documented negligence with respect to Manitoba’s First Peoples and lands, this paper analyzes Manitoba Hydro’s promotional materials produced since the late 1960’s when Manitoba’s first northern hyrdroelectric dam was constructed at Grand Rapids. Promotional materials in both textual and visual form include news media, murals, pamphlets, and video materials available on the internet. Many of these discourses utilize some of the same rhetorical strategies employed by colonial writers in the earliest English writings on North America. More significantly, this research demonstrates critical differences in conceptions of “health” held by Manitoba’s First Peoples and settler peoples in the present day.

Gitchi-Gaming Identity and the Nation-State in North Ameria

Session #100
Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm ARTS 263

Chair

Brenda Child, University of Minnesota

Comment

Audience

Presentations

Abstract

Historians suggest that the worldwide epidemic of influenza that spread in three waves in the spring and fall of 1918, and the winter of 1919, killing thirty to fifty million people worldwide, is an event strangely without a strong historical memory in the United States, despite the loss of 675,000 American lives. The influenza ravaged indigenous communities and Indian boarding schools, and was an especially significant event for Ojibwe women of the Great Lakes of Canada and the United States, the homeland of 200,000 Ojibwe people today who have deeply integrated the memory of this epidemic into their traditions of song and dance. This paper considers the diverse activities of Ojibwe women during that relatively short span, with an emphasis on their labor during the influenza of 1918-1919, a time when special roles and new kinds of employment resulted in unprecedented changes and challenges for women coping with the epidemic on rural reservations and in urban areas. Through letters and other historical documents, the paper reveals the story of a young boarding school graduate who worked as a volunteer nurse in Washington D.C. during the height of the epidemic.

Abstract

his short film explores questions of representation by juxtaposing a look at Edward Curtis’ work with a contemporary photography shoot staged in my garage. As it probes questions about agency and identity, this film shows young contemporary Native Americans confronting issues of representation with their own bodies and images. This work was greatly influenced by the current trends “inspired” by Indigenous peoples. With fashion models parading around in headdresses, I began to question what American people thought natives look like. Why, in 2012, is it still okay to present and exploit these constructed images? In the spirit of the Curtis photographs, I chose studio portraiture as my medium to explore these stereotypes. I asked my friends, most found in my Ojibwe language class, what stereotype they encountered most frequently. Working out of my father’s garage, I helped my friends dress up as these stereotypes. My subjects morphed themselves into teenage mothers, alcoholics, casino moguls and Princess Tiger Lily. At times, this work was hilarious, as we perfected our warpaint. At other times, it was painful, feeling discomfort while laughing with a 40 oz of cheap beer, exploring where this image connected to our reality. After each stereotype photograph, we stripped off the costume and I took a simple portrait of my friend. This is the person you are in class next to, the person eating dinner next to you. This is what an Indian looks like.

White, Black or Ojibwe?: The Bonga Family and Race in Minnesota

by Mattie Harper, University of California, Santa Cruz

Abstract

George Bonga, a man of mixed African and Ojibwe ancestry born at the beginning of the nineteenth century, was a man of “coal-black skin” who was labeled “white,” “black,” “half-breed, and “mulatto” over just 13 years. He had an Ojibwe wife and a prosperous career as a fur trader among the Minnesota Ojibwe. His daughter, in turn, identified as an Ojibwe woman yet was almost barred from marrying an Ojibwe missionary in 1880 due to her “negro” identity. This paper considers the contingent nature of race formation by looking at the increasing racialization of the French and “mixed-blood” population as Minnesota is organized from a Territory into a State, and the increasing emphasis on categories of “civilized” and “uncivilized.” It will explore fluctuations in state and federal administration of race and identity by looking at how members of the Bonga family were recorded in the territorial censuses, state and federal censuses, and in Ojibwe-US treaties. Their changing classifications point to changes in the ethnic, cultural and racial make-up of the population of Minnesota and shifts in U.S. Indian policy, as well as changing ideas about race in Ojibwe communities.

Abstract

One morning, shortly after New Year’s Day in 1837, one American Indian man killed another in the western region of the Wisconsin Territory. This, at least was the ruling of the American judge at Prairie du Chien, who concluded that in spite of ample evidence demonstrating the murderers guilt, “our laws did not recognize Indian murder.” This incident occurred during a time when American missionaries worked hard to convince the Anishinaabeg to begin the process of assimilation. At the same time many senior and politically powerful leaders among the Anishinaabeg reacted to this pressure by calling on their people to reject America’s civilizing mission. This paper will explore American settler colonialism, and Anishinaabe adaptation to the expansion of U.S. and Canadian settler states through an examination of the murder of Alfred Aitkin, the adult child of an American fur trader and Anishinaabe woman. A decade earlier U.S. officials recognized mixed-blood Anishinaabe men as citizens and gave them voting privileges in Michigan Territory. In Aitkin’s case these same officials determined the victim and his murderer lived lives beyond reach of American authority even though they resided in territory incorporated into the republic.

Research and Writing From Home: Scholarship With, By an For Ho-Chunk People

Session #101
Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm ARTS 212

Chair

Amy Lonetree, University of California, Santa Cruz

Comment

Audience

Presentations

Abstract

My paper, "Imaging Native Survivance: A Visual History of the Ho-Chunk Nation, 1879-1960" explores the intersections of photographic images, family history, tourism, and Ho-Chunk survivance through an examination of two extraordinary photographic collections housed at the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS): the Charles Van Schaick Collection and the Henry Hamilton (H.H.) Bennett Collection. The Charles Van Schaick collection includes close to 1,000 photographs of Ho-Chunk people taken between 1879-1936, and the H.H. Bennett Collection is comprised of hundreds of images of tribal members taken from 1865-1960. Also contained within the Bennett Collection are film reels of the Stand Rock Indian Ceremonial, a major tourist attraction that employed tribal members in Wisconsin Dells, WI from the 1920s through the 1960s. Both collections comprise an amazing visual legacy for Ho-Chunk people documenting a long-neglected period in Native American history—the so-called "Dark Ages" of the late 19th/early 20th century. The stories the images convey of the importance of kinship, place, memory, settler colonialism, and survivance are the central themes of the Ho-Chunk experience in the 20th century, and my presentation will address these intersecting themes through an analysis of a diverse range of images in the collections.

Abstract

The Ho-Chunk peoples of Nebraska and Wisconsin share a distinct yet joint history that continues to impact both communities today. Prior to the United States’ initiation of the 1836 removal, the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin were considered one nation of Ho-Chunk or The People of the Big Voice. Nevertheless, this government removal led to the formation of two separate reservations, with tribal governments in two states. Utilizing primary sources from the Oral History Center in Vermillion, SD and the National Archives in Chicago and Kansas City, this paper seeks to investigate the intertribal correspondence and relationship between the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin during the post-WWII period. This paper contributes to this historical narrative through an analysis of oral testimonies and correspondence between tribal governments and councils, Indian Agents, BIA officials, and on-reservation and off-reservation community members. Formal communication between both tribes’ governing bodies indicates efforts to collaborate and cooperate through governing systems imposed through U.S. federal law. By working within these governing bodies, both tribes reveal self-determination in maintaining pre-contact political connections despite geographic boundaries and colonial government structures. Letters and communication between on-reservation and off-reservation members of the tribes are significant in demonstrating the continued investment in Ho-Chunk/Winnebago communities despite geographic distance. This documentation illustrates that the Ho-Chunk/Winnebago nations maintained an open dialogue that is still present today despite settler-imposed geographic and political boundaries.

Abstract

The implications of the legacy of colonialism on American Indian personhood and communal discourses are profound. In many respects American Indian cultural identity has been fashioned in response to colonialism. In spite of the colonial legacy American Indian cultures and tribes have survived. Survival has required the assertion of agency in the face of colonial subjection: survivance (Vizenor, 2008). This paper focuses on the survival of Hochunk cultural identity. Both the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and the Hochunk Nation of Wisconsin are vibrant and have accomplished much in revitalizing their political, economic and cultural resources. This paper will theorize a model of Hochunk resilience based in narrative identity. This paper will examine Hochunk tribal folklore and conceptualize the narrative implications of these stories for tribal resilience in the context of the legacy of colonial oppression.

Abstract

Relying on correspondence and tribal council minutes, this paper examines Henry Roe Cloud's role as an "Indian agent" at Umatilla. As an “Indian agent,” he represented the arm of the federal government, the Indian Service, which was something he had critiqued in the past, and a force that Indians at Umatilla could resent. Cloud as an “Indian agent,” however, was different from his predecessor, Babcock, a white superintendent. Cloud challenged settler colonialism by disputing the racist attitudes of white residents of Pendleton, supporting Umatilla Natives in their struggles over fishing rights, and working to be more open about his goals and objectives. At the same time, he was implicated in settler colonialism by being influenced by the settler colonial idea of self-government and working to implement the policies of the Indian Service.

Indigenous Language Law, Activism and Scholarship in Canada

Session #102
Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm ESB 18

Chair

Brock Pitawanakwat, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Canada

Comment

Audience

Presentations

Indigenous Language Revitalization - Actions and Strategies for Your Community and Family

by Brock Pitawanakwat, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Canada

Abstract

Indigenous languages were specific targets of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools (IRS) that sought to replace them with English and French in the hope that European languages would assimilate and resocialize their students. Although the IRS system has since been dismantled, its “success” in silencing Indigenous languages has yet to be undone. Many former IRS students and their descendants remain linguistically alienated from their communities and families. The reluctance of Canadian educational institutions to undo this attempted linguicide, against scores of Indigenous languages, reveals the underlying intent of assimilative education remains intact. Without adequate government recognition or support, Indigenous language learners and teachers are adapting and innovating a wide range of learning methods and strategies to maintain and revitalize their ancestral languages. Based on interviews conducted for my doctoral research, this paper describes how one Indigenous people, the Anishinaabeg, are organizing to maintain and revitalize their ancestral language of Anishinaabemowin. This paper will also emphasize successful community-based and family-based strategies that can be applied in order to learn any Indigenous or heritage language.

Dakota History

Session #103
Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm ARTS 202

Chair

Shiela McManus, University of Lethbridge, Canada

Comment

Audience

Organizer

NAISA

Presentations

Abstract

The year 2012 marked one hundred and fifty years since the Dakota – United States War of 1862, which culminated in the extermination and forced exile of the Dakota out of our ancestral homeland, Mni Sota, the place of our creation. Though some of us have since returned, many or our relatives remain living in exile in cities and reservations outside of state borders. During this year’s Minnesota sesquicentennial, countless events, film screenings, symposiums, and lectures were given to commemorate this stain in history, and a major exhibit about the war is currently on display at the Minnesota History Center. Although these activities have served to educate the general public, they also run the risk of defining Dakota people by violence and war - thereby further simplifying our existence in a state where, in many ways, we remain largely an invisible presence. A larger discussion on the effects that the separation from our homeland has had on our communities in exile have also been strangely absent from many of these public conversations. This paper analyzes how this single story narrative could be broadened and continued forward into the future, in an effort to promote healing and encourage real change over time. This continuation of dialogue must take place so that our history is not appropriated as just another passing theme, and can also serve to awaken the states consciousness in recognizing the longer history we have on this land, all while paying respect to the contemporary existence of Dakota people.

Abstract

This paper argues the continuous Indian presence in contemporary suburban locations around Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, often from time immemorial to present day despite various attempts at removal and exile. In the early 1880s the first county histories of the state of Minnesota were published. These histories, written by Reverend Edward D. Neill, describe numerous places located around the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, particularly the area around the confluence of the two rivers. These places, often described in rich detail, are Indian places - Dakota and Ojibwe. Neill repeatedly discusses Indian places and Indian people which demonstrates an Indian presence and perhaps more significantly, acknowledges the importance of place for Indian people. Indian villages, battle sites, gathering places, burial sites, and places of deep spiritual meaning are each mentioned on multiple accounts in Neill's histories. Using federal and state census data in conjunction with the county histories, it becomes clear that there has always been an Indian presence in today's suburban spaces. Additionally, these suburban spaces are inherently Indian places. A temporal focus of 1875-1910 reveals the strength and determination of Dakota and Ojibwe to remain in their traditional places even through multiple removal treaties and in the wake of the US-Dakota war when the vast majority of Dakota people were forced from the state. The Indian places described by Neill along with census data run counter to common myths and stereotypes that regard Indian people as absent from and somehow incompatible with suburbs.

Abstract

Between 1871 and 1877, the Canadian government and the Cree, Saulteaux, and Blackfoot signed the southern Numbered Treaties on the Canadian prairies. However, the Lakota and Dakota people were excluded from these treaties and from all treaties in Canada. The Dakota and Lakota people lived in what would become southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well as the United States when the southern Numbered Treaties were created and continue to today. By using archival documents, secondary sources, and Dakota and Lakota leaders’ statements from the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, this study will examine how and why the Dakota and Lakota were excluded from Canadian treaties and how in reality they were eligible for treaty making with the Canadian government. This study will demonstrate that the Canadian government excluded the Dakota and Lakota in many ways, such as by claiming that these Sioux nations were not “Canadian” or “British Indians” and viewing the Lakota and Dakota as only being refugees in Canada from the United States. Moreover, this study will demonstrate how the Canadian government contradicted its claims that the Dakota and Lakota were not “Canadian Indians” by subjugated them as such to assimilation policies. This study will also show that the Dakota and Lakota have a long history in Canadian territory. This topic is important for Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people in Canada alike to understand because it has very relevant implications as the Lakota and Dakota try to still be recognized for treaty making with the Canadian government today.

Religion and Indigenous Knowledge

Session #104
Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm ARTS 208

Chair

Michael Hankard, Université de Sudbury

Comment

Audience

Organizer

NAISA

Presentations

Abstract

My paper focuses on the figure of The Peacemaker featured in Haudenosaunee origin narratives, narratives that offer instances of the double that embody and animate Iroquois forms of intersubjectivity. The dynamics of Haudenosaunee origin narratives challenge philosophy’s limited critiques of the double. This nexus of narratives is singularly unique because it features not a “hero” but, rather, sets of exchanges between Deganawidah and characters such as Thadodahoh and Hiawathah. What I will explore and emphasize here is the sense in which none of these three central characters exist in discrete isolation but, rather, as interactive participants in dynamic doubles, doubles in which the participants’ identities are distinct from and yet indissociable from their partners. Putting this in a broader context, western philosophy has been characterized by its effort to harness the double by articulating it in the form of hierarchical binary oppositions (e.g. appearance vs. reality, mind vs. body, etc.). In the late twentieth century, philosophy made significant, self-critical progress in its exploration of the power of these forms of the double, i.e. doubles that are about mastery, marginalization, and repression. Yet as the Deganawidah tradition demonstrates, the double is not intrinsically about hierarchies or oppositions, since it manifests itself in active configurations that serve to help constitute community. In the end, I argue that Iroquois culture embodies ontological enactments from which western philosophy has much to learn.

Comparative Religion and US Indian Policy

by Sarah Dees, Indiana University, Bloomington

Abstract

The study of Native American and Indigenous religions remains a sensitive matter due to the degradation of Indigenous cultural practices at the hands of researchers (Tuhiwai Smith, 1999). Drawing on Ann Stoler’s 2001 urging for scholars to pay attention to “practices of colonial comparison by colonial governments,” this paper considers how comparative religion has factored into the United States government’s control and management of American Indian populations. This paper examines how the category of religion was used in late-nineteenth century studies of Native American religion conducted by a Smithsonian research agency, the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE). As a government agency, the BAE researchers exercised connections to government policymakers who played a role in instituting and managing assimilation policies. I argue that the category of religion factored significantly into the BAE publications, thus setting an ideological foundation for policies that limited Native peoples’ self-determined cultural practices. My paper begins by providing a brief overview of the ways the early academic study of religion drew on “primitive religions” to theorize the nature and progression of human spiritual development. I then discuss the extent to which BAE researchers drew on these ideas about “primitive religions” in their ethnographic accounts of Indigenous rituals, funerary rites, stories, and dances. I close by discussing the relevance of BAE research on US Indian policy, arguing that research on religion, more than describing a culture, has communicated assumptions about the inherent value of self-determined spiritual practices.

Abstract

With the posthumous publication of The World We Used to Live In: Remembering the Power of the Medicine Men (2006), Lakota legal and religious scholar Vine Deloria, Jr. shared with the world his many decades of thought on Native American religious power, particularly among Plains Indians. The text stands as Deloria’s last commentary on many recorded non-Native and Native accounts of Indigenous religious ceremonies and rituals practiced across the continent and centuries. The pieces included were often written by mostly disinterested and sometimes even hostile outside observers of Native ways, and Deloria claims, when he would come across such accounts in his reading, he would put them into a file. Rather than offering conclusions about Indigenous peoples’ worldviews, Deloria presents the excerpts as a way of suggesting fundamental principles of Indigenous religious practice and philosophy—the power takes forms ranging widely from prophecy to miraculous healings to changing the weather. In addition to the fascinating material presented, Deloria’s book provides a context for shaping important questions about cross-cultural spiritual understandings as well as misunderstandings. In this essay, I focus on select accounts from eras past and interrogate them as testimony—something more than eyewitness—multi-layered cross-cultural educational tools. Deloria’s presentation of them also comes under scrutiny. The purposive relating of religious experience in order to have it recorded, I argue, serves as a way both of borrowing and of establishing authority in and for belief systems that are “strategically incommensurable” with those of dominant Christian American society.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

Session #105
Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm ARTS 134

Chair

Kate Williams, University of Illinois

Comment

Audience

Organizer

NAISA

Presentations

Abstract

In September 2012, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) celebrated its fifth anniversary. As a non-binding and legally unenforceable UN declaration, implementation of Indigenous rights is intended and expected to proceed domestically on a state-by-state basis. Many scholars and human rights practitioners hold the view that a good number of governments voted for the UNDRIP without any genuine intention of implementing it and with little fear of international or domestic pressure for compliance with Indigenous rights standards. On the other hand, political scientist and human rights expert Beth Simmons (2009) found in her seminal study of human rights compliance behaviour that state commitments and state behavior do tend to match, finding that human rights treaty ratification does lead to better domestic human rights practices. Now five years into their implementation stage, do Indigenous rights tend to follow the dominant understanding of compliance, do they follow the expectations of Simmons’ 2009 study, or do they exhibit their own unique set of trends? In this paper, I compare compliance data on 60 countries (with significant Indigenous populations) that I collected at the end of 2007 with compliance data that I collected on those same countries in 2012, drawing out the patterns and trends in Indigenous rights implementation around the world. I argue that Indigenous rights are unique among human rights standards, diverging in significant ways from both the dominant understanding as well as Simmons’ expectations. I will also draw out some practical implications of these findings for Indigenous rights activists.

Abstract

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is the result of Indigenous peoples demanding formal recognition of their rights by the United Nations. There is little written regarding the perspectives of Indigenous communities on the implications of the UNDRIP. Much of the literature focuses on Canada’s initial failure to support the Declaration in 2007. The majority of works on the topic of Indigenous Human Rights were published prior to Canada’s signing, and thus focus mainly on the development of the Declaration and the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations, and the development of the Canadian Constitution. Very little is known about the UNDRIP’s implications for Indigenous communities in Canada. Additionally, scholarly research and policy analysis examining the effectiveness of UNDRIP’s Declaration to meet its stated aims in Canada is mostly absent. The empowerment of Indigenous political leaders needs to be recognized on a national and international level in order for Indigenous peoples to assert their right to self-determination. The purpose of this study is to understand the perceptions of Indigenous leaders on the relevance of the UNDRIP in Canada. The focus will be to assess how the UNDRIP can be used to support the rights of Indigenous communities in Manitoba to gain an understanding of the UNDRIP as a tool toward self-determination from Indigenous perspectives; create awareness of Indigenous leaders’ perceptions on the UNDRIP; and to generate recommendations based on the perspectives of Indigenous leaders on the adequacy of the declaration.

Embodied Expressions

Session #106
Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm ARTS 211

Chair

Scott Morgensen, Queens University

Comment

Audience

Organizer

NAISA

Presentations

Abstract

This presentation will summarize the process and outcome of a gathering centered on the work of playwright Alanis King and artist Daphne Odjig. Heid Erdrich, Marcie Rendon, the authors of this paper and other aboriginal and non-aboriginal women made critical connections between contemporary and traditional storytelling, song and performance methods to explore themes of language and identity. The process included exploring approaches to community based interdisciplinary revitalization and discussion of the importance of addressing both relatives and scholars in order to make meaning in the multiple worlds that impact indigenous people today. Working with an Anishinaabe women’s hand-drum group, the women also explored language revitalization and community well-being. Outcomes included songs, scripts, sketches, essays and poems.

Abstract

This paper is an ethnographic reflection on how dance shapes cultural identities and personal philosophy. I do this by using the experience of creating “The Jingle Dress”, a 45-minute dance performance piece for 3 to 5-year-old audiences. Ethnographic data is drawn from having been a part of traditional dances on the Pine Ridge Reservation for over 20 years, the creative process of making “The Jingle Dress,” performance piece and responses to the work. The paper explores how contemporary theatre impacts on embodied and cultural identities when it draws on traditional dances as a 'source'. Exploration is made into how contemporary artists negotiate the relationship between acknowledgement, consumption and appropriation of cultural identity. The paper considers how one creates work for young people that draws on tradition and cultural knowledge while negotiating the colonialist gaze of the ‘mainstream’ audience. Seeing dance as holding critical indigenous knowledge for how to engage with the lived world, discussion is made as to whether shared philosophical principles and shared embodied approaches (such as dance) can create communities of understanding across cultures. Or whether this strips cultural identities particularly for those of us from marginalized groups (Black, First Nations) who are identified through an imposed ‘cultural’ aesthetic. Overall the paper considers the issues raised when creating a work for young people, in formed by cultural identifiers but with the aim to counteract Self as ‘Other’.

Abstract

Northern Paiute writer, performer, and activist Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins persists as a controversial figure in American Indian literary history. Like most Native public figures from the late nineteenth century, she is most often viewed as a cultural mediator, frequently rebuked for her support of U.S. government intervention in Native affairs and for “playing Indian” for her mostly Euro-American audiences. However, her most studied work, Life among the Piutes, Their Wrongs and Claims (1883), has recently begun to be re-framed within the concerns of tribal nationalist literary theories, revealing a level of rhetorical savvy Winnemucca used to affirm the values and priorities of her Northern Paiute community. Drawing on detailed tribal contexts and theoretical work from the growing field of Indigenous performance studies, this paper continues the re-framing project, specifically exploring the role of Winnemucca’s live performances – her early work in tableaux vivants and especially her later time on the lecture circuit – in her activist work. In an approach derived from centuries-old Northern Paiute diplomatic strategies, Winnemucca crisscrossed the Great Basin, the West, and, eventually, all of North America on lengthy speaking tours to connect her divided people, secure the resources needed for survival, and draw attention to their poverty and mistreatment by the U.S. government. Winnemucca’s performance career serves as an important reminder of how transnational travel, activism, and alliance-building, rather than undermining or eschewing nationhood, can actually be in service to sovereignty.

Abstract

This presentation explores the contributions of hip-hop art forms to contemporary Indigenous urban thought. B-boying and b-girling practices produce a rich visual culture that contours urban cultural landscapes and expresses unique urban identities that challenge stereotypical representations of ‘the Indian’ and ‘the other’ projected on the popular screen. I provide a contextual framework suggesting that b-boying/b-girling and other hip-hop art forms arose out of a space of struggle and a need for a movement that represented social transformation. I also discuss the appeal of hip-hop for Native youth, resonating with similar experiences of social dislocation and erasure. I discuss the history of b-boying in relationship to Native cultural expressions. Hip-hop contributes to contemporary Indigenous thought, specifically the significance of ‘Indigenous motion’ as a practice of a central nervous system- shooting out pulsations to connect Native people within cities. I explore the significance of dancing ‘between the break beats’ where between spaces are portals to creativity and the life force that connects us all. Finally, I look at the hip-hop crew as an important site for the reconfiguration of rich and complex Native identities and express how embodiment functions to transcend colonialism.

Higher Education

Session #107
Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm ARTS 213

Chair

Julie Davis, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University

Comment

Audience

Organizer

NAISA

Presentations

Abstract

In 2012, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi celebrated its 20th anniversary as an indigenous tertiary educational institute in Aotearoa New Zealand. In this paper, I use the term ‘indigenous-university’ as a discussion point for applying a Foucauldian analysis of the history, politics and development of the Wānanga over the past two decades. Since its inception and eventual opening in 1992, the Wānanga has been in a constant struggle with the Crown, as it has strived to meet the educational needs and aspirations of the local Māori communities it serves, while at the same time being regulated by state and institutional ideologies and mechanisms of power. The descriptor ‘indigenous-university’ tells a story of indigenous sovereignty, politics and resistance and the branding of such a term speaks to the struggles of Indigenous educational institutions in a postcolonial context. Using Foucault’s genealogical method I discuss how the disciplinary powers of social institutions are neither fully controlled by the state nor able to be fully exercised by indigenous institutions like the Wānanga. Instead, the relations of power between Indigenous sovereignty and the state are constantly in tension producing new mechanisms of knowledge and truth. As a result, new knowledge, politics, practices, and mechanisms of power are formed that redefine the Indigenous postcolonial experience. The localized history, politics and development of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, describes such a contested and mediated space, and the potential for social transformation through the re-ordering of state and institutional disciplinary powers.

Education for Life at Native American Tribal Colleges

by Charles Saunders, Ohio State University

Abstract

Native American tribal colleges and universities (TCUs)in the United States serve more than 20,000 Native and non-Native American students. This study explores the significant issues facing TCU students. Research questions that guided this study addressed students' perceptions of the issues facing TCU, their decisions to attend TCUs, their views about obtaining a degree upon completion of their program of study, students' ability to obtain a job in their chosen career, and the importance of being able to transfer to another university to complete their programs. A survey questionnaire - developed by the researcher and made available online to TCU students – consisted of 47 content questions in three categories: Planning for College, Choosing a College, and My Goals for Attending College. The reliability of the content variables, as expressed by Cronbach's alpha, was .915. Exploratory (common) factor analysis was used to analyze the data (N=398) and the relationships among the variables. Ten factors extracted from 40 of the 47 variables were: Self-Actualization, Qualities of TCU, Prepare for College, Culture/Beliefs/Values, Convenience of TCU, Livelihood While Student, Career/Work Expectations, Short-term Goals, General Education, and Paying for College. The results indicated the level of importance or agreement with various issues among TCU students. Students indicated that 40 of the 47 issues presented to them were Important to Very Important on a four-point Likert-type scale. The extracted factor Self-Actualization, which consisted of seven variables, was found to explain the most variance of all the extracted factors (38.5% of common variance, 15.8% of total variance).

Perserverance and Success at the University Level

by Lyne Legault, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue

Abstract

Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) is a small regional university deserving three major culturally different populations : the Cree Nation, the Algonquin Nation and people of French origin. At UQAT, the ‘mainstream’ programs are offered in French while others, in Education, Social Work and Administration, designed especially in response to the needs of Native communities (mainly Cree and Algonquin) are dispensed in either French or English. Within a holistic and ecosystemic theoretical framework, this qualitative, exploratory research investigates the determinants of academic perseverance and success of UQAT’S Aboriginal students. The results indicate that UQAT’s willingness to respond to the needs of its Aboriginal clientele, its policies and practices as well as the accessibility and openness of its professors, professionals and other employees have a positive effect on students’ outcome. On the Native students’ part, the results reveal that those who perceive university studies as a means of achieving such goals as becoming models in their community and contributing to its well-being, demonstrate great capacity and engagement in persevering and in achieving success. The areas for change and improvement include, but are not limited to, abandoning prejudices, improving communities’ understanding and perception of academic studies, helping with linguistic barriers and family responsibilities and increasing professors’ consciousness of Aboriginal cultures and realities.

Abstract

This presentation will discuss best practices in teaching undergraduate Comparative and Global Indigenous Studies courses in the context of multiple pedagogical considerations, both those from the university as well as those from Indigenous methodologies. In past years, literature on Indigenous teaching pedagogies have introduced and re-introduced Indigenous ways of teaching and learning. At the same time, university teachers are increasingly pressured by shifting pedagogies that require a student-centered learning process that involves a variety of components that reach beyond the lecture. To compound the problem, Comparative and Global Indigenous Studies courses necessitate a content-focus. In courses that deal with broader international issues, content is key to successful learning. The sheer volume of material as well as the very premise of such courses require university teachers to provide content as a fundamental aspect of student learning. This produces three demands on the comparative/international course: the need for content, Indigenous pedagogies, and student-centered practices. How can we bring these three considerations together successfully? After teaching four different courses in three disciplines that dealt with comparative Indigenous issues to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, I have developed a ‘best practices’ list that has helped me negotiate overwhelming amounts of information with the need to localize information and provide learner-focused practices. I will discuss both the problems of administering such a course along with the best practices of my own teaching experience.

Re-imagining Indians

Session #108
Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm ARTS 217

Chair

TBA

Comment

Audience

Organizer

NAISA

Presentations

Abstract

American Indian studies scholars have struggled to bring attention to the longstanding tradition of American Indians in the U.S military and their immense contributions. Through an analysis of military metaphors and representations of American Indian veterans in film, this paper argues that Indians are used for their symbolic value across a wide range of military representational complexes, which are linked to problematic federal Indian policies and the disavowal of American colonialism against Native peoples. With the appropriation of noble Indian attributes that serve as the very foundation of American national identity, the Armed Forces rely on military metaphors of Indianness, such as naming practices for aircraft, images like tomahawks or Indian faces with war paint that decorate insignias, which perpetuate stereotypes and obscure actual Indians and Indian experiences. Drawing upon historical analysis, oral histories, films, and popular discourse, I argue that simplified representations of American Indians in the military intersect with issues of identity, masculinity, the nation, and American patriotism, which misrepresents American Indians and sovereign political motivations for serving in the military. An analysis of representations of Indian veterans in The Outsider (1961), Windtalkers (2002), and Flags of Our Fathers (2006) reveal the multitude of ways that these films form and transmit beliefs about Indian veterans. This paper carefully contextualizes various tribal histories and beliefs while highlighting the ways American Indian veterans have been symbolically imagined, stereotyped, and represented, why others have defined us in such terms, and how we as Native peoples define and honor Indian veterans.

Abstract

Tourism is the largest single source of private capital into Hawaiʻi and the biggest generator of jobs among the state’s economic sectors – it is Hawaiʻi’s number one economy, which profoundly shapes cultural politics for Hawaiʻi’s indigenous people. Because tourism relies heavily on cultural lands, cultural knowledge and cultural performance to market Hawaiʻi as a unique and desirable travel destination, tourism is entrenched as a colonial arm that has emerged out of histories of cultural genocide and displacement; a reality that is masked by glossy advertisements and images of the “welcoming” native. While Native scholars such as Haunani Kay-Trask have touched upon tourism as yet another specter in the myriad ways that colonialism is present in Hawaiʻi, there remains a need to theorize how tourism is a colonial continuum of Hawaiʻi’s complex histories. Using a variety of texts, including development plans published by the Hawaii State Planning Office in 1960, the films Blue Hawaii (1961) and The Descendants (2011), and what is touted as the “Imagineers” of the recently built Disney Aulani Resort, this paper discusses how a tropical imaginary is fostered immediately following statehood in 1959 and how that imaginary continues to mask Native Hawaiian political subjugation. Additionally, this paper considers the cultural and political work of Hawaiian community members in the present to show how cultural performance is currently articulated in tension and in tandem with a touristic view of Hawaiian culture, shaping new critiques of cultural commodification and political futures for Native Hawaiians.

Abstract

This paper discusses the process of reevaluation of space and risk associated with a First Nations urban reserve in Nova Scotia. The discussion centers upon the case study of the town of Truro and the Mi’kmaw reserve of Millbrook, located within the town limits. The paper analyzes how the recent economic success of the reserve has introduced, or induced, new perspectives about the meaning of risk and the conceptualization of space among the surrounding non-Native population. For decades, the association of common dangers, such as violence and alcohol/drug-related behavior, with the reserve scene has contributed to the categorization of their residents as “natural” repositories of such sources of public risk. Thus, the feeling of insecurity has made the reserves into places to avoid or to be cautious of when traveling through them. In Truro, the recent opening of Millbrook to corporate business investments has produced a shift in the social perception of risk among much of the non-Native local population. The fear of and discomfort generated by the reserve and its dangers have given space to sentiments of risk caused by the relocation and refocusing of regional business within the reserve boundaries, which threatens the market share of many downtown businesses. The focus of social space within Truro has undoubtedly shifted in the direction of Millbrook. Nevertheless, little has changed in the town population’s perceptions of the reserve as a location of risk for the surrounding communities. The association of reserve, the Native people’s space, and danger remains, although on renegotiated terms.

Science Across Borders

Session #109
Friday, June 14 - 2:00 - 3:45pm ARTS 214

Chair

Robert Patrick, University of Saskatchewan

Comment

Audience

Organizer

NAISA

Presentations

Two-way learning: The Science Ambassador Program

by Sandy Bonny, University of Saskatchewan

Abstract

The Science Ambassador Program, offered through the Division of Science, University of Saskatchewan, pairs senior undergraduate and graduate students in science, engineering, agriculture, and health science with remote northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba schools that have a high proportion of students with Aboriginal ancestry for 4-6 week placements. These Science Ambassadors support responsive and hands-on science teaching and leaning, working alongside classroom teachers and staff during school hours and during extra-curricular events. Hosted in and by participating communities, they are provided a rich cross-cultural learning experience. Science Ambassadors report that participating in the program has lead to personal growth, cultural learning, and importantly, reflection on their social roles and responsibilities as scientists. The program's goal is to encourage Aboriginal student confidence and enjoyment of science learning in grades K to 9, and early indications suggest that forming authentic learning relationships and friendships with Science Ambassadors promotes school attendance, classroom participation, and enrollment in higher level science and math related courses. This presentation will review the growth of the program (2007 to 2013), highlight student and teacher experience, and discuss the program's approach to providing creative and culturally-relevant science outreach that addresses local and specific teaching and learning needs. Key to the program's success is the strong advocacy and concern for youth found in participating communities, a concern that has often been extended to visiting Science Ambassadors, promoting community integration and facilitating mentorship relationships that facilitate cross-cultural learning.

Abstract

This presentation is an ethnohistoric account and critique of a medical experiment on Native North Americans from 1935-38 involving the BCG vaccine for tuberculosis, with follow-up studies that continued until 1998. The research question for this presentation is whether informed consent was given to the subjects originally or throughout the follow-up study time frame. Data for the research question are provided by interviews with a targeted sample of 21 Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian individuals in Alaska who were either subjects or descendants of subjects involved in the original study. None of the 21 respondents knew they or their relatives were involved in an experiment. Issues related to the study are examined from a decolonizing research methodology perspective. Future research involving Native North Americans should follow ethical principals involving human subjects. Those engaged in follow-up research on the 1935-38 experiment should explain the latter fully to the communities involved, acknowledge ethic violations and explain why they are continuing research on an unethical medical study.

Abstract

Unlike countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and others, Sweden is lacking officially recognized ethical guidelines that regulate how research with Indigenous peoples should best be carried out. This paper aims to highlight how ethical regulations within the area of humanities and social sciences have developed in Sweden, focusing specifically on effects and consequences in terms of Sami rights, preferences and needs. Currently in Sweden, the scientific ethical boards that determine whether research projects that involve humans are ethical or not, are not obliged to pay regard to Sami perspectives. Consequently, research focusing on Sami issues, Sami society and Sami individuals is carried through without any official requirements to consult the ones affected by the research processes, the results and their implementations. Research on Sami issues has long been a popular area of interest within the Swedish academic context. On the one hand, this research has contributed to a positive impact in terms of knowledge sharing and documentation of Sami history, society and culture. On the other hand, abuse in the name of science has also occurred/occurs, which in turn leads to many Sami considering the concept of research as problematic still today. The absence of ethical guidelines related to research with Sami peoples risks contributing to the reproduction of colonial structures, while research credibility continues to be undermined.

Abstract

Traditional Knowledge (TK) has recently gained prominence in academic and political discussions. Much of this heightened profile can be traced to international protocols developed in response to a variety of Indigenous issues, most recently the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As well, the desire of Indigenous communities around the world to share knowledge as part of the movement towards sustainability has played a major part. The purpose of this presentation is to explore the expression and practice of traditional knowledge in an urban context. Indigenous researchers engaged in relationship-building with leaders of Toronto Aboriginal organizations and employed methods that were explicitly intended to strengthen relationships between Aboriginal and academic communities. Our findings challenge the view that Indigenous peoples are generally unable to apply TK in urban areas. Indigenous leaders in Toronto stated that they apply TK in the design and delivery of culturally relevant programs and services. Community participants in the research indicated that they practice TK in their everyday lives and are able to share TK with their families, communities and others. Although there are definite barriers to the expression of TK in urban environments, these barriers are far from absolute, and the desire to protect and maintain IK is at as strong in urban as in rural settings.


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