Sovereignty Matters


Sovereignty Matters

Locations of Contestation and Possibility in Indigenous Struggles for Self-Determination

Edited by Joanne Barker

236 pages


January 2006


$30.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Sovereignty Matters investigates the multiple perspectives that exist within indigenous communities regarding the significance of sovereignty as a category of intellectual, political, and cultural work. Much scholarship to date has treated sovereignty in geographical and political matters solely in terms of relationships between indigenous groups and their colonial states or with a bias toward American contexts. This groundbreaking anthology of essays by indigenous peoples from the Americas and the Pacific offers multiple perspectives on the significance of sovereignty.
The noted Mohawk scholar Taiaiake Alfred provides a landmark essay on the philosophical foundations of sovereignty and the need for the decolonization of indigenous thinking about governance. Other essays explore the role of sovereignty in fueling cultural memory, theories of history and change, spiritual connections to the land, language revitalization, and repatriation efforts. These topics are examined in varied yet related contexts of indigenous struggles for self-determination, including those of the Chamorro of Guam, the Taíno of Puerto Rico, the Quechua of the Andes, the Mäori of New Zealand (Aotearoa), the Samoan Islanders, and the Kanaka Maoli and the Makah of the United States. Several essays also consider the politics of identity and identification.
Sovereignty Matters emphasizes the relatedness of indigenous peoples' experiences of genocide, dispossession, and assimilation as well as the multiplicity of indigenous political and cultural agendas and perspectives regarding sovereignty.

Author Bio

Joanne Barker (Lenape) is an assistant professor of American Indian studies at San Francisco State University. Her work has appeared in Cultural Studies, Wicazo Sa Review, Inscriptions, and This Bridge We Call Home: Radical Visions for Transformation.

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