Indigenous Activism, Community Sustainability, and the Constraints of CANZUS Settler-Colonial Nationhood.
In Mohawk Interruptus, Audra Simpson describes the process of settler-colonial nationhood as incomplete because of the continued presence of Indigenous peoples who will “defend what they have left” and “persist, robustly.” Within that framework, this paper will look at how Indigenous environmental and sustainability activism in the Anglo-settler CANZUS states restricts and impedes the processes of absolute settler-nationhood. Using four case studies to provide an analytical focal point, I will interrogate the overtly paramilitary state-sanctioned response of North Dakota to the #NoDAPL Standing Rock Sioux and allied water protectors; and comparative state responses and violence to the recent Maori protests against TPPA in Aotearoa; the Nunatsiavut/Inuit Make Muskrat Right Again campaign in Canada; and the wave of Invasion Day protests in Australia.
I argue that while these state responses sustain and emblemize the power and dominance of settler-colonial nationhood, they also also prove Simpson’s argument that continued Indigenous defense undermines and corrupts the absolutism of settler-colonial nationhood. Each instance of forced settler nation interaction with Indigenous community resistance and persistence, and every state engagement with the issues of unceded land and treaty rights, demands an acknowledgement from these states that the settler-colonial process is still a work in progress. The final aspect of the paper will ask whether these acknowledgment that the settler-colonialism process is a work in progress, and the choice of state violence as a response to these acknowledgements. create enough spaces to terminally undermine this process, and thus enable the re-interpretation and affirmation of Indigeneity as equal to, rather than underneath, these settler-colonial CANZUS nation states.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2019 Paul R McKenzie-Jones
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).