AlterNative Volume 10 Issue 3
Topics in this issue of AlterNative, Volume 10, issue 3 (2014) are diverse and cover Latin American history, indigenous education, identity, social movements, historical and intergenerational trauma, game design, research ethics in health and ageing research and environmental impact assessment.
The lead article by Eric Rodrigo Meringer, “Accommodating mestizaje on Nicaragua’s Río Coco,” provides an alternative interpretation of 20th century Miskitu social activism by focussing on a so far understudied period in Nicaragua’s history, the 1950s to the 1970s. Meringer’s article discusses the Nicaraguan State’s efforts to integrate the Miskitu population into an indigenist programme known as the Río Coco Pilot Project for Basic Education.
Two of the seven articles theorize about strategies of indigenous resistance. The article “Beyond epistemic provincialism: De-provincializing Indigenous resistance,” is the result of a transnational collaboration by Cash Ahenakew and co-authors. This article calls for the need for different complimentary strategies of indigenous decolonization and exemplifies its case by looking at indigenous education. Nicholas Natividad, in “The walking of words,” uses Third World feminism to shed light on indigenous social movements. Natividad reconceptualises indigenous resistance by specifically looking at the Wounded Knee protests (1973) and the uprising in Chiapas (1994).
Two further articles look at historical and intergenerational trauma: Leonie Pihama and co-authors explore the significance of historical trauma theory and the relevance of this theory to Māori research. Pihama et al. argue that historical trauma theory is a useful framework for articulating and understanding Māori historical trauma and health disparities and also opens up pathways which lead to recovery and healing. Elizabeth LaPensée, researcher, game designer and author of the article “Survivance as an indigenously determined game,” demonstrates such possibilities of healing from historical trauma by writing about the creation and impact of her social impact game Survivance. This game honours storytelling and art as a means to restoring the wellbeing of its indigenous players.
Questions around research ethics such as ethical research relationships and respect for indigenous peoples’ language and culture are central to Mere Kepa’s and co-authors’ article on health and ageing research which is based on the authors’ collaborative quantitative cohort study of the oldest old Māori in New Zealand.
A further contribution from New Zealand by Elizabeth Wambrauw and Te Kipa Kepa Brian Morgan proposes the use of the Mauri Model decision making framework as useful for assessing the equitable distribution of infrastructure development in Asmat, Southern Papua.
The issue’s commentary is by Loriene Roy who poses questions regarding what it means to lead a fulfilled life as an indigenous academic. The issue also has four book reviews.