AlterNative Volume 12, Issue 3

Published: 
2016
The latest issue, Volume 12, Issue 3 is now available online and in print. This issue has a special focus on Indigenous autonomy projects, with four of the articles exploring the historical and/or contemporary causes of both the idea of indigenous autonomy and the form it takes in specific cases. The articles in this issue bear testament to the diversity of the notion of autonomy and feature case studies from Russia, Latin America, USA, Canada, New Zealand, and the Marianas Archipelagoes. 

 
The lead article  "Buryat-Mongol and Alash autonomous movements before the Soviets, 1905-1917" by Ivan Sablin and Alexander Korobeynikov, Research Fellows from the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, Russia, traces the development and implementation of two autonomous projects in Asian Russia.  Sablin and Korobeynikov argue that it was Indigenous intellectuals, not the Bolsheviks, who introduced autonomy as a form of post- colonial settlement during the crisis and collapse of the Russian Empire to Siberia and Central Asia. "The activities of Buryat-Mongol, Kazakh and other Indigenous intellectuals contributed [...] not only to the political institutionalization of their own communities but also to the making of Soviet and contemporary Russia." Their article shows how the Buryat- Mongol and Kazakh (Alash) Indigenous intellectuals, by advocating their broader representation in existing and envisioned power structures, fought against discrimination and protected native languages and other forms of cultural expression from assimilation. 
 
Tirso Gonzales and Matt Husain illustrate the future of Indigenous autonomy and Indigenous community-based research by analyzing three epistemic scenarios in relation to the regeneration of the Indigenous glocal (global/local) concept of sumaq kawsay (“living well” in Quechua). The paper explores  “epistemologies of the South” (De Sousa, 2014) in the South American Andes from an Andean Indigenous studies perspective that employs the Modernity/Coloniality/ Decoloniality Project as a conceptual scaffold by revisiting the Euro-American development discourse and its effects on IPs’ livelihoods in the Global South.
 
This issue also includes two articles discussing Māori self-determination in Aotearoa New Zealand. "Te Manoko:The desire for self-determination," by Jovan James Mokaraka- Harris, Michelle Thompson- Fawcett, and Christina Ergler examines educational and developmental aspirations for indigenous self-determination in Te Riu o Hokianga (the valley of Hokianga) in Aotearoa New Zealand, where the imposition of a contemporary political identity is adversely affecting the development of a more culturally appropriate identity, otherwise known as Hokianga whānui (the wider Hokianga family community). 
 
Margaret Forster’s article “Indigenous environmental autonomy in Aotearoa New Zealand,” provides a deeper understanding of how and why kaitiakitanga (a Māori environmental ethic) has become embedded into environmental politics in Aotearoa New Zealand. Forster shows how kaitiakitanga as an Indigenous autonomy project that realizes Māori environmental interests is a form of resistance used to challenge Eurocentric understandings of the environment and resist ongoing colonization of the landscape.
 
Sylvia Frain, Doctoral Candidate from the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago and Research Associate at the University of Guam focuses on the connection between political colonization and American militarization, and incorporates social media resistance elements used by activists in the Marianas Archipelago.  In "Resisting political colonization and American militarization in the Mariana Archipelagoes," Frain shows how decolonization and demilitarization struggles have fostered a renewed solidarity across the Marianas Archipelago based on the inherited responsibility to defend and protect the environment and culture for future generations.
 
"Wakan Tipi and Indian Mounds Park: Reclaiming an Indigenous feminine sacred site," by Roxanne Gould and Jim Rock uses a case study approach to critically examine the history, cosmology, destruction and restoration of an Indigenous sacred site located near present-day St. Paul, Minnesota, known to the Dakota peoples as Wakaŋ Tipi or Wakaŋyaŋ Tipi. The article includes a discussion on the collaboration that has restored this sacred place from a toxic waste dump to a site where ceremony and learning can take place once again, in spite of the fact that decolonization and reclamation have not been achieved yet.
 
Treva Michelle Pullen's article "Skawennati'sTimeTraveller™: Deconstructing the colonial matrix in virtual reality, " examines the decolonizing imperatives of the nine- episode machinima film series TimeTraveller™ (2008–2013) by the Mohawk artist, writer and curator Skawennati. TimeTraveller™ assesses the (re)presentation of Indigenous pasts and futures. Using avatar characters, Skawennati delinks from colonial, Western and imperialistic narratives and the hegemonic structures of a Eurocentric worldview. Pullen shows how Indigenous artist like Skawennati are reimagining and reasserting denied and silenced Indigenous voices in virtual reality.
 
PATU TM : Fighting fit, fighting fat! The Hinu Wero approach, discusses the Hinu Wero (Fat Challenge) programme run by Patu Aotearoa, a group exercise initiative developed by Māori for Māori. Authors Rachel Forrest et al. show how PATU TM  Hinu Wero functions as an effective health intervention for reducing obesity and working towards reducing health inequities in New Zealand.
 
The issue also includes three book reviews of recent titles in Indigenous studies. Maile Arvin reviews Judy Rohrer’s Staking claim: Settler colonialism and racialization in Hawai‘i, a book that is shifting the discourse about race in Hawai‘i to one that is deeply aware and critical of settler colonialism. Alexander Reilly reviews Irene Watson’s Aboriginal Peoples, Colonialism and International Law: Raw Law. This book is a theoretical appraisal of colonialism that puts Aboriginal law at the centre - a book written as an act of survival and resistance.

Indigenous men and masculinities: Legacies, identities, regeneration, edited by Robert Alexander Innes and Kim Anderson and reviewed by James Viernes, is  a collection of essays that celebrate, problematize, reinterpret, and advance concepts of masculinities prevalent in the academy and beyond that are specific to native men of the North American continent, Aotearoa New Zealand and Hawai‘i.

 

 

 

 

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10.20507/AlterNative.2016.12.3.1
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Indigenous autonomy, community-based research, and development aid: Sumaq kawsay in three epistemic scenarios
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10.20507/AlterNative.2016.12.3.11