detour 207_via Audra Simpson
*Soon the video recording of the Keynote will be uploaded.
“We are Not Red Indians” (We Might all Be Red Indians):
Anticolonial Sovereignty Across the Borders of Time, Place and Sentiment
July 26, 2015 | ICCG 2015 | Ramallah, Palestine
***I am grateful to the International Conference of Critical Geographers Organization Team for the honour of this invitation. As well, as well for the care and ethical commitment they manifest in organizing this set of conversations here.
***As per convention in North America and other parts of the Indigenous world, I acknowledge and pay my respect to the original caretakers and possessors of this land, the Palestinian people, whose land we walk and talk upon.
In a 2004 interview Yasser Arafat, in a state of near confinement and exhaustion, reflected upon his incapacity to move without the immediate threat of assassination, about the Palestinian right of return, about American elections, and his achievements. Among these achievements was the fact that “the Palestine case was the biggest problem in the world” and that Israel had “failed to wipe us out.” As a final mark of that success, he added the declarative and comparative and final point of distinction, “we are not red Indians.” This paper uses this point of comparison of a departure point to reflect upon the deep specificity and global illegibility of Indigenous struggle and life in the face of death and dispossession in North America. In order to do so I will choose a series of historical assemblages -- of sociality, treaty-making, militarized pushbacks upon encroachment, spatial confinement (“reservationization”), and pushback for land, for life and for dignity within occupation to amend Arafat’s statement and reimagine “success.” I argue that these assemblages are themselves a structure of political life that stand alongside and push against a “logic of elimination” – a logic that authorizes the removal, the attacking and “assimilating” of indigenous peoples for land. I consider these tangled processes in order to re-narrate the seemingly negligible political and corporeal life of Indigenous sovereignty within dispossession and settler occupation. This is an occupation that naturalizes itself through law and narrates itself as new, as beneficent and democratic atop the lands and lives of Indigenous peoples who persist, with sovereignties intact, in spite of this grinding historical and political process of settler colonialism. In order to put this point of comparison, and sentiment of Arafat’s achievement in relief this paper examines how is it that the very techniques of force, of pushback, of sociality and outright refusal and resistance receive the writ of dismissal within a global and comparative frame of resistance and (political life). At the end of the paper it is asked how these processes may be re-narrated and comprehended in a global, comparative frame of not only analysis, but struggles for justice.
The first historical moment and assemblage that may be rendered legible or illegible in a larger, global and transnational scheme of success or failure, will be the space, temporality and location of beginnings in North America with reference to one so called “origin story.” I start here because this is a theoretical and normative moment and structure of sociality and political alliance-making that continues to inform the people I know the most about and belong to, the Haudenosaunee (“Iroquois”) struggle in what is now North America. It is their, or our story of how the world begins. And it is a normative framework that appears illegible -- nonetheless I will abbreviate it for the interests of time and really, the emphasis on space that I want to foreground here as you are all geographers but I want you to think with the story for what it says about gender, about territory about movement and about beginnings. So those are my cues for you…
Imagine that there was and is another world before and within this one, before and within the total fact of capitalism, and before and within a world carved into nation-states that regulate the flows of that process. This not to mention the de-regulation of neoliberalism and is promise of a borderless world. In this world before maybe this world, or some would say sharing apiece with this one, there is a place that we might now understand to be the sky. In that world there are sky beings, they are perfect, they live indefinitely and are never ill. In spite of this state of near perfection there was a man who grew ill, a chiefly man in fact, and in order to feel better he asked that a wild cherry tree that “was constantly adorned with blossoms and gave light to the people there” be uprooted so that he could lay by it. For the life of me I don’t understand why he wanted this, maybe the light was making him dizzy. Either way he asked his wife to put something down for him to lay upon, and as he steadied himself he asked her to sit beside him. She sat beside him and he then asked her to dangle her feet through the hole in the sky and look down on the inverted earth with him and tell him what she saw.” The Tuscarora linguist and ethnologist JNB Hewitt tells us “she bent her body forward into the hole and looked therein. Whereupon he placed his fingers at the nape of her neck and pushed her, and she fell into the hole. (Hewitt p. 285).
There are different versions of this theory and history of beginning and the Tyendenga Mohawk historian Deborah Doxtator interprets for us, a restless mind, what she qualifies as “a woman’s mind” and offers the possibility that she fell, OR was pushed (by her husband) through the hole. She does not choose push OR fall. But either way that move through the whole began Skywoman’s plummet from the skyworld to what would become the earth, but it was not clear that there would be anything in fact, to land upon, when she looked from the sky she saw water, endless leagues and leagues of water “everything was blue and there was nothing for her to see” -- the stories then shift from her perspective to the vantage point of her transit to that of the animals. As her body fell the animals saw that she was potentially in great danger. As such, a Loon who was watching her called a meeting and decided to try to help her. He told the animal council that he saw her as coming up from the water, and a Bittern, or Heron spoke in turn and said in fact she is falling from above. This was a moment when the division between worlds were unclear….when the spatial order was up AND down, and as such she was either coming from the water or from the sky. The matter of what was truth itself was determined by animals. Aristotle’s tried and true division between reason and savage, beast and human and thus of politics and political order itself was and is undone by this ordering of the world, this making of the world, of materiality itself when the animals held this meeting as they watched her plummet and in those moments made the decision, the sovereign decision to help her to live. They then asked the turtle to come to the water’s surface and at the behest of the Loon (capitalized in the translation I am working from) floated to the spot where she would land, but she only landed in that spot because a group of ducks joined in a “compact body” to cradle her body during its descent and allow her to land in one piece and alive upon the back of the turtles back. That was not the end of the reasoned set of decisions by so called animals that brought the world as we know it into being: not allowing her to languish on the back of the turtles back and slide into an aquatic oblivion and death, a Beaver, an Otter and finally a muskrat dove to the bottom of the water to retrieve soil or earth to place on the turtle’s shell. The Beaver died without making it to the surface, the Otter died grasping mud from the bottom of the ocean, it was the Muskrat that made it (insert image of the muskrat) to the surface with mud in his paws to then surface the turtle’s back. With those sacrifices, narrated notably, in the language of deliberation and decision on the part of the animal council, the beginnings of world begin, …the soil is tamped down, the now-pregnant sky woman gives birth to boy twins: one through her birth canal, the other destructively and murderously, through her arm pit. In utter opposition to each other the brothers tamp the earth down in reverse directions, their discord with each other forms a dialectic through opposing forces of materiality and immateriality, fueled by their opposition in composition (one good one bad) and through competition and antagonism they dualism of the natural world emerges: fire, rain, rocks, lakes, plants, ash – it is implicit in this story that the the animating imperatives of good and evil (good mind and evil mind) one twin working in one direction the other in another creates the world as well. The surface of the world is contoured through their opposition. There is much more to say here the making of mountains, of lakes, of one twin doing the opposite of the other to give life, to take life, to maim, to heal, to destroy, to regenerate, that this is the so called “natural” order of things, that balance then in ones mind and ones actions is key – there so much here about Haudenosaunee theories of reason and intent, about what we now call “gender” and gender roles, labour itself and crucially as I am emphasizing in my abbreviated re-narration here, about the moment of the decision. The decision of the animals to not turn a blind eye to another, but to act in a reasoned manner and selflessly assist in life and in doing so help each other to make things proliferate and grow.
There is a big “before” to this story and also a big after, the various stages of Skywoman’s life in the skyworld, of her life in this world before she was killed in childbirth, how the the clans were named…how “we” all supposedly get here...but that is not terribly crucial to the larger point at hand – that being that there was and is another theory of beginnings here, meaning there (what is now North America) and that other story and theory still animates the arguments and lives and structures the political lives of indigenous people in what is now the United States and Canada. The fall, the push, the plummet, what the Onondaga anthropologist Theresa McCarthy has called the “eviction” of Sky woman from the sky world (2015) -- a place without illness (save her husband, did he think she caused it?, this is not apparent) -- and this push or this fall begins a beginning. So this is a world that owes itself fundamentally to those we may now recognize as women and most definitely to those we may now recognize as “animals.” Animals who thought, who watched, who communicated with each other and held political councils. There was nothing brutish, savage, unreasoned or disorganized about any of these beings. In fact, this is a world also that may have started with one injured man’s decision to push his wife over the edge. A lot of good came of that push, but it is not because he intended it to be so. We hear nothing more of him after the push, or the fall.
The story of this as life form, as political life form changes through time if not is effaced through time. It is a first instance of sociality and politics in what would be come eventually something else…a so called “New World.” The English proto-political theorist (now canonical political theorist) would himself imagine a creation story and theory of beginnings. In this he would also see a new place, and make a new place. In “Of Property”, taken from his Second Treatise on Civil Government in 1689, during the so-called “Enlightenment” or Empire, the time of so called “expansiveness”, Locke describes a wide open space of possibility, “in the beginning all the world was America” … a vast expanse, one might infer, of that possibility. His was not a world organized by the actions of sky beings, with celestial-cum-human protagonists moving through space through the will and reason of animal councils, his was a territorially defined, resource yielding land of fenced spaces and of accumulative possibility – of extractive potential and empire in the making. For him crucially, and what would be for others, the mixing of labour with matter was the formulation to make that which could be alienated as property, what could be owned…the very basis of a legal and normative system in what would soon become the US. His was, and I think current liberal theorists will remind us, a place of purported fairness, as he was offering us, in his creation story, the beginnings, a theory of justice, of the terms of fair extraction of fair expropriation. In this relationship to materiality, to land, Locke imagined another normative beginning and set the terms for that relatedness to land in what we may not recognize as liberal, settler orders through time. In this formulation, so-called “Man” would abstract himself out of the state of nature to a state ruled by reason, he entered into a contract with society in order live by law, to regulate materiality through law and to be protected from the savage foil of nature and savagery through this contract-making. Here the Quandamooka political and cultural theorist Aileen Moreton-Robinson argues, “The white patriarchs who theorized about the social contract were primarily concerned with it being means of agreement between white men to live together, make laws, and govern, incorporating white women into the polity as their subordinates through the marriage contract” (Moreton-Robinson 2014: 155). She points here to what is implicit in their formulations -- a nascent, unmarked but was and would become whiteness, articulated through the reasonable-ness of the body of “Men”, through the ownership perhaps of (white) women, and the potential savagery of all who were not either and especially those who were both.
Key here is a move through the language of reason, the notion for the contract, of two reasoning parties who agree to abstract themselves out of their own specificity to this state of civil and supposedly lawful societies (Nichols 2014). The world that they are abstracting themselves out of, however is in the Haudenosaunee world of beginnings, a place of reason, of generativity, one that you would not in fact want to be reasoned out of as it guarantees you life (here I am thinking specifically of the council of animals that first decides to help sky woman and later, clans and then order families and politics themselves). For example, once the clan are named, the beginnings of families and what even Aristotle might recognize as political order and in particular for us a confederacy style goverance system of nations itself can come into being. My point here in this passage in the argument is to do two things: one to demonstrate early instances of political and geographical orderings of the world through the normative claims of what are essentially, Creation Stories. Two: to start to demonstrate how we are all red men, we are all savage, we are all outside of this second ordering of the world, even though we are conscripted, repeatedly, through promise of civilization, through promise of order, of reason, of “rights” to be like what are essentially still white men.
2. THREE STORIES: SHARING, CONSENT, WAR
The stories I am telling here will now become concretized through familiar ways through Dutch, British and French travel to what was then in Haudenosaunee terms, “Turtle Island.” And here what was essentially the taking of land, and I can qualify this, as Moreton-Robison does in the context of Australia, simply the theft of land. This was narrated by settlers and their descendants and others who get conscripted via citizenship and its promises and narratives as a rational and reasoned, transactional history of clearing. Clearing the land, and clearing us. But somehow virtuously, heroically. Here we have three largely innacurate and heroic versions of what is fundamentally a dispossession: the sharing story, the treating story and the (failed) resistance story. Three models of re-narration that govern the representation and interpretation of our lives since so called “contact.”
First: the sharing story is quite meta, and is memorialized through that of Thanksgiving, of Indians sharing their food with settlers (so called Pilgrims) during a time of famine and in doing so, keeping them alive. This is of such foundational importance to the image of the American settler nation-state that there is an official federal holiday to commemorate it. This monumentalism both celebrates and masks dispossession by the trope of and the act of sharing. It is a false instance however, of deep sociality, not to mention saving, as it is said that had the “Indians” not shared food with starving Pilgrims (not always called settlers) the settlers would have perished. Thus responsabilizing us for their life and their presence on our land. Either way, the histories written by Pequot minister William Apess teach us on the very same period in New England history, his reworking of “King Phillips War” in Eulogy for King Phillip written and delivered as sermon in 1836. This was a sermon that completely recast the history of New England and the specificity of the place of Plymouth to New Englanders through the lenses of indigenous pushback on settler forms of what we might call, “savagery.” His emphasis all through this sermon/treatise/jeremiad he points to the betrayal of Indigenous nations in proto-New England, of settler transgressions into their territory, of the dismembering violence of their rampages through the territory after they pushed back on encroachment, raging for 100 years in the region. In spite of its facticity, story is still not popularly known. The other metanarrative, although not so concretely memorialized, is of the Rousseauian/Lockean story of treaties signed with Indigenous orders that were recognizable as nations with diplomatic protocols that had to be learned in order to enter into reasoned agreements with. This is a legal sociality and consent-based model of re-narration. This is the version of dispossession by consent. These two stories, which I gloss here simply as dispossession by “sharing” and dispossession by “consent” structure senses of the American past in largely official (of course, Thanksgiving) and unofficial ways. The narrative of treaties is still not known nearly enough but are of course the basis of much of the land dispossession in the states. There were 375 treaties signed between the British and then US governments and Indigenous nations in what is now the US. Of those 375 treaties signed between 1765 and 1876 most were for land concessions and were signed under profound duress and also are tied up during and sometimes after, outright war and profound Indigenous pushbacks for land. 
Now it is the third genre of history and history-making, that of pushbacks against theft that does not get known or gets known in such a perverse way that I think it has to be re-narrated and done so in the contexts that I am laying out here, contexts that are philosophical and normative and seem, somehow to be untranslateable, yet it is these contexts of Indigenous understandings of land, as expressed in the Iroquois creation story and setter understandings of land (as property) as expressed in the Lockean creation story that structure the conflict. As Indigenous life is tied to land and that land was and is wanted by settlers. It is not viewed as animate, or animating, tied up with life itself, let a lone a relation to be respected, its value lies in what it can be converted into for sale. That very fundamental and some would say incommensurable conflict structured then the pushback on land theft. Now whether you take Patrick Wolfe’s somewhat paradigmatic formulation of settler colonialism as the drive for land and not labour, the drive that is tied to a necessary elimination of natives (who are simply in ‘the way’ in this drive for land) or Goldstein’s more genealogic approach of settler colonialism as a set of assemblages rather than clean structure of elimination (2014), complex moments that may do all at once…you have something observable, I think through settler time, and I am definitely OK with calling it settler time, and that is a structure of Indigenous pushback. That pushback has been militarized, it has been peaceful, it has been through settler and international courts, it has been discursive and it is now bodily, with lives and bodies put in the way, bodies on the line, bodies blocking so called “development” and extraction. Bodies that are pushing back on capitalism, so much so that the Dene political theorist Glen Coulthard has argued, that “for our nations to live, capitalism must die (2013). Here he has argued for land based actions, as “…actions are also an affirmative gesture of Indigenous resurgence insofar as they embody an enactment of Indigenous law and the obligations such laws place on Indigenous peoples to uphold the relations of reciprocity that shape our engagements with the human and non-human world – the land.” Coulthard’s call for resurgence holds hands with the Anishnabeg scholar and activist Leanne Simpson (2014) as well, and involves a) the rebuilding of Indigenous nations according to our own political, intellectual and cultural traditions (Simpson 2014: 13) and in this, most decidedely a turning away from capitalism, implicit in this is the machinery of the state, through land based pedagogical practices, the renewal of hunting knowledge. Their model has been in play as well for ages, it simply is how we lived before white people came to our lands but is a decided, willful and deliberate project of living away from capitalism within a capitalist state. It builds from the other structure of political action that receives scant attention if any at all – that of indigenous pushback, defense, tussling, and refusal of the promise of recognition, of what may be the hand maiden’s from hell – recognition packages, negotiations and now the ruse of settler governance in post-genocidal spaces, so called “reconciliation.” The structure of pushback that informs Coulthard and Simpson’s resurgence paradigm has been going on all over Canada since the 1990s: blockades, protests, the slowing of so-called expansion and development. I suspect we will see this happen (if the mainstream press sees fit to cover it) in continued opposition to the proposed Keystone pipeline that would extend through Sioux territory in what is now South Dakota to the Gulf, to Louisiana in order to transport and sell cheap oil to China. Oil that originates, notably, in Cree territory in what is now Canada. In November 2014 the Sioux nation at Rosebud reservation issued a statement that read “The House has now signed our death warrants and the death warrants of our children and grandchildren. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe will not allow this pipeline through our lands,” tribe President Cyril Scott said in a statement. “We will close our reservation borders to Keystone XL.” And further, that they considered this a violation of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty as well as an act of war. I cite this fairly recent example of a commitment to resist for two reasons: one it is evidence that the Sioux Nation, who were the last to battle white settlers in the Prairies, who proudly say that they never surrendered, are still alive and are still committed to defending their territory. As you may know Obama voted down the nearly continental pipeline later that November 2014, but the republicans in Congress are determined to see that it comes before senate again. If and when it does and if it is a positive vote we can see count on resistance from Sioux territory. What is this in the popular imagination? Not very much, are the Sioux and their territories and their treaties known? Save of course, for the unfortunate genre of “cowboy and Indian movies” that provided a re-narrativization of the bloodiest of wars in the Prairies just 40 years after the last incident of war, there is scant understanding of how not only the specificity of the Sioux but there is scant understanding of how all Indigenous peoples in the US and Canada not only stood ground but are still holding ground and this in part is because they are thought of, we are thought of as a) disappeared b) failures.
The answers are both political and some would say empirical, or specifically, statistical. One will be my bolder assertion, and argument, one based on need: the world basically needs us to disappear, not only the world’s first settler society, the US. But also the world beyond the U.S. And two, we have survived a structure and genocidal process. On the second, less bold point, the land was and still is wanted, two, many of us died or were “absorbed” in that 400 year process. So even astute thinkers like my own colleague Mamhood Mamdani recently asserted in a mostly excellent article that America (unlike Africa) is the place where settler colonialism triumphed (2015: 1) there is more hope (so to speak) for Palestinians, who he takes care to demonstrate, are being subjected to the very same forms of force that we were and (still) are. He positions us as analogues of a sort, as simultaneous “canaries in the mine shaft” of moral consciousness, of historical wrong doing, of deep political wrong doing – I think this is careful and is correct. At the end of his piece he concludes that there may be more hope for justice for Palestine simply that “times are changing” and the global processes that we Indigenous peoples in North America were caught up in: empire, capitalism, deep scientific racism, perhaps are waning or articulating differently…and although “some of us survived” I suppose, there are more Palestinians – so couple that with the situation in Israel/Palestine is such that there is widespread concern, and so perhaps there is more hope for “success” ? The success here I think is continued life, but also, in Arafat’s sense, of being a world concern. Of being a subject of care and concern rather than fear. You know of course this has not always been the case for Palestinians, and was rarely the case for us. However, the assertion is definitely true now and was certainly in Arafat’s lifetime, and Mamdani’s work is so careful, is such a useful abbreviated political history of ideas governing not only actual events but the apprehension of events that I myself fail to see why he would then read settler colonialism as a success unless Indigenous politics and people, perhaps, were themselves a failure -- a failure at surviving the gnashing and strangulating global processes he describes, even though we actually survived and pushed. I will spend more time with this piece and think it through but think after this reading that one can argue this only if colonialism is viewed as overly structural, enduring, immovable and if what is in front of him as well, the US is imagined as “finished” site of struggle. He cites the “Arab Spring” as symptomatic of this hope for pushback and for Palestinians of a sort but misses completely the “Idle No More” movement, what many have seen as the Indigenous North American analogue of Arab Spring and is certainly the largest political action in settler time in Canada, one year after the “Arab Spring.” This in concert with an elected “Chief’” Theresa Spence’s fast to effect a meeting with the Governor General in Canada to discuss the abrogation of treaties, this nearly in concert with Elsipogtog, the Mic Mac pushback on fracking in their territory and the numerous actions in support of the sociological and criminal “phenomenon” of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women in Canada (MMIW) which has seen organized responses and pushes from family and organizers for the past 15 years. At the end of Mamdani’s piece it seems it may be the numerative reduction of indigenous peoples that render us a failure, if we can say as much, as participation in democracy and citizenship, his own unquestioned benchmarks of good politics (it seems) in this piece are what indicate success. I have documented in my own book, Mohawk Interruptus the way in which the refusal of the gifts of settler democracy and and citizenship are part of our political life, our sovereignty within a settler occupation. So my own research and people have demonstrated I think, the failure not of our participation and life within a settler state, but the state’s precarious foundations in a moral economy, in land and in our lives. To me, the settler state is a failure at what it set out to do because we live, we resist, we assert our sovereignty, and that is a “success” of sorts.
3. WE MAY ALL BE RED MEN.
So there is much in Arafat’s statement I think that is important not because it is an isolated moment of comparison and may be read as harsh judgement but because there is a global, not only domestic requirement for our disappearance in order to make arguments that are salient in a global imaginary of winning or losing, determining what is just or unjust, what is sympathetic or not. Our supposed failure to live, to be a global problem operates as the case that may make all other cases “work” on a grand scale, in a comparative and ranked scale. Even if those cases, as I learn from my Palestinian students, from activist and scholar allies, are wildly similar in spots, are uncanny analogues: the land deeds, the British, the stories of being a savage foil, the determination as dangerous, ungovernable, the imagined crime we all seemed to share of wandering around, without a proper relationship to land and to fixity in settler optics, resulting in our shared subjection (and resistance to) the practices of containment and reservationization – what is here, imprisonment, for simply holding your ground, on your ground. For us, and very specifically, starting in 1620 there were 380 so called “Indian Wars” that are essentially, defenses of territory. The last unambiguous and violent one was, in Canada, 25 years ago, in July 1990 when my own people took up AK47s to defend the bodies of our dead against the expansion of a 9 hole golf course into our burial ground and into sacred Pines. There the largest deployment of troops in the history of Indian-white relations were deployed by first the Province and then the State (approximately 2,500 troops), to handle 55 Mohawk warriors. This state siege lasted 79 days and took three lives, numerous people who were part of this resistance have said that if the press were not there so many more of us would have died, that if the warriors from the sister reservation of Kahnawake, my reserve, had not come in, so many more of us would have died.
That was the last armed resistance on such a scale in North America but I suspect will not be the period to the end of the very long, run on sentence that is settler colonialism and democratized occupation in North America, for as long as we live, in no matter what form of “reduction” or significance to outsiders, there will be refusal, there will be resistance. I read Arafat’s statement, myself as a provocation to think through the politics of seeing, the ways in which the “changed world” that Mamdani spoke of may be interpreted differently, and actually when we pay attention to the specificities of these processes across time and space, and then tend to the philosophical histories that frame land as I did at the start of the talk, and then the international theatre for dialogue and adjudication, we may in fact, all find that we become red men. I say this because the world we live in, tethered to capitalist production, to various and ongoing projects of settlement, requiring scant and partial senses of history, requires (perhaps) that we all play an imperial game of comparison and ranking. And that game is their word game really, their conceptual grid, their language games to make apparent, legible, understandable our struggles and significance. I do not blame him for playing this word game either, I understand, (I think) where it is coming from: theft, pushback, endless struggle, demobilization, pride and commitment. Those last two – pride and commitment are political virtues, not insults.
In the course of writing this Keynote for you I went back to the volume of SCS edited by Omar Jabary Salamanca, Mezna Qato, Kareem Rabie & Sobie Samour in 2013 – you may remember the title of the volume was “Past is Present.” In this volume they labored in very precise terms to lay out the rationale for the editorial project in their finely historicized introduction– they tended to the specificities of SC as an analytic in the context of Israel/Palestine, the way it would push against the episodic and eventalist treatment of catastrophe after catastrophe, how this would allow for an analytical rather than a cataloguing approach, how this promised a de-exceptionalization of occupied territories (perhaps while still tending of course to the Occupation), how the Green Line might be de-reified as well, so much analytically and politically fruitful in their call for modes of research in SCS and Palistinean studies. For those of us thinking about these matters in North America they offered a call, I thought when they argued that “the analysis enabled by the settler colonial paradigm offers a powerful political tool to reorient and recreate genuine bidirectional solidarity alliances and political fraternity” (Salamanca et. al. 2013: 5). In this we can tend to our specificities, and our differences – but what I am pushing here for is I think not only that tending too, but also an awareness of the theatre of apprehension that structures not only our sometimes very similar struggles (sometimes less so) but also the ways in which we know each other and talk about each other and those struggles, as we may find that indeed, that to some, all the world is America, and all of us are now red men, but also that these statements of supposed fact are ones we can own and the world as they knew it is certainly not the world as we know it and will continue to live within and protect and care for in spite of what is said about us and what is done to us. So in the end, or in this present, perhaps being a red man, is not so bad at all.
 Audra Simpson, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University
 J.N.B Hewitt version of Creation Story.
 This is not to assign Haudenosaunee an exceptional space in Indigenous theories of beginnings, there are many others. This is simply the one I am most familiar with and can speak from as this is my own political tradition.
 In revised version point to the nuance of Mamdani’s historiographical organization of this literature and the ways in which he organizes it.
 In revised version talk about King Phillips war literature and how Apess was two hundred years ahead of white historians in revising this history.
 for an analogous history of treaty writing under duress, in particular under conditions of famine in Canada please see Clearing the Plains by Jim Daschuk (2014).
 http://nationsrising.org/for-our-nations-to-live-capitalism-must-die/ (last accessed 07/20/2015).
Apess, William. Eulogy on King Philip : as pronounced at the Odeon, in Federal street, Boston. Boston, 1836. 59pp. Sabin Americana. Gale, Cengage Learning. Columbia University. 30 May 2011
Hewitt, J.N.B. Redacted Passages from The Iroquois Creation Story (Mohawk Version – 32 pps ) (originally "Iroquoian Cosmology" Annual Report Bureau of American Ethnology 1903)
Locke, John. 2003  "Of Property" in Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration. Ian Shapiro, (ed). New Haven: Yale University Press. Pp: 111-122
Doxtator, Deborah. 2007 Godi’Nighoa’: The Women’s Mind and Seeing Through the Land in Godi’nigoha: The Women’s Mind. Woodland Cultural Centre Pps 29-41.
Mamdani, Mahmood. 2015 “Settler Colonialism: Then and Now.” Critical Inquiry 41(3): 596-614.
McCarthy, Theresa. 2015 ”Response to Mohawk Interruptus.” Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. Washington, D.C. June 7, 2015.
Moreton-Robinson, Aileen. 2015 The White Possessive: Property, Power, and Indigenous Sovereignty. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Nichols, Robert Lee. 2014 “Contract and Usurpation” in Theorizing Native Studies (Audra Simpson and Andrea Smith, eds.). Durham: Duke University Press. Pp: 99-121.
Salamanca, Omar Jabary, Mezna Qato et. al. (eds) 2012 “Settler Colonialism: Then and Now” Settler Colonial Studies. 2 (1): 1-8.
Simpson, Leanne Betasamosake. 2014 “Land as Pedagogy”: Nishnaabeg Intelligence and Rebellious Transformation. Decolonization: Indigeneity & Society. 3 (4):
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