Indigenous Encounters with Neoliberalism
284 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:17 May 2013
Release Date:21 May 2013

Indigenous Encounters with Neoliberalism

Place, Women, and the Environment in Canada and Mexico

UBC Press

The recognition of Indigenous rights and the management of land and resources have always been fraught with complex power relations and conflicting expressions of identity. In Indigenous Encounters with Neoliberalism, Isabel Altamirano-Jiménez explores how this issue is playing out in two countries very differently marked by neoliberalism’s local expressions – Canada and Mexico.

Weaving together four distinct case studies, two from each country – Nunavut, the Nisga’a, the Zapatista Caracoles in Chiapas, and the Zapotec from Juchitán – Altamirano-Jiménez presents insights from Indigenous feminism, critical geography, political economy, and postcolonial studies. These specific examples highlight Indigenous people’s responses to neoliberalism in their respective countries, reflecting the tensions that result from how Indigenous identity, gender, and the environment have been connected. Indigenous women’s perspectives are particularly illuminating as they articulate diverse aspirations and concerns within a wider political framework.

What emerges is a theoretical and empirical discussion of how indigeneity as an act of articulation is embedded in tensions between local needs and global wants. By exploring Indigenous peoples’ relations to and in different locations, this study attempts to uncover the complexities of materializing neoliberalism and the fluidity of indigeneity.

This book will appeal to scholars of women’s studies, native studies, political science, and resource management, as well as activists and NGO professionals.

Altamirano-Jiménez makes a powerful and compelling argument for a deeper understanding of Indigenous mobilization and resurgence in the wider context of gender, colonialism, and neoliberal regimes. This text should be required reading in the fields of Indigenous studies, political science, and women’s studies. Jeff Corntassel, Associate Professor, School of Indigenous Governance, University of Victoria
This ambitious work examining and comparing Indigenous struggles in Canada and Mexico impressively draws together theoretical studies of space, place, indigeneity, and gender. It will benefit scholars in a wide range of fields. Lisa Mills, associate professor, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University
Isabel Altamirano-Jiménez (Zapotec) is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta.

Introduction: The Articulation of Indigeneity and Neoliberal Governance

1 The Political Economy of Indigeneity Articulation

2 Indigeneity, Nature, and Neoliberalism

3 Nunavut: Arctic Homeland and Frontier

4 The Nisga’a “Common Bowl,” Gender, and Property Rights

5 The Zapatista Movement: Place-Driven Recognition?

6 Indigeneity, Land, and Gender in Oaxaca

Conclusion: Toward Spaces of Indigenous Repossessions



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