Transcontinental Dialogues
280 pages, 6 x 9
1 b&w figure, 3 maps
Release Date:09 Apr 2019
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Transcontinental Dialogues

Activist Alliances with Indigenous Peoples of Canada, Mexico, and Australia

The University of Arizona Press
Transcontinental Dialogues brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous anthropologists from Mexico, Canada, and Australia who work at the intersections of Indigenous rights, advocacy, and action research. These engaged anthropologists explore how obligations manifest in differently situated alliances, how they respond to such obligations, and the consequences for anthropological practice and action.

This volume presents a set of pieces that do not take the usual political or geographic paradigms as their starting point; instead, the particular dialogues from the margins presented in this book arise from a rejection of the geographic hierarchization of knowledge in which the Global South continues to be the space for fieldwork while the Global North is the place for its systematization and theorization. Instead, contributors in Transcontinental Dialogues delve into the interactions between anthropologists and the people they work with in Canada, Australia, and Mexico. This framework allows the contributors to explore the often unintended but sometimes devastating impacts of government policies (such as land rights legislation or justice initiatives for women) on Indigenous people’s lives.

Each chapter’s author reflects critically on their own work as activist-­scholars. They offer examples of the efforts and challenges that anthropologists—Indigenous and non-Indigenous—confront when producing ­knowledge in alliances with Indigenous peoples. Mi’kmaq land rights, pan-Maya social movements, and Aboriginal title claims in rural and urban areas are just some of the cases that provide useful ground for reflection on and critique of challenges and opportunities for scholars, policy-makers, activists, allies, and community members.

This volume is timely and innovative for using the disparate anthropological traditions of three regions to explore how the interactions between anthropologists and Indigenous peoples in supporting Indigenous activism have the potential to transform the production of knowledge within the historical colonial traditions of anthropology.
R. Aída Hernández Castillo is a social anthropologist and feminist activist. She is a professor and senior researcher at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Mexico City.

Suzi Hutchings is a social anthropologist working with Indigenous peoples in Australia in native title, social justice, and identity politics. She is a member of the Central Arrernte peoples.

Brian Noble is an associate professor in Dalhousie University’s Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology. His research concerns anthropology of science, techniques and expertise, earth conciliations, and anticolonial resolution of relations between Indigenous peoples and settler Canada.

R. Aída Hernández Castillo and Suzi Hutchings

Map 1. Indigenous Regions Mentioned in the Chapters about Canada
1. What Is Decolonization? Mi’kmaw Ancestral Relational Understandings and Anthropological Perspectives on Treaty Relations
Sherry M. Pictou
2. Committing Anthropology in the Muddy Middle Ground
L. Jane McMillan
3. Research Partnerships and Collaborative Life Projects
Colin Scott

Map 2. Indigenous Regions Mentioned in the Chapters about Mexico
4. Legal Activism and Prison Workshops: The Paradoxes of Feminist Legal Anthropology and Cultural Work in Penitentiary Spaces
R. Aída Hernández Castillo
5. Decolonizing Anthropologists from Below and to the Left
Xochitl Leyva Solano
6. Maya Knowledges, Intercultural Dialogues, and Being a Chan Laak’ in the Yucatán Peninsula
Genner Llanes-Ortiz

Map 3. Indigenous Regions Mentioned in the Chapters about Australia
7. Indigenous Anthropologists Caught in the Middle: The Fragmentation of Indigenous Knowledge in Native Title Anthropology, Law, and Policy in Urban and Rural Australia
Suzi Hutchings
8. Eclipsing Rights: Property Rights as Indigenous Human Rights in Australia
Sarah Holcombe
Epilogue. Grounded Allies: Acting-With, Regenerating Together
Brian Noble

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