Emerging forms of Indigeneity
in colaborare cu: Urbanisation Culture Societe si DIALOG – Reseau de recherché et de connaissances relatives aux peuples autochtones – Aboriginal Peoples research and Knowledge Network
Red de investigacion y de conocimintos relativos a los pueblos indigenas
Format: 17 x 24
Nr. Pag.127
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EDITORIAL - Ioana Radu, Ioana Comat
Emerging forms of Indigeneity
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Te Haerenga – Journeying towards an Urban M?ori identity. Journal of Urban Anthropology - Tanya Allport, Amohia Boulton, Haze White

Engaging in Respatialization through Alliance Building: The “Oshkabaywis” Framework - Lana Ray (Waaskone Giizhigook) The White Roots of Peace: an Articulation Of the Haudenosaunee Odyssey for International Representation - Kahawihson Horne La vidéo autochtone : outil de réappropriation d’une autochtonie plurielle - Stéphane Guimont Marceau
The Struggle for Fishing Rights among the Ilaje/Apoi and Ijaw of Southwest Coastline, Ondo State, Nigeria - T. Kehinde Adekunle and Olubusola Tunde .....

In 2007, Canada, New Zealand and Australia had refused to ratify the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). While they eventually fell in line with the rest of the world, this initial refusal clearly underlined the embryonic character of decolonization in settler states. While Indigeneity is a contested concept, it plays an increasingly important role in struggles to protect ancestral lands and achieve social justice at home, a process of “restoring to wholeness a community fragmented by colonization” (Armstrong, 2009). Much of this work takes place away/beside prescriptive state-driven processes; sometimes against, sometimes with fellow settler citizens; often in situ, on ancestral territories, but also in towns and cities across the world. However these struggles and alliances evolve, they continue to reframe and recreate rich forms of Indigeneity.
This special issue of the Journal of Urban Anthropology explores these ‘gray zones’ of identity formation and alliance work. We are hoping it will provide a better understanding of these processes by answering the following questions: How are these new forms of Indigeneity conceptualized and deployed by Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples? What types of alliance work can make possible decolonization? And what would an Indigenous future look like?
In taking our cue both from personal experience and the texts contained in this special edition, we dedicate a few opening remarks to our own positionality as editors and first-generation settler academics in Canada. The contextualization of self, to borrow from Sefa Dei (2011), is essential not only to analysis but it is an integral part of our responsibilities, as settlers, to decolonization and to the academic labour of centering Indigenous knowledge systems. Indeed, as Dei contends: “if we want to drastically change the colonial foundations of our academies, then we should rename and reimagine the academy altogether. And, we must do so in a way that connects them through a multidisciplinary approach that resonates with Indigenous ways of knowing” (p. 22). As Anishinaabe scholar Lana Rey underlines in her article, “the preoccupation with defining Indigeneity has been imperative to a settler colonialist agenda”, thus we will refrain from providing such definition, yet, as part of our responsibilities, we need to make visible our own engagement with it. By occupying both an intellectual space and a physical place that make up the academy, we intentionally and practically engage with Indigenous knowledge systems and aim to decenter Eurocentriciy. For us engaging in decolonization means renegotiating knowledge production and developing a decolonial project that makes possible an epistemic shift that delinks our thinking and doing from the illusion of modernity and its universality and opens possibilities for “pluri-versal” epistemologies (Mignolo, 2011, p. 63).
Although we share the same first name, we come from radically different worlds. Ioana Radu was born in communist Romania and lived through the fall of the Iron Curtain. She moved to Tiohtià:ke (Montreal) as a teenager in 1993, where she had to learn French and English. Othered immediately by her accent has been a struggle in Tiohtià:ke but privileged her own relationship building with the Iiyiyiwich (Cree) of Eeyou Istchee (James Bay, northern Quebec), setting her apart and away from settler Canadians. This privilege has enabled her to focus on border thinking (as conceptualized by Walter Mignolo) where her own lived experience as an Other shapes her understanding and engagement with settler colonialism. She is a multidisciplinary scholar and educator with long-term interests in decolonial theory, oral history, and knowledge mobilization.
Born and raised in Euskal Herria (Basque country), on the Franco-Spanish border, Ioana Comat moved to Tiohtià:ke (Montréal) during her early adulthood, twelve years ago. As a borderland kid, she has long been interested in the effect of several cultures and languages’ coexistence on the identity and spatial practices of people. Her journey of migration gave her the opportunity to work, for the past ten years, with urban Aboriginal organizations in several cities in the province of Quebec, including Montreal, Val-d’Or and Chibougamau. Ioana’s PhD in Cultural Geography (2014) was designed in partnership with the Native Friendship Center Alliance of Quebec (Regroupement des Centres d’amitié autochtone du Québec). Since then, as a postdoctoral fellow at the DIALOG Network, she works on several participatory action research projects, such as a study collaboratively designed to document Aboriginal homelessness in Quebec (2014-2017). In parallel, as Euskalduna (Basque person), she is involved in the Basque community in Montreal and worked on an oral history project - Memoria Bizia (“lived memory”) - that documented the experience of the Basque diaspora in Canada. The purpose of this trans-American project is to build an archive of the memories of the local Diaspora Centers, the members’ relationship to the Basque culture, and the economic, geopolitical or personal motives that led people to leave Euskal Herria.
As first-generation settlers and minorities within the white-settler context, we take seriously and are continuously aware that settler-indigenous solidarities “may be elusive, even undesirable” (Tuck & Yang, 2012, p.28). We unsettle the settler within, to borrow from Regan (2010), in our own way, accepting the limits of our knowledge and action, and laboring together with our Indigenous partners; an embodied and enacted labour that is “accountable to Indigenous sovereignty and futurity” (Tuck & Yang, 2012, p. 35).

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