Saturday, October 31, 2009

CFP: Engaging Indigenous Communities: Resources, Rebellions, and Resurgence


Engaging Indigenous Communities:
Resources, Rebellions, and Resurgence

August 9-13, 2010
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

This conference is being undertaken in honour of the 1850 Robinson Treaties. The vision of the Anishinabeg leaders to protect our heritage and resources while sharing with the newcomers. It is this vision that remains as relevant today as it was 160 years ago. Contact between different peoples has resulted in a multitude of responses including peaceful interactions, uneasy relations, and far too often to war and genocide. Recognizing the autonomy of nations to determine their futures, including the allocation of resources, or the lack of such recognition, has sometimes been mediated by various types of agreements and treaties. It is through access to, or exploitation of resources (i.e. human, land, forest, mineral, water, and animal), that the colonial project has had the greatest affect on Indigenous peoples and Indigenous peoples on the colonial project. Thus the focus of the conference will be on exploring Indigenous peoples’ perspectives on resources, and the moments in history (and in present day) when Indigenous peoples have fought (peacefully or otherwise) to protect those resources. It is the contemporary resurgence of Indigenous perspectives and understandings or appropriate relationships to resources that we hope informs the conference. The conference will begin on the 9th with registration and at conclude at noon on the 13th of August.

Presentations on the following themes are encouraged with other related proposals welcome

  • How do Indigenous communities define ‘resources’?
  • How do Indigenous communities regulate/relate/engage with resources?
  • How have historical neglect, misrepresentation, misunderstandings affected Indigenous communities’ relationships with their resources?
  • How have agreements and/or treaties protected/attempted to protect resources?
  • Are treaties valid methods to protect resources?
  • How have community-university partnerships advanced Indigenous access to and/or protection of resources?
  • How have universities forwarded exploitation of Indigenous people and resources?
  • How can a relationship between the larger society and Indigenous people be shaped to benefit the environment?
Individual papers and panel submissions are welcome. Please submit a 250-350 word proposal for individual papers and 250-500 word proposal for panels. Please submit you proposals electronically by email or mail to the address below. The deadline for submissions is 8 January 2010. For further information please contact

Dr. Karl Hele
c/o Organizing Committee
Engaging Indigenous Communities: Resources, Rebellions, and Resurgence
Department of Community Economic and Social Development
Algoma University
1520 Queen Street East
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Canada P6A 2G4

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Indigenous Studies Engages Ethnic Studies

Due to the success of last year's Postcolonial Futures in a Not Yet Postcolonial World Conference, the UCSD Ethnic Studies Department will organize a symposium on May 8th, 2009 titled Indigenous Studies Engages Ethnic Studies. The intent of the symposium is to further the dialogue between scholars and students of these two disciplines, in the hopes of pushing Ethnic Studies to take seriously the place of indigenous people in modern racial politics and also indigenous theories of knowledge and social change. The link for the symposium website is below as well as the mission statement for the symposium:

Indigenous Studies Engages Ethnic Studies



As scholars in the Ethnic Studies Department at UCSD, we stand incredibly proud of the cutting edge critical race and ethnic studies work developed in our department, and in its potential to push the limits of the larger Ethnic Studies project. In this spirit, we find that in order for Ethnic Studies to move beyond the usual emphasis on immigration, diaspora and slavery paradigms, the critical potential of Indigenous Studies should become an integral part of our intellectual agenda. Just as the scholarship ‘about’ people of color does not describe our notion and practice of Ethnic Studies, scholarship ‘about’ indigenous people must reflect more than merely the violent history of the academy within indigenous communities. It must, in fact, engage the sophisticated indigenous theories, which have been circulating for many years, especially those that confront the ways in which colonial power still operates in nation-states. In the last few years, a number of graduate students and faculty have taken important steps towards facilitating this integration. These include the creation of the “Voicing Indigeneity” podcast, the Post-colonial Futures in a Not-Yet Post-colonial World Conference, and the proposal for an indigenous studies focused cluster hire.

Building on these efforts, we are organizing a one-day critical indigenous studies symposium to be held on May 8, 2009. The symposium focuses on native feminism scholarship because we believe it offers a critical perspective missing in both indigenous studies and in most analysis of race, gender, sexuality, colonialism and citizenship. We have invited Andrea Smith, Audra Simpson and Noenoe Silva, scholars who are at the forefront of this field of thought. Additionally, we have invited 3-4 senior graduate students who are not only moving the field in new directions, but more excitingly are doing so by employing theories emerging from our Ethnic Studies department, thereby highlighting the critical possibilities that lie at the interstices of these fields. Furthermore, this symposium anticipates our desire to improve the recruitment of indigenous graduate students, post-docs and faculty.

We hope the department will actively participate in this symposium in order to push the limits of our scholarship and political commitments, whether they directly fall within what is traditionally seen as the indigenous field or not. Ultimately, this symposium is an invitation to engage in a productive troubling of the ethnic studies project as well as to expand our understanding of what indigenous studies can be.