Decolonizing Native Histories

Collaboration, Knowledge, and Language in the Americas

Decolonizing Native Histories

Narrating Native Histories

More about this series

Book Pages: 272 Illustrations: 1 map Published: December 2011

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Latin American Studies, Native and Indigenous Studies

Decolonizing Native Histories is an interdisciplinary collection that grapples with the racial and ethnic politics of knowledge production and indigenous activism in the Americas. It analyzes the relationship of language to power and empowerment, and advocates for collaborations between community members, scholars, and activists that prioritize the rights of Native peoples to decide how their knowledge is used. The contributors—academics and activists, indigenous and nonindigenous, from disciplines including history, anthropology, linguistics, and political science—explore the challenges of decolonization.

These wide-ranging case studies consider how language, the law, and the archive have historically served as instruments of colonialism and how they can be creatively transformed in constructing autonomy. The collection highlights points of commonality and solidarity across geographical, cultural, and linguistic boundaries and also reflects deep distinctions between North and South. Decolonizing Native Histories looks at Native histories and narratives in an internationally comparative context, with the hope that international collaboration and understanding of local histories will foster new possibilities for indigenous mobilization and an increasingly decolonized future.


“This fine volume highlights ways of writing indigenous history beyond the usual frameworks supplied by academia….This volume urges us out of our safe spaces to push the boundaries of what indigenous history can mean." — Laura E. Matthew, Hispanic American Historical Review

“[S]cholars and students will benefit immensely from these explorations of the ways Indigenous people have transformed their relationship to the past, the state, and their interlocutors.” — David Carey Jr., Canadian Journal of Native Studies

“Overall, this ambitiously edited volume is able to deliver thoughtful essays, crossing geographic and political boundaries, which encourage the reader to examine Indigenous histories and narratives through the multi-faceted lens of decolonization in an international forum.”  — Heather Y. Shpuniarsky, AlterNative

“This is a high-quality contribution for understanding the impacts of colonial empires on the native peoples of the Americas and related island areas in the Pacific….The book is recommended for academic courses and professionals with common research interests.” — Richard W. Stoffle, Bulletin of Latin American Research

"Decolonizing Native Histories, written within the context of decolonization and deoccupation agendas, is an absorbing book that appeals to the reader interested or active in indigenous restorative justice and indigenous theorizing. While the essays are complex and challenging, they bring many threads together offering a higher level of understanding of past and present indigenous issues." — Yoly Zentella, Journal of Third World Studies

"Decolonizing Native Histories is a stunning collection of essays from places and authors not often seen in each others' company: they range from Bolivia to Rapa Nui, from Louisiana to Hawai'i. To read of the predicaments and possibilities of a Quechua-language newspaper, racism in a Native American community, and indigenous political resurgence in Rapa Nui in the same volume presents a rare opportunity to compare strategies and gain inspiration, and to transcend seemingly impassable geographic and linguistic differences, to achieve commonality in treasuring our indigenous languages, cultures, and lands. Invaluable for anyone interested in global indigenous histories and politics." — Noenoe K. Silva, author of Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Florencia E. Mallon is the Julieta Kirkwood Professor of History and Latin American Studies and Chair of the History Department at the University of Wisconsin. She is the author of numerous books, including Courage Tastes of Blood: The Mapuche Indigenous Community of Nicolás Ailío and the Chilean State, 1906–2000 and the editor and translator of Rosa Isolde Reuque Paillalef’s When a Flower is Reborn: The Life and Times of a Mapuche Feminist, both published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
About the Series vii
Introduction. Decolonizing Knowledge, Language, and Narrative / Florencia E. Mallon 1
Part One. Land, Sovereignty, and Self-Determination 21
Hawaiian Nationhood, Self-Determination, and International Law / J. Kehaulani Kauanui 27
Issues of Land and Sovereignty: The Uneasy Relationship between Chile and Rapa Nui / Riet Delsing 54
Part Two. Indigenous Writing and Experiences with Collaboration 79
Quechua Knowledge, Orality, and Writings: The Newspaper Conosur Nawpagamn / Fernando Garcés V. 85
Collaboration and Historical Writing: Challenges for the Indigenous-Academic Dialogue / Joanne Rappaport and Abelardo Ramos Pacho 122
The Taller Tzotzil of Chiapas, Mexico: A Native Language Publishing Project, 1985–2002 / Jan Rus and Diane L. Rus 144
Part Three. Generations of Indigenous Activism and Internal Debates 175
Dangerous Decolonizing: Indians and Blacks and the Legacy of Jim Crow / Brian Klopotek 179
Nationalist Contradictions: Pan-Mayanism, Representations of the Past, and the Reproduction of Inequalities of Guatemala / Edgar Esquit 196
Conclusion 219
References 221
Contributors 243
Index 247
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-5152-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5137-5
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