Leanne Simpson and Glen Coulthard on Dechinta Bush University, Indigenous land-based education and embodied resurgence
This is the edited transcript of a conversation that took place in Edmonton, AB on October 18, 2014. You can listen to the full conversation with the MP3 above, or read the transcript below!
Stories of the Shapes and Contours of Indigenous Relationships to Land: An Interview with Hayden King
Listen to the interview above, or read the transcript of the interview below!
Eric Ritskes: This is Eric Ritskes [Editor of Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society] and I’m here with Hayden King. Hayden is a professor and the Director of the Centre for Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University here in Toronto, and we’re here chatting in his office about a new project that he’s taken on, as the host of the podcast, “Stories from the Land” – which you can find at www.storiesfromtheland.com. “Stories from the Land” is part of an ambitious new – independent & Indigenous – Internet media platform, which was launched recently by Ryan McMahon. It’s called Indian and Cowboy Media and already they’re producing a number of exciting Indigenous podcasts. I hope that everyone listening goes and checks that out.
But, this interview is about “Stories from the Land” – Hayden, why don’t tell us a little about yourself and why you decided to host this podcast?
On violence and vengeance: Rhymes for Young Ghouls and the horrific history of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools
by Sean Carleton
** Editor’s note: If you have not seen the movie Rhymes for Young Ghouls, this article likely contains spoilers. **
Written and directed by Mi’gmaq filmmaker Jeff Barnaby, Rhymes for Young Ghouls offers an unflinching fictional account of Indigenous agency in the face of the horrors of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools. Set in the 1970s on the Mi’gmaq Red Crow reserve, known as the Kingdom of the Crow, the film stars Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs as Aila, a tough teenage girl with artistic aspirations and a deep-seated hatred for the sadistic Indian Agent, Popper (Mark Antony Krupa). Popper runs the St. Dymphna’s Residential School and the Red Crow reserve with an iron fist and his heavy-handed tactics mobilize a group of Indigenous youth led by Aila to exact revenge. In the end, Aila’s courageous actions free her consciousness and disrupt the colonial order of Red Crow society. In many ways, Rhymes for Young Ghouls dramatizes the process of decolonization that anti-colonial thinker Frantz Fanon outlines in his chapter “On Violence” in The Wretched of the Earth.
Our Fall 2014 issue has been published! It’s an exciting collection of peer-reviewed articles, interviews, essays and book reviews. You can read the whole issue HERE, and the Table of Contents is below!
by Eve Tuck, Allison Guess and Hannah Sultan
If, as David Herman proposes, “storytellers use deictic points and other gestures to map abstract, geometrically describable spaces onto lived, humanly experienced places,” then the subjective component of space turns it into an infinite series of authorships—or so it seems—wherein speaking subjects both define it and are defined by it.
–Hortense Spillers, Topographical Topics: Faulknerian Space, 2004, p. 535
Do you remember where we are? No way where we are is here.
–Fred Moten, Blackness and Nothingness (Mysticism in the Flesh), 2013, p. 743
We write to you from the middle of something.
It may not really be the middle, but it is not the end and it is not the beginning.
We write to you from somewhere, though as we write we are geographically dispersed. We write as collaborators in the truest sense–committed to one another’s personal, political, poetical, and professional projects. But our collaboration is contingent because of how we are differently implicated and invested, differently coded, by settler colonialism, Indigenous erasure, and antiblackness.
We repeat the story of how we came to collaborate carefully, because every time we retell it, it ignores how the rest of us came to know one another and choose again and choose again to work in contingent partnership. Eve and Mistinguette Smith met several years ago at a summer institute hosted by the Public Science Project. When they learned that they were both researching and theorizing relationships to land–Eve as an Unangan ciswoman scholar and Mistinguette as a Black woman/founder of The Black/Land Project–they agreed to find a future way to be in connection and conversation.
Along with Allison, Hannah, Tavia Benjamin and other members of The Black/Land Project, Mistinguette has worked for the past three years to interview and record the narratives of members of many Black communities as they describe their relationships to land as Black people, however that identity presents itself in their lives. Eve has theorized decolonization of Indigenous land (with K. Wayne Yang), Land education (with Marcia McKenzie and Kate McCoy) and the significance of place in social science research (with Marcia McKenzie). What is important about that first fifteen minute encounter between Mistinguette and Eve is that they discussed the tripled relationships between Indigenous peoples, Africans-made-into-chattel, and white settlers (see also Byrd, 2011; Tuck & Yang, 2012; Wilderson, 2010). We discussed these tripled relationships as antagonisms (Wilderson, 2010), but also spoke of the need for more thought and attention given to the relationships between Indigenous peoples and Black peoples. This is to say that the imbrication of settler colonialism and antiblackness was what sparked our collaboration– but more, our desire has been to supersede the conventions of settler colonialism and antiblackness toward another kind of futurity. Not knowing that futurity is what makes our collaboration contingent, but knowing that there are many futurities available to us brings us to the work. This post is meant to be in conversation with other Black writers and Indigenous writers on land, Indigenous dispossession, and antiblackness, but also Indigenous sovereignty and futurity, Black futurity and optimism, and again, land.
by Andrea Smith
While both Black and Native studies scholars have rightfully argued that it is important to look at the distinctness of both anti-Blackness and Indigenous genocide, sometimes this focus on the distinctness obscures how, in fact, they are mutually reinforcing. There is much to be said about these interconnections, and this work has been explored by many in this blog series, in the #decolonizesaam Twitter discussion on anti-Blackness, and elsewhere. Here, I want to focus on how anti-Blackness and Indigenous genocide are connected through colonialism, and further expand on how colonialism constructs both the labor of Indigenous and Black peoples, in particular and different ways, in order to secure the settler state. In this article I want to focus on how settler colonialism is enabled through the erasure of colonialism against Black peoples as well as the erasure of Indigenous labor, with a particular emphasis on some of the legal proceedings that undergird these processes.