Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

The World of Indigenous North America

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

The World of Indigenous North America

Article excerpt

The World of Indigenous North America. Edited by Robert Warrior. (New York: Routledge, 2015, Pp. 650. $250.00, cloth; Kindle, $176.00.)

The "Routledge Worlds" series now offers a tome on indigenous North America. The book puts the study of indigeneity in North America within a larger framework: writers from Abya Yala ("Central America"), Aotearoa/New Zealand, and Australia give global perspective; the Australian chapter and ones on Afro-Native Realities and the question of Chicana/o indigeneity explore the questions: how is indigeneity defined, and by whom? For example:

Concepts of indigeneity developed differently under Spanish rule in Mexico (where to be Mexican is to be mestizo) than under British and then "American" rule in the United States so that the claims of indigenous-identified Chícanos may conflict [over limited resources] with those of federally recognized U.S. indigenous communities. Chapters on indigenous understandings of sexuality and gender and on the intersection of indigenous studies and disability studies offer historical and personal perspectives, as do chapters discussing tensions between urban indigenous folk in the U.S and Australia and those living in longstanding rural communides. The book as a whole presents the state of the art in indigenous studies; it also packs in a wonderful lot of history-on indigenous writing, publishing, music, theater, and education, on the sad history of medical resources.

While the different scholars (mostly of indigenous descent and identity) have different fields and different perspectives, certain themes emerge: the integrity, depth, and persistence of the indigenous worldview, the rapacity and savagery of the invader-settler colonialists who arrived from Europe and framed the first peoples as savages [partially as an excuse to grab their land], the ongoing damage from that colonialization, such as endemic health problems, alcoholism, suicide, type II diabetes. …

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