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Anarcho-Indigenism

Explores the possibilities that indigenous thought and traditions have for emancipatory, decolonial, feminist societies beyond the state

As early as the end of the 19th century, anarchists such as Peter Kropotkin and Élisée Reclus became interested in indigenous peoples, many of whom they saw as societies without a state or private property, living a form of communism. Contemporary thinkers such as David Graeber and John Holloway have continued this tradition of engagement with the practices of indigenous societies and their politics, while indigenous activists and intellectuals coined the term 'anarcho-indigenism', in reference to a long history of (often imperfect) collaboration between anarchists and indigenous activists, over land rights and environmental issues, including recent high profile anti-pipeline campaigns.

Anarcho-Indigenism is a dialogue between anarchism and indigenous politics. In their interviews, contributors Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Véronique Hébert, Gord Hill, Freda Huson, J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, Clifton Ariwakehte Nicholas and Toghestiy reveal what indigenous thought and traditions and anarchism have in common, without denying the scars left by colonialism even within this anti-authoritarian movement. They ultimately offer a vision of the world that combines anti-colonialism, feminism, ecology, anti-capitalism and anti-statism.

Francis Dupuis-Déri is a Professor of Political Science and a member of the Institut de Recherches et d’études Féministes at the Université du Québec à Montréal. He has been active in anarchist-leaning collectives in Quebec, France and the United States. He is the author of several books such as Anarchy Explained to My Father, with his father Thomas Déri and Who’s Afraid of the Black Blocs?: Anarchy in Action Around the World.

Benjamin Pillet is a translator and community organizer. He holds a PhD in Political Thought from the Université du Québec à Montréal, Quebec and a MA in History and Political Theory from Sciences Po Paris, France. His main research interests include settler colonial studies, decolonial theory and praxis, intercultural solidarity and critical race theory.

Gord Hill is an Indigenous writer, artist and activist from the Kwakwaka'wakw nation. He is the author and illustrator of The 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance Comic Book and The Anti-Capitalist Resistance Comic Book, as well as the author of the book 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance and The Antifa Comic Book.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is Professor Emerita of Ethnic Studies at California State University. She is author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States. She grew up in Oklahoma. During the 1960s, she took part in the antiwar movement and became a member of the militant feminist organization Cell 16. She later joined the American Indian Movement and the International Indian Treaty Council in 1974. Her first book, The Great Sioux Nation: An Oral History of the Sioux Nation and its Struggle for Sovereignty, was published in 1977. Since then, she has written extensively on the topics of indigenous struggles for self-determination and territorial politics, notably in her autobiographical trilogy.

Clifton Ariwakehte Nicholas is a Kanienkeha'ka activist, film-maker and entrepreneur from Kanesatake. He took part in the conflict known as the 'Oka crisis' following the blockade of Kanesatake by the Canadian army between July and September 1990. He made a number of independent documentaries such as 'Elsipogtog: No Fracking Way!' which addresses the Mik'maw resistance against fracking on their territory, as well as 'Karistatsi Onienre: The Iron Snake' on the pipeline project called Énergie Est.

Véronique Hébert is an actor, theatre director and writer from the Atikamekw First Nation of Wemotaci. She wrote, directed and acted in collective theatrical works with Atikamekw youth and professional artists for the festival Présence Autochtone in Montréal. She has had work presented at the Printemps autochtone d’art in 2013, and has repeatedly put on political theatre with a musical component for the festival Présence Autochtone.

Freda Huson is a Wet'suwet'en land defender and representative of the Wet'suwet'en Camp in North West British Columbia, blocking various tar sands and fracked gas pipelines. She lives permanently on the blockade. Freda (Unist'ot'en Clan) is spokesperson of the Camp.

Toghestiy is a Wet'suwet'en land defender and representative of the Wet'suwet'en Camp in North West British Columbia blocking various tar sands and fracked gas pipelines. He live permanently on the blockade. Toghestiy is a hereditary chief of the Likhts’amisyu Clan.

J. Kēhaulani Kauanui is a diasporic Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) born in southern California on traditional homeland of the Tongva people. She currently lives in Mattabessett (Middletown, CT), where she is a Professor of American Studies and affiliate in Anthropology at Wesleyan University. She is the editor of Speaking of Indigenous Politics: Conversations with Activists, Scholars, and Tribal Leaders and co-producer for Anarchy on Air, a majority POC radio show co-produced with a group of students.

'Anarchists have much to learn from indigenous struggles for decolonization. This thought provoking collection of interviews with indigenous activists offers insight into points of contact, affinities and tensions.'

- Lesley J. Wood, Professor of Sociology, York University, Toronto

'Combines rich and arresting reflections on anarchism and indigenism with an incisive analysis of the complexities, tensions and affinities of anarchist and indigenous politics. Vigorously affirming anarchism’s plurality, Dupuis-Déri and Pillet also make a powerful case for the reconfiguration of anticolonial struggle.'

- Ruth Kinna, Loughborough University Anarchism Research Group

'Timely, finely-tuned, and establishes anarcho-indigenism as a constellation of personal, political, and theoretical relationships that are crucial for decolonizing Turtle Island and imagining new ways for Indigenous Peoples and Settlers to live and work together.'

- Richard Day, Associate Professor, Queen's University and author of ‘Gramsci Is Dead’

'[A] vital conversation between anarchists and leading Indigenous activists and intellectuals ...  who together explore the relationship between anarchist and resurgent Indigenous politics. At its best, this book is an invitation to non-indigenous anarchists to (re)consider revolutionary politics by taking up the “political histories and current lived experiences of Indigenous communities seriously”.'

- Elaine Coburn, Director of the Centre for Feminist Research, York University, Toronto

Introduction (Francis Dupuis-Déri and Benjamin Pillet)
1. Gord Hill: Anarcho-punk — anticolonialism and anticapitalism — solidarity — political violence — anarchism as a culture — survival in the wilderness — indigeneity in the Americas
2. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: American Indian Movement (AIM) — Wounded Knee incident — Black Power and struggle against apartheid — History of New-Mexico — Marxism and colonialism — First Peoples and the working class — the Anarchists — franchise or settler colonialism
3. Clifton Ariwakehte Nicholas: Anarchism and First Peoples — Colonialism and its beginnings — Nationalism and language — the reservation system — religion — complicated allyship — the warriors — political violence and its consequences — the military — Palestine, Greece, Chiapas
4. Véronique Hébert: Anarchist theater — kids — words that do not exist — what is Anarchism — Indigeneity in the Americas — the Polytechnique massacre and the Oka crisis — women and feminism — spirituality — Colonialism and Decolonialism — Cultural blending and métissage
5. Freda Huson and Toghestiy: environmentalism and traditionalism — struggles against pipelines and the oil industry — defending life and the territory — the band council system
6. J. Kēhaulani Kauanui: Discovering American Anarchism — Hawai’i — the Occupy movement — the United States context — the Mâori — Palestine — feminism and queerness — how to talk about anarchism at the university and on the radio

Published by Pluto Press in Sep 2023
Paperback ISBN: 9780745349220
eBook ISBN: 9780745349237

129mm x 198mm