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Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Between Pachamama and Mother Earth: Gender, Political Ontology and the Rights of Nature in Contemporary Bolivia

Citation:

Tola, Miriam. 2018. "Between Pachamama and Mother Earth: Gender, Political Ontology and the Rights of Nature in Contemporary Bolivia." Feminist Review 118 (1): 25-40.

Author: Miriam Tola

Abstract:

Focusing on contemporary Bolivia, this article examines promises and pitfalls of political and legal initiatives that have turned Pachamama into a subject of rights. The conferral of rights on the indigenous earth being had the potential to unsettle the Western ontological distinction between active human subjects who engage in politics and passive natural resources. This essay, however, highlights some paradoxical effects of the rights of nature in Bolivia, where Evo Morales’ model of development relies on the intensification of the export-oriented extractive economy. Through the analysis of a range of texts, including paintings, legal documents, political speeches and activist interventions, I consider the equivocation between the normatively gendered Mother Earth that the state recognises as the subject of rights, and the figure of Pachamama evoked by feminist and indigenous activists. Pachamama, I suggest, has been incorporated into the Bolivian state as a being whose generative capacities have been translated into a rigid gender binary. As a gendered subject of rights, Pachamama/Mother Earth is exposed to governmental strategies that ultimately increase its subordination to state power. The concluding remarks foreground the import of feminist perspectives in yielding insights concerning political ontological conflicts.

Keywords: rights of nature, Pachamama, extractivism, decolonial feminism, indigenous political ontology, Bolivia

Topics: Environment, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Bolivia

Year: 2018

An Ethos of Responsibility and Indigenous Women Water Protectors in the #NoDAPL Movement

Citation:

Privott, Meredith. 2019. “An Ethos of Responsibility and Indigenous Women Water Protectors in the #NoDAPL Movement.” American Indian Quarterly 43 (1): 74–100.

Author: Meredith Privott

Abstract:

This work builds upon Elizabeth Archuleta's (Yaqui) term “ethos of responsibility” by contextualizing it within the #NoDAPL movement and applies a cultural rhetorics methodology to constellate an understanding of an ethos of responsibility utilized by Indigenous women water protectors in the #NoDAPL movement, as seen in video-recorded interviews selected from the #NoDAPL digital archive. This study attempts to understand the rhetoric of Indigenous women water protectors through the lens of Indigenous feminism(s), Indigenous rhetoric(s), and Dakota/Lakota/Nakota history and worldviews. When speaking from an ethos of responsibility, the water protectors featured in this study locate agency in traditional teachings and in the experience of Indigenous women, including responsive care in/to the interconnectedness of life, the special role of women in the care of water, and the collective survival of Indigenous women in colonial and patriarchal violence.

Keywords: indigenous women, Indigenous feminisms, cultural rhetorics, water protection, Standing Rock, activism, decolonization, ethos, sexual violence, #NoDAPL

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Rights, Indigenous Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2019

Digging for Rights: How Can International Human Rights Law Better Protect Indigenous Women from Extractive Industries?

Citation:

Morales, Sarah. 2019. "Digging for Rights: How Can International Human Rights Law Better Protect Indigenous Women from Extractive Industries?" Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 31 (1): 58-90.

Author: Sarah Morales

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
L’expansion des industries extractives dans les territoires des peuples autochtones a été et continue d’être un processus éprouvant pour les gouvernements, l’industrie et les peuples autochtones du monde entier. Bien que les avantages économiques liés au développement des ressources soient substantiels, on donne trop souvent priorité à ces considérations au lieu de voir les effets profonds et durables des répercussions pour les collectivités, sur le plan social et culturel, en particulier pour les nations autochtones. La recherche a démontré que ces répercussions sont aggravées quand les personnes se trouvent à la croisée de plusieurs collectivités, comme c’est le cas pour les femmes autochtones. Dans le présent article, on se demandera si les lois internationales concernant les droits de la personne peuvent ou non protéger efficacement les femmes et les filles autochtones contre les effets négatifs du développement de l’industrie extractive. En réfléchissant au droit à l’autodétermination, tel qu’il est présenté dans la Déclaration des Nations Unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones, l’auteure soutient qu’à notre époque d’extraction croissante, la meilleure façon pour faire en sorte que les lois internationales protègent les droits des femmes autochtones est de prévoir un mécanisme qui rendra opérationnelles les lois et les coutumes autochtones. Pour cela, il faut faire de la place aux femmes autochtones dans les processus de consultation afin qu’elles y partagent leur savoir et qu’elles puissent en influencer réellement le cours. La promotion des droits procéduraux des femmes autochtones est la meilleure façon d’assurer la protection de leurs droits substantiels corolaires.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
The expansion of extractive industries into the territories of Indigenous peoples has been, and continues to be, a challenging process for governments, industry, and Indigenous peoples all over the world. While the economic benefits of resource development are important, too often these considerations are emphasized at the expense of appreciating the deep and lasting social and cultural effects of these impacts on communities, in particular, Indigenous communities. Research has illustrated that these impacts are compounded when one considers those individuals at the intersection of these communities, such as Indigenous women. This article will examine whether or not international human rights law can effectively protect Indigenous women and girls from the negative effects of extractive industry development. By focusing on the right to self-determination, as captured by the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples, it argues that the most effective way international law can work to protect Indigenous women in this period of increased extractive development is by providing a mechanism through which Indigenous laws and practices can be operationalized. This means creating space during consultative processes for Indigenous women to share their knowledge and influence the process in a meaningful way. The promotion of the procedural rights of Indigenous women is the best way to ensure the protection of their correlating substantive rights.

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, International Law, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), International Organizations, Political Economies, Rights, Indigenous Rights

Year: 2019

Conceptualizing Subsistence as a Response to Capitalist Violence against African Indigenous Women

Citation:

Ahmed, Fathima. 2018. “Conceptualizing Subsistence as a Response to Capitalist Violence against African Indigenous Women.” Agenda 32 (4): 22-31.

Author: Fathima Ahmed

Abstract:

Africa, a continent whose economy is constrained by state and capital, fails to meet the basic needs of the population amidst worsening inequalities and violence. Subsistence producers globally, including indigenous small-scale farmers, pastoralists and hunter gathers, meet the basic needs for the majority. Two-thirds of these producers are women who work autonomously of the state and the market using relations of commoning. These are systems of sharing, collective labour and equal access to and care over nature. ‘Commoning’ is important to indigenous livelihoods, identity and survival, reflecting a strong relationship with the land. Resource-rich indigenous lands are as crucial to capitalist production as they are to anti-capitalist alternatives found in subsistence, and to life itself. African indigenous claims represent grassroots mobilisation for cultural self-determination in the wake of recent enclosures. Enclosures are turning commons into militarised zones, threatening the existence of indigenous peoples. These zones reflect a deliberate cultural packaging of misogynistic violence. Women are an important socio-ecological medium through which corporate-state violence impacts indigenous lives, livelihoods and bodies. As their reproduction and care responsibilities are land-dependent, ecological destruction harms women first. Using indigenous knowledge and practices, women are at the forefront of defending relationality with the land from capitalist destruction. They symbolise both an alternative and a threat to capitalism. As this article demonstrates, violence on the land and violence on women’s bodies are linked. Hence, feminist Lierre Keith contends that “militarism is a feminist issue, rape an environmental issue, and environmental destruction a peace issue” (Rebecca Weiss, ‘Sexism in the Olympics? You shouldn’t be surprised’, Patheos Catholic: Suspended in Her Jar, August 15, 2016). This activist article, using indigenous and anti-capitalist transnational feminism, highlights women’s agency and knowledge in providing life-centered and peaceful alternatives to the socio-ecological crisis across the continent, through a subsistence perspective.

Keywords: subsistence, indigenous women, commons, relationality, anti-capitalism

Topics: Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2018

Larger Than Life? Decolonising Human Security Studies through Feminist Posthumanism

Citation:

Hudson, Heidi. 2018. "Larger than Life? Decolonising Human Security Studies through Feminist Posthumanism." Strategic Review for Southern Africa 40 (1): 46-64. 

Author: Heidi Hudson

Abstract:

Binary thinking is one of the features of coloniality, manifesting in a zero-sum game between 'our' and 'their' security. The development of human security as an antidote has, however, been marked by a continuation of such divisions in a much subtler way. This state of affairs is exacerbated by the fact that concepts held up as possible solutions, such as the gendering of human security or the broader tool of decolonisation, are often also trapped in unimaginative oppositional thinking which runs the risk of recolonising knowledge and harming those who are supposed to be secured. The focus in this article is therefore on the coloniality of human security scholarship and practices and how this concept can be reinvigorated through a feminist 'post'-humanist lens. I argue that a feminist posthuman security approach that decentres the human (by going beyond asking for the inclusion of women only) and underscores agentic relations between (all) humans, the natural environment, technology and objects more adequately captures the entangled nature of human security practices, especially in the postcolony. The approach draws on a blend of six conceptual pillars, namely a poststructuralist understanding of agency as the product of intra-action rather than interaction; feminist critiques of equating what is male and what is human; the emphasis on intersections between race and gender in feminist postcolonial theory; the importance of situated knowledge; the agency of matter and objects in the construction of security and/ or insecurity; and an acknowledgement of indigenous Africa-centred knowledge forms. I conclude that this kind of posthuman security frame, which merges feminist posthumanism and new materialist posthumanism, not only allows a more nuanced and inclusive understanding of the human condition but also offers a foundation for developing a decolonised human security research agenda.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Education, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Security, Human Security

Year: 2018

Falling Between Two Stools: How Women’s Land Rights are Lost between State and Customary Law in Apac District, Northern Uganda

Citation:

Adoko, Judy, and Simon Levine. 2008. "Falling Between Two Stools: How Women’s Land Rights are Lost between State and Customary Law in Apac District, Northern Uganda." In Women's Land Rights and Privatization in Eastern Africa, edited by Birgit Englert and Elizabeth Daley, 101-20. Woodbridge, Suffolk; Rochester, NY: Boydell & Brewer, James Currey. 

Authors: Judy Adoko, Simon Levine

Annotation:

Summary: 
"As in other countries in Africa, there are two parallel and competing histories of land tenure in Uganda. The indigenous systems evolved to suit the needs of different local groups, or at least certain elite members in those groups, in a variety of different ecological and economic circumstances. They worked on rules which have never been written down, making it easy for outsiders to consider all these systems as ‘customary tenure’ a single, unchanging system of rules and administration. Another, written, history began with British colonialism. The British introduced a system of freehold title under which client chiefs and kingdoms (as well as missions) were granted formal land rights. All land which was not registered was considered by the British to be ‘crown land’. Although customary tenure continued to operate on this land, the customary owners had little protection from the arbitrary expropriation of their property. The British colonial administrators regarded customary ownership as backward and a constraint to economic development, which by the 1950s they intended to replace with the ‘modern’ system of freehold. However, colonialism ended before this could be implemented" (Adoko and Levine 2008, 101). 

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Governance, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Land Tenure, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2008

Controlling Land They Call Their Own: Access and Women's Empowerment in Northern Tanzania

Citation:

Goldman, Mara J., Alicia Davis, and Jani Little. 2016. “Controlling Land They Call Their Own: Access and Women's Empowerment in Northern Tanzania.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 43 (4): 777-97.

Authors: Mara J. Goldman, Alicia Davis, Jani Little

Abstract:

Formal rights to land are often promoted as an essential part of empowering women, particularly in the Global South. We look at two grassroots non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working on land rights and empowerment with Maasai communities in Northern Tanzania. Women involved with both NGOS attest to the power of land ownership for personal empowerment and transformations in gender relations. Yet very few have obtained land ownership titles. Drawing from Ribot and Peluso's theory of access, we argue that more than ownership rights to land, access – to land, knowledge, social relations and political processes – is leading to empowerment for these women, as well as helping to keep land within communities. We illustrate how the following are key to both empowerment processes and protecting community and women's land: (1) access to knowledge about legal rights, such as the right to own land; (2) access to customary forms of authority; and (3) access to a joint social identity – as women, as ‘indigenous people’ and as ‘Maasai'. Through this shared identity and access to knowledge and authority, women are strengthening their access to social relations (amongst themselves, with powerful political players and NGOs), and gaining strength through collective action to protect land rights.

Keywords: Property Rights, maasai, land, gender, women, Tanzania, empowerment, access

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, NGOs, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2016

Inventing Bushcraft: Masculinity, Technology, and Environment in Central Africa, ca. 750-1250

Citation:

de Luna, Kathryn M. 2017. “Inventing Bushcraft: Masculinity, Technology, and Environment in Central Africa, ca. 750-1250.” RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society, no. 4, 51–60.

Author: Kathryn M. de Luna

Keywords: fishing, gender, hunting, indigenous knowledge, technology

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems Regions: Africa, Central Africa

Year: 2017

Globalization, Agriculture and Food in the Caribbean: Climate Change, Gender and Geography

Citation:

Beckford, Clinton L., and Kevin Rhiney, eds. 2016. Globalization, Agriculture and Food in the Caribbean: Climate Change, Gender and Geography. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Authors: Clinton L. Beckford, Kevin Rhiney

Annotation:

Summary: 
"The last decade has seen a growing body of research about globalization and climate change in the Caribbean. This collection is a significant addition to the literature on a topic that is of critical importance to the region. It explores research from a number of Caribbean islands dealing with a range of issues related to agriculture and food in the context of globalization and climate change. Using a broad livelihoods perspective, the impacts on rural livelihoods are explored as well as issues related to community level resilience, adaptability and adaptations. The volume is strengthened by gendered analyses of issues and discussions informed by a diverse range of research methods and methodologies. Scholars of Caribbean studies and studies pertaining to social, cultural, economic and environmental issues facing Small Island Developing States (SIDS) will greatly benefit from this book." (Summary from Palgrave MacMillan)
 
Table of Contents: 
1. Globalization, Climate Change and Food and Agriculture in the Caribbean: Perspectives of Caribbean Geographers
Clinton L. Beckford and Kevon Rhiney 
 
2. From Plantations to Services: A Historical and Theoretical Assessment of the Transition from Agrarian to Service-based Industries in the Caribbean
Kevon Rhiney
 
3. Securing the Female Future and Reframing Rural Resilience in Post-Sugar St. Kitts
Joyelle Clarke
 
4. Globalization and Fair Trade Bananas in St. Lucia: A Solution to Building Resilience?
Chanelle Fingal-Robinson
 
5. The Decline of the Preferential Markets and the Sugar Industry: A Case Study of Trade Liberalization in Central Jamaica
Dorlan Burrell
 
6. The Jamaican Coffee Industry: Challenges and Responses to Increased Global Competition
Mario Mighty
 
7. The Gendered Dimensions of Climate Change: Women, Indigenous Knowledge and Adaptation
Ayesha Constable
 
8. Impacts of Climate Change on the Quality of Planting Materials for Domestic Roots and Tubers; Mitigating Potential of In-vitro Plant Production and Protected Agriculture
Clinton L. Beckford and Anthony Norman
 
9. Livelihood Vulnerability to Global Change amongst Carib Communities in North Eastern St. Vincent
Rose-Ann J. Smith 
 
10. Impacts Of Climate Change On Coastal Artisanal Caribbean Fishers
April Baptiste
 
11. Future of Food and Agriculture in the Caribbean in the Context of Climate Change and Globalization: Where Do We Go From Here?
Clinton L. Beckford and Kevon Rhiney.

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis, Globalization, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Livelihoods, Food Security Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries

Year: 2016

Dance and Martial Arts in Timor Leste: The Performance of Resilience in a Post-Conflict Environment

Citation:

Siapno, Jacqueline. 2012. “Dance and Martial Arts in Timor Leste: The Performance of Resilience in a Post-Conflict Environment.” Journal of Intercultural Studies 33 (4): 427–43. 

Author: Jacqueline Siapno

Abstract:

This paper is an ethnographic study of dance traditions and martial arts training in rural upland mountain communities and the urban capital, Dili, in Timor Leste, and how ‘speaking beyond trauma’ is articulated through body movements. It explores the relationship between individual body movement and socio-political ecological movements, both at the level of the local (rural villages) and the global (global governance outfits). It examines the intersection/s between indigenous traditional Timorese dances (such as soro tais, sau batar, foti raba, likurai, bidu, tebedai, tebe-tebe and other dances) and external ideational influences brought in by the presence of UN Peacekeeping and Police and international aid workers (including aikido martial arts). What do dance traditions tell us about the resilience of cultural identity in a post-war, post-revolutionary, post-conflict environment? What kinds of impact do external ideational influences, including martial arts forms, have on local communities? How are gender systems and gender relations in the community transformed? It suggests that embodiment and local knowledges formed through practices and regimens of bodily discipline, grace and physical training (such as in ritual, martial arts and performing arts, for example), can complement and/or challenge abstract theoretical writings on ‘embodying peace’ in post-war countries.

Keywords: resilience, post-war environments, female mobility, rural development, Timorese traditional dance, embodying peace, martial arts

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Health, Trauma, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Post-Conflict Regions: Oceania Countries: Timor-Leste

Year: 2012

Pages

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