|email@example.com||# Posted on April 15, 2014 at 13:19|
Having been raised in Canada and taken courses in archaeology, notions of First Nation and Metis (“indigenous” Canadian) identity and how it relates to land ownership (using the term land not landscape in this context) are never far from my mind. Contemporary anthropological notions of indigenous are intrinsically associated with resistance towards dispossession, unequal access to resources and arenas of decision-making, and violations of human rights. Indigenous status in many countries (Canada included) is legally bestowed based on kinship and descent, and I find this practice troublesome as it ignores the agency of individuals to construct their own identity. Land claim discourse and associations of land ownership with indigenous identity and belonging is a phenomena that unfolds in and out of courts of law and has intense and visceral effects on peoples lives and community relations. Indigenous land claims are based on assertions of the need for recognition of historical differences and inequalities that have repercussions in the present, and the route of restitution is acknowledgment of equal or stronger belonging to a contested landscape based on indigenous identity.
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