Indigeneity: Politics of (Mis)Recognition and (Mis)Recognition of Politics

Lead Author Sardana, Nikolaeva
Institution Contact Department of Anthropology University of Manitoba 440 Fletcher Argue Building 15 Chancellor's Circle Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2 Canada
Theme Theme 2: Vulnerability of Arctic Societies
Session Name 2.1 The role of law and institutions in Arctic transformation process
Datetime Wed, Sep 14, 2016 04:00 PM - 04:20 PM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text Indigenous people all over the world are increasingly becoming involved in demands for sovereignty, political independence, control over the land and resources, and self-determination, making indigeneity a thoroughly politicized category. Due to this politicization of indigeneity, groups, that follow the governmental focus on the cultural aspects of indigeneity (such as language, sanitized and tourist versions of indigenous dance, music, etc.), are seen as re-creating and re-negotiating their identities by de-politicizing and “incarcerat(ing) themselves in a certain ‘traditional’ lifestyle” (Donahoe, 2011, p. 413). These de-politicized culture-centric articulations of indigeneity, as well as de-politicized imagery/ies of indigenous subjects, can undermine indigenous rights claims as well as decrease international and domestic attention to the crucial issues faced and experienced by indigenous communities within the nation-states. This presentation investigates the making and recognizing of de-politicized indigenous subjects and indigenous subject positions in Russia, and argues that the creation of the indigenous subjects in the Russian case is a process of de-politicization of indigeneity. By recognizing and positioning indigeneity as a marginal identity, based on its cultural origins, the Russian government severely circumscribes its potential to promote economic and political advancement within and for indigenous communities.
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