Native American Nationalism and Nation Re-building

Past and Present Cases

Edited by Simone Poliandri

Subjects: Indigenous Studies
Series: SUNY series, Tribal Worlds: Critical Studies in American Indian Nation Building, SUNY Press Open Access
Paperback : 9781438460680, 222 pages, January 2017
Hardcover : 9781438460697, 222 pages, May 2016

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Table of contents

Larry Nesper and Brian Hosmer

Nationalism and Nation Re-building in Native North America
Simone Poliandri

1. Building on Native Sovereignty: From Ethnic Membership to National Citizenship
Sebastian Felix Braun
2. The Antics of Anticipation in an Odyssey of Self-Rule
Jackie Grey

3. The Mi’kmaw Path to First Nationhood: A Roadmap, Some Strategies, and a Few Effective Shortcuts
Simone Poliandri

4. The Boundaries of Indigenous Nationalism: Space, Memory, and Narrative in Hualapai Political Discourse
Jeffrey P. Shepherd

5. Courting the Nation: Articulating Potawatomi Nationhood at the Indian Claims Commission
Christopher Wetzel

Conclusion: The Push for Change Continues
Wanda Wuttunee

Presents an interdisciplinary analysis of the recent developments of Native American nationalism and nationhood in the United States and Canada.


Bringing together perspectives from a variety of disciplines, this book provides an interdisciplinary approach to the emerging discussion on Indigenous nationhood. The contributors argue for the centrality of nationhood and nation building in molding and, concurrently, blending the political, social, economic, and cultural strategies toward Native American self-definitions and self-determination. Included among the common themes is the significance of space—conceived both as traditional territory and colonial reservation—in the current construction of Native national identity. Whether related to historical memory and the narrativization of peoplehood, the temporality of indigenous claims to sovereignty, or the demarcation of successful financial assets as cultural and social emblems of indigenous space, territory constitutes an inalienable and necessary element connecting Native American peoplehood and nationhood. The creation and maintenance of Native American national identity have also overcome structural territorial impediments and may benefit from the inclusivity of citizenship rather than the exclusivity of ethnicity. In all cases, the political effectiveness of nationhood in promoting and sustaining sovereignty presupposes Native full participation in and control over economic development, the formation of historical narrative and memory, the definition of legality, and governance.

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Simone Poliandri is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Bridgewater State University and author of First Nations, Identity, and Reserve Life: The Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia.