Cheyenne Seneca

Decolonizing Our Minds and Actions: Building Relationships and Mapping Community Across the American Indian Urban and Reserve Divide

While scholars have studied Indigenous resurgence in a variety of areas, such as in practices of grounded normativity or land as pedagogy, or self-determination, rarely has this lens been used to simultaneously investigate this kind of resistance as practiced by both urban and reserve Indian communities. American Indian research and literature largely separates urban and reserve populations, isolating each as distinct and separate realities. Moreover, the tensions that arise from distinctions about who is an “authentic” American Indian are usually not paired with critiques on the progress (or lack of progress) in American Indian resistance movements. This project then seeks to extend literature on American Indian resistance, with a concerted effort to understand how reserve- and urban-based American Indian communities are working to establish place-based alternatives to commodified forms of relation as well as reconceptualizing Indigenous identity (which reject colonial restrictions of authenticity) in a way that refuses to replicate the “colonial divisions” that contribute to the urban/reserve divide.