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Nationalisms and Identities among Indigenous Peoples

Case Studies from North America

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Edited By Martina Neuburger and H. Peter Dörrenbächer

This book investigates nationalisms and the emergence of national identities among the Indigenous peoples across North America. It examines the many difficulties which the Native communities have had to face in order to assert themselves as nations, as well as looking at the ambiguity of the term 'nation' within First Nations-government relations. The volume gives a broad perspective on the historical development of Native American nationalism and also explores a variety of political, educational, sociological, cultural and even literary viewpoints. The experiences of the Indigenous peoples are compared with the experiences of other Aboriginal groups across the globe, in order to enrich our understanding of global indigenous nationalisms.
The contributors to this volume represent the perspectives of a variety of different First Nations and a wide range of disciplinary fields, from history, anthropology and political science to communications, law, linguistics and literary studies.
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The Empire Films Back: Constructing Identity and Resistance Through the Selective Films of Chris Eyre

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Native American Indigenous cinema was developed as a means to create self-representative images that negotiate with Euro-American colonial images and rectify some of the psychological difficulties Native Americans experience due to historical trauma and present day colonialism. One of the primary objectives Chris Eyre possesses is to construct complex, contemporary images of Native American characters. The assertion of a contemporary identity on celluloid is interconnected with contemporary political and socioeconomic concerns as these films are intended to make the American public aware that Native Americans continue to exist in their society. Despite that Eyre has demonstrated a strong desire for Native communities to view his work, the director also caters to the non-Native society. This desire to appeal to non-Native audiences ties into Eyre’s broader strategy of creating films that generate interest in Native self-representative images in the hope future opportunities to create filmic texts will materialize. The images Chris Eyre constructs of the Oglala Sioux and Navajo in Skins (2002), A Thief of Time (2004) and Imprint (2007) offer audiences complex images of these two tribal cultures.

Eyre’s films construct multiple messages for Native audiences, interconnecting spirituality to resistance, community dynamics and connection to the land. Firstly, Eyre’s work constructs complex images of Oglala Sioux and Navajo identities by developing characters in a variety of different socioeconomic positions and with differing levels of attachment to their tribal spiritual beliefs. Secondly, Eyre’s work constructs obstacles individuals must overcome and recognition for the need of community cohesion....

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