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Nationalisms and Identities among Indigenous Peoples

Case Studies from North America


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 Notion of the Nation Compared: Deafhood and Indianness


To be a recognized nation has many advantages not only in the political but also the economic sector. Being a nation helps to secure a group’s wellbeing and sense of identity. Discussing the implications of the concept nation by comparing Deaf communities and Indigenous groups sheds light on the manifold and interrelated structures and strategies in contemporary ethnic minorities’ constructions of belonging, of boundaries and of how to maintain these bonds and boundaries under ever shifting sociopolitical and economic conditions.

The notion of the nation can in its lived reality and cognitive perception assume different forms. It is open to interpretation and depends on historio-political circumstances. National forms can change and what it means to be a nation can change as well. The goals of this essay are to shed light on a very particular concept of nation, that of the Deaf world, and to compare Deaf people’s construction of belonging as a cultural and linguistic minority to that of Native American peoples’.

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