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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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Introduction: Nationalisms and Identities among Indigenous Peoples


First Nations in North America

First Nations1 of the North American continent can look back on an eventful history of cooperation and conflict with, as well as marginalization and recognition by, colonizing and dominant white society. Before the arrival of Europeans, Indian nations had their specific principles of sovereignty. Their norms, values and customs defined governmental forms, policing, regulation of land use and management of conflicts (Lujan & Adams 2004). They exerted complete and absolute jurisdiction over criminal matters within their territories. European colonization confronted them with expansionistic-minded people who forced them to recognize European laws, customs and beliefs as superior.

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