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Being Together in Place

Indigenous Coexistence in a More Than Human World

2017
Authors:

Soren C. Larsen and Jay T. Johnson
Foreword by Daniel R. Wildcat

Being Together in Place

How place summons Native and non-Native people into dialogue to take up the challenging work of coexistence with each other and the nonhuman world

Being Together in Place explores the landscapes that convene Native and non-Native people into sustained and difficult negotiations over their radically different interests. Using ethnographic research and a geographic perspective, this book shows activists in three sites learning how to articulate and defend their intrinsic and life-supportive ways of being—particularly to those who are intent on damaging these places.

Being Together in Place offers a radical vision of decolonization grounded in Indigenous peoples' ontologies of land and place. It's a crucial intervention that weds the best insights from critical Indigenous studies to geography in exciting and transformative ways.

Glen Sean Coulthard, author of Red Skin, White Masks

Being Together in Place explores the landscapes that convene Native and non-Native people into sustained and difficult negotiations over their radically different interests and concerns. Grounded in three sites—the Cheslatta-Carrier traditional territory in British Columbia; the Wakarusa Wetlands in northeastern Kansas; and the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in Aotearoa/New Zealand—this book highlights the challenging, tentative, and provisional work of coexistence around such contested spaces as wetlands, treaty grounds, fishing spots, recreation areas, cemeteries, heritage trails, and traditional village sites. At these sites, activists learn how to articulate and defend their intrinsic and life-supportive ways of being, particularly to those who are intent on damaging or destroying these places.

Using ethnographic research and a geographic perspective, Soren C. Larsen and Jay T. Johnson show how the communities in these regions challenge the power relations that structure the ongoing (post)colonial encounter in liberal democratic settler-states. Emerging from their conversations with activists was a distinctive sense that the places for which they cared had agency, a “call” that pulled them into dialogue, relationships, and action with human and nonhuman others. This being-together-in-place, they find, speaks in a powerful way to the vitalities of coexistence: where humans and nonhumans are working to decolonize their relationships; where reciprocal guardianship is being stitched back together in new and unanticipated ways; and where a new kind of “place thinking” is emerging on the borders of colonial power.

Being Together in Place

Soren C. Larsen is associate professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Missouri.

Jay T. Johnson is associate professor in the Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science at the University of Kansas.

Daniel R. Wildcat is a Yuchi member of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma. He is director of the Haskell Environmental Research Studies Center.

Being Together in Place

Being Together in Place offers a radical vision of decolonization grounded in Indigenous peoples' ontologies of land and place. It's a crucial intervention that weds the best insights from critical Indigenous studies to geography in exciting and transformative ways.

Glen Sean Coulthard, author of Red Skin, White Masks

Being Together in Place

Contents
Foreword
Daniel R. Wildcat
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Being-together-in-place
Part I. “The Spirit of My Ancestors:” Cheslatta Carrier Nation Traditional Territory
1. Pathways of Coexistence
2. Sacred Ground
Part II. “You Can’t Stop the Ceremonies:” The Wakarusa Wetlands
3. Ceremony Is Protest, Protest Is Ceremony
4. Reciprocal Gaurdianship
Part III. “Hīkoi Ngātahi/Going Forward Together: Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Aotearoa/New Zealand
5. Treaty Partnership
6. Manaakitanga
Conclusion: Coexistence in a More-than-human World
Appendix: The Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi
Glossary of Māori Language Terms
Notes
Bibliography
Index