Indian Country Today | ‘As We Have Always Done’: The Continuing Presence of Indigenous Nationhood

By Peter d'Errico
Indian Country Today

As We Have Always Done (Leanne Betasamosake Simpson)Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg) has accomplished an amazing feat in her forthcoming book, As We Have Always Done. She confronts colonialism from the perspective of indigenous nationhood, but goes beyond arguing for changes in politics, writing in a way that enacts changes in our thinking about politics. Simpson articulates indigenous nationhood as “a radical and complete overturning of the nation-state’s political formations.” This reiterates what others have found when they dig to the roots [‘radical’ comes from Latin ‘radix’: root]: indigenous reality in and of itselfchallenges Western modes of thinking and acting. Simpson deploys the content of this insight in the process of her writing. She writes—rather than writes about—indigenous nationhood.

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