Restructuring Relations: Indigenous Self-Determination, Governance, and Gender 9780190913281

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Restructuring Relations: Indigenous Self-Determination, Governance, and Gender
 9780190913281

Table of contents :
Cover......Page 1
Restructuring Relations......Page 4
Copyright......Page 5
Dedication......Page 6
Contents......Page 8
Acknowledgments......Page 10
Introduction: Indigenous Feminist Examination of Self-​determination......Page 16
1. Self-​Determination: Foundational Value......Page 37
2. Indigenous Self-​Government Structures in Canada, Greenland, and Sápmi......Page 75
3. Implementing Indigenous Self-​Determination: Self-​Administration,
Rematriation, or Independence?
......Page 112
4. Gendering Indigenous Self-​Government......Page 153
5. Self-​Determination and Violence against Indigenous Women......Page 194
6. Indigenous Gender Justice as Restructuring Relations......Page 232
Notes......Page 252
Bibliography......Page 322
Index......Page 368

Citation preview

Restructuring Relations

Restructuring Relations INDIGENOUS SELF-D ​ E T E R M I N AT I O N , G O V E R N A N C E , AND GENDER

Rauna Kuokkanen

   

1

1 Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and certain other countries. Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America. © Oxford University Press 2019 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by license, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reproduction rights organization. Inquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above. You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer. CIP data is on file at the Library of Congress ISBN 978–​0–​19–​091328–​1 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Printed by Sheridan Books, Inc., United States of America

for Elias and Matias and all future generations of Indigenous children

Contents Acknowledgments ix Introduction: Indigenous Feminist Examination of Self-​determination 1 1. Self-​Determination: Foundational Value 22 2. Indigenous Self-​Government Structures in Canada, Greenland, and Sápmi 60 3. Implementing Indigenous Self-​Determination: Self-​Administration, Rematriation, or Independence? 97 4. Gendering Indigenous Self-​Government 138 5. Self-​Determination and Violence against Indigenous Women 179 6. Indigenous Gender Justice as Restructuring Relations 217 Notes 237 Bibliography 307 Index 353

vii

Acknowledgments

I am deeply grateful to all who have supported me through the process that has made this book possible. These people include colleagues, family, friends, and the research participants and research assistants whom I acknowledge below. There are also general and material factors that have enabled this book. One of the general factors is the emergence and growth of sustained and strong Indigenous feminist theory and practice in the past decade. This book would have not been possible without the critical interventions of Indigenous feminist scholarship and activism not only in research, but also Indigenous and mainstream societies. Whereas today we can say that Indigenous feminism exists without apology, it was not the case when I was drafting my research proposal that became this book and submitted my grant application in 2009 (although to my great surprise, I received an SSHRC Standard Research Grant the first time I applied). I am grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for this financial support, which enabled me to do the fieldwork for this book and employ excellent research assistants to help collect and transcribe the research material. I am particularly grateful to Sam Grey for her extensive and invaluable research assistance, which included identifying research participants and conducting interviews in the Lower Mainland and on Victoria Island (British Columbia). She also continuously flagged and provided me with relevant literature and other sources. I also thank my other research assistants: Tuuli Miettunen, who provided help with transcribing interviews conducted in the Sámi language and doing extensive newspaper searches in Finland; Astrid Hägerdal, who helped with transcribing interviews conducted in Swedish and translating certain expressions into English; and mahsi cho to Kristen Yakeleya, who assisted me in organizing and coordinating research and youth meetings and in contacting research participants in Tulít’a, Northwest Territories. ix

x

Acknowledgments

I want to acknowledge and thank all the research participants who trusted and had faith in me and my abilities to carry out this project. I want to thank particularly those participants who saw the importance of my research project and shared that with me. In the darkest moments of writing the book, it was that support and encouragement and the responsibility the research participants had bestowed me that reminded me of the importance of completing it. At times, I  felt the responsibility weighing heavy on my shoulders while at the same time, pushing me forward and preventing me from giving up. Special thanks and mahsi cho goes to everyone in Tulít’a who welcomed me and my family to their community for such an unforgettable stay by the mighty Mackenzie River in the summer of 2014. I am deeply saddened for the unexpected passing of one of the research participants and my dear friend, Henriette Rasmussen, in 2017 during the last stages of writing this book. Henriette’s warm spirit, support, and sharp insight provided me invaluable guidance both before and during my stay in Nuuk, Greenland. Henriette welcomed me and my family into her home and family for which I say qujanaq, ollu giitu, thank you. I also thank Henriette’s family, with whom we spent a lovely Easter in 2013 in Nuuk. It saddens me that Henriette was not able to see this book in its final form. I thank Angela Chnapko at Oxford University Press for her interest and encouragement from the start. Her support and advice kept me on track when I needed it most. I am grateful to friends and colleagues for having taken the time to give me comments on drafts or talk with me about the project. I  would particularly like to thank Joyce Green, Jennifer Nedelsky, Joseph Carens, Val Napoleon, Mary Eberts, Makere Stewart-​ Harawira, John Bernard Henriksen, Ulf Mörkenstam, Matt James, Melissa Williams, Gudrun Eriksen Lindi, and other members of the Sámi Women’s Forum, especially the participants of the 2015 gathering in Ubmeje/​Umeå, Sweden. I express my special gratitude to Deborah Simmons for her thoughtful and extensive engagement with my work. Deb’s generous support and help made my work possible in Tulít’a, and her kind yet always sharp and grounded feedback sharpened my thinking on several occasions. Not least, Deb’s continuous insistence on making my writing and thinking more accessible to a broader audience was an invaluable learning experience for me. She also helped me organize a number of community meetings and gatherings in Tulít’a, including a workshop in May 2017 when I was able to return to Tulít’a to share my research findings with community members. Deb helped to plan and facilitate the very successful workshop we called “Strong People, Strong Communities.” My biggest thanks and deepest gratitude is to my family, whose endless support, patience, and understanding have made my work and this book possible. Giitos eatnat to my mother Kirste for her teachings, support, and stories that sustain our family in numerous ways. She’s also a role model for having written way more books than I ever will. Giitos eatnat to my sons Elias and Matias for their beautiful presence and joie de vivre that balances my life in ways that nothing else can. I remain most grateful of all to my partner Philip, whose enduring and everlasting good spirit, love, and support in countless ways

Acknowledgments

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enabled me to do this work. You made things work out when I was about to despair and were always up for a trip with infants and small children in tow, no matter how remote a location. Without you this book simply would have not been possible, starting from the pre-​kids brainstorming session in a rainy Toronto parking lot waiting for a ride in 2009. What a journey it has been!

Restructuring Relations

Why is it so difficult to write and speak as an Indigenous woman, explicitly from an Indigenous woman’s experience, about the broader political issues of self-​determination, Indigenous legal orders and law, self-​government, or aboriginal rights?1 Van Napoleon

Introduction

INDIGENOUS FEMINIST EXAMINATION OF SELF-​DETERMINATION

This book seeks to answer the question posed by Val Napoleon, Cree feminist legal scholar, by doing three things: conceptualizing Indigenous self-​determination as a foundational value that seeks to restructure all relations of domination; examining gender regimes of Indigenous self-​government institutions; and interrogating the relationship between Indigenous self-​determination and gender violence, specifically violence against Indigenous women. It is my contention that in order to answer Napoleon’s question, we need to examine the broader political issues of self-​determination, Indigenous legal orders and law, self-​government, and Indigenous rights specifically through the lens of gendered violence at various levels, ranging from the structures of the state to interpersonal physical and sexual violence. Drawing on my fieldwork with mostly Indigenous women in Canada, Greenland, and Sápmi,2 I argue that the difficulty for Indigenous women to speak and write about these issues arises from the fact that despite their long and active involvement and participation in multiple ways, their views have been systematically brushed aside in formulating Indigenous self-​determination and self-​government discourses that have been formalized in international law and national legislation in the past couple of decades. Yet we need to acknowledge that adding and stirring will not change much. Inserting Indigenous women’s views into these discourses will not transform the discourses to reflect or represent what self-​determination and self-​government mean for these women. What is required, rather, is an Indigenous feminist examination of self-​determination. This book critically interrogates normative notions and predominant discourses of Indigenous self-​determination, the structures of Indigenous self-​government institutions, 1

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Restructuring Relations

and their ability to address violence, especially violence against Indigenous women. Drawing particularly on Indigenous and feminist political and legal theory, I theorize and analyze these new forms of self-​determination in light of the existing Indigenous political discourses and Indigenous self-​government arrangements. I argue that the rights approach alone is too limited and is not able to fully grasp or adequately represent the meaning of Indigenous self-​determination. I infer from interviews in the three regions that Indigenous self-​determination is a foundational value that fosters the norm of integrity manifested in two central forms, integrity of the land and individual integrity, including freedom from bodily harm and violence. As a foundational value, I suggest that Indigenous self-​determination seeks to restructure all relations of domination premised on inequality and injustice. These relations include relations of settler colonialism, neoliberal capitalism, paternalism, misogyny, sexism, homophobia, and gender violence. Many of us are familiar with the principle and practice of Indigenous self-​determination as a means of restructuring the fundamental structural relation of settler colonialism as violent dispossession that extends to Indigenous lands and (women’s) bodies. Less known is the other central aspect of restructuring that targets those relations of domination that prevent Indigenous women from being legal and political actors and serve in their political and economic roles not only in the mainstream political system (i.e., representation in political institutions), but also according to their own governance practices. As a foundational value that fosters the norm of integrity, self-​ determination restructures the hierarchical relation between Indigenous politics and gender. This relation is characterized by the persistent division into self-​determination/​self-​government issues and gender/​social issues, which, as the participants in this book forcefully argue, stand in the way of implementing, realizing, and exercising Indigenous self-​determination. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), adopted in 2007 by the General Assembly, establishes self-​determination as a foundational right and principle that gives rise to other central Indigenous rights such as free, prior, and informed consent stipulated in a number of articles vis-​à-​vis development of Indigenous peoples’ lands, territories, and resources; forcible relocation; cultural and intellectual property; and states’ legislative or administrative measures. Consent is critical to the theory of Indigenous self-​determination I propose in this book. Consent undergirds the two key dimensions of the norm of integrity discussed here. The integrity of Indigenous territories is upheld through Indigenous people’s collective consent, whereas bodily integrity is secured and protected through individual consent. Drawing on the participant interviews, the theory of Indigenous self-​determination I  propose maintains that like the two aspects of the norm of integrity, the two forms of consent are inextricable. UNDRIP, however, only stipulates Indigenous people’s collective consent in its provisions with an emphasis specifically on free, prior, and informed consent in the context of development projects. Notwithstanding the critical importance of collective consent over land and resource use to the integrity and indeed

Introduction

3

survival of Indigenous peoples as distinct peoples, UNDRIP’s conceptualization of self-​ determination remains incomplete without the equally important individual consent. I do not question UNDRIP’s significance or legitimacy, but I  maintain that it has considerable shortcomings. I have previously argued that UNDRIP fails in protecting Indigenous women’s rights.3 In this book, I  argue that considering Indigenous self-​ determination solely through international law and as a right is extremely limiting, as it does not do justice to the depth and extent of the concept. In fact, focusing only on the rights framework excludes a range of normative understandings of the concept that have to do with Indigenous ontologies and philosophies. These shortcomings underline the limitations of international law and its capacity to come to grips with the critical intersection of what Winona LaDuke termed already twenty years ago as “Our Bodies, Our Communities and Our Self-​Determination.”4 Recent standoffs and Indigenous nationhood movements have thrown the limitations of the current formulations and structures of Indigenous self-​government into sharp relief. They have demonstrated how Indigenous self-​government institutions fail to protect us, whether the logic and violence of settler colonialism or interpersonal sexual and physical violence and coercion. The same goes with definitions of Indigenous self-​determination as a collective human right and a normative principle now encoded in international law. When the vital interests of the settler colonial state (which more than ever coincide and collude with the global corporate interests) are threatened, human rights, both collective and individual, of Indigenous people and international law such as UNDRIP with norms such as the free, prior, and informed consent weigh very little, if at all. Many of the frontline peaceful protesters at recent standoffs have been Indigenous women—​which brings us back to the question by Napoleon in the epigraph at the beginning of the chapter. Indigenous women have long been standing up, whether in the form of a camp, movement, occupation, land reclamation, rally, or campaign. The problem with the broader political issues of self-​determination, self-​government, Indigenous legal orders, law, and Indigenous rights is that they typically are formulated in response to, or in conversation with, settler colonialism, and as such they exclude Indigenous women and their concerns. For that reason, the broader political issues of self-​determination typically conform and conciliate to the logic of settler colonialism. They rarely relate or have relevance to Indigenous women’s conceptions and experiences of self-​determination. Yet from the onset of the Indigenous rights movement, Indigenous women have been involved in struggles for reclaiming and restoring self-​determination of their communities and nations. Until recently, however, their roles and contributions have been systematically overlooked and sidelined by their male compatriots and non-​Indigenous actors alike. In spite of the considerable strides Indigenous women have made over the past several decades in terms of participation and expanding agendas of Indigenous politics, there is still a long way to go. Simultaneously, Indigenous women’s own self-​determination has been contested and denied first by patriarchal colonial law, policies, and institutions, and later by Indigenous

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men, who have internalized and adopted the norms and values of patriarchal colonialism. As a result, Indigenous women’s rights—​or perhaps more correctly, their responsibilities to their territories and practices that go with those responsibilities—​have been erased. Indigenous women’s participation, human rights, political status, and well-​being have been radically curtailed. Indigenous women’s self-​determination has been set up as an individual(istic) right against the a priori right of self-​determination of Indigenous nations and communities. Self-​determination (both individual and collective) and gendered violence are among the most important and pressing issues for Indigenous women worldwide. Yet the considerable body of scholarship on various aspects of Indigenous self-​determination, including the scope and implementation of self-​determination, capacity-​building, and different self-​government arrangements, rarely examines these issues from a gendered perspective or applies a gender-​based analysis. Instead, this literature discusses processes of Indigenous self-​determination as if they were phenomena outside of gendered political structures and relations of power, or outside of processes of gendering in society in gen­ eral. As a result, conventional nongendered research on Indigenous self-​determination conceals the patriarchal structures and relations of power, which not only create hierarchies and differential access to resources, representation, and political influence in Indigenous societies, but also ultimately prevent the realization of collective and individual self-​determination. While gender has been a focus of study in Indigenous studies and to a lesser extent, in Indigenous politics, I am not aware of research on institutional gender structures of Indigenous self-​government. Yet it is a critical component of Indigenous feminist analysis interrogating Indigenous governance and the self-​government frameworks. Previous research on self-​determination and Indigenous women has focused on two main issues: traditional political roles of women in Indigenous societies and the impact of colonization on these roles;5 and women’s participation (or absence) in contemporary self-​governance negotiations, agreements, and institutions.6 Part of Indigenous self-​determination as restructuring relations of domination is to analyze and expose the gendered character and structures of Indigenous self-​government institutions. Gendering refers to a range of interrelated processes formed by divisions between conceptions and social constructions of male and female, masculine and feminine, which privilege certain people over others. It constructs divisions along gender lines, including labor, identity, approved behavior, and power, and establishes gendered hierarchies through interpersonal interactions.7 At the institutional level, gendering occurs through the construction of symbols, images, and ideologies that legitimize organizations generally conceived as gender-​neutral. Gender regimes refer to the pattern of gender relations within a particular institution. They represent “the historically produced state of play in gender relations” and manifest through three main structures: a gender division of labor, a structure of power, and the gender patterning of emotional attachments.8

Introduction

5

The Concept of Gender The concept of gender is complex, and has been long contested by Indigenous people. Historically, for example, Haudenosaunee and Cherokee clanmothers repudiated Western ideologies of womanhood and their employment to justify the dispossession of Indigenous lands.9 A central tool of this dispossession was the institution of a rigid, hierarchical, and heteropatriarchal gender binary, particularly through the church and residential schools. Prior to the imposition of the gender binary, multiplicity and fluidity of genders and gender roles was common among many Indigenous peoples.10 As an example, one research participant pointed out how gender is essentially a reflection of an individual’s spirit more than anything else: This whole gender-​sex thing, we had it down a long time ago, right? We didn’t need, you know, second stage feminism to teach us that. We, I think Indigenous communities have long, for a long time understood the difference, and so the feminine and the masculine are more spirit concepts as opposed to, about your body parts. And therefore we had more gender fluidity in our communities because it’s an understanding of spirit as opposed to, you know, it’s about spirit and roles related to spirit as opposed to, like, what parts you were born with.11 Greenlandic scholar Karla Jessen Williamson goes as far to suggest that the egalitarian Inuit society was in fact genderless, reflected in the absence of gender in personal pronouns and traditional Inuit naming practices in which infants are given names of ancestors and relatives regardless of their gender.12 The division of labor and responsibilities did exist in traditional Inuit society but it was flexible, allowing reversal when needed or appropriate.13 These examples do not suggest that the gender fluidity prevails as the norm in contemporary Indigenous communities. Aware of the current prevalent patriarchal gender norms on Indigenous communities and political structures, the participant above instead insists on the need to critically and honestly examine the effects of the imposed colonial gender structures, including the benefits they have endowed for some (especially the Indigenous male elite). The imposed colonial gender binary has served as an effective tool in political, popular, and military discourses of constructing Indigenous peoples as a deviation from the (also constructed) hegemonic heteronormativity of Euro-​American society in order to legitimize their dispossession and assimilation policies.14 Some scholars refer to this gendered colonial process as “straight making” in the context of US settler colonialism:  a systematic effort to “make Native Americans straight” by forcing them into the gender binary and Anglo-​American norms of identity, family, kinship, and governance.15 One such example, the transformation of the traditional governance structure of the Seneca Nation, is considered in c­ hapter  3 in relation to participant discussions

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for rematriating Indigenous governance, or reclaiming Indigenous women’s political authority and roles in Indigenous social and political orders and structures. The effects of the deeply damaging structure of colonial binary in Indigenous societies have been far-​reaching, including “a near erasure of queer genders and sexualities, the confinement of women to the domestic sphere of the home, the ongoing criminalization of Indigenous women who trade or sell sex,” as well as “the confinement of men to the role of white patriarchal husbands and fathers.”16 In short, the colonial gender binary has instituted patriarchal relations of gender and domination as a norm in many Indigenous communities. Today, these relations of domination typically characterize contemporary Indigenous political institutions that have been largely created in the image of Western parliamentary systems. The analysis in this book shows that existing Indigenous self-​governing institutions in Canada, Greenland, and Scandinavia are characterized by gender regimes similar to Western political institutions such as national legislatures. As scholars have noted, institutions tend to be path-​dependent, meaning that once established, they typically follow a certain, persistent trajectory in decision-​making and daily operations that can be hard to alter. Their foundational structures remain relatively unchanged even in reorganization. Given the institutional path dependency, it is particularly important to pay close attention to the gender regimes at the initial stages of conceiving and establishing Indigenous governance structures. If gender regimes are not taken into account when Indigenous political orders are being created, there is a great danger of entrenching them as a foundational part of the institutional structure. Recognizing gender regimes and acknowledging their existence is critical in transforming masculine, androcentric Indigenous political institutions and their sometimes subtly exclusionary and sexist practices and patterns. If Indigenous self-​governing institutions are informed by the same hierarchical opposition that categorically separates self-​determination issues from social issues, they cannot but fail in addressing gender violence and specifically, violence against Indigenous women.

Methodology and Case Selection While there is a growing body of comparative research on Indigenous politics and self-​ determination in the Anglophone settler colonial states of Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, comparative scholarship in Indigenous politics is next to nonexistent in other Western liberal welfare states. Comparing Indigenous self-​ determination past and present in the English-​speaking settler colonial states makes sense due to similar histories of colonization and treaty-​making, varying degrees to which the pre-​existing sovereignty of Indigenous peoples is recognized as well as similarities pertaining to Aboriginal title legislation and land claims processes (whether through negotiation and litigation). Shared legal and political heritage, as well as similar colonial

Introduction

7

histories of “organized, sustained efforts to eliminate Indigenous populations” in these settler states,17 makes comparison more straightforward than in many other contexts. Comparisons of Indigenous self-​determination in different English-​speaking settler colonial states are important in providing in-​depth analysis of the character of Indigenous sovereignty, self-​determination, and Indigenous–​state relations in the Anglophone settler countries. These countries also often look to one another in formulating policies and legislation regarding Indigenous peoples, including the establishment of a semiformal coalition to negotiate and lobby together and finally vote against UNDRIP in 2007.18 While significant, considerations of Indigenous self-​determination and Indigenous–​ state relations in the Anglophone settler countries has become a hegemonic way of thinking and structuring Indigenous self-​determination. Focusing only on Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States provides an important yet limited and partial understanding of the nature of Indigenous self-​determination and Indigenous–​ state relations. In order to comprehend and appreciate the complexity and diversity of Indigenous political autonomy and self-​determination, it is necessary to transcend discourses, approaches, and models created in the Anglo-​settler democracies. Given the current state-​driven self-​government frameworks, we are at a juncture where new comparative Indigenous scholarship is needed, particularly from the critical perspective of Indigenous women who in recent years have been at the vanguard of reformulating ideas and conceptions of Indigenous governance. As a Sámi scholar who has lived in Canada for a number of years with extensive knowledge and personal experience of the global Indigenous movement and Sámi politics,19 and as a fluent speaker of the Sámi and Nordic languages, I  have been uniquely positioned to conduct this research with access to a range of data in Sámi, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish not available to average English-​speaking scholars. While the original research in this book focuses on Canada, Greenland, and Scandinavia, the book participates and contributes to the broader scholarly, policy, and activist conversations on Indigenous self-​determination especially in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand by making connections to similarities and differences in those countries. The book’s central arguments and analysis have parallels in the Indigenous world and are relevant to the global discussion of Indigenous self-​determination beyond the jurisdictions where the research was conducted. This comparative study is among the first efforts to compare and examine self-​ determination from an Indigenous feminist perspective. There are no prior comparative studies of Indigenous self-​government in Canada, Greenland, and Scandinavia or self-​determination and gendered violence involving these regions. Until recently, studies examining whether and how violence against Indigenous women relates to Indigenous self-​determination have been next to nonexistent. Notably, in addition to a structural analysis of the gendered nature of self-​government institutions, this project takes a bottom-​up approach involving contextual comparisons of Indigenous women’s perspectives at the grassroots and political levels. Thus far, comparative analyses of

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Indigenous self-​determination have focused on conducting interviews with local and regional leaders, politicians, and administrators. Existing comparisons of governance structures and institutions between the Inuit of Greenland and the Sámi of Scandinavia are cursory, and from a top-​down perspective. As an Indigenous feminist examination of self-​ determination, the objective of this book is not to merely represent or add Indigenous women’s perspectives on self-​ determination, even though comparative research on Indigenous women’s views on and participation in politics is also thin.20 In this book Indigenous feminist political analysis is not limited to supplementing already existing accounts of self-​determination, governance, and nationhood with “a women’s point of view.” Instead, it interrogates the taken-​ for-​granted political categories of nation, sovereignty, and state.21 More specifically, it examines the nation-​state as the appropriate form of governance for the world as well as the legitimacy of settler colonial sovereignty forged by the dispossession and elimination of Indigenous peoples, and calls for transformation centered on reorientation to the land. Further, Indigenous feminist political analysis demonstrates how the patriarchal settler state has come into existence through gender violence against Indigenous peoples, and how violence against Indigenous women and Indigenous self-​determination (or sovereignty) are often closely connected. In short, Indigenous feminist political analysis deconstructs the normativity of the nation-​state and also addresses heteronormativity and heteropatriarchy within many Indigenous nationalisms. To date, Indigenous feminist political analysis has focused on the North American context, particularly the United States. My book contributes to growing Indigenous feminist political analysis from a comparative perspective. Indigenous peoples in Canada, the Inuit in Greenland, and the Sámi in the Nordic countries were in the vanguard of the global Indigenous rights movement in the early 1970s and since have been actively shaping Indigenous self-​determination agendas locally, nationally, and internationally. As the result of their advocacy and activism, Indigenous peoples and their rights are recognized today in the constitutions of Canada, Norway, and Finland, while Greenland has achieved the most extensive of political autonomy of all Indigenous peoples in the world. Yet in terms of history, demographics, and political and social context, the three case studies vary greatly. Colonial histories of Sámi and Inuit Greenlanders differ from those of North America in that colonial processes were typically more insidious, gradual, and less physically violent in Scandinavia and Greenland. There were no “Indian wars” like in the United States, or specific segregationist legislation like the Indian Act in Canada. Yet other forms of violence—​the structural violence of the state—​have been arguably equally effective in dispossessing the Inuit Greenlanders and the Sámi from their territories, from governance, political, social, and legal orders, and spirituality. Demographically, the Sámi are a small numerical minority in all three Scandinavian states, numbering around 100,000 people. Approximately half live in Norway, 10,000 in Finland, and 35,000 in Sweden. In addition, about 5,000 Sámi live in the Kola Peninsula,

Introduction

9

Russia. Even in Norway, with the largest Sámi population, the percentage of Sámi of the total population is about 1 percent. In Greenland, the Inuit comprise of nearly 90 percent of the population of 56,000. In Canada, the Aboriginal (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) population is about 1.4 million (4.3% of the total Canadian population). The focus of this study, First Nations, consist of 850,000 people in Canada.22 Existing self-​government arrangements also differ considerably between the three regions. In Canada, First Nations self-​government agreements and modern-​day treaties have taken several forms, ranging from comprehensive land claims and self-​government agreements to public governments. Greenland, characterized as de facto (although not de jure) Indigenous overseas autonomy, has achieved the most extensive form of self-​ government through its 2009 Self-​Government Act, which provides the country the sole authority for thirty-​three areas of jurisdiction. In the Nordic countries, Sámi self-​ government is to be implemented through centralized, elected political institutions of the Sámi Parliaments (Sámediggis) in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Chapter 2 will discuss the different structures and models in detail. Some may argue that comparisons between radically different self-​ government processes and arrangements are problematic, for example, because of the distinctive processes and legal, political, and normative objectives involved in them.23 I argue, however, that in spite of the distinct processes or different legal purposes, the ultimate vision of self-​determination and exercising self-​government is similar not only in the three regions studied here but generally among the world’s Indigenous peoples—​that is, an increased autonomous authority, control, and decision-​making powers of their own affairs. Comparing self-​government arrangements internationally provides important insights into the complexities of implementing Indigenous self-​determination often presented as a uniform, more or less unvaried endeavor. Comparative analysis is further supported by the argument according to which self-​determination for Indigenous peoples is a “process right” without a predetermined outcome, as the practical application and meaning of self-​determination for each Indigenous people is negotiated and decided on the ground within their own communities and in dialogue with the states.24 Contrary to some arguments, comparative Indigenous scholarship in the field of politics does not equal maintaining colonial binaries.25 To put it simply, comparison for decolonization takes place always when the analysis of an Indigenous political process other than our own helps us to deepen the understanding of our own colonial circumstances in the present. Comparisons may not always represent lessons learned or best practices that could be directly applied to another context, but at the very least, a better understanding of how other Indigenous peoples have framed their self-​government institutions and the broader context they operate in can sharpen and refocus our own short-​and long-​term visions and objectives. Greenland’s arrangement of a parliamentary system run by an Indigenous people may not be attainable for the large majority of the world’s Indigenous peoples, who form numerical minorities in the countries in which they reside. Yet  although Greenland’s aspiration for modern nationhood may not be widely shared by most

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Indigenous peoples, it sheds light in very concrete terms to the limits of the concept of Indigenous self-​determination as well as the enormous challenges and existing rifts that an endeavor for independence poses. Greenland’s ambitions for independence also serve as a reminder that secession and statehood indeed preoccupies some Indigenous people. The three Sámi Parliaments in Scandinavia, on the other hand, are on the other end of the spectrum, demonstrating that institution-​building, symbolic significance, and nominal constitutional protection do not necessarily translate into real political power and authority. A comparative analysis of the gendered processes of self-​determination beyond the standard comparative research within the Anglo settler states demonstrates that Indigenous self-​determination is a more varied and multilayered concept than often conceived in political and legal scholarship. The differences are shaped by different colonial histories and current institutional and political arrangements. In addition to discussing the commonalities between the regions, it is important to recognize and analyze the differences in order to provide a more nuanced understanding of Indigenous self-​determination. The empirical component of the book consists of extensive fieldwork in five countries—​ Canada, Greenland, Finland, Sweden, and Norway. The fieldwork was conducted during a period between June 2011 and September 2014.26 A total of seventy-​six semistructured interviews were completed and transcribed.27 They covered three dimensions of Indigenous self-​determination: the concept of self-​determination, current status of implementation, and its relationship with violence against women. The interviews also explored existing self-​government institutions and their capacity to reflect and integrate women’s concerns and self-​determination’s connection to participants’ everyday life. The interviewing emphasized practices and experiences, not just participant attitudes. Most interviews lasted between sixty and ninety minutes. With permission of the participants, nearly all interviews were tape-​recorded. Some participants requested to remain anonymous, while others gave the permission to use their names. A typical Indigenous understanding of research is that knowledge is expressed in and through relationships. This understanding emphasizes a commitment to respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples and their communities. It is premised on research by and with, rather than on and for, Indigenous peoples.28 This understanding informed the selection of research participants, who were determined using what I call an Indigenous research method of relationality:  building sustained relationships with individuals and communities as well as drawing on existing relationships. As Indigenous scholars conducting research in Indigenous communities, we enter the field with our multiple, overlapping networks on the ground and in the academy. We draw on these networks as we plan our research. Many of us know our home communities inside and out, which helps us decide who might be the key informants. As community members also know us, they are often keen to assist us further in terms of identifying and suggesting other relevant participants that we may have not considered. This was how

Introduction

11

Sámi participants were determined in my present study. In other Indigenous settings, those individuals who considered my research timely and important willingly suggested other participants, often without prompting. The majority of research participants were Indigenous women not involved in the formal Indigenous political institutions. Many were members of women’s and grassroots networks or women who were otherwise active in their communities in various ways. In addition, some female politicians and male leaders were interviewed. Three female members of the parliament (Inatsisartut) were interviewed in Greenland, and one former member who also had been previously a minister in the government. Three female members of the Sámi Parliament (Sámediggi) and two former members were interviewed in Scandinavia. Given the considerably different political organization and structure in Indigenous Canada—​there is no centralized Indigenous parliament or other elected, representative body—​no equivalent female politicians were interviewed in Canada. Female members of Inatsisartut in Greenland and Sámediggi in Scandinavia were interviewed due to the central role of these institutions in shaping the discourse of self-​determination and the limited public discussion pertaining to the topic. Either senior politicians or individuals who held leadership positions in organizations, male participants were interviewed for their knowledge on specific topics relevant to the research questions. Three interviews in Greenland and two interviews in Sápmi were with male participants (one of whom was a former president of the Sámi Parliament in Sweden). In Canada, only interviews in Tulít’a, Northwest Territories (NWT), consisted of male participants (six in total).29 The participant pool reflected a broad age range; the youngest was in her early twenties and the oldest in her early eighties. In addition to the interviews, I undertook textual analysis of relevant published and unpublished documents related to the case studies and the broader theoretical questions posed by the research, including reports, strategic planning documents, policy, public and media statements, minutes of meetings, press releases, newspaper articles, speeches, and research papers. These documents were particularly relevant for considering the implementation of self-​determination and engagement with the problem of gender violence by existing self-​government institutions, as well as assessing the gender structures of those institutions.

Framing and Contributions Restructuring relations implies a process of understanding and transforming the interlocking, multilayered relations of violence and inequality. It involves transformation of a complex array of state and nonstate practices, structures of relations, ideas, and beliefs that undermine our core values. The idea of restructuring relations draws on feminist legal scholar Jennifer Nedelsky’s theory of relational autonomy that challenges the prevailing theory of autonomy as independence, and instead considers it a capacity that

12

Restructuring Relations

can be either fostered or undermined through our relationships. She further suggests that rights are best understood in terms of relationships. Addressing persisting problems such as intimate partner violence thus requires restructuring those relations that undermine individual’s autonomy and rights, including the right to be free from bodily harm. Relations that need to be restructured include relations of gender and sexuality.30 The process of restructuring relations begins with a relational analysis emphasizing the importance of understanding the nature of relationships behind disputes and problems. In the case of intimate partner violence, for example, we need to recognize that violence against women is not a matter of gender relations alone. Relational analysis sheds light on the fact that unless the nature of the relationship is understood, women in violent relationships cannot be adequately protected or assisted. It exposes how violence against women is shaped by wider patterns of inequality, including police brutality, the failure to protect, harms of poverty, and the humiliation and deprivation caused by discrimination.31 I suggest that there are two broad categories of relations of domination that stand in the way of Indigenous self-​determination: state relations and gender relations. Both are shaped by forms of violence, unequal social and material relations, and deeply held, sometimes unconscious beliefs. Together, these two categories are nested relations that sustain violence. State relations involve ongoing colonial relations of dispossession and displacement, failed agreements and broken promises, racism and paternalism. Gender relations range from sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and physical and sexual violence to institutional gender regimes and other forms of structural oppression. This book argues that Indigenous self-​determination in its fullest sense—​that is, containing the breadth of its individual and collective aspects and potential—​cannot materialize or be exercised without restructuring all relations of domination. Self-​ determination cannot be regarded as merely a conceptual tool for assigning rights, but as a value that can be either advanced or compromised through the relationships we have and structures we occupy individually and collectively. Therefore, an important aspect of restructuring relations involves considering what kinds of relations promote the value of self-​determination. Restructuring relations of Indigenous self-​determination requires identifying relations of oppression and violence at different sites: in Indigenous communities, existing self-​government institutions, state-​driven self-​government frameworks, and other state institutions and practices including law, policy, and administration. Also, violence directed at the land, such as large-​scale extractive industries and various forms of environmental destruction, is a central element of relations of domination. These relations are frequently interdependent and mutually reinforcing, and thus must be tackled together. In the theory of Indigenous self-​determination as a foundational value, relational analysis involves several dimensions:  first, understanding how hegemonic, oppressive state relations and oppressive gender relations are premised on one another and mutually reinforcing, and second, recognizing how gender regimes in existing Indigenous political

Introduction

13

institutions are part of the relations of domination that must be addressed to enable the full expression of self-​determination. The third dimension involves understanding the nature of relationality of the norm of integrity that, I argue, is the precondition for Indigenous self-​determination. As ­chapter 1 discusses in detail, the norm of integrity lays at the heart of Indigenous self-​determination conceptualized as a foundational value. It consists of several facets: individual, collective, territorial, and cultural integrity, all of which are embedded in and constitutive of relationships. In current circumstances, the norm of integrity is undermined and radically compromised due to relations of domination and inequality such as violent gender relations, as well as dispossession and alienation from the land. Relational analysis not only foregrounds what Indigenous feminists have been saying for some time—​that both our lands and bodies are targets of same colonial violence—​ but also calls attention to the fact that what has been suggested as an solution to that violence, namely Indigenous self-​determination, cannot be conceptualized in terms of rights alone. As the interviews in this book demonstrate, self-​determination is a means by which Indigenous people express what is considered indispensable for their well-​being as individuals, as members of their community, and as a distinct people. In short, self-​ determination is a foundational value. Although this book focuses on Canada, Greenland, and Scandinavia, it is clear that the analysis and discussion is far from confined to Indigenous peoples or Indigenous self-​determination struggles in these countries and regions alone. Political and other discourses on Indigenous self-​determination have become global, especially as the result of the transnational Indigenous rights advocacy in the UN framework vis-​à-​vis international law and human rights mechanisms since the 1970s. The way in which Indigenous peoples understand and talk about self-​determination in the three regions is greatly influenced by the international discourse and more recently, by social media that has enabled a real-​time awareness of conflicts involving Indigenous peoples and their rights (such as Idle No More, Standing Rock, and many others) and consequently, a strong global Indigenous solidarity movement. Moreover, the current global and local Indigenous self-​determination discourses are informed and shaped in many ways by the early contributions of Indigenous scholars and activists, and to a lesser degree, the policy framework in the United States, where the self-​determination era began in the late 1960s.32 The term “self-​determination” was first employed in the Indigenous context in 1966 by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) in their response to the planned continuation of the Indian termination policy in the United States. The term was used specifically to gain greater control of the Native American policymaking while maintaining the trust relationship with the federal government encoded in historical treaty provisions.33 This led to the articulation of a new direction for federal Indian policy in 1968 by President Johnson, who presented a new goal “that ends the old debate about ‘termination’ of Indian programs and stresses self-​determination; a goal that erases

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Restructuring Relations

old attitudes of paternalism and promotes partnership self-​help.”34 Although the success has been both varied and limited, Native American participation in creating policy frameworks relatively receptive to legislative initiatives to implement self-​determination has been regarded as one of the main reasons for greater implementation of tribal governance. Compared to Canada, “the U.S. federal government is more willing to use its power to pre-​empt state law’s application to Indian reservations, thus carving out a space for Indigenous governance.”35 Followed by NCAI’s first invocation of self-​determination, Native American grassroots activism and political lobbying by the American Indian Movement and other organizations bore fruit in 1970, when President Nixon called for self-​determination legislation and five years later, when Congress passed the Indian Self-​Determination and Educational Assistance Act to delegate the authority to administer the federal funds and control federal services on reservations.36 It was augmented by the Tribal Self-​Governance Act in 1994, quoted as the beginning of the retribalization of Native American government.37 Under the provisions of the act, Native American tribes were authorized to “redesign programs, activities, functions or services and reallocate funds of such programs activities or services.”38 Although far from perfect, these acts have enhanced the Native American control of Native American affairs to a much greater extent than, for example, in Canada, where Indigenous policymaking and service delivery are still largely under federal control.39 Yet over the years there has been a simultaneous backlash, as Congress and the Supreme Court decisions have slowly undermined tribal authority and sovereignty.40 In spite of the greater control of tribal affairs, the colonial legislative and policy framework that treats Indigenous nations as domestic dependent nations remains firmly in place and the federal oversight of tribal governments continues today. Besides participation in domestic policymaking, Native Americans have been on the leading edge in shaping the discourse on Indigenous self-​determination in scholarship. Native American scholars, most notably the late Vine Deloria Jr., were the first to theorize Indigenous self-​determination and related concepts of sovereignty, nationhood, and self-​government.41 Deloria argued for distinguishing between nationhood and self-​ government, which for him represented “two entirely different positions in the world.”42 While nationhood entailed political autonomy and autonomous decision-​making, self-​ government implied a municipal-​level authority with an external oversight and recognition for its legitimacy. Deloria was also among the first to be concerned about the way in which self-​government detaches political life from the social and cultural life of the community. He also saw how the NCAI’s call for self-​determination was soon turned against tribal leaders by the federal government through appointing compliant Native Americans to serve in various administrative positions.43 Deloria’s analysis continues to influence Indigenous scholars and policy analysts beyond the United States. In Canada his theories have informed, for example, the criticism of the federal government’s negotiated self-​government model as allowing only municipal-​ style governance and arrangements that comply with the existing constitutional and legal

Introduction

15

orders of Canada.44 Thus in North America and beyond, Indigenous peoples need to continuously pay close attention to self-​determination that acts as a means of incorporation into the state, if not assimilation. Following Deloria’s lead, scholars have criticized current self-​government framework in Canada for not only its limited authority but more fundamentally, for allowing colonial structures and policy frameworks to remain unchanged while self-​management of poverty and social problems are downloaded to Indigenous communities without the necessary resources.45 Some further argue that negotiated self-​government represents continued subordination of Indigenous rights and governance structures and dispossession of Indigenous territories in the name of creating certainty for the government and resource industry.46 Since Deloria’s early writings, scholarship on tribal sovereignty in the United States has greatly enhanced theories on Indigenous self-​determination and analyses of self-​ government, including this book. The intention here is not to provide a genealogy of this scholarship or trace the various influences, but to contextualize the key arguments in this book with the broader ongoing conversations vis-​à-​vis the concept of Indigenous self-​ determination and Indigenous feminist analysis thereof. The field of Indigenous feminism is rooted in the writings of Native American women. Kate Shanley was arguably the first, in 1984, to ask the ever-​pertinent question of why Indian women avoid the designation “feminist.”47 Until fairly recently, most Indigenous women have been hesitant and reluctant to take on the label, pointing to its irrelevance, inappropriateness, paternalism, colonialism, and racism of white women, to mention a few of the critiques.48 Shanley considered herself a feminist and argued that for Native American women, equality is intricately linked to tribal sovereignty and promoting traditions. She maintained: “Just as sovereignty cannot be granted but must be recognized as an inherent right to self-​determination, so Indian feminism must also be recognized as powerful in its own terms, in its own right.”49 Around the same time, Paula Gunn Allen established a theory of tribal feminism in her groundbreaking book Sacred Hoop, comprising of an analysis of Indigenous teachings about gender and sexuality and a critique of the effects US imperial and colonial structures on Native American matriarchal societies and traditions of multiple genders. For her, the common rejection of feminist analysis by Indigenous women was largely due to misinformation and misunderstanding of patriarchy and sexism, and their effects on Indigenous communities.50 In Canada, Coast Salish writer and educator Lee Maracle led the way in engaging with feminism, critiquing the mainstream feminist movement for its racism and complicity in colonialism, and arguing for Indigenous feminist thought and solidarity among Indigenous women. Her I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism was also among the first to examine the connections between colonization and gender violence among Indigenous people.51 While the early tensions and questions remain (albeit less pronounced), Indigenous feminism no longer needs to be justified as a field. From its “tribal feminist” roots in the United States, it has grown into a substantial field of global scholarly inquiry that argues

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Restructuring Relations

for the inclusion of colonialism as an analytical category for conceptualizing Indigenous peoples’ subjugation in general and Indigenous women’s oppression in particular. It has illustrated how colonization radically undermined and transformed gender relations to subordinate, marginalize, and exclude Indigenous women irrespective of their precolonial political and economic positions. Indigenous feminist theory has simultaneously challenged the unexamined racism, colonialism, and white privilege in feminist theory and movements and the sexism and misogyny in Indigenous leadership and communities.52 Similar to postcolonial feminism in its interrogation of colonialism, Indigenous feminism, however, differs from postcolonial critiques in placing the struggle for Indigenous self-​determination (or sovereignty) and the question of land at the heart of its theory and activism. Simultaneously, Indigenous feminism sheds light on the internalization and reproduction of heteropatriarchy in Indigenous conceptions of nationhood, self-​ determination movements, and self-​government structures.53 Luana Ross poetically captures the key elements of Indigenous feminism that inform much discussion in this book: “The heart and soul of my feminism remains the promotion of tribal sovereignty and the empowerment of women. However, we cannot afford to privilege nationhood and race over gender. . . . I also argue that to reject feminism completely is dangerous. Our larger sovereignty movement cannot omit issues of gender.”54 A growing number of scholars have further argued that it is necessary to extend the analysis of gendered nature of colonialism to the examination of how colonialism also queers Indigenous peoples—​that is, constructs Indigenous peoples as deviant, marked for death, while settlers are subjects of life.55 Early queer theorists have suggested that “ ‘queer’ gets a critical edge by defining itself against the normal rather than the heterosexual.”56 Queering implies the interrogation of the logics of heteronormativity and other normalizing logics rather than merely including queer people into our scholarship.57 Thus a gender analysis Indigenous self-​government in Greenland, Canada, and Sápmi is also, in part, an exercise of queering Indigenous self-​government. Queering of Indigenous self-​ determination exposes how the normalizing logic of self-​government requires emulating Western political structures, institutions, and discourses which are conceptualized and constructed as universal.58 Anything else, such as Indigenous political structures not recognizable by the Western political discourse and logic, are considered “unrealistic, naïve, less sophisticated, or even less intelligent than those mimicking the values and ideals of the dominant society.”59 Queering Indigenous self-​determination also entails moving beyond analyzing it through the lens of the normalizing disciplines of political science or law to interrogate the normalizing logics of self-​government and self-​determination, and thereby resist Indigenous nationhood and self-​determination that holds up heteropatriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism.60 Notwithstanding that queering Indigenous self-​ determination was not the focus of the participant interviews and discussions in any of the regions of this study, it is clear that those participants who either questioned or challenged the norm and the logic of existing self-​government discourses or institutions also

Introduction

17

were implicitly queering them. Gendering and queering Indigenous self-​determination are related critical analyses, both aiming at restructuring relations of domination such as heteropatriarchy, heteronormativity, capitalism, and white supremacy. Indigenous feminist analysis has established that Indigenous self-​determination is not possible without addressing gender violence and specifically, violence against Indigenous women. One of the first comparative studies in this area was by Eileen Luna, who studied Native American and Australian Aboriginal family violence programs and concluded that self-​determination of Indigenous communities was strengthened by enhanced domestic violence services in those communities. She established “that there is a direct link between community and individual empowerment, self-​determination, and the reduction of violence against women” and that “it is this empowerment, of both Indigenous women and Indigenous communities, which is the key to significant legal and policy advances.”61 This book builds on this insight and articulates a theory of Indigenous self-​ determination that incorporates these two dimensions through the norm of integrity. The two dimensions of the norm of integrity underlying the theory of self-​determination proposed in this book are integrity of the land and individual integrity, the latter including freedom from bodily harm and violence. These two dimensions are indivisible and mutually constitutive. The encroachment on Indigenous lands is always connected to the assault on Indigenous bodies, especially those of women. Violence against women is common in circumstances where Indigenous people are engaged in protecting their territories from disruptive economic development projects. As Indigenous feminism has established, also the opposite is true: an attack on Indigenous women’s bodies is always an assault on Indigenous lands. Dehumanizing Indigenous women and degrading their bodies was a means to undermine and fragment Indigenous societies, which in turn enabled access to and dispossession of their territories. As Amanda Lickers, a Seneca youth activist, puts it, “The reason women [are] attacked is because women carry our clans. That’s where we get our identity as nations. So if you destroy the women, you destroy the nations and then you get access to the land.”62 There is, however, a need for caution when Indigenous women and their bodies are employed as a symbols for Indigenous lands and sovereignty:  “While Indigenous women’s bodies are described as targets of gendered colonial violence, it is critical not to lose sight that we [Indigenous women] are also legal and political actors.”63 One of the main arguments of this book is that at the core of the difficulty in implementing and exercising Indigenous self-​determination lies the binary opposition between self-​determination and social issues created and maintained by international law, as well as political discourse and institutions, Indigenous and non-​Indigenous alike. While self-​determination deals with “hard issues” of land rights, resources, and governance, social issues, also framed as women’s or community issues, have to do with the welfare and well-​being of individual and communities and are typically considered “soft issues.” Indigenous women in recent grassroots movements like Idle No More and Standing Rock, however, challenged this binary in their politics and practice. Based on

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Restructuring Relations

Indigenous feminist analysis of existing self-​government institutions and drawing on extensive conversations with Indigenous women in a number of distinct locations, I argue that the main factors preventing the coalescing of the two core components include the narrow discourse of Indigenous self-​determination and the gender regimes of Indigenous political structures. My argument is further strengthened by my visit in December 2016 to the Pasqua Yaqui Tribe in Arizona, where a group of mostly Indigenous legal scholars were hosted by Alfred Urbina, the attorney general of the tribe. Urbina gave us a detailed presentation about the tribal justice system and in particular, the jurisdictional challenges in prosecuting offenders in cases of violence against women. Acknowledging how domestic violence is the most pressing criminal justice challenge for the Pasqua Yaqui Tribe, Urbina spoke about the recent legislation (Tribal Law and Order Act, 2010 and Violence against Women Act, 2013) and how these acts have enabled significant changes in the ability of tribal government to prosecute offenders and restored tribal jurisdiction over cases of violence against women within tribal borders. The Pasqua Yaqui is a leading tribe in the United States in restoring their authority and jurisdiction in this area, although great challenges remain, especially a lack of financial resources. Their tribal court, hailed as a model court, was one of the three tribal courts piloting a program to prosecute nontribal members in domestic violence cases and in 2017, the Pasqua Yaqui became the first Native American tribe to prosecute a non-​Indian under the Violence against Women Act.64 In light of my research, it was unprecedented to witness the unwavering commitment of the senior level of Pasqua Yaqui judiciary and political leadership to prioritizing the problem of gender-​based violence and linking it inextricably to Pasqua Yaqui sovereignty and exercise of self-​determination powers. The recent tribal report outlining the successes and challenges of the pilot program asserts: Sovereignty is more than a right, it is a responsibility. In the words of Peter Yucupicio, Chairman of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, “The first responsibility of any government, tribal or otherwise, is the safety and protection of its people, for there can be no security or freedom for all, if there is insecurity and fear for any of us. Pascua Yaqui tribal officials no longer have to simply stand by and watch their women be victimized with no recourse.” Protecting our people comes first and it is absolutely necessary to any further exercise of sovereignty.65 For the Pasqua Yaqui, violence against women is central to their sovereignty both as a matter of protecting their own people and exercising their jurisdictional authority: “For hundreds of years Pascua Yaqui ancestors fought to preserve the territorial integrity of their homeland and to protect their people. The recent decision to exercise [Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction] to protect tribal victims is a mission that is consistent with that history.”66 Significantly, the commitment and duty to protect tribal members is not deterred by the considerable costs, as often is the case: “Although the

Introduction

19

investments in our system were costly, no cost is greater than the harm and shame that was being borne by our women and children.”67 The Pasqua Yaqui Tribe in Southern Arizona is among the leading Indigenous nations globally in framing gender violence as a matter of self-​determination. The commitment of the leadership and their pilot initiative are precedent-​setting in bridging the distance and eliminating the opposition between Indigenous self-​determination and the so-​called social issues, especially violence against women. As the following chapters illustrate, placing violence against Indigenous women on the agenda, prioritizing it and following through by action and concrete measures, are issues that many Indigenous nations and communities continue to struggle. Moreover, the Pasqua Yaqui example also lends it support the theory of Indigenous self-​determination as a foundational value characterized by the norm of integrity—​territorial integrity, the integrity of the land, cultural integrity, and individual integrity—​which will be discussed in ­chapter 1.

The Book Outline The book consists of three interrelated yet distinct areas of inquiry: theorizing Indigenous self-​determination as a fundamental value; examining the gender regimes of the existing self-​government structures in Canada, Greenland, and Scandinavia; and interrogating the relationship between Indigenous self-​determination, self-​government institutions, and violence against women. Chapter 1 examines the established meanings of Indigenous self-​determination in favor of a more comprehensive concept that is not limited to and by Indigenous–​state relations or Indigenous rights discourse. It begins with a critical analysis of the concept in international law and international Indigenous politics. I contend that an exclusive focus on rights discourse provides us with a limited legalistic and state-​centered conception of Indigenous self-​determination that does not reflect the breadth of Indigenous self-​determination nor pays adequate attention to relations of domination beyond the state. Employing Iris Marion Young’s concept of nondomination and Jennifer Nedelsky’s theory of relational autonomy, the chapter develops a theory of Indigenous self-​determination that posits it as a foundational value seeking to restructure all relations of domination. Central to this theory is the norm of integrity, with two of its main dimensions: integrity of the land and individual integrity. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 discuss the practical application of self-​determination that takes the form of self-​government and includes the existing Indigenous political institutions considered to exercise some measure of self-​governing authority. These chapters critique and analyze the existing self-​government institutions in relation to the foundational norm of self-​determination as a value that restructures relations. More specifically, ­chapter 2 considers the scope and structures of the existing self-​government arrangements and institutions in the three regions that are the focus of this book: the parliamentary system of Greenland, with its extensive political autonomy (although it remains part of

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the Kingdom of Denmark); the elected representative bodies of the Sámi Parliaments, which operate under the constitutions of Finland, Sweden, and Norway; and the main models of organizing Indigenous self-​government in Canada. In the Canadian context, the focus of the analysis is not on a specific First Nation or self-​government arrangement but rather on the predominant state-​driven, self-​government policy and practice, as well as the way in which they have been challenged by Indigenous actors. The chapter also provides a brief background of the historical and political context of each region vis-​à-​vis Indigenous self-​determination. Chapter 3 assesses the status and scope of implementing Indigenous self-​determination in Greenland, Canada, and Scandinavia. Drawing on participant interviews, it examines the main obstacles and challenges of implementing and exercising self-​determination and considers whether and how the current efforts have a connection to people’s daily lives. In Greenland, these include the persistent lack of educated workforce needed for both the self-​government administration and emerging extractive industry. Many Greenlanders also perceive the intrusion of extractive industries without adequate public consultation as a major challenge. In Canada, the main obstacles have to do with the state, especially the restrictive neocolonial framework of the federal government within which self-​ government agreements are to be negotiated, regarded by many as the extinguishment model. In Scandinavia, the main problem centers on the fact that with an extremely limited decision-​making authority, the Sámi Parliaments lack teeth, resources, and vision in shaping the discourse of Sámi self-​determination in concrete terms. In terms of similarities, the lack of community engagement by Indigenous leadership seemed to stand in the way of greater legitimacy of the political institutions in all the regions, regardless whether the institutions were centralized assemblies or decision-​making authorities on a local level. Chapter 3 concludes with a discussion of future visions in implementing Indigenous self-​determination, with a particular focus on what appears to be the two poles of a continuum: modern nationhood and rematriation of Indigenous governance systems. While Greenland has set its sights on full political independence, Indigenous women in Canada argue for reinstating the political authority and positions they formerly held as part of Indigenous systems of governance. Importantly, as Maracle reminds us, reinstituting women’s positions of power is an Indigenous feminist act that goes beyond the standard arguments of nationhood: “Rematriation and the restoration of our original systems would be a feminist activity,” rather than merely ensuring that that existing governing systems are gender complementary.68 In ­chapter 4 I employ feminist institutional analysis, especially R. W. Connell’s theory of gender regimes, to examine how self-​government institutions in the three regions are gendered. I  focus on two particular dimensions of the gender regimes:  the collective gender division of labor and the internal structure of power in the self-​government institutions. Through this analysis, I demonstrate that if sexism is not squarely addressed when Indigenous self-​government structures and institutions are set up, gender discrimination and oppression become naturalized as gender regimes and entrenched in

Introduction

21

the exercise of Indigenous self-​determination. Although the starting point of gendering self-​determination in this chapter is the interrogation of gender regimes of Indigenous self-​government institutions, it is clear that a number of participants, especially many Indigenous women in Canada, push the interrogation beyond gender regimes to the queering or the examination of the naturalized logic of self-​government as a mere imitation of Western political structures and institutions. Chapter 5 explains the absence of the discussion of gender violence in Indigenous self-​ determination discourse and self-​government institutions. As ­chapter 1 establishes, individual integrity, including freedom from bodily harm, coercion, and violence, are integral to Indigenous women’s conceptions of self-​determination. Further, nearly all participants agreed that violence against women is a self-​determination issue, but maintained that existing self-​government institutions do not address the problem adequately. This chapter shows the ways in which Indigenous women’s concerns and views have been subsumed through an establishment of discursive fault line between social (or community) issues on the one hand, and self-​determination (or sovereignty) issues on the other. It contends that existing models and structures of Indigenous self-​government are a form of structural violence in their exclusion of Indigenous women and their conceptions of self-​ determination, which includes addressing gender-​based violence. The chapter considers the role of the state vis-​à-​vis Indigenous women, specifically the question of whether Indigenous women and their organizations ought to rely on the patriarchal, colonial state in seeking to remedy gender violence in their communities. Chapter  6 concludes the book with an argument that there is no Indigenous self-​ determination without Indigenous gender justice. If Indigenous self-​determination (or sovereignty) fails to interrogate gender regimes of existing political organizations and the responsibility of these institutions to address violence against women, it will only serve as a proxy for the status quo and subordination of groups and individuals whose interests and concerns do not correspond with the established agendas. In this concluding chapter I  expand on Nancy Fraser’s three-​dimensional theory of gender justice based on distribution, recognition, and representation, proposing an approach to Indigenous gender justice based on key issues and concerns raised and discussed by the research participants:  upholding and protecting children, violence against women/​gender violence, and rematriating Indigenous governance.

1 Self-​Determination

FOUNDATIONAL VALUE

Self-​ d etermination is about relations. For Indigenous peoples, self-​ determination is about a vision and struggle for restructuring relations of domination for a more just present and future for their societies and people. In the formal political discourse, Indigenous self-​determination is discussed mostly in terms of a (deeply unequal) relationship with the state. As a legal and political relation with the state, Indigenous self-​ determination is typically conceptualized as a collective human right that enables a group to determine their own political, social, cultural, and economic affairs. In the struggle for Indigenous self-​determination, rights and the relationship with the state are no doubt central questions. Given how the discourse of Indigeneity and the very concept of Indigenous peoples are products of colonialism and continued state domination, the centrality of the state in the Indigenous struggles and vision for freedom is expected. Outside the legal and political framework, however, the meaning and content of Indigenous self-​ determination exceed rights and the relations with the state and encompass myriad other relationships, including the land, kinship, spirituality, and others. As a future vision, Indigenous self-​determination requires nondomination in all relations, ranging from state relations of dispossession and removal, oppressive relations of colonial policies and law, to the most intimate relationships. Indigenous women who participated in the study were adamant that in addition to the colonial relations with the state, there are a number of other relations of domination that must be examined if we are ever going to make Indigenous self-​determination a reality. According to nearly all participants, relations in need of restructuring include land, power, and governance, gender and patriarchy, as well as responsibility and autonomy, to mention the most significant ones. Nondomination and freedom from coercion and violence were broadly considered the precondition for the exercise self-​determination. 22

Self-Determination

23

In this chapter, I argue that an excessive—​or worse, exclusive—​focus on the rights discourse provides us with a limited legalistic and state-​centered conception of Indigenous self-​determination that neither reflects the breadth of Indigenous self-​determination nor pays adequate attention to relations of domination beyond the state. This was very clearly indicated in the participant interviews in all three regions. In these interviews, Indigenous self-​determination was defined in much broader terms than rights or political autonomy of having control of one’s own affairs and decision-​making powers as a distinct polity. Instead of focusing on politics, rights, or international law, the participants typically discussed their underlying values shaping their conceptions of Indigenous self-​ determination such as relationality, the paramount significance of the land, and freedom from domination. As an example, Lee Maracle noted: “I think we have a right to national self-​determination, including the necessary territory to affect that . . . But it’s not something that I would advocate. For me, I’m always talking about self-​determination in the context of all our relations and the continuance of those relations and the laws that govern those relations.”1 Self-​determination is therefore, above all, about ensuring the existence and continuation of “all our relations” as well as the norms shaping those relations. As this chapter argues, integrity with its different dimensions is one of the fundamental norms for self-​determination. Drawing on my fieldwork and building on Iris Marion Young’s concept of nondomination and Jennifer Nedelsky’s theory of relational autonomy, I  develop a theory of Indigenous self-​determination that posits it as a foundational value that seeks to restructure all relations of domination. The theory of Indigenous self-​determination I propose considers and interrogates a number of aspects of relationality, including relations of domination and Indigenous ontologies and norms premised on relations with the land and kinship relations. It differs from proposed relational models of Indigenous self-​determination that consider interaction with state institutions as strengthening and complementing Indigenous self-​determination. According to these models, “indigenous representation in shared-​rule institutions such as national legislatures” is a “form of political voice [that] can be viewed as part of a broader strategy for advancing indigenous self-​determination by targeting a variety of parallel and complementary access points to political power.”2 I support having multiple strategies, and I agree with the idea that “indigenous peoples must seek influence in a variety of different political forums to manage the complex web of relationships in which they have become entangled with non-​indigenous communities and governments.”3 I am, however, wary of Indigenous representation in national legislatures and other state institutions, where it tends to remain tokenistic and marginalized. I  have a problem particularly when shared rule is mistaken for or misrepresented as an exercise of self-​government (I discuss this in the Sámi context in the next chapter). While my focus in this book is not on shared rule or Indigenous participation in state institutions, I see the importance of recognizing the reality of interdependence. In this

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regard I turn to Young, who has argued that the dominant understanding of self-​determination as noninterference, separation, and independence is not only misleading but inadequate in interpreting the norm of self-​determination. Examining the discourse of Indigenous self-​determination advanced at the United Nations and theories of individual autonomy critical of the idea of noninterference, she maintains that a more accurate interpretation is based on the norm of nondomination: “Understanding freedom as nondomination implies shifting the idea of state sovereignty into a different context. Sovereign independence is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition of self-​determination understood as nondomination.”4 I expand Young’s theory beyond Indigenous–​state relations by developing the idea of nondomination into an examination of relations of domination. I further elaborate Young’s argument about nondomination into a process of restructuring relations of domination by upholding the norm of integrity. Defining Indigenous self-​determination as a value, I  draw on Nedelsky, for whom “value” denotes a widely shared conception with which members of a group express what is considered indispensable for their well-​being as individuals as well as a distinct collectivity. As examples of core values, she mentions equality, dignity, security, autonomy, bodily integrity, adequate material resources, individual and collective spiritual expression, and respect for the earth and the rest of creation.5 I suggest that in the same way, self-​determination is a broad conception with which Indigenous people convey what they regard as essential and necessary for their individual and collective well-​being. That imperative is the norm of integrity that is radically undermined by various relations of violence and inequality, thus negatively impacting the exercise of Indigenous self-​determination. As a core value, the conception of Indigenous self-​determination fosters the norm of integrity which has several interrelated and reciprocal dimensions. These include territorial integrity, cultural integrity, collective and individual integrity, and the integrity of the land.6 My focus is specifically on individual integrity and the integrity of the land for two reasons. While scholarship and international law have focused on the significance of cultural and collective integrity of Indigenous peoples, the two other dimensions have received less attention. The primary importance of land and of relations with the land are widely considered but are rarely discussed through the norm of integrity. The second reason is that the themes of individual integrity and the integrity of the land were frequently raised by the research participants in all three regions, even if they did not necessarily use those terms. Therefore, I concur that the norm of integrity, especially individual integrity and the integrity of the land, form the foundation of the theory of self-​determination as a fundamental value. The chapter proceeds as follows. I begin by examining key conceptions of Indigenous self-​determination understood as a fundamental principle in international law and as decolonization, sovereignty, and noninterference. I  then discuss the international Indigenous rights discourse. I consider Indigenous critiques of rights and explain how

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defining Indigenous self-​determination as a value differs from these critiques. In the final section, I examine self-​determination as a foundational value and transformative vision for restructuring all relations of domination. Needless to say, the way in which Indigenous women who participated in the study understand and discuss self-​determination is shaped by their specific geopolitical contexts and informed by their specific histories, cultures, and various political contexts. Indigenous political discourse in Canada is very different from that of Scandinavia or Greenland, and these differences inform the way in which self-​determination is conceptualized, understood, and discussed in different regions (discussed in the next chapter). In Scandinavia and Greenland, the concept and idea of Indigenous self-​determination belongs nearly exclusively to the domain of politics, meaning that by and large, there is no sustained public discourse of self-​determination beyond the formal political organizations. In Canada, self-​determination, although often framed as sovereignty or nationhood (and more recently, Indigenous resurgence), is actively debated beyond politics in the media, social media, and within various organizations and networks. Moreover, Indigenous sovereignty, nationhood, and resurgence are common parlance among Indigenous people in Canada in ways that do not exist among the Inuit in Greenland and the Sámi in Scandinavia.

Self-​D etermination as a Fundamental Principle of International Law Since its conception in the wake of the World War I, the concept of self-​determination has been contested and is continually evolving in international law. Volumes have been written about the nature and scope of self-​determination, which apparently only agree on one thing: that there cannot be a single definition or application of the concept or the right of self-​determination. There is, however, considerable consensus that self-​determination is a fundamental principle in international law.7 Importantly, self-​ determination is a right vested in peoples, not states. Codified in the two human rights treaties adopted in 1966, the International Covenant on Civic and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICERC), self-​determination is a right that belongs to all peoples. The common first article of the two treaties affirms: “All peoples have the right to self-​determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” Since the 1970s, Indigenous representatives attending intergovernmental forums such as the United Nations have maintained that “all peoples” must include Indigenous peoples. This view was supported by a 1981 UN study, which states that “the Charter of the United Nations should not be interpreted as confining that right to a particular category of peoples, because, as United Nations practice has made clear, the word ‘peoples’ as used

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in Article 1, paragraph 2, of the Charter means all peoples.”8 Regardless, the study points out, there is a clear cleavage between the states and the nonstate actors within the rubric of “all peoples.” From a state perspective, “a people” refers to all citizens and therefore, the right to choose “their political status and [to] freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development” is vested in the aggregate population of an existing state, not in substate groups. The two assumptions underlying this interpretation are that (1) all citizens have an equal access to government and to participate in the political, economic, social, and cultural development of the state; and (2) any other claims of self-​determination are excessive and will destabilize state sovereignty and thus undermine the states’ capacity to effectuate the right of self-​determination for all of its citizens. Indigenous peoples have rejected the state-​centric interpretation of self-​determination and opposed corollary views according to which their claims for the right of self-​ determination destabilizes territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state. They have argued that Indigenous peoples’ self-​determination prevents rather than promotes conflict.9 Recognizing, respecting, and upholding the right of self-​ determination of Indigenous peoples and its applications in practice (such as various forms of self-​ government and other autonomous arrangements) regularly results in enhanced cooperation between Indigenous peoples and states and more effective participation by Indigenous peoples—​if they so choose—​in political, economic, and social affairs of the state. Understandings of self-​determination advanced by most Indigenous representatives are distinct from the standard understanding of self-​determination as secession and independent statehood. A  well-​rehearsed axiom in many Indigenous political circles is that self-​determination is a process right without a predetermined outcome. The practical application and meaning of self-​determination for Indigenous peoples is negotiated and decided on the ground within their own communities and in dialogue with the states.10 A number of participants agreed with this view, emphasizing that self-​ determination “means different things for different people and different communities.” Some maintained that Indigenous self-​determination cannot be discussed in general terms nor should we attempt to define self-​determination of a particular Indigenous people once and for all. Instead, we need to pay attention to the intragroup variance regarding gender, livelihoods, and generations among others as well as recognize that self-​determination of any Indigenous nation inevitably looks different from fifty years from now.11 Indigenous rights advocates have also challenged the application of self-​determination to only certain colonial contexts and argued that they remain colonized peoples within settler colonial states. The global Indigenous caucus has long maintained that excluding Indigenous peoples from the application of self-​determination as decolonization is based on an indefensible assumption that Indigenous peoples were not colonized by nation-​ states. The fact that the colonization of Indigenous peoples remains unaddressed has resulted in a euphemism of Indigenous peoples as “still colonized peoples.”12

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Instead of statehood, Indigenous representatives typically endorse the self-​ determination as a fundamental human right according to which “human beings, individually and as groups, are equally entitled to be in control of their own destinies, and to live within governing institutional orders that are devised accordingly.”13 As such, it has been argued, the right to self-​determination enables Indigenous peoples to remain distinct peoples by having control of their own affairs and practicing their own laws, customs, and land tenure systems through their institutions and in accordance to their traditions. In the words of Sámi politician Lars Anders Baer, “The aim of our advocacy for our right of self-​determination has nothing to do with the creation of Western style nation-​states. . . . We are only trying to get greater control over our lives and future.”14 In spite of states’ fears of secession,15 Indigenous peoples typically claim or seek explicit recognition as distinct peoples, greater political autonomy, and decision-​making powers over their own affairs, as well as more extensive opportunities to participate in the affairs of the state. As distinct political entities, they reject the states’ unilateral imposition of jurisdiction over them and their territories and resources and insist on the states’ obligation to negotiate agreements with them. Since international law stipulates neither the content of self-​determination nor the meaning of “peoples,” the disparate interpretations of the states and Indigenous peoples at the United Nations led to a long-​standing impasse and finally to a compromise in drafting and adopting the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Significantly, the joint Article 1(1) of the 1966 International Covenants on Human Rights was adopted as such in Article 3 of UNDRIP, recognizing Indigenous peoples on an equal footing with other peoples entitled to the right of self-​determination. This hard-​won right makes UNDRIP “the first international human rights instrument to expressly recognize the right to self-​determination to a sub-​state group.”16 The affirmation of the right of Indigenous peoples to self-​determination as achieving an equal political and legal standing with other peoples is, however, radically curtailed by Article 4, which limits to the exercise the right of Indigenous self-​determination to internal and local affairs.17 No such restrictions are placed on the general right of peoples in their exercise of the right to self-​determination. The quest for the affirmation of the Indigenous peoples’ right to self-​determination is a quest for justice and equal standing with other peoples. It has been noted that “No indigenous delegates on self-​determination at the UN have ever construed the concept to mean merely ‘autonomy,’ ‘self-​governance,’ ‘secession,’ ‘political rights,’ or ‘economic rights.’ Nor have they said that the right belongs exclusively to indigenous peoples. They have, rather, argued for a much broader vision of justice and equality.”18 The affirmation of the applicability of the right of self-​determination to Indigenous peoples as a collective right is significant, for it confers the right holders a status as subjects in international law equal to nation-​states. Through the concept of self-​determination, Indigenous peoples can enter into negotiations with states on an equal footing and appeal to the international community in cases of state violence and human rights violations.19 Others

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maintain, however, that this is a profoundly problematic and flawed approach, arguing that Indigenous rights regime is grounded in the Western notion of international law which, in spite of inroads by Indigenous peoples, “remains fixated on the state as the sole, legitimate international actor.”20 The existing Indigenous human rights discourse also reproduces and perpetuates exclusions and hierarchies toward indigenous women similar to those that international law maintains toward women in general. Discussing the Australian context, Megan Davis questions the ability of the right of self-​determination in its current form “to facilitate Aboriginal women’s capability to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”21 As a state-​centric right, self-​ determination “is skewed toward the Indigenous man as ‘Indigenous peoples’ because it makes mistaken assumptions about the shared experiences of Indigenous men and women and has manifested in distorted policy-​making and judicial decisions that impact negatively upon Aboriginal women.”22 Moreover, like other international human rights instruments, UNDRIP reflects the bias of prioritizing civil and political rights and the subsequent inferiority of rights violations taking place in the sphere considered private. It also problematically positions indigenous women inherently as vulnerable, categorizing them with children and elders without acknowledging that in most cases, women’s vulnerability is constructed by patriarchal relations of power and is a result of the prevalent gender discrimination and subjugation in society. Moreover, UNDRIP turns a blind eye to the intragroup difference and discrimination that also exists within Indigenous communities.23 In spite of the fact that UNDRIP has been praised as a comprehensive, groundbreaking human rights document addressing the rights of Indigenous peoples, it falls short of protecting the rights of Indigenous women. Out of forty-​six articles, UNDRIP mentions Indigenous women only in three. The three articles discuss the need to pay particular attention to “the rights and special needs of indigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities” when implementing the Declaration and specifically, when improving Indigenous peoples’ economic and social conditions (Articles 22.1 and 21.2 respectively) and protecting Indigenous women and children “from all forms of violence and discrimination” (Article 22.2). Finally, Article 44 states that the Declaration applies equally to “male and female indigenous individuals.” With the exception of these three articles, the language of UNDRIP is gender-​neutral and it does not elaborate on what the “rights and special needs” of women or the other aforementioned groups might be.24 The regional differences in the nature of regarding Indigenous peoples’ engagement with the international law were clearly reflected in the interviews. In Scandinavia, due to the ongoing political debate about the importance of ratifying the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries (adopted in 1989), a number of Sámi women mentioned the Convention together with UNDRIP in their discussions of self-​determination. In Greenland, where

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Indigenous rights have surpassed the ILO Convention 169 as the result of the Self-​ Government Act of 2009, international law and human rights instruments were rarely mentioned. In Canada, they were not mentioned at all. Notwithstanding this variation, international law and the rights discourse was on balance discussed minimally in the three regions compared to the other ways in which the participants engaged with the concept of self-​determination. The level of involvement of a particular Indigenous people in international Indigenous politics has also shaped local Indigenous political discourses, which in turn inform Indigenous individuals’ views of self-​determination. The Inuit (through their NGO the Inuit Circumpolar Council) and the Sámi (through their NGO the Sámi Council) have long been among the most active Indigenous peoples globally in the work of the United Nations as well as other international Indigenous diplomacy such as the Arctic Council. This has meant that besides the political and academic elite, many ordinary Inuit and Sámi are familiar, mostly through their own media, with the discourse of international law as it pertains to Indigenous peoples, such as the ILO Convention 169 and UNDRIP. Of the five countries studied here, only Denmark and Norway have ratified the ILO Convention 169. Since Norway’s ratification in 1990, the Sámi in Finland and Sweden have also regularly appealed to the ILO Convention in pressing their rights and urged their governments to ratify it as a minimum protection of Sámi rights. While Sweden has steadfastly refused to ratify, the government of Finland has made insipid attempts to ratify the Convention, most recently just ahead of the national elections in early 2015. Strategically or not, it was left on the table as the government dissolved. As of writing this, with the new right-​wing government, the ratification remains as distant as ever. In Canada, the situation is radically different with a number of distinct Indigenous peoples. Some nations and groups have been active in the international Indigenous rights advocacy, while others have preferred to engage in politics in other venues and approaches and to focus on other issues than international law. Traditionally, there has been no strong Indigenous engagement with international human rights instruments at the national level, although this has somewhat changed with the adoption of UNDRIP, which has become an important tool of international law to advance Indigenous rights and issues domestically. There is generally little awareness of or interest in the ILO Convention 169 among Indigenous peoples in Canada. One common explanation is the history of treaty-​ making between Indigenous nations and the Crown, which does not exist in Scandinavia or Greenland. Indigenous peoples have felt there is no need for another layer of international treaties that in concrete terms would not add anything to the existing rights and Indigenous–​state relations. According to Nigel Banks, federalism also helps explain the “lukewarm approach,” since it makes ratification processes more complex and potentially less meaningful.25 Another key factor is that Indigenous people in Canada have been critical of the Convention’s limited involvement in Indigenous peoples developing its platform, including “the procedures adopted for the negotiation of the Convention and to some extent the substantive provisions of the Convention.”26

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Self-​D etermination as Sovereignty, Noninterference, and Decolonization Divergent interpretations of the content of self-​determination derive from different conceptions of sovereignty. As a concept, sovereignty is not only highly contested but historically contingent.27 The concept of self-​determination as statehood and geographically separate territories and jurisdictions is rooted in the Westphalian concept of sovereignty and the related doctrine of noninterference in the domestic affairs of a state. Yet it has been suggested that state sovereignty conceptualized as noninterference and ultimate authority is being increasingly undermined by global capitalism and international law,28 and in fact may have never existed to the degree normally associated with the concept.29 Some argue that the interpretation of self-​determination as political independence is a misconception originating in the post-​World War II decolonization framework, which “involved the transformation of colonial territories into new states under the normative aegis of self-​determination.”30 The concept of sovereignty is complex and contested also in scholarship on Indigenous law and politics. Some scholars argue that sovereignty for Indigenous peoples seldom calls forth independence or noninterference.31 Others maintain that there are Indigenous peoples that have always been sovereign and independent.32 Others still suggest that Indigenous sovereignty is a contradiction in terms because the concept and ideology of sovereignty is incompatible with Indigenous ways of being, knowing, and relating in the world.33 Instead, they consider the legitimating and hegemonic role of sovereignty in the world dominated by a system of sovereign states and its profound impacts on Indigenous peoples and their social, cultural, and political organization. Even if Indigenous people may not seek independence, they nevertheless have to assume the trappings of sovereignty and the state if they wish to operate “in a universe of states and state-​like political entities.”34 This is particularly evident in Indigenous self-​government institutions, discussed in the next two chapters. In today’s interconnected world, the Westphalian view of the world divided into mutually exclusive territories appears particularly deficient, for it “ignores the multiple, overlapping spheres of community, authority, and interdependency that actually exist in the human experience.”35 It also ignores Indigenous conceptions of self-​determination and sovereignty for which the notion of shared territories, jurisdictions, and overlapping or coexisting sovereignties are common.36 As an example, the historical Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Anishinabek, and allied nations, provided for peaceably sharing and caring for the hunting territories and resources around the Great Lakes.37 On the other hand, however, there are Indigenous people who support the principle of noninterference which, they argue, forms the foundation of the treaty agreements. Most notable is the Guswentah or Two-​Row Wampum Treaty presented by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy to the Dutch in 1613. The Guswentah is a beaded belt consisting of two

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parallel rows of purple beads separated by three rows of white beads. The predominant interpretation focuses on the two rows of purple beads which represent the two vessels going down the river. The two rows never meet which is said to imply “that we have two different paths, two different people,” thus symbolizing and confirming the principle of noninterference.38 Others have emphasized the meaning of the three rows of white beads which represent the principles of peace, friendship, and respect. John Borrows argues that the three rows highlight the significance of sharing, mutuality and interdependence: The ecology of contemporary politics teaches us that the rivers on which we sail our ships of state share the same waters. There is no river or boat that is not linked in a fundamental way to the others; that is, there is no land or government in the world that is not connected to and influenced by others.39 Many Indigenous peoples assert their pre-​existing sovereignty, evident in the fact that at the time of contact they were politically independent societies or nations, governing themselves and their territories under their own laws. In the words of Marge Anderson of the Mille Lacs Band in Minnesota: “Sovereignty . . . is a reflection of the indisputable fact that we lived on this land that governed ourselves hundreds of years before the Europeans arrived.”40 It exists independently of constitutional, common, or civil law and thus is not legitimated or validated by these legislative frameworks.41 Indigenous sovereignty was historically recognized by settlers through treaty-​making but is frequently ignored and dismissed by contemporary states, even in cases where the courts have recognized the existence of sui generis Indigenous sovereignty.42 Yet Indigenous sovereignty continues to be exercised collectively and individually, for instance, through hunting, fishing, or reindeer herding or through the enactment of Indigenous governance and laws. Today, claims of Indigenous sovereignty are often synonymous with claims of Indigenous self-​ determination, and the two terms are frequently employed synonymously.43 Notwithstanding Indigenous representatives successfully arguing for a more accurate and inclusive interpretations of sovereignty and self-​determination beyond separation and noninterference, they remain up against the international legal norms of state sovereignty and territorial integrity. Anaya reminds us, “The reach and application of the principle or right of self-​determination . . . cannot be fully appreciated without attention to the doctrine of state sovereignty, which remains central to the international legal and political system.”44 This doctrine restricts Indigenous self-​determination by restraining the ability of the international system to get involved in or influence affairs considered internal or domestic (such as policymaking). What is more, it remains “unclear how indigenous peoples’ political status is perceived” under the standards and attributes of sovereign states stipulated by international law.45 The status quo and the legitimacy of state sovereignty are also upheld by UNDRIP, which assumes the existence of the states46 and “holds fast to the existing distribution of sovereignty in international law.”47 Although UNDRIP “comprehends indigenous

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peoples as international legal actors,” they “do not occupy the same international legal plane as sovereign states.”48 Why not? The answer goes back to my initial argument about the right of Indigenous self-​determination (and thus the Indigenous rights discourse) revolving around Indigenous–​state relations to the exclusion of other relations. Because of the state-​centered character of international law, Indigenous rights are always constructed through and in relation to that framework. Patrick Macklem explains: The indigenous rights enshrined in the Declaration, like those in Conventions 107 and 169, presuppose complex and extensive relations between indigenous peoples and the States where they are located. They do not entitle indigenous peoples to acquire sovereign power as a right. They do not vest sovereignty in indigenous peoples, as sovereignty is understood in international law. Instead, international indigenous rights vest in indigenous peoples because international law vests sovereignty in States.49 Some suggest that as a result of globalization, sovereignty is increasingly reconstructed at various levels, ranging from global and regional to substate settings.50 Thus, “equal status for indigenous societies is not necessarily dependent on the creation of new nation-​ States.”51 Instead, existing nation-​states ought to be restructured “to reflect the fact that most States are composed of many different peoples/​societies and that internal structures of governance should accord with contemporary social realities.”52 Such restructuring would not, however, question the legitimacy of state sovereignty. Not all Indigenous people agree with conciliatory accounts of Indigenous self-​ determination remaining subordinate to the doctrine of state sovereignty. Some maintain that the international system is necessary to adjudicate the question of Crown sovereignty vis-​à-​vis Indigenous sovereignty because of the partiality of the courts of the state.53 Others argue that the failure to question the legitimacy of state sovereignty over Indigenous peoples is a major deficiency of UNDRIP, which, they point out, is a deeply compromised document and not supported by all Indigenous representatives who participated in drafting it.54 Therefore it is also not entirely correct to argue that “there is no Indigenous threat to the territorial integrity of states.”55 The doctrine of state sovereignty has been challenged by rise of transnational social movements, including Indigenous advocacy networks, together with the increasingly savvy employment of the existing international human rights regime.56 Also outside the UN framework, Indigenous grassroots political activism and activist scholarship question the doctrine of state sovereignty and the legitimacy of the settler state.57 Moreover, whereas a number of legal scholars have pointed out that the concept of “terra nullius” is legal fiction for the purposes of distributing sovereignty among settler states, some go as far as to state that even if they may accept the factual sovereignty of settler states, they do not accept the legitimacy of the sovereignty of these states.58

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As my research shows, not all Indigenous people agree that self-​determination precludes secession. For the Inuit in Greenland, self-​determination is seen primarily as a transition period to independence and as an increased economic and political power to govern. Aleqa Hammond, the first female premier who won a landslide victory in the 2013 Greenland national elections, considered self-​determination as an important transitional stage from being colonized to political and economic independence from Denmark.59 She echoed the views expressed by her predecessors such as the former premier Lars-​Emil Johansen, according to whom independence is a legitimate aspiration “deeply anchored in the Inuit soul.”60 Many acknowledged that although the transition period will be long and challenging, “at the very end of the road we can be our own nation.”61 Indeed, independence was codified in the 2009 Act on Greenland Self-​ Government as a future option, dependent on the will of the people. Chapter 8, titled “Greenland’s Access to Independence,” provides that if a decision for independence is taken by the people of Greenland, the governments of Greenland and Denmark negotiate an agreement subject to the consent of the Danish Parliament. If that stage is reached, “Independence for Greenland shall imply that Greenland assumes sovereignty over the Greenland territory.”62 In the Indigenous world, Inuit Greenlanders are in a unique position to push for full independence. This is primarily for two reasons beyond the question of rights of Indigenous peoples. First, self-​determination in Greenland takes the form of a public government. The legal term “the people of Greenland” refers not only to the Inuit but encompasses the entire population of the country, although Inuit do form a great majority of Greenland’s population (88%). Thus, we are talking about self-​determination in the conventional sense—​self-​determination of the aggregate population of the country—​ not Indigenous self-​determination (although it has been portrayed as such, especially by Greenlandic politicians).63 But even it is not de jure Indigenous self-​government, thanks to demographics, it is de facto Indigenous self-​government with an entirely Inuit-​ controlled legislature.64 Second, for a brief postwar period (1945–​1954) Greenland was a “non-​self-​governing territory” under Chapter XI of the United Nations Charter. During that period, Denmark was required to report on Greenland to the relevant UN decolonization bodies. Greenland, as a former overseas colony, is a unique case among Indigenous peoples because at least in theory, it qualifies and is entitled to independence under the decolonization framework that provided for the creation of new states in Asia and Africa in the so-​called decolonization era. The term “the people of Greenland” (i.e., not only Inuit Greenlanders) implies a colonial people for the purposes of the right to self-​ determination. If Inuit Greenlanders will indeed one day be sovereign in the Westphalian sense of the term, it is not because of their indigeneity but because of the country’s geopolitics and demographics. This is also why the Inuit Greenlanders tend not to emphasize the discourse of Indigenous sovereignty; for most people, it is simply irrelevant.

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Notably, however, this account is complicated by Inuit nongovernmental organizations, especially by the well-​established Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC),65 which seeks to decouple Inuit self-​determination from (Westphalian) sovereignty. As an organization representing all Inuit people across the Arctic, the ICC focuses on the concept of Indigenous self-​determination as an Inuit control over Inuit affairs but does not advocate for independence. According to the ICC, static conceptions of sovereignty (i.e., independence) do not adequately recognize Inuit rights “gained through international law, land claims and self-​government processes.”66 Instead, the organization calls for greater recognition of the contested, overlapping nature and the unfixed meaning of sovereignty, including recognizing that sovereignties “are frequently divided within federations in creative ways to recognize the right of peoples.”67 In short, it is important to bear in mind there are multiple views of self-​determination and sovereignty not only between different Indigenous peoples, but within Indigenous groups and between their political organizations.

Indigenous Rights Discourse As rights holders in international law, Indigenous peoples are by and large mediated in relation to the state. As a consequence, Indigenous self-​determination in international law is considered through the narrow lens of state relations. Attending the drafting process of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Laila Susanne Vars, former Vice President of the Sámi Parliament in Norway, observed how: “When it was time to determine about the content of self-​determination, it was all about Indigenous–​state relations, not about internal affairs or how Indigenous societies can exist and function within states in terms of their livelihoods, differences between regions, genders and so on.”68 While some participants in my research entered the discussion pertaining the meaning of Indigenous self-​determination through the rights framework, these considerations were not extensive. Some participants shunned the rights framework as an imposition of a foreign discourse. For Anishinaabe artist, activist, and educator Wanda Nanibush, the language of rights implies granting of rights by the state rather than recognizing how Indigenous peoples have always been self-​determining. For Nanibush, self-​determination is not first and foremost a right nor “something that needs to be bestowed on us, [since] we already have it.”69 Instead of rights or the relationship with the state, most participants considered self-​ determination as a vision and foundational value that inspires and compels them to contribute to the collective well-​being and efforts of nation-​building or capacity-​building of their communities. Very rarely, if at all, these efforts were discussed in the context of international Indigenous rights or political engagement in arenas such as the United Nations. Given the centrality of international rights mechanisms such as UNDRIP and

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bodies such as the UN Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issues in considering and debating Indigenous self-​determination, their absence in the interviews was surprising. By conceptualizing Indigenous self-​determination as a foundational value, I reject the idea that self-​determination can only be understood in terms of rights. I do not, however, reject the rights discourse. My argument is a matter of emphasis. I take a cue from Nedelsky, who points out that the question “is not whether but how the language of rights will be used.”70 As she argues and Indigenous rights advocates no doubt substantiate, “rights are a powerful rhetorical tool in struggles for justice all around the world.”71 The rights framework, particularly the global discourse of Indigenous rights, is vitally important for establishing a normative legal and political framework for Indigenous self-​ determination. Importantly, the global Indigenous rights discourse is broader than and thus distinct from the narrow rights-​based politics of many mainstream Indigenous organizations seeking to reform relations with the state through policy, electoral politics, and legislative changes. Moreover, articulating Indigenous self-​determination as a foundational value clarifies the conceptual confusion that prevails around the concept, especially with regard to its relationship and order with other rights. In legal scholarship, self-​determination has been typically regarded as a fundamental principle from which all the other Indigenous rights emanate or an umbrella right elaborated by all the other, more concrete Indigenous rights.72 For instance, various articles of UNDRIP are commonly considered different aspects and expressions of the first order right of self-​determination. Often such arguments, however, become circular at best or unconvincing at worst. Taking a relational view of rights, distinguishing between rights and values and recognizing that rights are “important institutional means for articulating a society’s core values” helps us clarify the conceptual morass.73 For Nedelsky, rights represent “collective decisions about the implementation of core values.”74 If self-​determination is a foundational value for Indigenous peoples, all the other rights provided in UNDRIP can be seen as means for stipulating that core value. Thus, rights are instruments (though not necessarily the only ones) through which the value of Indigenous self-​determination is put into practice and exercised on the ground. My argument differs from that of Indigenous scholars and activists who maintain that the human rights discourse undermines Indigenous world views centered on responsibilities rather than rights. Most commonly, critics of human rights discourse assert it forces individual and collective responsibilities, manifested through everyday practices as well as in ceremony, into an adversarial framework of the Western legal system.75 Others contend that rights-​based discourses are much too state-​centric to be able to deliver Indigenous self-​determination premised on community involvement and citizen participation.76 A third variant of rights discourse critique takes on the general consensus among Indigenous people as well as at the UN of the meaning of self-​determination as a fundamental human right. This criticism submits that conceiving self-​determination as a human

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right does not protect peoples’ rights as a distinct group. Indigenous legal experts Irene Watson and Sharon Venne argue that although human rights are collectively exercised by individuals in interaction with others in a community, they do not amount to a bona fide group right.77 They argue: “When the Declaration [on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples] drafting was initiated by Indigenous Peoples we were lobbying not for human rights but for recognition of our rights as peoples. Why would we develop a separate and distinct set of human rights standards?”78 Instead of placing Indigenous peoples on an equal footing with other peoples, Watson and Venne assert, the human rights approach does the opposite, diminishing the collective character of Indigenous peoples’ rights. Peoples’ rights are equivalent to states’ rights and therefore, their argument goes, as long as we do not discuss human rights of the state we should not discuss human rights of Indigenous peoples, but rather focus on territorial rights and sovereignty.79 Others have similarly emphasized that in addition to human rights, Indigenous peoples have established economic rights to their territories.80 I suggest that paying closer attention to the relational character of self-​determination enables a more effective examination of its transformative potential in terms of restructuring relations. I illustrate this through two examples that show the limits of the rights discourse. Lyackson scholar Qwul’sih’yah’maht or Robina Thomas (from British Columbia) submits that a comprehensive understanding of self-​determination would pay attention to the fact that Indigenous women and children are being “lost” through various forms of violence. She holds that as “a treaty First Nations person,” her understanding of self-​determination is shaped by the treaty relationship. Nevertheless, in her view, “we can’t just focus on settling treaties and looking at what that will look like politically if fifty percent of the children in care are Indigenous” and “1,200 Indigenous women missing and assumed dead.” For Thomas, these issues are closely connected: We’re losing our children and we’re losing our women. What about the women that have been so systematically displaced?  .  .  .  How many women are living in communities they don’t want to live in because they can’t go home, because through the Indian Act they lost their status and then they lost their homes? And they lost their right to go home, and then children that have been through adoption and through child welfare have been systematically displaced.81 For Thomas, it is necessary that questions of child welfare and violence against Indigenous women are considered and addressed as part and parcel of Indigenous self-​determination. In the Indigenous rights discourse, however, these questions are generally overlooked. UNDRIP, regarded as the minimum standards for the survival, dignity, and well-​being of the world’s Indigenous peoples, mentions the rights of Indigenous children in five articles, including Article 7.1 providing for protection from forcible removal of children. Although the rights provisions for Indigenous children are slightly more extensive than those of Indigenous women, I contend that even if UNDRIP were fully implemented in

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its entirety by the Canadian state as suggested by the new Liberal government, it would not alone remedy the crisis of Indigenous children in foster care. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision pertaining to Indigenous children in foster care stated that the long-​standing underfunding of on-​reserve child welfare services by the federal government perpetuates “the incentive to take children into care [and] to remove them from their families.”82 The Tribunal decision is a rights issue to an extent that the federal government, responsible for funding services for Indigenous children on reserves, has had a policy based on racist assumptions according to which on-​reserve Indigenous children have less rights than other children. At the same time, it is much more than a rights issue. Even if the funding formulas were amended to eliminate the existing discrimination against Indigenous children,83 the problem would not be adequately solved unless a whole host of other issues and relations of domination were also addressed, including heteropatriarchal gender relations, which often displace Indigenous women, and consequently, their children from their communities.84 As another example, Indigenous land rights are usually conceptualized in relation to the state. The long-​standing problem has been the competing interests between Indigenous peoples and states and the lack of state recognition of existing and underlying Indigenous land rights. The Indigenous land rights discourse seeks to transform Indigenous–​state relations through the politics of recognition, recognizing land rights in law and policy. In instances where this recognition has take place, however, the transformation of Indigenous–​state relations remains elusive.85 The recognition commonly exists only in paper with no concrete implementation and actual transfer of authority over the lands in question. Thanks to UNDRIP, we now have the backing of international law (albeit in the soft law form) for the fact that “Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.”86 Yet the recognition of this right by international law has not succeeded in altering Indigenous–​state relations in a manner that enables greater exercise of Indigenous self-​determination. The same goes with the right of Indigenous peoples “to participate in decision-​making in matters which would affect their rights,”87 considered the prerequisite for the exercise of Indigenous self-​determination. The question is, as a result of this right, have Indigenous peoples been able to participate in decision-​making in matters affecting their rights and lives? If so, has their participation made a difference in Indigenous–​state relations to the extent that has enabled greater exercise of self-​determination? Even if we might be able to answer in the positive to the first question, the answer to the second question is mostly in the negative. The problem is that Indigenous rights discourse commonly overlooks the potential for co-​optation, assimilative power of the legal and political discourses of the state.88 To provide one example, the Sámi in Norway have, in the past twenty years, been able to increase their participation in decision-​making pertaining to matters affecting them but this participation has not translated into a greater exercise of Sámi self-​determination. This will be discussed in detail in the next chapter.

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This being said, we need to bear in mind that the reality of coexistence of struggles of self-​determination and recognition are mutually constitutive particularly in Indigenous politics. As Avigail Eisenberg suggests, Indigenous peoples often have little choice other than to employ the framework of rights and recognition in their struggle for self-​determination: One reason for this is that indigenous communities often rely on the recognition of others in order to build their capacity for self-​determination. . . . A second reason why indigenous struggles for recognition and self-​determination are often linked is related to the urgency attached to resolving many disputes between indigenous peoples and the state.89 Notwithstanding the limits of the rights discourse in providing meaning to Indigenous self-​determination, it is not feasible do away with it. However, we should not be blindsided by the predominance of the rights discourse when discussing the concept of Indigenous self-​determination. I argue that focusing on the recognition of rights (in the abstract) by the state and the international community removes Indigenous peoples from the intimate and specific relational structure of self-​determination and reduces Indigenous self-​determination into a contested, hierarchical and (neo)colonial relation with the state. Moreover, framing it in terms of a right in need of a recognition or affirmation by the state—​or worse, something that is granted by the state—​conceals the fact that Indigenous peoples have always been self-​determining even in the face of colonial interference and violence.

The Norm of Integrity and Restructuring Relations of Domination In the final section of the chapter, I  extrapolate Young’s theory of self-​determination as nondomination and Nedelsky’s relational autonomy to a theory of Indigenous self-​ determination as a value aiming at restructuring relations of domination. First, however, I provide an overview of the different dimensions of integrity and explain how they relate to one another in the context of Indigenous self-​determination. International Indigenous rights discourse has long focused particularly on cultural and territorial integrity, considered under constant threat by forces of colonialism and neoliberal globalization. The norm of cultural integrity forms a fundamental part of Indigenous self-​determination, evident, for example, in the way in which it is stipulated throughout UNDRIP. Cultural integrity commonly refers to the foundational relationship between Indigenous peoples and their lands and territories, regarded as the precondition of survival of Indigenous identities and communities. There are several references to the Indigenous peoples’ right to cultural integrity by human rights institutions. In

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terms of rights, cultural integrity implies the indivisibility of cultural rights and land rights. The fundamental significance of land to cultural integrity of Indigenous peoples is most clearly stated by the Inter-​American Court of Human Rights in its 2001 Awas Tingni decision: “The close ties of indigenous peoples with the land must be recognized and understood as the fundamental basis of their cultures, their spiritual life, their integrity and their economic survival. For indigenous communities, relations to the land are not merely a matter of possession and production but a material and spiritual element that they must fully enjoy.”90 Cultural integrity is therefore grounded on territorial integrity and is of collective character. Further, the concept of cultural integrity is related to cultural genocide, a term used to refer to “the idea that a group can be destroyed by targeted attacks on its capacity to preserve and transmit its own specific culture which would then disappear.”91 Cultural genocide of Indigenous peoples takes many forms, such as “forced relocation, removal of children from their communities, invasion of their lands, aggressive assimilationist policies, or restriction to access their traditional means of livelihoods.”92 The norm of cultural integrity and the reality of cultural genocide was among the key issues in the drafting process of UNDRIP. The protection against cultural genocide was included in an earlier draft, but, under pressure by states, was removed in the final version and amended into “prevention of, and redress for” measures depriving Indigenous peoples of their integrity as distinct peoples (Article 8.2). An essential part of protecting the integrity of Indigenous peoples is the very foundation of self-​determination: that Indigenous peoples must be able to determine together as a group “what their collective life means and what future course it will take.”93 The connection between cultural integrity and Indigenous peoples’ “forms of social, economic and political organization” is explicitly recognized, for example, by the Proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.94 Taking multiple forms, the norm of integrity is the fundamental force behind the ethical and political claims and struggles of Indigenous peoples.95 Whereas the norm of cultural integrity is addressed as an integral part of self-​determination in a number of Indigenous human rights instruments and referred to by human rights institutions, other dimensions of the norm of integrity are less discussed, if at all. As an example, UNDRIP does not address individual integrity as part of self-​determination, yet it was frequently raised by Indigenous women in all three regions of this study. The research participants were asked about their understanding of the concept of self-​determination as well as its personal significance and meaning. For many, self-​determination gained meaning at the individual level through acts regarded as contributing to the common goal as well as through the idea of individual determination. Nearly all viewed individual self-​determination as a prerequisite for the exercise of collective self-​determination. Perhaps surprisingly, none of the participants, however, discussed individual self-​determination in terms of gender equality or women’s rights. Instead, individual self-​determination was construed in terms of justice, dignity, and freedom from

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discrimination, coercion, and violence. While some participants focused on structural violence of the settler state, all agreed that elimination of interpersonal physical and sexual violence must be on any agenda of Indigenous self-​determination. The participants articulated integrity through a number of interrelated meanings: individual or personal integrity and the integrity of traditional territories. An essential feature of personal integrity is bodily integrity or freedom from violence and harm. Another aspect of personal integrity includes the individual quality of having strong moral principles, conveyed through the notion of being determined as an individual and feeling strongly about contributing to one’s community and the collective goal of self-​ determination. The norm of the integrity of the land reflected the strong ties individuals and communities have to their lands. It was commonly expressed through individual and collective aspirations and struggles for protecting the cohesion of their traditional territories, seen as a precondition of collective survival as peoples. Indigenous women’s insistence on freedom from violence as part of their conceptions of self-​determination bear resemblance to liberal feminist accounts of individual autonomy, which, in addition to emphasizing individual choice and decision-​making, demand freedom from cultural, religious, and other forms of patriarchal oppression. The way in which Indigenous women typically discussed the meaning of self-​determination at the individual level, however, was inseparably related to the concern for the well-​being of other community members and driven by the collective objective of Indigenous self-​ determination. Individual self-​determination was considered of utmost importance yet regarded as deeply relational rather than simply the freedom or ability to live a life of one’s own choosing. Individual integrity thus encompasses the notion of integrity of the entire community and is closely linked to the norm of integrity of the land, both of which are absent from liberal feminist accounts of individual autonomy. The three categories of integrity—​ individual, collective, and land—​ were often discussed in ways that indicate that together they comprise an indivisible norm of integrity at the core of Indigenous self-​determination. Destroying or undermining one radically compromises the others. Given how individual integrity and the integrity of the land were by far most frequently discussed dimensions of the norm of integrity by the participants, I examine these more closely in the following sections. I conclude with a consideration of how the norm of integrity has the potential to restructure relations of domination. The Integrity of the Land At the heart of Indigenous self-​determination is the ongoing struggle for the land and against the colonial dispossession that disrupts the foundational relations Indigenous peoples have with their territories. The collective integrity of Indigenous peoples hinges on the integrity of the land. Regardless the region, Indigenous people commonly describe self-​determination as a relation with the land. Indigenous peoples’ relationships with the

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land are well established and documented, and it forms the foundation of the international Indigenous rights regime. The fundamental importance of land for Indigenous peoples derives from their conception of the world in which human beings have a deep spiritual relationship with their territories.96 The core traditions and cultural practices are derived from the relationship with the land, typically characterized by specific responsibilities for caring the land and its gifts. Through the reciprocal relations with all living beings, the land becomes a central part of the collective identity. Individuals are also related to their physical and natural surroundings through names, genealogies, oral traditions, and personal and collective experiences with their territories. Traditional livelihoods are informed by this relational world view, but also depend on healthy ecosystems and access to the land and resources. Relations with the land are therefore considered central to the survival and well-​being of Indigenous peoples.97 What is less recognized is that these relations are often gendered.98 Many Indigenous women maintain that it is the role of women to look after the relations with the land, the water, and the medicines.99 Responsibilities toward the land are not a form of idealized environmentalism but essential part of Indigenous laws: “First Nations own legal traditions place responsibilities and obligations on them to safeguard the well-​being of the land and water in order to sustain their cultures, laws and governance systems.”100 A number of participants discussed their strong connection to the land and how it provides them with a deep sense of responsibility to protect it. Some talked about their involvement in resistance to resource extraction which was seen as threatening to destroy the land, and thus dispossess them (and their people) of the land and the relationship they have with it. As an example of a strong connection to and sense of responsibility for the land Sylvia Plain, Anishinaabe student and activist from Aamjiwnaang First Nation (Ontario), mentions the Mother Earth Water Walk. Started in 2002 by Anishinaabe elder Josephine Mandamin, the Water Walk began as an aspiration to reestablish the responsibility to and sacred connection with water that Anishinaabe women have traditionally possessed as well as a way of instilling the teachings and connecting youth with the land.101 Plain explains: “[People] started walking around the Great Lakes as part of reintroducing themselves to the land and getting to know those waters more intimately and everything that’s part of that.”102 After participating in the Walk in 2011, Plain notes that the walk gave her “the opportunity to walk through different First Nations territories and learn about their teachings and relationships to water, which helped me to understand how the land governs us as First Nations peoples and provides us with our identities.”103 Experiencing the land and water as relations and establishing personal responsibility to water that Anishinaabe women traditionally have held was for Plain a way of restructuring her relations with the land from abstract knowledge to a lived experience that connects her to it on an intimate personal level and imbues her with a sense of duty to ensure of the health of water. As it has been traditionally Anishinaabe women’s domain, learning about

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specific responsibilities for water also restructures relations of gender, which have been radically altered by colonialism. Colonial social relations and policies such as the Indian Act removed women from positions of authority and undermined Indigenous women’s traditional roles and responsibilities, for example, by introducing and imposing Victorian norms of female position in society and family. When Indigenous women reconnect with their specific roles and responsibilities to the land restructures relations of gender, land and responsibility are restructured through reclamation of knowledge and direct experience of the relation with land and water. Further, Plain suggests that by learning first-​hand about her own people’s and other First Nations’ teachings of and relationship with water indirectly leads to a restructuring of colonial relations of political power and governance. In gaining a personal understanding of the various traditional teachings of land and water as a relation, she was able to grasp in concrete ways how Indigenous governance practices derive from the relationship Indigenous peoples have with their territories. As the discussion in the following chapters will demonstrate, contemporary Indigenous self-​government structures are commonly modeled after Western political institutions and parliamentary systems. Restructuring relations with the land (e.g., gaining first-​hand understanding of the meaning of the land as a relation) provides potential for restructuring not only colonial relations of governance and power but also Indigenous governance structures. Governance principles that derive from an intimate relationship with the land are necessarily different from principles that stem from ideas of authority vested in the sovereign or even elected representational democracies. Moreover, the potential for restructuring colonial relations of power and governance exists when young Indigenous women (like Plain and others) claim leadership roles in opposing economic development projects and advocating for environmental justice. While Indigenous women and girls are often construed as inherently vulnerable to violence (such as in UNDRIP), young Indigenous women in particular have in the past few years demonstrated their integrity and determination to protect the land and emerged as organic leaders of a number of pressing issues ranging from sexual and reproductive justice to environmental and climate justice. The central role of young Indigenous women in a number of campaigns, initiatives, and movements also indicates the resilience and strength of women’s leadership in Indigenous governance. In some campaigns such as the Rezpect Our Water, a Standing Rock Sioux youth initiative that emerged to oppose the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through their territories and rivers, leaders like Tokata Iron Eyes are as young as twelve years. What motivates Iron Eyes to take action is the sense of urgency and the need to fight for the integrity of the land; a sense informed by a deep awareness and understanding of responsibility for the land: Our ancestors are the ones that died fighting for this land, so that makes me think that we have a duty to fight for our land. And we are obligated to protect the soil

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and the water and everything that is sacred like that. Whatever happens with the pipeline and climate change—​that is going to be affecting us, this generation. And it will affect the next generation too.104 Like many other Indigenous youth-​led campaigns, Rezpect Our Water is focused on a specific case but they are far from single-​issue causes. These campaigns are informed by decolonization and Indigenous self-​determination, and aim to dismantle the systems and ideologies of colonialism and capitalism that give rise to destructive industries and continue to dispossess Indigenous peoples from their territories. The intersectional understanding of these initiatives foregrounds the fact that environmental protection without attention to colonialism is flawed and insufficient and draws attention to the ways in which the exploitation of Indigenous lands and bodies, especially bodies of Indigenous women and girls, are intimately interconnected in a number of ways. From a traditional Indigenous perspective, now backed by science, the health of a people cannot be separated from the health of their land and environment. As importantly, for many Indigenous peoples this includes the recognition that women are the first environment of all human beings and that the waters of the earth and waters of human bodies are the same, making water a women’s responsibility.105 Second, violence targeting specifically Indigenous women has been a deliberate colonial strategy in the process of destroying Indigenous peoples in order to gain access to and control to their lands. This violence does not always need to be physical violence or murder. Damaging the reproductive capacity of women through environmental destruction damages the ability to give birth to next generation who would exercise self-​determination over their lands. A collaborative project between the Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN) and Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA) called “Violence on the Land, Violence on our Bodies” details through a number of case studies how strategies and practices of colonialism operate at the intersection of Indigenous land and peoples.106 Intended as a primer and toolkit of community-​based strategies, “Violence on the Land, Violence on our Bodies” is informed by an analysis of interlocking systems of oppression and forms of colonialism. It demonstrates how environmental violence by industrial development leads to a range of environmental, health-​related, and social trauma at the individual and collective level, severely disrupting and impeding family and community life. The arrival of industrial camps invariably leads to an increase in drug abuse, crime, sexual assaults, and exploitation while environmental pollution results in higher levels of cancers and other chronic illnesses, genetic damage, birth defects, miscarriages, and infertility. As the exploitation of Indigenous lands and bodies are interconnected, so is the assertion of consent. Discussing the invasiveness of patriarchy that simultaneously targets the land and bodies, “Violence on the Land, Violence on our Bodies” argues that any consideration of free, prior and informed consent must include understanding and supporting consent around people’s bodies. One of the most important rights stipulated in UNDRIP, free, prior, and informed consent is frequently evoked vis-​à-​vis Indigenous

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lands and resources, yet often overlooked when discussing violations of Indigenous people’s bodily integrity. The community members involved in the project by NYSHN and WEA often raised the question: “How can our men fight for our nations’ right to give or not give consent over our territories, but there’s no understanding of our people’s right to give or not give consent over our bodies?”107 For many Indigenous women, the struggle for integrity of the land is indistinguishable from the struggle against patriarchy. Secwepemc-​Syilx Nations (interior British Columbia) filmmaker/​visual storyteller Dorothy Christian maintains that the act of “standing up for the land” at situations like the so-​called 1990 Oka crisis and the 1995 Gustafsen Lake standoff is fundamentally an act of “standing up to patriarchy once and for all.”108 Heteropatriarchy is considered one of the root factors and underlying ideologies that produce and reproduce violence, environmental destruction, and relations of domination and which therefore need to be challenged and eliminated. A key strategy is the leadership of those groups and individuals who have been most negatively affected by patriarchal relations of domination: Indigenous women, youth, and two-​spirit and queer (2SQ) people.109 Grassroots initiatives such as the Mother Earth Water Walk, Rezpect Our Water, and others teach about Indigenous governance, and women’s caretaking and decision-​making roles, thus challenging and undermining heteropatriarchial relations of gender and restructuring relations of domination. Solutions to violence and relations of nondomination are seen as “coming from a resurgence of self-​determination and consent for people over their bodies and the lands of which they are a part.”110 In some cases, gender runs like a fault line through the division between those who want to uphold the integrity of the land (and hence, the people) and those who want to develop the land.111 It is frequently Indigenous women who take a stand or lead campaigns against development of their territories, while men tend to be more pro-​development, not least because they reap greater benefits from the jobs and contracts created by resource development projects.112 In most cases, women are disproportionately affected by the socioeconomic and cultural impacts of extractive industry, including increased sexual and physical violence and sometimes profound disruption of their family and social relations. In other instances the gendered divisions are not as clear-​cut, with men actively supporting women’s efforts to stop encroachment. Often, however, Indigenous women involved in direct action are those who are either excluded from or decline to engage in formal political structures in their communities.113 Moreover, engaging in direct action often leads to women’s criminalization and violation of their individual self-​ determination and bodily integrity. Upholding and protecting the integrity of the land is often linked to the desire to restructure patriarchal relations of governance and decision-​making. Vanessa Grey, another young Anishinaabe water and land defender from Aamjiwnaang who was charged for direct action against an oil and gas company but whose charges were later withdrawn, speculates that under women’s leadership, circumstances in her community would be less dire today: “I think women have that ability to keep the fact that we are talking about

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the lives of future generations in mind, to step back and say, ‘Hey, this is a lot of money, that’s great. But what is this money going to do for our future generations down the road when your companies are already doing things in other countries that are killing off the land and the people?’ ”114 A similar example was provided by one of the participants, Blackfoot-​Sámi filmmaker Elle-​Maija Tailfeathers, a member of the Kainai First Nation. In 2010, the overwhelmingly male-​dominated band council of the Kainai First Nation (also known as the Blood reserve) in southern Alberta signed a major deal with an oil company to begin hydraulic fracturing operations (fracking) on their lands without consulting the 11,000 members of the community. Tailfeathers relates how she learned about the deal through media while attending university in another province. Opposing the deal that according to her was “one of the largest gas and oil deals in Canadian First Nations history” with a $50 million signing bonus, Tailfeathers got involved in a peaceful blockade after the first fracking well was built in Fall 2011. She recalls: We erected a peaceful blockade and didn’t allow the fracking well workers to leave the well and didn’t allow anybody else to enter the well site. Our demand was that the chief come talk to us. And that they stop the fracking process until the community was properly consulted and informed about everything and until the community reached consensus. The protest, the blockade probably lasted for twelve hours. And in the end it was our tribal police who arrested us.115 A prime example of gender fault line, the two sides of the barricade consisted of female protectors of the land on the one side, and male tribal police on the other. Tailfeathers, together with two other Kainai women (one of whom was an elder), “were charged under the Canadian criminal code with intimidation.”116 At the end of a lengthy court process, an agreement was reached that the charges would be dropped if the women did community service. For Tailfeathers, it took some time to grasp the complexities of the issue such as the broader questions of colonial power, control, and corruption, their effects, and ways in which they have been entrenched and internalized by many Indigenous male leaders. In her view, the fracking protest she was involved was “history simply repeating itself ”: Only this time around, it is not a case of Red versus White. . . . Perhaps the most contentious player in this game is the Blood Tribe chief and council. The band council system is itself deeply flawed and in no way represents traditional Indigenous self-​ governance. In fact, many would argue that band councils are inherently designed to fail. After all, how could the federal government continue to benefit from the exploitation of Indigenous lands and resources if they had to negotiate on an even playing field with First Nations?117

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For Tailfeathers, the incident fits into the more general relations of power, oppression, and colonialism. The band council system, as part of colonial governance structures, is open to abuse of power, including corruption, nepotism, and other forms of lateral violence which she sees as symptoms of colonialism.118 Tailfeathers maintains: “Essentially, we have been hated for so damn long that some of us have succumbed to turning that very same hate on our own people. In truth, the Blood tribe chief and council’s choice to blatantly ignore the health and well-​being of our people and our land was an act of violence.”119 Like the young leaders of Rezpect Our Water, Tailfeathers considers imperative to “nurture and protect the land” in the context of colonial influence of tribal governance and tribal systems of justice in the face of lateral violence of criminalizing your own people “for doing the one thing you’d think that all of our ancestors would ask us to do, which is protect the land and water.”120 Opposition to extractive industries such as fracking is informed by an equal measure of concern for the two dimensions of the norm of integrity; integrity of the land and individual integrity, the latter being undermined in Tailfeathers’s case by a glaring disregard of health and well-​being of her people. The example also demonstrates how different levels of relations of domination are inseparably connected, almost like two sides of coin, and thus in need of restructuring in tandem: restructuring relations of domination with the state (structural violence of the state in the form of laws, policies, institutional arrangements) must take place hand in hand with restructuring relations of internalized lateral violence manifest in the imposed and adopted colonial administration in Indigenous communities. As Tailfeathers argues, the lateral violence enacted by her band council “stems from deeply internalized oppression.”121 It is also produced by two different interpretations of self-​determination. For Tailfeathers and the other women participating in the peaceful blockade, self-​determination is seen as a foundational value inseparable from the norm of integrity. Fundamentally, self-​determination in their interpretation is about the health and well-​being of people and the land alike. For her band council, self-​determination is seen as in being charge of the band’s own affairs based on the idea of democratic representation (the band council being a democratically elected representative and decision-​ making authority). Conceptualizing Indigenous self-​determination as a foundational value fosters the inevitable complexity of the concept by recognizing its competing, contested meanings and intragroup differences. It allows us to see beyond a narrowly rights-​based definition and grasp the complex, contested, and sometimes oppositional realities of Indigenous self-​ determination. Values are not immutable or uncontested. As Nedelsky points out, “consensus about core values must always be read in light of the inevitability of contestation and the possibility of transformation.”122 Conceptualizing Indigenous self-​determination as a foundational value informed by the norm of integrity is to recognize and acknowledge the reality of different and dissenting views and that as elsewhere, in Indigenous communities core values and their meanings are also continually contested and renewed.

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After all, dissent is an integral part of democratic self-​determination without which we run into dogma and status quo. As Borrows notes, self-​determination “requires a continuous process of discussion, compromise, negotiation, and participation. Finality in political affairs is fictional. It is a false form of organization.”123 Importantly, however, dissent does not mean lateral violence, infighting, and internal hostilities, which effectively incapacitate any community and thus increase rather than restructure relations of domination.124 It is evident how relations of domination are at play when the state and resource companies knowingly exploit the dire circumstances of poverty, unemployment, and dispossession of Indigenous individuals and communities when offering resource extraction as a solution. More subtle relations of domination are more difficult to discern, including those at play when the state sanctions Indigenous peoples’ relations with the land only in neoliberal and capitalist forms. Understandably, Indigenous community leaders may in many cases find themselves between the rock and hard place—​due to which, choices are not real choices—​but that does not give permission to run roughshod over own community members and citizens (and their consent). Furthermore, the question of the integrity of the land vis-​à-​vis resource governance is not only a matter of consultation or consent but more fundamentally, about the forms of economic development being proposed that are often presented as the one and only option. This frequently takes place without considering the significance of subsistence and traditional economies which in many especially more remote Indigenous communities extend beyond livelihoods to cultural integrity and the integrity of the community. Although the centrality of traditional economies to Indigenous identities and societies is widely documented, their continued significance is frequently downplayed in economic development and feasibility studies, considerations and plans. At the same time, the destructive impacts of colonial processes have effectively limited opportunities to practice traditional economies both individually and collectively. There is a long history of various government policies and regulations limiting the possibilities to practice traditional economic forms, and effectively removing Indigenous people from the land. Going back to the 1950s, government interventions based on assumptions of modernity and accompanying progress have had a particularly drastic impact on Indigenous societies and their economies.125 The norm of integrity in general and the integrity of land in particular are at stake when Indigenous people involved in traditional economies do not have access to or are not allowed to use the resources on the land which form the basis of their livelihoods and identities. State laws regularly restrict harvesting and land-​based activities—​even when claiming to protect them. For example, wildlife and game regulations under the guise of conservation, the establishment of parks, seasonal hunting closures, and moratoriums by the government have imposed severe limitations on traditional economies, often radically altering the social and economic organization of Indigenous societies. Self-​determination as a value requires restructuring relations of economic development and conservation plans and policies that may appear benevolent and supportive of community goals, but

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which are intended to further entrench the dispossession of Indigenous peoples from their lands. Further, the norm of integrity requires restructuring relations of collective decision-​ making regarding land use and resources. This means, for example, that economic development on Indigenous peoples’ lands is not a simple either-​or question. Opposing certain extractive industries does not necessarily mean an opposition to all economic development. In Greenland, the attainment of the de facto self-​government in 2009, including the subsurface rights to minerals and resources, has meant an aggressive push for increased and accelerated mineral resource extraction. While most Greenlanders, including those who participated in this study, welcome economic development and see mining in particular as inevitable, there is a substantial degree of unease with regard to the limited consultation process and lack of broad-​based civil society engagement in deciding and planning large-​scale resource extraction projects. Likewise, in the example from the Blood reserve, one of the issues was the way in which the decision to allow fracking and the deal between the band council and the oil company was made without the input, participation, and consent of the community. Self-​determination as a value seeks to restructure relations of domination pertaining to governance. This includes existing Indigenous decision-​making bodies and political institutions (discussed in ­chapters 2 and 3), but also resource governance and the way in which agreements are made between Indigenous community leaders and extractive industry without consultation and consent processes. The ability for and access to effective and meaningful participation in decision-​ making was central to a number of participants. They maintained that self-​determination connotes first and foremost the collective ability to make decisions over their own affairs just like other peoples do. Helena Omma, a member of the Sámi Council and a former member of Sáminuorra, the Sámi youth organization in Sweden, contends: “We have the right to be involved in decision-​making, not only at the level of consultation in a way of contributing with our views, but we must have as strong a say as the others have . . . something that we currently do not have.”126 Subordinate status in decision-​making was challenged by another Sámi participant: “It cannot be that we need to ask for a permission, remain at an inferior level, only as a decoration. Self-​determination for me means that I decide my own affairs at the same level with other peoples as an individual and as a people.”127 Further, restructuring the relations of domination with regard to the land and resource governance takes the form of considering land in terms of relations of sharing. In Wanda Nanibush’s view, conceptualizing land in terms of sharing means restructuring existing power relations and authority over land and resources.128 Such restructuring entails concrete changes in representation, decision-​making practices, and policy in the name of bona fide comanagement of the land. In addition, real power sharing in resource comanagement regimes requires a number of other arrangements. There needs to be an ongoing dialogue between the state and Indigenous self-​government institutions

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to effectively and constructively coordinate state involvement in a way that limits state authority regarding Indigenous peoples territories and institutions. It is also necessary that there are certain political and territorial spaces that are limited to self-​government by Indigenous institutions and knowledge.129 For Nanibush, this can take place only by removing the rights talk standing in the way of conceiving self-​determination as a responsibility to the land.130 Those who do not have the knowledge or experience of that responsibility and a way of relating need to learn it from Indigenous peoples. Audrey Huntley, the cofounder of the Toronto-​based No More Silence network, suggests: I think we have the experience that is going to be needed for a new way of relating. . . . If we ever do want a new way of relating to each other on this land and to the land, then we’re going to have to look at those experiences. Luckily, we still have those aunties and those grannies that have those teachings.131 A new way of relating to each other and to the land can be learned from Indigenous teachings, and specifically, from Indigenous women’s experiences. Essentially, I  see Huntley’s suggestion as a call for restructuring relations of domination beyond Indigenous–​state relations. It involves restructuring interpersonal relations at various sites and levels as well as relations we have with and to the land. Further, it shifts the discussion of the meaning of Indigenous self-​determination and the struggle for the land away from external factors such as the law and the discourse of rights as the only remedies or avenues for redress. Central to this new way relating to each other is the conception of individual integrity as articulated by Indigenous women. The Norm of Individual Integrity In simple terms, integrity is defined as the honesty and consistency of one’s actions and moral and ethical standards. A person with integrity is considered to have incorporated their personal values and moral principles into their daily lives and actions. Integrity is typically associated with concepts of moral commitment, social virtue, and deliberation about moral life. Beyond acting according to one’s deeply held convictions, individual integrity implies standing for something within a community of other people. For some scholars, integrity involves most deeply held commitments that constitute what individuals think their lives are about,132 whereas others see it as pertaining to deliberation about good or moral life.133 Others still consider integrity a social virtue determined by an individual’s relation to others as well as an understanding of one’s role in a collective deliberative process regarding what is worthwhile and valuable.134 In this section, I examine the ways in which participants discussed self-​determination as an individual and collective moral commitment to the common goal as well as deliberation about one’s role in relation to others toward that goal.

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Like territorial integrity, individual integrity is a precondition for Indigenous self-​ determination. Unlike territorial integrity, however, individual integrity is regularly overlooked in considerations of Indigenous self-​determination. Yet when the participants were asked about the meaning of the concept of self-​determination, nearly all noted the significance of individual self-​determination. Consisting of a number of different aspects, the most important dimensions of individual self-​determination for the participants included bodily integrity and freedom from violence. Individuals’ responsibilities and commitments emerging from the relations and ties of belonging that connect individuals to their communities were also considered central.135 I argue that the way in which Indigenous women frequently discuss individual self-​ determination is akin to the conception of individual integrity rather than individual autonomy of liberal feminism centered on individual choice and decision-​making. This is not to suggest that individual autonomy is not valued in Indigenous societies. Characterized by interdependence rather than independence, individual autonomy has been traditionally held in high regard in numerous Indigenous societies.136 Indigenous women’s conceptions of individual self-​determination are also analogous to theories that emphasize autonomy not as an innate quality of an individual but as a capability developed in relation to others. Nedelsky calls this “finding one’s law”; a process “shaped by a society in which one lives and the relationships that are part of one’s life.”137 An individual becomes autonomous by developing and sustaining “the capacity for finding their own law,” which requires understanding “what structures of power, patterns of relationship and personal practices foster that capacity.”138 In Indigenous thought, the idea of finding one’s law is expressed through the expectation of “knowing oneself.” For the participants, individual self-​determination was considered an integral but ignored aspect of Indigenous self-​determination discourse. Many participants were critical of the common arguments according to which individual self-​determination undermines or threatens collective Indigenous self-​determination. Instead, they argued that any consideration of self-​determination must begin with the self and the individual and then extend to the collective. As an example, Tailfeathers suggests that for her, it is critical to figure out first what self-​determination means as an individual engagement and how to engage in “acts of sovereignty” in her personal life before talking about it “as a larger thing.”139 For most participants, disregarding individual self-​determination by Indigenous political discourse was seen as misguided, leading to partial understanding of Indigenous self-​determination at best and exclusion of segments of Indigenous communities at worst. Nevertheless, in the political quest for Indigenous self-​determination, considering individual self-​determination has often been considered moot. Frequently conflated with individual rights, individual self-​determination has been perceived as not only oppositional, but detrimental and dangerous to collective Indigenous rights and self-​ determination. Focus on the individual has been considered either emblematic of the Western individualistic world view that disregards the importance of the collective or

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disruptive of the united front in the struggle against the state oppression and for the freedom of Indigenous peoples. Internal dissent would weaken if not destroy the common cause. As the united front of the Indigenous peoples’ struggle became an article of faith, concerns of intragroup subjugation and lateral violence were effectively silenced.140 Those who wanted to be part of the movement kept quiet or were disciplined for speaking out; a common reality in all liberation and nationalist movements world over. Indigenous women advocating for individual self-​determination such as gender justice and equality were charged of introducing alien concepts and thinking to Indigenous communities and “traditions”141 seen as divisive, disruptive, and disloyal to their communities. In some cases they were regarded as corrupted by “Western feminists.” If not entirely rejected, “women’s issues” are put on the back burner to be addressed “later,” when collective self-​ determination has been achieved.142 The emerging discourse on body sovereignty has lead to an increased emphasis on and understanding of the connection between Indigenous collective self-​determination and individual self-​determination. Body sovereignty implies that every individual has the right to be in control of and decide about their own bodies, including clothing, food, gender, and sexual expression and activity, among others. For some, it is a way of reclaiming their bodies and identities from misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of public control and regulation. Part of body sovereignty is “coming out,” refusing gender binaries and heteronormativity, and reclaiming 2SQ identities. As Alex Wilson notes:  “When we call ourselves two-​spirit people, we are proclaiming sovereignty over our bodies, gender expressions and sexualities.”143 For Wilson, however, identifying as two-​spirit is not a matter of coming out but rather, a process of “coming in”—​returning home and to the circle of “all our relations” as a valued member of a community. Body sovereignty can also serve as a way of protesting protocols, including Indigenous ones, that seek to regulate especially Indigenous women’s bodies—​for example, by excluding menstruating women from ceremonies or requiring them to wear certain clothing such as skirts.144 Indigenous conceptions of individuality are predicated on a sense of responsibility for one’s relations.145 This view also informs understandings of self-​determination according to which self-​determination is fundamentally relational and involves living responsibly within those relationships: As I have come to understand it, self-​determination begins with looking at yourself and your family and deciding if and when you are living responsibly. Self-​ determination is principally, that is first and foremost, about relationships. Communities cannot be self-​governing unless members of those communities are well and living in a responsible way.146 When the participants were specifically asked about the meaning of self-​determination at the individual level and in their daily lives, they discussed in a number of ways their individual commitments to the collective self-​determination efforts. This reflected the

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norm of individual integrity and their fundamentally relational conception of the individual. An individual was seen simultaneously as self-​determining and relational, constitutive of one’s relations that for many extend to the nonhuman world. In Indigenous thought, individual integrity is a commitment developed in relation to others. What Nedelsky calls “finding one’s law” takes the form of “knowing oneself.” Rather than introspective soul searching and self-​reflection, “knowing oneself ” is a process of coming to know one’s relations in full, including family, clan, and kinship relations as well as relations with and on the land. These relations are a constitutive part of one’s identity and inform individuals about their responsibilities and obligations. This kind of individuality “is based on a deeply rooted understanding that each person must be responsible to all sentient beings of the world in which he or she lives.”147 On the one hand, individuals are expected to be responsible for their own self-​determination, and on the other, to gain the knowledge of their relations in order to become contributing members of their families, clans, communities, and nations.148 Without an understanding of the significance of this relationality—​that everyone is related and everyone is needed as part of a whole—​it is difficult to take responsibility for the collective well-​being. Without the accountability of individuals toward the collective, the ability of a community to move forward is compromised and nation-​building cannot begin.149 Two participants spoke explicitly about self-​determination as a commitment and responsibility of knowing oneself. For Sylvia Plain, a community becoming self-​determining requires that “each person individually” takes responsibility for knowing themselves. This begins with the knowledge about one’s name (i.e., knowing one’s genealogy) and clan, and extends to an understanding about individuals’ responsibilities in their communities. Knowing oneself develops the capacity of finding one’s responsibilities (or “law”) as a member of a collective. Clans and relations between clans teach the individual what structures of power, patterns of relationship, and personal practices foster that capacity. While this knowledge is unique to each individual, it is at the same time deeply collective as it binds individuals into the collective through web of relations and assigns individuals with certain roles required for the community to function as a whole. Similar to Plain’s discussion of self-​determination as knowing oneself, another participant discussed self-​determination as “coming to know your own history as your own identity.” For Haisla scholar Kundoqk ( Jacquie Green) in British Columbia, this is a process particularly connected to understanding the significance and role of ceremonies in Indigenous communities. She notes: “For me, [self-​determination] is about understanding and coming to know the history of a people, the location to place, understanding cultural knowledge, cultural ceremonies, and how those have been a form of governance, how those have been a form of leadership, how those protocols that we do in ceremony was actually our policies and procedures.”150 “Coming to know” is a way of making sense and reclaiming the collective values, limits, and order in the name of restoring and decolonizing forms of governance.151 As individuals are expected to actively

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seek this knowledge in relation to and with their communities, “coming to know” is an endeavor simultaneously of individual and collective character. “Knowing oneself ” and “coming to know” are essentially relational conceptions of self-​determination premised on an understanding that in significant part, each individual is constituted by her relations to and interactions by others. In this relational conception, individual and collective self-​determination coalesce into a dynamic in which both dimensions are premised on and reinforced by one another. For many Indigenous women, this is the core of the meaning of self-​determination that ought to form the basis of Indigenous political discourse of self-​determination. For Napoleon, incorporation of understanding of an individual as self-​determining and relational into the Indigenous political discourse would significantly strengthen the Indigenous political discourse.152 As pointed out, important part of knowing oneself is knowledge of one’s community or nation. Knowing one’s own community, however, is not an (idealized) abstraction but informed by concrete particulars such as gender, age, and ability often embedded in structures of power and inequality. Central to the relational understanding of self-​ determination is the knowledge and experience that, besides being a source of autonomy, relationships can be a radical restriction to it. This is often overlooked in in Indigenous scholarship discussing relationality and the significance of relationships in Indigenous thought and practices. We cannot, however, lose sight of relations of domination. As many participants pointed out, without extending restructuring relations of domination to “domestic” and other gendered relations, we are advancing something else than self-​determination of Indigenous nations and communities. We are in fact constructing exclusionary forms of self-​determination and upholding heteropatriarchy as part of our vision and in our everyday social and political relations. Napoleon notes: “If [self-​ determination] doesn’t include women, then you’re talking about the self-​determination of men, which doesn’t make any sense. I mean, as indigenous people, do we want to work toward a vision of self-​determination that only includes half the population?”153 Self-​determination based on marginalizing or omitting part of the community makes little sense either as a theory or practice. Yet there is a long history of exclusionary forms of self-​determination in the political structures and institutions of the nation-​state model of the West, which in theory may have included women but in practice did not, or did only in a carefully qualified and circumscribed manner. Women may belong to the nation (and nation-​state), but not as full members. These forms and models have been imposed upon, and consequently adopted and internalized by many Indigenous people, resulting in self-​ determination discourses that not only fail to deal with gendered relations of domination but do not even recognize them as a concern. Many Indigenous women can only dream of belonging in their communities and nations as full members.154 Thus in order to have self-​determination that, at the end of the day, makes sense and embraces everyone, not only there is a need to continuously consider how heteropatriarchy is being replicated in our relations and institutions, but above all, to recognize that “heteropatriarchy isn’t just about exclusion of certain bodies, it is about the destruction of our intimate relationships

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that make up our nations, and the fundamental systems of ethics based on values of individual sovereignty and self-​determination.”155 Rather than idealizing relationships, we need to distinguish between relations that are oppressive and those that are supportive and fostering. Nedelsky argues, “we need concepts that incorporate women’s experience of embeddedness in relations, both the importance of this embeddedness and the oppressiveness of its current social forms.”156 The Lavell case is an excellent illustration of the simultaneity of embeddedness and the oppressiveness of relations in their social configurations. In the late 1960s, Indigenous women began to organize especially around the gender discrimination in the Indian Act, which defined a “status Indian” as “any male person of Indian blood reputed to belong to a particular band, any child of such person and any woman who is or was lawfully married to such a person.” As a result, women were deprived of their Indian status upon marriage to a non-​Indian man, while Indian men were entitled to bestow status on their non-​Indian wives. In 1971, Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, Anishinaabe from Wikwemikong (Ontario), former president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada and the current Citizenship Commissioner of the Anishinabek Nation, was the first Indigenous woman to challenge Section 12(1)(b) of the Indian Act in court in 1971. By marrying a non-​Indigenous man, Corbiere Lavell had lost her Indian status and consequently, the right to live and raise her children in her own community even after a divorce.157 Moving through the court system, Corbiere Lavell’s case was combined with a similar case by Yvonne Bedard, Mohawk from Six Nations. The two women argued that the Indian Act violated Canada’s Bill of Rights and its prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sex. Instead of supporting the call to end the discriminatory provision, however, Indigenous male leadership in band councils, treaty organizations, and organizations such as the NIB attacked Corbiere Lavell, Bedard, and other women and claimed that Indian sovereignty and self-​government was threatened by discourses of gender equality. Their lobbying efforts and arguments that the Indian Act status provisions are exempt from the Canadian Bill of Rights bore results and Lavell and Bedard lost their cases in in the Supreme Court of Canada in 1974.158 Referring to her case wryly as “my own dilemma with the government and the Indian Act,” Corbiere Lavell relates how she was able to take on the legal challenge because she was brought up to think that “if there was anything that I wanted to do and I believed in it” it was worth pursuing. Yet she did not make the decision by herself: “I didn’t just go ahead and do it on my own. But I said [to my family] this is what I would like to do.” Her parents and most of her family supported her, as did her chief while many men in her community did not.159 Corbiere Lavell’s conception of self-​determination is shaped not only by her constitutive family relations but also by relations that were oppressive, including men who viewed women as having fewer or no rights but also relations of law and state institutions that render Indigenous women outcasts or “nonstatus.” Oppressive relations are produced

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by structures of colonialism, including the Indian Act and other paternalistic, patriarchal and colonial government policies. They are also created by the prevalent gendered and racialized beliefs about Indigenous women with less or no rights which shape representations or status of Indigenous women and as a result of the exclusion and dehumanization, put them in the harm’s way and make them vulnerable for violence.160 In Corbiere Lavell’s case, her integrity as a member of her community but also as a relationally autonomous woman was undermined by the colluding structures of colonialism and heteropatriarchy that seek to disrupt the way in which women see themselves as individuals and members of their people. In Patrick Wolfe’s terms, these are the structures of elimination of Indigenous bodies for territorial possession.161 Indigenous self-​determination defined as a foundational value that fosters the norm of integrity and aims at restructuring relations of domination necessarily involves bodily integrity, understood as freedom from coercion and violence. Emphasized by a great majority of the participants, bodily integrity was linked with the question of individual and collective capacity and willingness to take responsibility for violence taking place in Indigenous communities. It was pointed out that experiencing violence or living in violent circumstances radically compromises an individual’s ability to function as full members of their communities and societies, and that losing individuals to violence undermines the collective effort of Indigenous self-​determination. Without self-​determining Indigenous bodies there are no Indigenous communities or nations, and thus no need for self-​determination. As one participant expressed it, “Self-​ governance, land claims, and treaties are meaningless if our families are beaten up and bruised and unhealthy. What kind of nation-​building is that? We need to look at our own health and the violence in the communities in order to go anywhere.”162 The question is not only whether but what kind of self-​determination can be built through and in violent circumstances. What is the nation Indigenous people seek to achieve if violence is not addressed? It was widely held that implementation and exercise of collective political self-​determination is premised on respecting and upholding bodily integrity of all members of a society. To make this a reality requires establishing a norm of nonviolence as part of Indigenous self-​determination. If part of every individual’s roles for their communities were the norm of individual integrity and the identity of nonviolence, the threshold for individual violent and aggressive behavior would be potentially higher while collective sanctions for such behavior would be more evident and readily available to all.163 The role of Indigenous men in creating new norms of nonviolence is critical. This point is crystallized by Elizabeth Woody, who suggests: “A community is made strong by individuals who accept responsibility for themselves.”164 Leanne Simpson issues a direct request to Indigenous men to shoulder their individual and collective responsibilities in this regard: “I want [Indigenous men] to stop engaging in systemic, structural and casual sexism and patriarchy. I want them to hold each other accountable when there are no women around, and casual and not-​so-​casual sexism in the form of the objectification,

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ongoing criticism and other forms of white patriarchy enter their social, personal, and professional lives.”165 If all individuals were to accept responsibility for themselves and to commit to individual integrity, Indigenous self-​determination would have the potential of becoming a principle of nondomination and in part contributing to circumstances in which violence is not tolerated. Lastly, individual integrity takes the form of responsibility and concern for the next generation. A majority of participants shared this concern and expressed it in a number of related ways. Some discussed the challenge of raising self-​determining children who, once grown up, would assume and act upon their responsibilities toward their relations and who, in the words of Robina Thomas, would able and willing to do their share for “the big political self-​determination.”166 Others reflected their individual responsibility in actively contributing to a better world in which the next generation will grow up as well as the role of family members in carefully choosing what values and teachings to transmit to the future generations. Napoleon saw self-​determination fundamentally as an ability to act on these decisions and responsibilities: I have a little grandson at home. So, what’s my role in shaping the world that he’s going to grow up in? And wherever I am there’s always a series of political choices. Like teaching is a political choice, right? What you teach and how you teach regards a series of political choices that you make that you’re acting on. And so, I think I have a responsibility to learn and to teach and to try and provide resources and ways of thinking and knowledge along with other people for people today and for future generations. That’s what I feel responsible for. So, that’s how I understand my self-​determination; that I’m able to act on that.167 For others still, individual integrity was a question of language. Language has been established as a central aspect of Indigenous self-​determination individually and collectively. In Deloria’s words, “Language is the first glue that links people together, and the major emphasis in self-​determination and ultimately in self-​government should be the preservation of language where it still exists and the cultivation of it where it has eroded or fallen into disuse.”168 Through language we understand, interpret, and create the world and ourselves in it, and thus the significance of language is paramount for individual and collective identity alike. Outlawing Indigenous languages and imposing majority languages through the education system has been a key colonial strategy and among the most powerful assimilating forces globally. As “a means of exerting power and control,” language has a primary role “in both colonizing the consciousness of peoples to maintain oppressive societal structures, and in decolonizing the mind to counteract these oppressive structures.”169 Not surprisingly, individual and collective efforts of reclaiming and cultivating Indigenous languages play an integral part in restoring and advancing self-​determination, while resisting colonialism and assimilation.

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A number of participants discussed the utmost importance of teaching their Indigenous language to their children as part of exercising and advancing collective self-​determination. Several Sámi women regarded speaking the Sámi language to their children and working toward ensuring the existence of Sámi daycare, schools, and books for children as a way of expressing and contributing to Sámi self-​determination both on individual and collective level. It was seen as an act of resistance and reclaiming in the daily life, and thus an act of maintaining individual integrity as part of the collective. However, in the context of powerful colonial relations of domination, this is far from easy or straightforward. Cree scholar Robyn Bourgeois elaborated the complexities involved in making decisions about language in the face of the continuous erasure of Indigenous languages: On a personal level, I try to enact it every day and to think about what it means to be a self-​determining Indigenous person in a colonial world, and what, I think my point of entry is, what does it look like to be an Indigenous parent with child, right? And so when I think about it, I think about the right for us, for example, to teach our kids both of our language, and for them to have the right to go to school, and now they can’t. They are both learning Cayuga, English, and Cree at the same time; because to me that’s an act of self-​determination. That my kids will be part of the solution to the extinction of our languages. So that’s one way I imagine it.170 For many Indigenous women, the act of speaking an Indigenous language to your newborn represents not only a (sometimes a difficult) choice between acquiescence and resistance to colonial language policies and disparaging attitudes toward Indigenous languages, but also a deliberate political act of self-​determination, decolonization, and restructuring relations of domination. In choosing which language they will speak to their children, women are faced with making far-​reaching decisions which for some may become extremely challenging due to the lack of support, including an environment of language speakers. Conceptualizing Indigenous self-​determination as a value involves a deep desire to restructure relations of politics in ways that allow upholding individual integrity, in part defined as bodily integrity and body sovereignty and in part articulated through “knowing oneself ” or “coming to know,” that are processes of gaining an understanding of who you are as an individual and what your commitments are in relation to others. Individual integrity is established through one’s responsibilities toward one’s family, community, and society. Knowing oneself is a way of finding one’s law in interaction with the relations that are part of one’s life. Part of that process is learning the structures of power in those relations—​that is, recognizing relations that foster and relations of domination that stand in the way of self-​determination as a foundational value. Individual integrity is about freedom from violence and harm, but also about obligations. Taking responsibility for our societies and engaging with the question of

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violence is both an individual and collective endeavor. Individual integrity and freedom from violence is not limited to interpersonal physical and sexual violence but necessarily encompasses freedom from structures and relations of violence and dispossession.

Conclusion In international law, self-​determination is a right vested in all peoples, including Indigenous peoples, which provides a people with a right to decide their collective affairs and in that way, be in charge of their present and future. My theory of self-​determination as a value does not negate this core principle of international law but rather expands it and clarifies its relationship to other Indigenous rights. As a transformative vision and tool for transforming all relations of domination, I argue that we need to conceptualize Indigenous self-​determination as a foundational value; that is, a widely shared understanding of what a group considers indispensable for their well-​being as individuals and as a people and a principle that guides Indigenous peoples’ lives, actions, choices, and decisions both collectively and individually. In the long process of drafting UNDRIP, Indigenous representatives frequently discussed self-​determination as foundational for their collective existence and well-​being, which gives rise to clusters of rights related to land and resources, participation, consultation and consent, spirituality, cultural heritage, language, and education. This is reflected in the way in which self-​determination is framed in UNDRIP and other Indigenous human rights mechanisms. If we understand rights as “collective decisions about the implementation of core values,”171 conceptualizing self-​determination as a value implies that Indigenous rights provided in UNDRIP and other instruments are collective decisions about how the core value of self-​determination must be implemented. The specific rights provided in UNDRIP enable the expression and exercise of Indigenous self-​determination. When we do not focus solely on self-​determination as a right, we are able to see it as a guiding vision in the everyday acts, in individual and collective determination, as well as in ceremonies and relations with the land. We can see self-​determination fostering the norm of integrity. The participants discussed the norm of integrity especially in terms of individual integrity and the integrity of the land. These two dimensions are relational: they gain meaning and are constituted through one another and are embedded in social relations. Both are constituted in relation to the collective, usually one’s own people. Thus the collective dimension informs both dimensions of integrity, the individual, and the land. Further, my research demonstrates how the two dimensions are interdependent:  the exercise of Indigenous self-​determination is compromised if one form of integrity is undermined. To a degree, this interdependence is recognized in the concept of cultural integrity in international human rights instruments. The notion of cultural integrity, however, is conspicuously silent on the fundamental significance and function of individual integrity.

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Nondomination is the bedrock of Indigenous self-​determination. This tends to get lost in the rights discourse. The Indigenous rights discourse advanced at the United Nations and other global arenas focuses on freedom from domination vis-​à-​vis the state. Although this is not surprising given the realm of international law embedded in relations among states, it is glaringly inadequate. This chapter has argued that a robust conception of Indigenous self-​determination is needed to attend to all relations of domination, not only that of the state with its focus on the rights discourse. Indigenous self-​determination is fundamentally a struggle to restructure relations. It is a vision for freedom from domination, for justice and dignity in all relations. Understood as a value, self-​determination sheds light on an array of relations beyond the state. Indigenous women who participated in the study unequivocally expressed that attainment of self-​determination necessitates the restructuring of relations of domination of the settler state as well as other forms of oppression including gender relations, heteropatriarchy, access to meaningful decision-​ making and participation, and unequal material relations disproportionately affecting Indigenous women, including resources and support for teaching Indigenous children their language, culture and heritage. A robust conception of Indigenous self-​determination seeks to restructure all relations of domination, which in turn necessitates an examination of which relations foster the norm of integrity and which relations suppress it. Restructuring relations of gender oppression centrally requires rejecting heteropatriarchal models of Indigenous nationhood, sovereignty, and self-​determination and restoring Indigenous women’s political and economic roles, authority, and leadership. In part, this includes resisting and putting an end to what Napoleon calls fundamentalism “within all of us” and “a lazy way of thinking” about gendered violence and women’s roles among Indigenous people.172 What is more, conceptualizing Indigenous self-​determination as a value allows for recognition of the profound complexity of the concept. All values are continually contested and this is the case in Indigenous societies as well. This is not to suggest that there cannot be consensus about core values, but as Nedelsky reminds us, it has to be interpreted in the light of inescapable contestation and potential disruption. Although there is a relative consensus among the participants about self-​determination as a value of integrity that manifests through a range of norms and practices, the discussion in this chapter has shown how these conceptions can be challenged and undermined by the very members of one’s community. As Indigenous women’s analyses show, the status quo is informed by intersecting oppressive colonial relations that impact social, structural as well as intimate relations in their own communities and mainstream society alike. Indigenous women in this study and beyond are increasingly questioning the whole gamut of current state of relations and expressing a deep desire to restructure and transform them, whether they be environmental, social, gender, intergenerational, or governmental relations—​many of which are characterized by systemic inequalities and hierarchies of power. These acts of contestation are examined through different sites in the following chapters.

2 Indigenous Self-​Government Structures in Canada, Greenland, and Sápmi

Indigenous self-​g overnment is the practice of the norm and value of self-​ determination. Self-​government in general is a political arrangement that enables a group to govern themselves according to their own will and through their own institutions. Drawing on the widely held democratic political principle that decisions ought to be made at the most local level possible, the normative foundation of self-​government is the exercise of autonomous decision-​making over collective affairs. In theory, self-​ government is free from external governmental control or political authority. In practice, however, self-​governments typically are delegated authorities and commonly come with a number of strings attached and various forms and degrees of external interference. Typically, self-​government is delineated over specifically defined areas of jurisdiction such as education, healthcare, policing, resource management, and cultural affairs. Although often used synonymously, self-​ determination and self-​ government are distinct concepts. In simplest terms, while self-​determination is the principle or norm of international law—​or as I  argue, foundational value for Indigenous peoples—​self-​ government, in some contexts, puts that principle into practice. For many Indigenous peoples, self-​government has become the modus operandi of the exercise and implementation of the right of self-​determination. It is important to note, however, that self-​ government is not the only way of implementing self-​determination. According to the standard state-​centered understanding, implementing self-​determination implies political independence and the creation of nation-​state. While the qualifier “Indigenous” bars Indigenous peoples from such a goal and endeavor at least in international law, most Indigenous peoples have never envisioned or desired an independent state anyway. As this book demonstrates, however, there are exceptions to this orientation. There are also increasingly nuanced analyses by Indigenous thinkers as to why a nation-​state model is a fundamentally flawed and false premise for Indigenous governance.

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The third related term, Indigenous governance, is also frequently used interchangeably with self-​determination and self-​government. I distinguish between these three terms. In my view, Indigenous governance is a term that recognizes that Indigenous peoples have had and in many cases continue to have their own forms and institutions of governance and law, ranging from local, often fairly informal deliberative and decision-​making processes to complex, formal, and centralized structures. Self-​government commonly refers to contemporary arrangements with the state in which an Indigenous people have been delegated certain administrative, representational, or consultative authority and tasks. I use the term Indigenous governance to refer to the shared vision of Indigenous authority of their own affairs grounded on structures and conventions that draw upon (pre-​ existing) Indigenous political and legal orders. In Canada, this is often referred to as the resurgence of Indigenous nationhood, which is a movement to counter the state-​driven self-​government process and more generally, rights-​based politics focused on reforming Indigenous–​state relations through policy and law. The ideal of self-​government has emerged in the contexts of colonization and subjugation and involuntary incorporation of ethnic groups and minorities into nation-​ states. These include Indigenous peoples but also ethno-​national groups such as the Basques in Spain and Scots and Welsh in Britain. Both have responded to their subjugation into nation-​states in similar ways, typically by seeking “to gain or regain their self-​ governing powers in their traditional territory to maintain themselves as separate and distinct societies alongside the majority.”1 Unlike many ethno-​national groups, however, the struggle for self-​determination for most Indigenous peoples does not take the form of political independence even though land rights commonly are at the center of self-​ determination claims. Iris Marion Young notes: Despite unjust conquest and continued oppression, however, few indigenous peoples seek sovereignty for themselves in the sense of the formation of an independent, internationally recognized state with ultimate authority over all matters within a determinately bounded territory.  .  .  . Most seek explicit recognition as distinct peoples by the states that claim to have jurisdiction over them, and wider terms of autonomy and negotiation with those states and with the other peoples living within those states. They claim or seek significant self-​government rights, not only with respect to cultural issues but with respect to land and access to resources. They claim to have rights to be distinct political entities with which other political entities such as states, must negotiate agreements and over which they cannot simply impose their will and their law.2 Indigenous peoples are distinct political entities with rights similar to states pertaining to decision-​making over their own affairs and jurisdiction and authority over their own territories. This, however, does not mean that founding an independent state is what Indigenous peoples aspire to as their preferred political form in the contemporary context.

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Nation-​state is not an Indigenous political arrangement. Having said that, Indigenous peoples’ articulations of self-​determination are always tempered and constrained by what states will or won’t accept as a palatable form of Indigenous political autonomy in a specific context. These constraints also inevitably shape Indigenous peoples’ political strategies in considering ways of realizing their self-​determination. Besides the recognition and exercise of political autonomy, an equally important normative dimension of Indigenous self-​government is participatory engagement in broader social and political structures which usually means interaction with and participation in the state institutions.3 Considering the diversity of the world’s Indigenous peoples and their social, political and cultural traditions, there is no single approach or model for self-​government. It has been suggested that there are four main ways of organizing contemporary Indigenous autonomy and self-​government in the world: autonomy through contemporary Indigenous political institutions, autonomy based on the concept of an Indigenous territory, regional autonomy within the state, and Indigenous overseas autonomy.4 Key examples of Indigenous self-​government models practiced through contemporary institutions are the Sámi Parliaments in the Scandinavian countries.5 Examples of autonomous governance based on the concept of an Indigenous territory include comarcas in Panama, reserves in Canada, and reservations in the United States.6 The third form, involving regional autonomy within the state, is accorded to a region or territory, not directly to Indigenous peoples. There are three main categories of regional autonomy: within the framework of federal state (e.g., Nunavut in Canada); an arrangement entrenched in the national constitution (e.g., Russia and the Philippines); or established by statute (e.g., Región Autónoma Atlántico Norte and Región Autónoma Atlántico Sur in Nicaragua).7 The final model, regional autonomy overseas, can be found in Kalaallit Nunaat/​Greenland, where the overwhelming majority of the population is Inuit. A  self-​governed territory of Denmark, Kalaallit Nunaat was under Home Rule from 1979 to 2009 when the more extensive Self-​Government Act was passed. The Home Rule Act allowed the administration of internal affairs (except the police, judicial system, and defense) and adoption of legislation by the Home Rule Government which consists of the Greenland Parliament, an elected assembly, and the Cabinet serviced by various government departments.8 The above framework is helpful in understanding the diversity of Indigenous political arrangements within the state, including the distinct challenges that different geopolitical realities represent in terms of Indigenous political discourses and processes of implementing Indigenous self-​determination. There is, however, extensive internal criticism of the existing self-​government models, the most common being that they neither entail de facto political autonomy or self-​government nor represent Indigenous governance structures. Of all the examples mentioned above, only Greenland can be considered to have achieved true self-​government. Formally however Greenland does not represent Indigenous self-​government and is not based on international norms related to



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Indigenous peoples rights. It is a public government that guarantees the participation of everyone living in Greenland more than six months. Only thanks to the demographics—​ the great majority of inhabitants are Inuit Greenlanders—​Greenland has an entirely Inuit-​controlled legislature. Other examples represent different degrees of self-​administration or consultative arrangements with limited (if any) decision-​making authority. For instance, while the comarca system in Panama has enabled some degree of self-​government for some indigenous communities such as the Kuna of the Comarca San Blas consisting of forty small islands on the Caribbean coast and a section of the mainland, Indigenous people in North America typically do not consider the reservation system as a form of Indigenous autonomy. They point out that the existing reservation system is a colonial construction that has relegated most people on reserves to extreme levels of poverty, unemployment, and social, political, and economic marginalization not found elsewhere in North America.9 Nonetheless, in the United States tribes exercise a degree of autonomous authority and jurisdiction over their own affairs. This chapter examines the scope and structures of the existing self-​government arrangements in three regions:  Canada, Greenland, and Sápmi (the Sámi region in Scandinavia) through participant discussions. In Canada, the focus is not on a specific First Nation or self-​government arrangement but instead, Indigenous self-​government is approached in broader terms with the focus on the discrepancy between aspiration of Indigenous nationhood and sovereignty and the structure and scope of self-​government sanctioned by the state. Each section begins by a brief overview of the colonial history and political context leading to self-​government arrangements.

Greenland: From a Danish Colony to De Facto Self-​G overnment Before the Home Rule Act was introduced in 1979, the people of Greenland were involved in running their own country and affairs in very limited terms. Until the Second World War, Denmark maintained a monopoly on trade and investment in Greenland. During the war, Denmark was occupied by Germany and Danish control over Greenland was lost. The United States took over the defense of Greenland and the import of goods.10 After the war, Danish governance was reinstituted and Greenland became a “non-​self-​ governing territory” under Chapter XI of the United Nations Charter. In the period from 1945 to 1954 Denmark was required to report on Greenland to the relevant UN decolonization bodies. With the new Danish Constitution in 1953, status as an overseas colony was terminated and Greenland was integrated into the Kingdom of Denmark, with Greenlanders obtaining the same rights as Danish citizens.11 Although the legal status of Greenland as a colony was terminated in 1953, the colonial policy intensified in the form of “economic neocolonialism and the immigration of a considerable number of Danes.”12

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The Home Rule Era Between 1950 and 1970, the number of Danes in Greenland rose from 4.5 to 20 percent of the population. By virtue of administrative intervention and economic investments by the Danish government, Inuit Greenlanders were relocated from traditional settlements to the towns in which state-​owned trawlers were based. As independent hunters and fishers were not always willing to renounce their subsistence economies and relocate, schools and stores were closed down, and construction was discontinued in the settlements, while loans in the fishing industry were made available only in towns. By the 1970s Greenland’s economy had been transformed into an export-​oriented fishing economy.13 As an integral part of the Danish realm, a key objective was to introduce Danish living standards in Greenland. The state invested heavily in the areas of infrastructure, construction, fisheries, health, and education. However, the development program failed considerably “absorb and integrate Greenland’s particular social, cultural and structural conditions, and many Greenlanders who were bypassed and left in the wake of the modernization witnessed the rapid changes of their society.”14 The modernization period was marked by the adoption of Danish ideas, institutions, and practices. Economically, Greenland became more dependent on Denmark and was “more than ever governed politically, economically, intellectually, and physically by another people.”15 Aviâja Egede Lynge argues: The post-​war period up to the introduction of Home Rule was characterized by the creation of a modern economic society. Rather than becoming more independent from Danish conditions, they became even more dependent with a colossal adaptation of Danish cultural items and institutions—​in the name of equality.16 The era of the civil rights movement, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, marked the beginning of the mobilization of the Inuit in Greenland. The political elite emerged from the ranks of Greenlanders educated in Denmark during that time. A few leading events galvanized the politicization of the Inuit in Greenland and the movement toward greater self-​determination. The first was the 1960s closure of the mining town Qullissat and the forced relocation of its 1,200 inhabitants. The reaction and resistance to this very heavy-​ handed colonial action was expressed in music, poetry, and political manifestos.17 The cultural summer festival Aasivik was one of the main forums for emerging creative and public expressions by the new generation of politically active Greenlanders.18 The second event that bred strong anti-​colonial sentiments was the permission given by the Danish government for offshore oil drilling near the coast of West Greenland, between 1973 and 1977. This involved consultation with neither the people of Greenland nor the Provincial Council of Greenland, which in 1975 passed a unanimous motion stating that “the land and its resources belonged to the resident population.”19 It took more than thirty years before this statement became a reality and Greenlanders’ rights to their subsurface resources were recognized.



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The third and arguably most significant event involved the question of Greenland’s membership in the European Economic Community (EEC; the present-​day European Union). In a Danish referendum held in 1972, the vote in Greenland was 70  percent against membership. However, as part of Denmark, Greenland did not have an independent voice in the matter and was forced to join after the Danes voted in favor of participation. This was seen by many Greenlandic politicians and others a blatant example of colonial control.20 As a result of growing dissatisfaction of the Danish rule, an internal Home Rule Committee was created in 1973 with the intention of considering the establishment of a Home Rule arrangement within the Danish realm. The Committee submitted a proposal for negotiation to the Danish government in 1975 and the joint Greenland–​Danish Home Rule Commission was set up that same year.21 During this period, the political party Siumut (“Forward”) was established, which gained widespread and long-​lasting support in most towns and settlements among hunters, fishers, and workers. Siumut became the leading voice in formulating the political propositions of the Home Rule Commission.22 The final report of the commission suggested a Home Rule Act, which was approved first by the Danish Parliament in 1978 and in a referendum in 1979. The same year, Home Rule was initiated in Greenland.23 The overarching principle of the Greenland Home Rule Act was the devolution and delegation of legislative and executive authority from Danish to Greenlandic authorities, within certain areas of jurisdiction. These included domestic affairs, taxation, fisheries, planning, trade, church affairs, social welfare, labor market, education, cultural affairs, health, housing, supply of goods, transportation, and environmental protection. One of the priorities of the Home Rule government was to reverse colonial urbanization and forced settlement policies and to improve living conditions in the settlements. Later, however, Home Rule enacted economic reforms that revoked economic benefits previously enjoyed by the settlements since the colonial era, such as the one-​price system. Regardless, the settlements owe their continued existence to Home Rule.24 According to past president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) Aqqaluk Lynge, the most controversial topic in an otherwise fairly smooth negotiation process was land and resource rights. At the end, a compromise was reached “in which the Greenlandic people were given fundamental rights to the land, whereas the management of raw minerals became a joint Greenlandic-​Danish concern.”25 The areas that remained under sole Danish jurisdiction included the constitution, foreign policy, currency, the judicial system, and defense. Home rule was funded through block grants from Denmark, annually decided on the basis of current Home Rule expenditure.26 Though it was sometimes hailed as a leading example of Indigenous governance, Greenland Home Rule was a delegated authority with sovereignty vested firmly in Danish crown. It did not recognize the sui generis self-​determination of the Inuit Greenlanders. Home Rule was a public government focused on the building of the Greenlandic nation structured around key concepts and institutions of Western nation-​state such as

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democracy and parliamentarianism. Comparing Home Rule to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and land claims in the Canadian Arctic, Jens Dahl similarly argues that Home Rule was always characterized by its state-​like structure and its efforts to build state apparatus by copying the institutional model directly from Denmark.27 The Self-​Government Act, 2009 At the turn of the century, after two decades of Home Rule, the Landstyre had assumed the responsibility of practically all areas of jurisdiction stipulated in the Home Rule Act. Recognizing the need for a reform of Greenland’s political and legal status within the Danish realm, the Landstyre established the Greenland Commission on Self-​ Governance: “We knew we had to take another step from Home Rule. . . . The Home-​ Rule Act, and the framework that it represented was becoming too tight. So the leading politicians were saying that the ‘Anorak’ was [getting] too tight.”28 Thus in its 2003 report, the Commission recommended expanding Greenland’s autonomy. The following year a Danish–​Greenlandic Commission was set up to develop a framework for a greater self-​governance in Greenland. The joint Commission submitted its final report to the Danish and Home Rule governments in 2008.29 In November 2008 a referendum was held in Greenland on expanded self-​rule and 75 percent voted in favor. As the result, the Greenland Self-​Government replaced Home Rule arrangement on June 21st, 2009. The Act on Greenland Self-​Government (commonly referred to as the Self-​Rule Act) establishes new political and legal opportunities for Greenland to gain extensive self-​ governance and ultimately, independence if the population of Greenland so chooses in the future. The act contains thirty-​three areas of jurisdiction over which the new self-​ rule government (called Naalakkersuisuit or the Government of Greenland) exercises legislative and executive authority. Most important of these is the mineral resources. Two other issues of major significance include the recognition of the Greenlanders as a people in international law and adoption of Greenlandic as the official language. Within the framework of the Self Rule Act, Denmark retains the control of the constitution, citizenship, Supreme Court, foreign affairs, defense and currency; however, Denmark is expected to involve Greenland on foreign affairs and security matters that affect or are in the interests of Greenland. Moreover, since Home Rule, Greenland has been permitted to have missions in countries of special interest to Greenland. Through the Home Rule Act and the Self-​Government Act, Greenland has the right to elect its own parliament and government, the latter with executive authority over the areas of jurisdiction included in the acts. The elected assembly or the Parliament of Greenland (Inatsisartut) consists of thirty-​one members, who are elected by the population of Greenland for a four-​year period. The elected assembly approves the government, which is responsible for the central administration, headed by a premier with a cabinet. The Parliament also appoints the premier, who nominates the ministers for the cabinet. There are currently eight ministers, all of whom are Inuit Greenlanders.



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Greenland is a multiparty parliamentary democracy and the party system has played a vital role in the Home Rule and Self-​rule institutions. Political parties have long shaped Greenlandic politics. They emerged in the mid-​1970s before the establishment of Home Rule as the well-​educated Greenlandic elite was “eager to use the party system to take power from the Danes.”30 The dominant social democratic party Siumut is supported by hunters, fishermen, and workers especially in settlements and smaller towns. Siumut has had a leading role in the process leading to Home Rule and it has formed the government since, except the first term of the self-​rule era (2009–​2013). The first elections held after self-​rule was won by the socialist Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA, Inuit Community), with its support base mostly among urban educated Greenlanders.31 Since Home Rule, Greenland’s governance structure has been a Nordic-​style unicameral cabinet-​parliamentary system. The Home Rule administration was adopted from Denmark “element for element and law for law.”32 There were no changes to the governance structure in the Self-​Government Act except a cosmetic name change: the Danish terms for the parliament (Landsting) and the government (Landstyre) were replaced with Greenlandic ones (Inatsisartut and Naalakkersuisuit respectively). Unlike the other Inuit jurisdiction Nunavut (Canada), Greenland has expressed no intention of or interest in establishing a government based on Inuit values and governance principles. According to a civil servant, there was no discussion of Inuit values or governance while negotiating the self-​government agreement. In his view, considering “the Inuit” separately from “the people of Greenland” would have been regarded as undemocratic. The implicit assumption during the negotiations was that because the Inuit constitute an overwhelming majority of Greenland’s population, the Inuit character of the new self-​government regime is guaranteed and thus self-​government would represent de facto Inuit governance. The focus of the negotiations was on voting rights and eligibility, resulting in the creation of a new category, “the people of Greenland,” rather than considering Inuit principles of governance. While the term “Greenlander,” which is commonly understood to refer only to the Inuit in Greenland, the term “the people of Greenland” encompasses the entire population: the Inuit, Danes, and everyone else who has lived in Greenland more than six months.33 The act does not recognize the Inuit as a people and consequently, does not deal with the question of the self-​determination of the Inuit. The prevailing view in Greenland is that Inuit governance is above all a matter of representation. As long as Greenlanders (i.e., Inuit in Greenland) hold the most (or all) positions of political power and legislative authority (the Inatsisartut and Naalakkersuisuit), the Inuit appearance is secured. However, not everybody agrees that having a government and a parliament consisting of Greenlandic representatives equals Inuit decision-​making authority. During Home Rule, the late Henriette Rasmussen, who served as the minister for Social Affairs (1990–​1995) and the Minister for Culture, Education, and Research (2003–​2005) observed: “Our society is not acceptable as it is. I keep searching for our cultural heritage in every step we take politically. The standards

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and values we are applying in our society have failed. Yet, nobody considers the values of our culture heritage—​they have no immediate monetary value.”34 Failure to consider Inuit values has not changed under Self-​rule:  “Greenland self-​ government is unquestionably a Danish model.”35 Rasmussen, who at the time of the interviews served as the Cultural Editor of the Kalaallit Nunaata Radioa (Greenlandic Broadcasting Corporation), maintained that the Inuit “are still not in charge. Our whole administration is done by outsiders. . . . If you look at the structure of the law-​making, for example, the laws are not borne out from the parliament, they are borne out from the administration.”36 Another participant claimed that self-​government reflected Inuit values only on paper and posited: The way it works, the government is still an old model of Denmark and most of the, I’m not racist but, most of the employees of the home-​rule government who tried to implement all the things are still Danish people, with a Danish view. . . . So there is a big gap between what politicians really say and what is really being done, in my opinion.37 The “institutional inertia” and the lack of interest in developing specifically Greenlandic institutions have been explained by Greenland’s “organizational dependency” on Denmark.38 One participant suggested, however, that questioning the established governance structures and the underlying framework of Western institutionalism would be considered undemocratic and divisive.39 Conversations with him and other participants gave an impression of a prevailing conciliatory ethos among many Greenlanders in the capital toward Denmark and the Danes in Greenland. Nearly all participants emphasized the importance of living and working together and having amicable relations with Danes and Denmark. One has to bear in mind, however, that especially in the smaller settlements the ethos can be quite different where anti-​Danish sentiments are fairly ordinary.40 For some, the idea of and demand for Inuit governance was problematic particularly because of the underlying assumptions of homogeneity of Inuit culture and traditions. Naaja Nathanielsen, a former member of the Inatsisartut (Inuit Ataqatigiit), maintained that it was impossible to generalize an Inuit point of view within Greenland, let alone among Inuit in general: We are different, the Inuit, I think we have a lot in common, and I think we make good sense of standing together on a lot of issues, but we are also different. And as for me, as a Greenlandic Inuit, and for say a Canadian or American Inuit, we have some very different cultural background as well. But I still think that as a society, as Greenland, I think, in other Inuit communities, are perceived as very lucky, very privileged. And I think we should maybe think on that more. We are very privileged. . . . we have a good level of welfare, compared to any other Inuit societies. Does it reflect the cultural understanding of self-​determination? Well, what is that?



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I wouldn’t be sure what to tell you. I think the Russian Inuit would just be happy that they were not being oppressed. So, so yes, they would probably think this was the highest level, something worthwhile. But for me, of course I would like, it would have been nice to get a broader or wider deal with Denmark. That’s going to be next time. The movement is toward independence in some form or another.41 Among the Inuit living in four different countries, cultural differences but especially socioeconomic and political differences make it unfeasible to speculate on what an Inuit (cultural) understanding of self-​determination would look like. Further, contemplating the qualitative and normative differences between Western and Indigenous institutions, practices and traditions of governing are seen as an indulgence for those Inuit living under oppressive regimes. For Nathanielsen, a high level of social services, a lack of oppression, and the prospect of independence are far more important than a set of governance principles based on Inuit values. For the former premier Aleqa Hammond (Siumut), the strong Inuit involvement in the drafting of the self-​g overnment agreement was seen as an unequivocal indication of Inuit governance: “Absolutely, absolutely, because [the agreement] formed by us, and adopted by Danes. . . . So yes, I’m fully happy about the agreement and I don’t think we could have got a better agreement than we have today, in all respects, to all parties that have been working with us, for us.”42 Strong cultural traditions in Greenlandic society in general were also mentioned as a reflection of Inuit values in self-​rule. The recognition of Greenlandic as the official language was considered especially significant, as well as it being quite widely spoken by the members of the Parliament. During and after the second self-​g overnment elections in Spring 2013 (at the time of the interviews) there was a heated public debate in the Greenlandic media about the (then) newly elected premier Hammond’s suggestion to only allow the use of the Greenlandic language in the Inatsisartut. Her rationale was to reflect and strengthen the status of Greenlandic as the official language of the country. However, her suggestion was considered controversial and divisive by many interviewees. Although the great majority of Greenlanders speaks Greenlandic, there are many especially in Nuuk whose mother tongue is Danish, and it was considered wrong to exclude them by Greenlandic-​only policies. For an ICC Greenland representative, Hammond’s initiative was an indication of her nationalist stance rather than of asserting Indigenous rights.43 Hammond herself saw the proposal as part of a broader decolonization process which she (unlike the previous governments) considered important and “natural” for the newly established government. For her, the Self-​Government Act represents a “new phase of history” and in order for it to be successful, there is a need for “breaking up with [the] colonial ties.” While aware of the criticism, she held that it had nothing to do with nationalism but rather, “with the Indigenous people wanting to be free.” She explained:

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Although some people consider it racist, it has nothing to do with race. This has something to do with a people that look inward and see strength in themselves. And some people are saying that is, you know, that is excluding Danes. This has nothing to do with Danes, this is about Greenlanders. And some people are saying that this is too . . . you know, wanting to be a monolinguistic country where only Greenlandic is being spoken. No, it’s not. It is to implement the new law saying the official language is Greenlandic. So I think decolonization is very important in the government because I want people to understand that the journey we are on toward independency is a journey with Greenlanders for the Greenlanders. And not to offend anyone, but to praise ourselves, and to find joy in our in our strength, to find joy in our culture, in our traditions, in our wishes, in our “selfness,” and turn it into a strength.44 In Hammond’s view, decolonization is for the benefit of everyone living in Greenland. It is a means to “join two the cultures” rather than creating divisions, as argued by many. Strengthening the status of the Greenlandic language especially in the echelons of power was considered a central means of demonstrating Inuit Greenlanders capacity to govern and draw strength from their culture and traditions. It also reflected Hammond’s desire to decolonize the Western (Danish) governance structures. However, a strong presence of the Greenlandic language may represent an important but limited way of incorporating Inuit values into the institutions of governance.45

Canada: The Indian Act Administration and Self-​G overnment Agreements With sixty to eighty culturally and politically distinct Indigenous nations or peoples, the question of self-​government in Canada is far more complex than in Greenland or Sápmi. Many Indigenous nations are further divided into over six hundred bands or communities created by the Indian Act administration.46 Different Indigenous nations and groups may have very different views and positions on self-​government. As scholars have pointed out, “consensus concerning self-​government’s benefits had not yet developed; neither has a formal and agreed upon definition of Aboriginal self-​government.”47 Some First Nations have concluded or are currently negotiating self-​government agreements while others reject the process altogether as a continuation of dispossession and displacement by the colonial settler state. In contrast to Greenland or Sápmi, Indigenous self-​government in Canada is commonly considered very much a local (or in some cases, regional) rather than centralized process and political arrangement. There are other factors to take into account when considering Indigenous self-​ government in Canada: are we discussing continuing forms of sovereignty (such as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Six Nations), the implementation of the historical



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treaties signed mostly in the nineteenth century, or the modern land claims and self-​ government agreements? There is also the ever-​present specter of the Indian Act looming large above many self-​government related questions. In this section, I  first provide an overview of Canadian Aboriginal policy, the contours of self-​government discourse, and the existing models. Second, I examine implementation processes, drawing on interviews with members of different First Nations conducted in southern Ontario, Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island in British Columbia, and a Sahtú Dene community in the Northwest Territories. From the White Paper to the Self-​Government Discourse Assimilation as Canada’s official policy toward Indigenous people was firmly in place until the failure of the Trudeau/​Chretien White Paper in the early 1970s. Colonial policies such as the passing of the Indian Act in 1876, establishment of reserves and the residential school system geared toward solving “the Indian problem” had been increasingly criticized in the 1960s. Criticism included the federally commissioned Hawthorn report, which concluded that years of failed government policy had resulted in Indians being the most disadvantaged and marginalized population in Canada or “citizens minus.”48 Based on the recommendations of the Hawthorn report, the newly elected Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau who had won the national elections with his campaign for a “just society,” set to amend the Indian Act together with the Minister of Indian Affairs Jean Chrétien.49 For the first time in history, the federal government engaged in consultations with Indigenous communities through community meetings and by inviting Indigenous representatives to Ottawa. Concerns repeatedly raised in Indigenous communities and by Indigenous leaders included treaty and land rights, education, healthcare, and greater control of their own affairs. The government responded to these concerns with a policy paper popularly known as the White Paper, with a main objective of eliminating the Indian Act, Indian collective rights, and the distinct legal status as Indians. The White Paper was met with an uproar and was eventually withdrawn in the face of unabated opposition. The fierce opposition by Indigenous leaders was unexpected, demonstrating the utter inability of leading federal politicians to grasp the questions of treaty rights and Indigenous self-​determination.50 After the White Paper controversy, organizations such as the National Indian Brotherhood adopted an explicitly political framework to promote their agendas and interests which was increasingly formulated around concepts of nationhood, sovereignty, and self-​government instead of the “citizens plus” concept, introduced by the Hawthorn report.51 In 1975, the Dene of the Northwest Territories were first to issue a major statement of Indigenous nationhood titled “the Dene Declaration,” made public by the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry. The Declaration called for recognition of the Dene right to self-​determination as a nation and distinct people. The politicization of the Dene was a result of seeking to incorporate Dene into the capitalist economy of the state. This

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process had begun a few decades earlier and intensified with the 1968 discovery of a large oil and gas reservoir in Alaska which led to plans of constructing a pipeline along the Mackenzie River Valley. In 1969, sixteen Dene chiefs established the Indian Brotherhood of the Northwest Territories mainly to oppose the pipeline and the exclusion of the Dene communities from the government plans.52 Another early articulation of self-​ determination was the 1977 position paper “Indian Government” by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians, the first Indigenous organization to formally articulate the principles of self-​government.53 For the most part, Indigenous women were excluded from the early mobilizing and creation of Indigenous national and regional organizations. Due to the patrilineal status provisions in the Indian Act, gender discrimination and exclusion of Indigenous women from political affairs had become internalized and naturalized by much of early Indigenous political organizing in Canada. In the late 1960s, Indigenous women began mobilizing against their marginalization and specifically the discriminatory provisions of the Indian Act. This culminated in the cases of Lavell and Bedard, who lost in the Supreme Court in 1974, discussed in the previous chapter. Soon after, another Indigenous woman, Sandra Lovelace, took her case to the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee where she argued that with the Indian Act, Canada violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), particularly Article 27 that stipulates the right not to be denied the enjoyment of one’s own culture and language. The Human Rights Committee found Canada in violation of the ICCPR and recommended amending the Indian Act in a way that addressed its discrimination of women.54 Reluctantly, the government representatives and male Native leadership came together with Native women’s organizations and groups to draft and finally pass Bill C-​31 in 1985. The amendments to the Indian Act in 1985 (known as Bill C-​31) were supposed to eliminate gender discrimination but fell short by introducing the “second-​ generation cut-​off ” clause, which means that a Bill C-​31 reinstatee cannot pass status on to her children.55 Since 1985, there have been a number of court cases (McIvor v.  Canada 2009, Descheneaux v.  Canada 2015, and Gehl v.  Canada 2017)  trying to eliminate the continued sex discrimination in the Indian Act. The Government of Canada has responded to these cases by only removing the specific discrimination identified by each case, rather than addressing the foundational sex-​based hierarchy in the status provisions. Most recently, Bill S-​3 (2017) is supposed to eliminate this hierarchy, but the specific provisions stipulating this did not come into force on passing the Bill.56 It has been argued that as “there is no fixed date for their coming into force, these provisions are, in practice, meaningless.”57 Women challenging the discriminatory provisions of the Indian Act as well as sexism and violence in their communities were condemned for being anti-​Indian, selfish, individualistic, and charged of betrayal of the self-​determination struggles and of co-​optation into colonial, Western discourses of individualism.58 As a result of the criticism they



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received, many Indigenous women became wary of male-​led self-​government talk. Their experience had shown that women’s dispossession and displacement may not cease in the context of self-​government which, besides the patriarchal norms adopted by Indigenous male leaders, is a process largely dictated and decided by the Canadian government. This is succinctly articulated by Sharon McIvor:  “After 135  years of sex discrimination by Canada, we were afraid of self-​government. Why would neo-​colonial Aboriginal governments, born and bred in patriarchy, be different from Canadian governments?”59 Similarly, Andrea Bear Nicholas does not mince her words in describing the co-​optation of the Indigenous male leadership: If the AFN [Assembly of First Nation, formerly the National Indian Brotherhood] would recognize the legitimacy of the State (which it did), the AFN would in turn be legitimated, not by the people, but by the State. In return, so-​called self-​ government would be imposed on the people, and the constituency of the AFN (mostly male and mostly co-​opted chiefs) would be rewarded with even more powers to oppress their people. Although seductively called “self-​government,” the plan would in fact be nothing more than a third order of municipal, non-​Native style government.60 The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) expressed strong opposition to the constitutional entrenchment of Aboriginal self-​government,61 as proposed in the 1992 Charlottetown Accord (which eventually was rejected in a referendum). The two main concerns included disregard for Aboriginal women’s gender equality rights and lack of broad-​based discussion of the forms and structures of the intended self-​government. In the words of Cindy Polchies: While we support the recognition of the inherent right to self-​government, we are very concerned about the forms and structures this government could assume. . . . NWAC has stated previously, and maintains, that self-​government should be granted to nations, not to band councils or to interest groups like the Assembly of First Nations. . . . Any self-​government agreement must be negotiated on a nation to nation basis. . . . NWAC is concerned that groups that do not represent nations will be vested with the power to negotiate these agreements.62 NWAC further argued that no government should be except from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including band council governments founded upon “patriarchal laws which created ‘male privilege’ as the norm on reserve lands.”63 This was not unfounded concern. As many Indigenous women argued, their leadership and many ordinary members of their communities had been “thoroughly brainwashed to accept the Indian Act’s imposition on their lives” including its patriarchal views of governance and leadership.64

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The Indian Act band council system continues to operate in many communities today and several participants critiqued it as a fundamentally broken and corrupt structure that must be eliminated. Dorothy Christian called for decolonization of Indigenous governance “because the Indian Act has successfully deconstructed our political system so that the boys have bought into the patriarchal model.”65 Wanda Nanibush argued that it makes little sense to attempt to reform the Indian Act governance structure because the system cannot be changed from within. In spite of Indigenous women’s long-​standing attempts to make the band council system work for them, the change has been miniscule.66 In Napoleon’s view, regardless of the reforms, the band council system does not serve the local needs and will eventually fail:  “The band council structure is founded on assumptions regarding Western style leadership, representational democracy, and accountability. Even when filled with family headmen, it is primarily intended to meet the external bureaucratic and legal demands of the federal government as opposed to the need for a local political project.”67 Self-​government was not constitutionally entrenched in the Constitution Act, 1982 which, under section 35, recognizes Aboriginal peoples (i.e., Indians, Inuit, and Métis) and affirms existing Aboriginal and treaty rights. However, the federal government has since 1995 recognized the inherent right of self-​government as an existing Aboriginal right under section 35.68 The inherent right to Aboriginal self-​government was adopted as the Inherent Right Policy by the federal government in 1995. Regardless its lofty name, the policy does not recognize Aboriginal self-​government as a right pre-​existing the establishment of the Canadian state, but instead, constructs it in narrow technical terms. “Inherent” in practice means “constitutional”: by recognizing the “inherent right” of Aboriginal self-​government, the federal government means that Aboriginal people have a right written into section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 to govern themselves in relation to matters that are internal to their communities, their “unique” cultures, identities, traditions, languages, and institutions and with respect to their special relationship to land and their resources. The 1995 Inherent Right Policy also amended the previous land claims policy, making it possible to negotiate land claims and self-​government simultaneously and be included in the same agreement.69 Not surprisingly, the federal government’s Inherent Right Policy has been criticized for its doublespeak: while the right to self-​government is recognized as inherent in the abstract, the policy requires First Nations to negotiate in order to give effect to this “inherent” right and limit it to the delegated municipal-​style authority.70 An inherent problem of the Inherent Right Policy is the emphasis on the need to “simply modernize an unjust relationship.”71 The colonial relationship does not change as the negotiated agreements must fit within the Canadian constitutional framework and more fundamentally, “the original and ongoing dispossession of lands, resources, political autonomy and cultural integrity” is not addressed at all.72 With the inherent right approach, the core question of self-​government identified by the Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples, fair redistribution of land and resources, is overlooked to an extent that some characterize



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the state-​led self-​government negotiations as “termination tables” with the objective of putting an end to Indigenous rights and turning First Nations into municipalities.73 In July 2017, the Liberal government released a statement outlining a list of ten principles with the purpose of redefining the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous peoples. It is unlikely, however, that the statement radically changes the established self-​ government policy and framework. Most principles repeat the Liberal government’s well-​established discourse on reconciliation and self-​government. While the document “recognizes that Indigenous self-​government and laws are critical to Canada’s future,” the principles do not go as far as to mention, for example, the pre-​existing Indigenous sovereignty as the Supreme Court has done (in Haida Nation v. British Columbia 2004). Instead the statement talks about “the pre-​existence of Indigenous peoples” that needs to be reconciled with “the assertion of sovereignty of the Crown.” This language has been widely criticized by a range of Indigenous scholars, leaders, and activists as assimilationist, attempting to reconcile Indigenous nations deeper into the state structures while maintaining the status quo and the legal fiction of Crown sovereignty. Yet a couple of principles warrant a closer consideration. The principle number eight stands out from the established government rhetoric for calling for a “renewed economic and fiscal relationship” that will ensure the fiscal capacity of Indigenous nations and “access to land and resources, in order to govern effectively.” Notably, the principle mentions the importance of Indigenous peoples having access to lands and resources “to support their traditional economies and to share in the wealth generated from those lands and resources as part of the broader Canadian economy.” However, it falls short of calling for a fair redistribution of land and resources and it is highly questionable whether it would achieve its stated objective as long as “the new fiscal relationship” must remain within the constraints of the “broader Canadian economy.”74 While most of the statement on redefining the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous peoples hardly breaks new ground, its first principle is interesting in light of restructuring relations of domination vis-​à-​vis the state, which reads:  “The Government of Canada recognizes that all relations with Indigenous peoples need to be based on the recognition and implementation of their right to self-​determination, including the inherent right of self-​government” (emphasis added). To achieve that goal, the federal and provincial governments have a responsibility to “shift their relationships and arrangements with Indigenous peoples.” This entails “changes in the operating practices and processes of the federal government,” whereas Indigenous peoples are expected to “define and govern themselves as nations and governments and the parameters of their relationships with other orders of government.”75 Whether “the changes in the operating practices and processes of the federal government” implies eliminating the much maligned Inherent Right Policy and its “termination tables” is yet to be seen. That is what is ultimately required to achieve the objectives of the first principle of the federal government’s new blueprint. That is what the restructuring relations of domination with the state would necessitate.

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Existing Self-​Government Models in Canada Scholars, Indigenous and non-​ Indigenous alike, have long debated whether self-​ government is an adequate answer or a solution to the pressing issues affecting Indigenous people and their communities. For some, self-​government can never be more than a partial answer: Self-​government is a response to the failure of past policies. . . . Self-​government is neither a gift, nor a delegation, but an inherent right . . . The inherent context for its exercise, however, is not always favourable: the social consequences of past policies (or non-​policies) that often failed or were counterproductive—​and whose failure provides a key rationale for self-​government—​do not provide auspicious circumstances for a thriving democracy.76 Since the 1980s, there have been a number of studies and initiatives, most notably the Special Committee on Indian Self-​Government and its Penner Report (1983) and in the 1990s, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) that have recommended the development of a process and framework for the implementation of Aboriginal self-​ government. The RCAP recommended a number of ways to restructure the relationship with the state, including the nation model, the public government model, and the community interest model. While the nation model with its idea of forming larger nations out of small Indian Act bands, Métis communities and Inuit settlements would be faced with great practical challenges, the two other models are already in use. The public government model was implemented with the establishment of the territory of Nunavut in the eastern Arctic in 1999. The Inuit form the numerical majority yet the government guarantees the participation of all residents of the territory. The community of interest model, sometimes referred to sectoral governance, is practiced notably in urban areas and communities without an exclusive land base where Aboriginal organizations may provide services such as education, housing, healthcare, and other social services.77 There are a number of ways to look at the current landscape of Indigenous self-​ government in Canada. Besides the models proposed by the RCAP report and others, federal government, under its Inherent Right Policy has identified a series of models for self-​government arrangements that more or less follow the lines of the three groups of Aboriginal peoples: First Nations (the standard model seeking to replace the Indian Act through negotiations), Inuit (public government approach), Métis (with or without land base), and the territories (comprehensive land claims). Other ways of categorizing include dividing self-​government arrangements into traditional, legislated (e.g., the Indian Act governance) and negotiated self-​government (both inside and outside modern treaty-​making). However, the Indian Act legislation can hardly be considered a form of self-​government as it renders nearly all decisions by the chief and council system to the approval of the Minister of Indigenous Affairs.



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A number of scholars have proposed their own systems of classification. Comparing the differing constitutional status and political relationship to the Canadian state in their article “Four Pathways to Aboriginal self-​government in Canada,” Frances Abele and Michael Prince suggest the following categorization: (1) “mini-​municipalities”; (2) new subnational entities in the form of adapted federalism; (3) a fully developed third order of government; and (4) government based on treaty alliance or nation-​to-​nation. Under the first model as mini-​municipalities First Nations have more powers than under the Indian Act (governance that could be characterized as “minus-​municipalities”), but still exercise delegated authority. According Abele and Prince, there is no First Nation or community that has identified the “mini-​municipality” as their ultimate goal yet there are a number of instances where it has been chosen as a transitional stage toward a constitutionally protected self-​government with extensive jurisdiction.78 The adapted federalism model creates a new form of public government, the only example currently being the already mentioned Nunavut, which resulted from a modern treaty, the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and its companion political accord, the Nunavut Act, in 1993. It is a model that most likely will not be reproduced even in the north where there might be interest but the groups are too small to form a new territory. The third order of government in the form of trilateral federalism has been discussed since the 1970s and it was the main recommendation of the 1983 Penner report. Under this model, self-​government would have quite extensive powers in “making laws and policy, delivering programs, enforcing laws, and adjudicating disputes” and exclusive jurisdiction in some areas of law-​making.79 The model was articulated further in the federal government’s 1995 Inherent Right Policy. The third-​order model “builds upon the historical status of Aboriginal nations and their current constitutional position” and is based on negotiating self-​government arrangements locally or regionally.80 There are currently twenty-​ two signed self-​ government agreements involving thirty-​ six Indigenous communities in Canada. Eighteen of them are part of a comprehensive land claim agreement. Not all modern land claims include governance. The 1984 Inuvialuit Final Agreement, for instance, contains no provisions for self-​government yet the Inuvialuit Land Administration could be considered a self-​government institution. Some land claim agreements, such as the Sahtú Dene and Métis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement in the Northwest Territories, provide for the negotiation of self-​government at a later date.81 As of writing, the most recent self-​government agreements include the Yale Final Agreement (2013), the Tla’amin Final Agreement in British Columbia (2014), and the Délı̨nę Final Self-​Government Agreement in the Sahtú Settlement Area in the Northwest Territories (2016). About a hundred self-​government negotiations are ongoing across the country. The fourth and final model in Abele and Prince’s framework, the nation-​to-​nation, rejects the idea of “joining” federalism and “becoming subject to the Constitution and governments in right of the Crown.”82 In the nation-​to-​nation model, the relationship is between two sovereign entities and authorities defined by a treaty. The source, legitimacy,

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and capacity of Indigenous self-​determination thus originate “outside of and prior to the Canadian state.”83 Although the Liberal government elected in October 2015 has recognized the significance of the “nation-​to-​nation relationship” between Canada and Indigenous peoples,84 it is unclear whether it is willing to adhere to the core principles of the nation-​to-​nation model. This would necessitate, among others, the recognition of sovereignty of Indigenous nations—​something which no Canadian government has ever recognized. The self-​government agreement is often negotiated as part of comprehensive land claims settlements (also known as modern treaties), which are widely criticized for continuing the extinguishment policy established in the historical treaties:  a process in which undefined Aboriginal and treaty rights are surrendered in exchange for a degree of self-​government, minuscule percentage of traditional territory, and a financial settlement. Although it has been argued that signing modern treaties no longer requires extinguishment,85 others have pointed out that there is no difference whether we use instead the terms such as “release” for the legal effect is the same.86 Even the UN Human Rights Committee has demanded the abandonment of the extinguishment policy as incompatible with the self-​determination article (Article 1) of the human rights covenants.87

Sápmi: Self-​G overnment through Sámi Parliaments Historically, Sámi nationhood was recognized in the 1751 Lapp Codicil, a largely forgotten and little known legal addendum to the Peace Treaty of Stromstad that demarcated the border between Norway (then a Danish territory) and Sweden. Consisting of thirty sections, the Lapp Codicil recognized the right of the reindeer herding Sámi to continue their annual migration across the newly established state boundary between their summer and winter pastures. In addition to transboundary rights, the Codicil included provisions on, inter alia, Sámi internal autonomy, citizenship, and taxation.88 In spite of its historical significance, the Lapp Codicil does not feature in contemporary legal or political discourses of Sámi self-​government or considerations with regard to the source, legitimacy, or authority of Sámi self-​determination.89 Instead, the discourse of Sámi self-​ determination is founded upon international law. There has been a general tendency in the Nordic countries to consider Indigenous rights as little as possible.90 While Indigenous political mobilization in Canada and Greenland has resulted in land claims and self-​government agreements, Sámi land rights are only partially recognized in the northernmost county of Norway (Finnmark). Notwithstanding the recognition of the Sámi as an Indigenous people, Sámi rights are frequently constructed as minority rights.91 The Constitutions of Norway and Finland have recognized a form of Sámi cultural, nonterritorial autonomy exercised through elected, representative bodies of the Sámi Parliaments. In Sweden, legislation explicitly



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states that the Sámi Parliament is not a self-​government institution but rather, a special state authority responsible for Sámi cultural affairs. Differences in the Nordic governments’ Sámi policies are reflected in the different institutional design, status, authority, and mandate of the three Sámi Parliaments.92 In Norway, the Sámi have been defined as a people who have been a target of grave historical injustice whereas the Sámi in Sweden have “been reduced to an interest group (with a particular occupation).”93 In Finland, the Sámi have been considered an insignificantly small ethnic group with no legitimate claim to specific rights.94 Further, whereas there is an official recognition that Norway “was built as a state on the territory of two peoples,” the Sámi and Norwegians,95 Sweden, and Finland have constructed Sámi rights claims as one interest among others and viewed as the role of the state to strike balance between the Sámi and “other interests.”96 These discursive events and practices have also in part influenced the uneven development of Sámi Parliaments in the three Nordic countries. The three Sámi Parliaments are elected representative bodies as well as government agencies in charge of administering Sámi-​related affairs, specifically Sámi cultural policy. All three Sámi Parliaments have somewhat ambivalent mandates but one thing is clear: they have been established as mainly consultative or advisory bodies rather than self-​governing institutions. The Sámi Parliaments exercise limited decision-​making authority over their own affairs, mainly through the administration and dissemination of state funding in areas of education, language, health, and social services. In addition, the Sámi Parliament in Norway has been delegated the sole authority over Sámi cultural heritage, including responsibility for sacred sites. The emphasis of the two somewhat incompatible functions—​elected representative bodies and administrative authorities—​between the three Sámi Parliaments varies significantly. In the past few years, the Sámi Parliament in Norway has been able to increase its authority and political influence on the state administration due to its open-​ended mandate and a range of gradual political, structural, and legal changes.97 Whereas the Sámi Parliament of Norway has unquestionably most clout as a representative assembly with some decision-​making authority, the function of the Sámi Parliament in Sweden, on the other hand, is constrained mainly to a government agency, creating conflicts with regard to the decision-​making authority and more fundamentally, constituting a structural obstacle to Sámi self-​determination.98 Norway Of the three Nordic countries, Norway (with the majority of Sámi population) has had the most progressive Sámi policy since the 1980s. It has been of great strategic value for other Sámi and it has served as a model to influence Sámi policy in Finland and Sweden. Historically, however, assimilation policies in Norway were generally more explicit and intense than in Sweden and Finland. Up until the Second World War, Sámi policy in all three Nordic countries was informed by ideologies of race biology and superiority of the

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civilized nations compared to child-​like, primitive Sámi.99 These ideologies have played out in different ways in the three countries. Since the mid-​ nineteenth century, the Norwegian Sámi policy, known as “Norwegianization,” was characterized by explicit assimilative policies directed toward the Sámi and also the Kvaen population, a Finnish-​speaking minority in Northern Norway. The education system was considered the main means of Norwegianization with the aim of eradication of the Sámi language, culture, and values. An act in 1889 prohibited the use of any other language than Norwegian in schools.100 An agricultural act of 1902 banned anyone purchasing land unless they were literate in Norwegian.101 The experiences of the Second World War changed the general attitudes toward the Sámi although the Norwegianization was the official policy until 1959, when the government appointed Sámi Committee, founded three years prior, released their report. The assimilationist policies were replaced by economic and social integration into the nation-​state while maintaining the distinctiveness of Sámi culture, especially the language.102 Sámi policy in Norway took a radical shift as the result of the Alta River conflict in the early 1980s. In the late 1970s, the Norwegian government had decided to dam the Alta-​ Kautokeino River at the heart of the Sámi region in Northern Norway. In its original plan, the hydroelectric dam was going to submerge the Sámi village of Máze (Masi) and a considerable portion of important reindeer grazing and calving areas in a significant reindeer herding region. The government plans were met with unexpected resistance by a coalition of the Sámi, environmentalists and fishermen, the latter of whom were concerned about the destruction of a major salmon river. The conflict culminated in a large demonstration and standoff at the construction site by the river, a hunger strike on the front of the Norwegian Parliament building in Oslo in 1979 and an occupation of the office of the Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland by fourteen Sámi women in 1981.103 Viewed as a “political earthquake,” the conflict “shook the political establishment in Norway [and] turned the traditional views on the legitimacy of policymaking towards the Norwegian Sámi upside down.”104 Broad national and international attention to the conflict pressured the government to promptly address Sámi rights while Norway did not want its status of a leading international human and Indigenous rights advocate be tarnished.105 One of the main outcomes of the Alta conflict was the appointment of the Sámi Rights Commission in 1980 to examine Sámi rights and draft a new Sámi policy in Norway. The report of the Commission, released in 1984, recognized the Sámi as a distinct people with the right to enjoy their culture according to standards established in international law, notably in Article 27 of the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Although a minority provision, it has been employed with a relative success by Indigenous people (e.g., Lovelace in Canada and Kitok in Sweden). In its interpretation of the provision, the Sámi Rights Commission established that besides objects and expressions, the concept



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of culture has a “material foundation, that is, the economic and physical basis of a culture.”106 The Ministry of Justice agreed with this view when introducing the new Sámi Act in 1987 and in its subsequent statements. The Sámi Rights Commission’s main recommendations were the establishment of the Sámi Parliament and a constitutional amendment. The Sámi Parliament was established by the Sámi Act in 1987 and in 1988, the Constitution was amended to include Article 110a (as the result of 2014 constitutional revision, now Section 108) that obligates the state “to create the conditions necessary for the Sámi to protect and develop their language, their culture and their society.”107 The Sámi Parliament is considered the main means of implementing Section 108 of the Constitution. The Sámi Parliament is structured as a Western parliamentary system of a legislative assembly and the executive council, consisting of the President and four or more appointed members.108 The assembly consists of thirty-​nine representatives elected every four years by Sámi registered in a specific electoral roll. In order to be eligible to register, certain criteria must be met.109 There are seven electoral districts that cover the entire country and representatives are elected from lists created by Sámi national organizations, Norwegian political parties, and local coalitions. When established, the Sámi Parliament was given an ambivalent mandate. On the one hand, it was to be an executive government agency and on the other, a representative body of the Sámi in Norway. The Sámi Act does not contain provisions stipulating Sámi governance beyond stating that the Sámi Parliament is an advisory body on Sámi affairs to the Norwegian government. It has been suggested that the lack of specific provisions has allowed the dynamism that has enabled the mandate of the Sámi Parliament to evolve and expand to areas such as control of Sámi cultural heritage. No longer merely an advisory body, the Sámi Parliament today is “a fully informed formal participant in public decision-​making”—​a process which has arguably “established a completely new framework for the relationship between the state and the Sámediggi [the Sámi Parliament].”110 The first Sámi Rights Commission did not consider Sámi land rights as this was left for a subsequent commission which released its final report in 1997.111 However, as a result of the aftermath of the Alta conflict and Norway’s active participation in the drafting process, Norway was the first country in the world to ratify the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (more commonly referred to as the ILO Convention 169) in 1990. The ratification of the Convention has meant that the Sámi in Norway have been provided with a means through international law to make rights claims vis-​à-​vis the Norwegian state. In addition, the Sámi land rights have been given limited recognition although even at the time of the ratification, the Sámi Parliament and the Norwegian government disagreed considerably in interpreting the land rights provision (Article 14) of the Convention: The Government interpreted its obligations under article 14 to be limited to ensuring a strongly protected usufruct right to lands and natural resources for the

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Sámi, whereas the Sámi Parliament believed the State is obliged to recognize and protect Sámi rights of ownership and possession, as well as usufruct rights.112 Norway’s ratification of the ILO Convention has paved way for more recent reforms that have strengthened Sámi political clout in Norway. One such reform is the formalization of the consultation arrangement between the Sámi Parliament and the state in 2005, according to which “the Sámi are guaranteed participation in decision-​making processes in all matters that may affect Sámi interests.”113 According to legal scholar and former member of the Sámi Parliament Laila Susanne Vars, the consultation agreement represents Norway’s compliance to its obligations under the ILO Convention 169.114 In reality, however, meeting these obligations have fallen short, for example, when the government has changed its position after reaching an agreement with the Sámi Parliament.115 The second major reform was the 2005 Finnmark Act, which created a comanagement regime governing the northernmost county of Norway (Finnmark). The act ensures a measure of Sámi representation and input into major decisions affecting the use of land and resources in Finnmark. Under the act, land and natural resources in Finnmark previously under the state management, are administered by the Finnmark Estate where the Sámi have a representation. After extensive revisions and amendments, the act was fully endorsed by the Sámi Parliament even though the act only provides for a right to limited comanagement, not land ownership.116 However, upon the request of the Sámi Parliament, an additional section dealing with identifying and protecting Sámi land and resource rights was added to the act.117 Section 29 establishes another body to investigate usage and ownership rights to the land managed by the Finnmark Estate. The Finnmark Commission is an independent judicial body to examine Sámi land claims in Finnmark county with the established objective to provide a mechanism to protect Sámi land rights. As elsewhere, this will be a lengthy process during which further dispossession in the form of encroachment by extractive industry and other development projects will no doubt take place.118 As for a current state of affairs, Sámi legal scholar John B. Henriksen suggests: “Whether the land claims procedure will be successful is still very much an open question. So far the findings of the Finnmark Commission have been criticized for only maintaining the status quo.”119 Although groundbreaking in paving way for identifying and recognizing Sámi land rights, legal scholars have argued that the Finnmark Act is not a manifestation of the Sámi right to self-​determination because the establishment of the Finnmark Estate does not meet the international provisions of the right of Indigenous peoples to local control and governance, effective participation, or to establish their own institutions.120 As James Tully argues, providing Indigenous peoples with “a form of proprietary right to a small portion of their territories under the domestic legal system” does not represent self-​determination under international law.121 Instead, Indigenous peoples under such



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regimes “are precluded from appealing to international law as peoples to redress infringement of their rights under the guise of domestic legal system.”122 Sweden Since the first reindeer herding acts in the late nineteenth century, the Swedish Sámi policy has been characterized by a two-​pronged approach. The policy of segregation was specifically issued for the reindeer herding Sámi whose way of life was nomadic and to be shielded from outside influence.123 The rest of the Sámi were deemed for assimilation. Moreover, those who counted as Sámi in Sweden became gendered when the Swedish Reindeer Grazing Act was amended in 1898 along patrilineal descent. A Sámi (or Lapp as the term employed by the states was at the time) was a person “whose father to some extent is of Lappish origin, but only if his father’s or grandfather’s permanent occupation was reindeer herding without cultivation of a homestead or settlement.”124 Sámi women and their rights were entirely invisible in the act although there was no difference in the treatment of men and women in practice until the act was amended in 1928. Up until 1971 when the act was again amended, Sámi women who “married out” from reindeer herding (i.e., married a man who did not have the reindeer herding right), lost her right to reindeer herding. Conversely, a woman who “married in” gained a reindeer herding right. Like the Indian Act in Canada, the Reindeer Grazing Act in Sweden put many Sámi women in a double jeopardy by making them stay married even if it was violent or abusive in order to not only guarantee her and her children’s rights to reindeer herding and accompanying rights to use land and resources, but also to maintain her economic situation, social status and cultural connections.125 In the 1950s and 1960s, Sámi policy in Sweden was integrated into national, interventionist welfare state policies aiming at modernization and rationalization of reindeer herding, now considered solely an economic venture among other industries. The previously heralded nomadic lifestyle was constructed as backward and the value of reindeer herding measured according to capitalist principles of profit and efficiency. At the same time, the Sámi were recognized as an ethnic minority and a new discourse of Sámi rights emerged. The Swedish Sámi Association, established in 1950 with a specific focus on the reindeer herding rights, played a critical role in opposing Swedish Sámi policy particularly with regard to Sámi land and resource rights. The government view of Sámi land rights as a privilege granted by the state was challenged by the organization, which posited that the Sámi use of their territories preceded the state. Since the 1960s, the association began to increasingly employ the discourse of Sámi as an Indigenous people as the foundation of their rights to land.126 It also launched a suit against the government known as the Taxed Mountain case, in which the organization sought the recognition of their resource rights.127 In 1981, after fifteen years of litigation, the Supreme Court of Sweden decided in the Taxed Mountain case that the Sámi only possess a strong usufruct right, not ownership right to land or water in the disputed reindeer herding region. Although the decision

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applied only to a specific region and did not deny the existence of Sámi ownership rights in other regions,128 it was met with great disappointment. The Sámi in Sweden demanded a comprehensive assessment of their situation and urged the government to begin the process of drafting a specific Sámi legislation. Notably, instead of pursuing the Taxed Mountain case in the international arena, the Swedish Sámi Association switched the strategy to negotiation.129 Formed in 1982, the Sámi Rights Commission released its final report in 1989, recommending the Swedish government to revise legislation to conform international law and the Taxed Mountain decision. Problematically, however, the Sámi Rights Commission did not conduct a comprehensive historical assessment of Sámi rights but its starting point was merely “an adjustment of Sámi rights (de facto treated as privileges) based upon what was needed to maintain its conception of Sámi culture and what would hopefully be politically acceptable to the majority population.”130 Following the example from Norway, the recommendations included the establishment of the Sámi Parliament as well as the revision of the 1971 Reindeer Herding Act in a way that would reinforce the reindeer herding rights vis-​à-​vis extractive industries and the strengthening of the status of Sámi language.131 The Commission also recommended that the Constitution include the recognition of the Sámi as an indigenous people and the protection of the Sámi rights to their land. The government, however, expressly rejected both recommendations, arguing that like other ethnic and linguistic minorities, the Sámi already have constitutionally protected right to preserve and develop their own cultural and social life.132 The Act on the Sámi Parliament in Sweden came into effect in 1993. Unlike its counterparts in Norway and Finland, the Act on the Sámi Parliament in Sweden carefully defines the formal mandate of the assembly. The act explicitly states that the Sámi Parliament is not intended to be a self-​governing or autonomous body of the Sámi.133 According to law, the Sámi Parliament in Sweden is a special state authority with the mandate to be in charge of affairs pertaining to Sámi culture in Sweden. Besides an official representative of the Sámi people in Sweden, the main functions of the Sámi Parliament include the administration and dissemination of state funding for Sámi cultural projects, dissemination of Sámi-​related information, the appointment of the board of the Sámi school, and ensuring that Sámi needs and interests, such as reindeer herding, are taken into consideration in local and regional planning. It is also in charge of the advancement of the Sámi language although the Sámi Language Act of 2000 did not give, to the great disappointment to the Sámi, an official status to their language as had occurred in Norway and Finland in 1992. The legal status of the Sámi Parliament in Sweden is limited to a state administrative authority to which the Sámi can elect representatives. As part of the state bureaucracy, the capacity of the Sámi Parliament to independently represent the Sámi in Sweden is repeatedly questioned by Sámi and others.134 Vars notes that “the Sámi Parliament’s own opinion is that they in several cased have been deprived of their right to participate in matters of importance for the Sámi people.”135 The two roles are seen as in conflict



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with one another, placing the institution into a bind. Scholars have long maintained that the double bind that characterizes the establishment of the Sámi Parliament in Sweden represents unworkable circumstances. Johan Eriksson called it “undoubtedly an impossible situation,” and argued: “If a Parliament representing an ethnic minority [sic] is to enjoy any legitimacy and to show any kind of power, it is obvious that it cannot at the same time represent its major opponent, in this case the state.”136 Others have similarly pointed out how the dual function is problematic when considering the Sámi right to self-​determination and stands as a major obstacle in further developing the power and legitimacy of the Sámi Parliament.137 In Sweden, Sámi policy is still today influenced by the history of the twofold approach of segregation and assimilation. The separation of the Sámi into reindeer herders and others by the state policy has resulted in internal divisions and created a divided political body reflected in the work of the Sámi Parliament.138 As an example, Sara Larsson, former chair of the Sámi Parliament in Sweden, submits how she is disappointed with the institution because it has failed to seize the opportunity in establishing itself as a truly representative body of all Sámi in Sweden. She recognizes the significance of the Sámi Parliament as the only institution in Sweden for all Sámi, thus having an exceptional unifying potential. Instead of fulfilling its potential, however, the Sámi Parliament in Sweden remains a weak institution not only because of the state subordination which has stifled its growth, but also because the members of the Sámi Parliament have failed to shoulder their responsibilities. Unlike Norway, Sweden has not ratified the ILO Convention 169 even though it has given it consideration. In 1999, the government released a report on the ratification question which recognized the Sámi as an Indigenous people in Sweden but noted that Sweden is not ready to ratify the Convention. In 2006, the Sámi were recognized as a people “in the international law sense, who have rights, including the right to self-​ determination.”139 Yet constitutional amendments have failed to explicitly recognize the Sámi as an Indigenous people. In an attempt to keep up with constitutional amendments in Finland and Norway, in 2010 Sweden feebly recognized the “special status” of the Sámi distinct from ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities yet accorded both groups the same right “to preserve, develop and promote their own cultural and social life.”140 The Sámi battle against the Swedish state through courts may prove to be a more effective strategy. In a precedent-​setting court case involving a reindeer herding Girjas Sameby (Sámi village) in the northernmost county in Sweden,141 the District Court recognized in February 2016 the exclusive hunting and fishing rights of the Sameby. In the case dating back to 2009, the Girjas Sameby and the Swedish Sámi National Association brought a suit against the state for control over hunting and fishing rights. The District Court decided that based on a principle in the Swedish legal system known as “prescription by time immemorial” (urminnes hävd in Swedish) denoting a longstanding means of acquiring property, Girjas has the exclusive hunting and fishing rights in the community’s reindeer herding area of the Gällivare mountains. The Court found that because the Sámi

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of Girjas have been living, hunting, and fishing on the land in question for at least a thousand years, they have rights to it based on the principle.142 The state appealed the verdict but the Court of Appeal ruled that although the Girjas Sameby does not have the exclusive hunting and fishing rights, it has the strongest right compared to other (unspecified) land users and therefore, the Swedish state does not own Girjas Sameby lands. Not quite what expected, the decision is significant with ramifications to other Samebys in Sweden and similar cases in Norway and Finland. The Court of Appeal left it to the lawmakers to amend the legislation accordingly and possibly create a comanagement regime for the region.143 Although the political and legal effects of the Girjas case are yet to be seen, the developments thus far have been thin on the ground and attempts to create any meaningful measure of Sámi self-​government in Sweden have fallen short. As Patrik Lantto and Ulf Mörkenstam argue, “despite an overall political rhetoric praising cultural diversity and indigenous rights, legislative development in [the] field [of Sámi rights] has been rather insignificant in Sweden, and the system of Sámi rights is today in many ways similar to the one established over a century ago.”144 Finland In Finland, the establishment of the Sámi Parliament followed quite a different trajectory than in Norway and Sweden. First, Finland has never had a clearly articulated Sámi policy. Although in Norway and Sweden Sámi policies were not codified in law (except in reindeer herding legislation), there were specific government directives and ordinances aiming at assimilation (or as was the case in Sweden, protection for reindeer herding Sámi and assimilation of all others). In Finland, Sámi policy has always been on an ad hoc basis with the prevalent view being that the Sámi are not a distinct group but rather, Sámi-​speaking Finns who should be assimilated into the Finnish body politic especially through education. Second, the Sámi in Finland never had strong national organizations comparable to those in Norway and Sweden. As the result, the Sámi have been contained by institutional political structures, “entrapped in bureaucratic dysfunctions and official Finnish ambivalence.”145 In the early 1970s at the height of the global civil rights movement, the desire to establish an independent national Sámi organization in Finland emerged especially among the generation of young, educated Sámi. The idea did not, however, take off mostly due to a split between the younger, more radical Sámi and the older generation of politically active Sámi who preferred an elected, representative body within the state. The growing demands of the Sámi movement and the pressure it created propelled the state into action by solving the “Sámi question” by containing it. The Sámi Committee was established in 1971 to examine the economic, social, educational and legal status of the Sámi.146 With Sámi majority (the rest being Finnish civil servants), the objective of the Committee was to examine the economic, social, educational, and legal status of the Sámi. The Sámi Committee received a tepid reception among the Sámi who had seen previous



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committees’ recommendations never being implemented. In 1972 the Committee, prior to releasing its final report, recommended holding “experimental elections” for an elected representative body for the Sámi in Finland. Such a body was considered necessary for the Sámi to have a voice and to “develop their own culture without outside interference.” As the highest representative body of the Sámi, the Committee considered important that a representative body would also have decision-​making authority.147 The first elections were held promptly in late 1972. The work of the “experimental” assembly called the Sámi Delegation largely followed the report and recommendations of the Sámi Committee released in 1973, the same year the Sámi Delegation had its first session.148 Founded by a decree, it consisted of twenty members elected by ballot of eligible Sámi. The legal position of the assembly was ambiguous since it was neither an ordinary state authority nor an organization subject to private law. The state was under no explicit legal obligation to finance its activities. Unlike its successor the Sámi Parliament, it did not have the authority to represent the Sámi people of Finland nationally or internationally.149 Without decision-​making authority, the role of the Sámi Delegation was limited mainly to issuing statements and submitting initiatives related to matters pertaining to the Sámi people in Finland. In certain areas such as education and language policy, the Sámi Delegation had a more proactive role in strengthening the status of the Sámi language, including the drafting of the Sámi Language Act in 1987, passed in a compromised form by the Finnish Parliament in 1992 and revised in 2004.150 Besides the establishment of a representative body for the Sámi, one of the key recommendations of the 1973 report was the enactment of the Sámi Act, initially proposed by the first Committee of Sámi Affairs report in 1952.151 Sámi land rights had been studied since the 1970s, and in the 1980s a committee was set up to draft legislation to recognize Sámi land rights. A new proposal for the Sámi Act was submitted to the government in 1990 which coincided with the passing of the ILO Convention 169 the year earlier. Unlike Norway, Finland did not ratify the Convention, arguing that the national legislation is not (yet) in line with the provisions of the Convention regarding Indigenous peoples’ rights to their traditional territories and resources.152 The proposed Sámi Act would have recognized the Sámi rights to their territories and transferred the ownership and management of them to Sámi siidas from the state.153 It failed, however, due to vehement opposition by non-​Sámi population in Northern Finland and several state bodies refuting Sámi claims to land rights, including a number of ministries and the National Board of Forestry (Metsähallitus) that governs all “state lands” including the Sámi territory in Northern Finland. As a result of the broad antagonism, the question of Sámi land rights was separated from what became termed “Sámi cultural autonomy.” This in turn led to the passing of the Act on the Sámi Parliament and the constitutional recognition of the right of the Sámi, as an Indigenous people in Finland, to “cultural autonomy” in 1995.154 Section 121 of the Constitution stipulates the scope of Sámi cultural autonomy: “In their native region,155 the Sámi have linguistic and cultural self-​government, as provided by an Act.”156 The administration and implementation of

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“linguistic and cultural self-​government” was delegated to the newly established Sámi Parliament which replaced the twenty year old Sámi Delegation. While the Act on the Sámi Parliament somewhat strengthened the weak position of the Sámi Delegation, the Sámi Parliament still has no power or decision-​making authority except in a limited number of internal matters such as hiring its own staff and allocating funding to projects related to the Sámi language, education, and culture. As a body under the Ministry of Justice, the Sámi Parliament is funded by the state but is not considered an ordinary institution of state administration. While the government cannot interfere in its affairs on individual matters, the courts can. For example, the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland has the final say on who counts as Sámi individual for the purposes of the Sámi Parliament elections. Since the proposition of the failed Sámi Act and the consequent passing of the Act on the Sámi Parliament and the constitutional amendment, there has been an incessant battle over the definition of the Sámi in Finland which has almost completely stalled any progress on Sámi rights and self-​government. Each country where the Sámi live has a slightly different legal definition of who is considered Sámi for the purposes of the Sámi Parliament elections. Until 1995, the definition was based on linguistic competence to varying degree in all three Nordic countries. In Finland, due to the pressures of the non-​Sámi population in the Sámi region (pressure related to the forceful objection of the proposed Sámi Act in the early 1990s), the definition of Sámi was amended in the Act on the Sámi Parliament, regardless of strong Sámi opposition, to include an additional category concerning ancestors’ livelihoods. According to this new category, a person is considered a Sámi if he or she is a descendant of a person who was entered in a land, taxation, or population register as a “mountain, forest, or fishing Lapp.” As several scholars have pointed out, however, these taxation and population registers were not based on ethnicity but livelihood.157 The main objective of the Sámi Parliament is to represent the Sámi in Finland nationally and internationally, and to promote and protect the Sámi language and culture. On matters relating to the Sámi, the Parliament has the right to issue proposals and statements to various authorities. While state authorities are obligated “to negotiate with the Sámi Parliament in all far-​reaching and important measures which may directly and in a specific way affect the status of the Sámi as an indigenous people,”158 they are not bound to take the Sámi Parliament’s opinion into account in decision-​making. The areas of negotiation include education, social and health services, community planning, and the use and managements of lands and conservation areas in the Sámi region. Specifically, the Act on the Sámi Parliament articulates the Sámi participatory rights in relation to the land use in the Sámi area. Sámi land rights in Finland remain unrecognized, however, including any specific rights to traditional livelihoods such as and particularly reindeer herding.159 Ninety percent of the demarcated Sámi region is considered state property, managed and logged by the National Board of Forestry which, since 1994, has been a state enterprise. What is more, the government passed in 2016 a new bill that will further privatize the board into a number of for-​profit corporations owned by the



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state. Initially, the draft bill included provisions for safeguarding the right of the Sámi to pursue their traditional livelihoods but those provisions were swiftly deleted by the right-​ leaning government elected in 2015. In practice the bill, widely opposed by Sámi and Finns alike, will make any future recognition of Sámi land rights inconceivable. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-​Corpuz expressed her concerns about the proposed bill by stating that the bill is “contrary to article 19 of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which Finland has endorsed.”160 The existing legislation provides that the mandate of the Sámi Parliament is to provide content to Sámi “cultural autonomy,” but in reality the Sámi Parliament is subordinate to state institutions with very limited ability to exercise any form of self-​government or jurisdiction over their own affairs.161 While the Sámi are constitutionally recognized in Finland as an Indigenous people, in practice they are treated as a linguistic or ethnic minority and the connection between Sámi culture and land, recognized in Norway, has been systematically dismissed and denied. The problem is, by and large, the lack of consistent Sámi policy. The Sámi in Finland have always been at the mercy of ad hoc decision-​making by various ministries and state authorities which often conflict with one another.162 The former president of the Sámi Parliament Pekka Aikio has noted how in his experience “the authorities of Finland are not positive towards our demands. Some have been listened to, but by far the majority have been ignored.”163 The pattern of legislative initiatives collapsing at the vote of the national parliament (if not sooner) is illustrative of the weak political instruments at the disposal of the Sámi Parliament and the Sámi in general in Finland.164 Other factors include the backlash against Sámi rights in the Sámi region of Northern Finland by local non-​Sámi residents and the resulting conciliatory public discourse by the Sámi themselves.165 For example, there is a long-​standing practice to avoid using in using the term “Sámi policy” in order not to antagonize Finns by Sámi politicians, including members of the Sámi Parliament.166 In spite of the constitutional recognition of the Sámi as an Indigenous people and of their right to limited, nonterritorial autonomy, the government of Finland has great difficulty accepting the right of the Sámi to self-​determination. In Finland, the state decision-​ making with regard to Sámi affairs is shaped by long-​standing difference-​blind principles of formal equality and integration according to which no special consideration or status is given to ethnic groups.167 As Aikio argues, in spite of “giving” Sámi a limited form of autonomy, there has been no intention or political will on the part of the state to advance Sámi issues. Instead, the underlying, tacit mandate has all along been assimilation. Twenty years after the founding of the Sámi Parliament in Finland, there is a concern that the elected body will become an organization dealing exclusively with cultural and language-​related affairs with no mandate to advance the Sámi status as an Indigenous people.168 Several scholars maintain that the authority of institutions of cultural or nonterritorial autonomy, Indigenous or not, is merely symbolic in substance.169 Douglas Sanders goes

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as far to state, “no meaningful political autonomy is possible without a distinct territorial base for the population; integrated minorities may claim educational, linguistic, religious, cultural and developmental rights, but any regime of political autonomy requires a jurisdictional boundary.”170 Sámi collective rights have been established only to their culture and language. Considering the spiritual, social, cultural, and economic relationships Indigenous peoples have with their lands, we must ask to what extent nonterritorial autonomy can be regarded as a form of Indigenous self-​government. In addition, the foundational problem with culturalization of Indigenous rights, or emphasizing cultural identity and cultural difference over legal and political status of Indigenous peoples is that it essentializes Indigenous peoples and reduces Indigenous rights to minority rights.171 The construction of the Sámi rights and Sámi self-​government in cultural terms is a prime example of such culturalization and turning Sámi rights into minority rights. The Draft Sámi Convention Against the bleak backdrop of limited cultural autonomy presented as Sámi self-​ government, the joint legislative initiative of the Nordic Sámi Convention, currently under negotiation, seems like a glimmer of (perhaps excessive) hope and confidence in the Nordic lawmakers. The initial objective of the convention was to include, in addition to the three states, the Sámi people as a formal party to the convention. This objective was rejected, however, and as a compromise, the draft convention provides that as a modern treaty between Norway, Sweden, and Finland, the adoption and any amendments require also the formal approval of the three Sámi Parliaments.172 Considered a development and renewal of the existing Sámi rights codified in the 1751 Lapp Codicil, the draft Nordic Sámi Convention is an international human rights instrument aiming to confirm and strengthen the rights of the Sámi people to “their language, culture, livelihoods and way of life with the least possible interference by national borders” (Article 1). It stipulates concrete provisions that can be directly implemented in national legislation.173 The draft consists of a preamble and fifty-​one provisions divided into seven chapters: (I) general rights of the Sámi people; (II) Sámi governance; (III) Sámi language and culture; (IV) Sámi right to land and water; (V)  Sámi livelihoods; (VI) implementation and development of the Convention; and (VII) final provisions. In the preamble, the Sámi right to self-​determination is unequivocally confirmed. Article 3 further that “as a people, the Sámi has the right of self-​determination,” and “the right to determine its own economic, social and cultural development and to dispose, to their own benefit, over its own natural resources.”174 Chapter II (Articles 14–​22) elaborates Sámi governance. The draft Convention seeks to enhance the decision-​making authority of the existing Sámi Parliaments entitling them to “make independent decisions” but only on matters they “have the mandate to do so under national or international law.”175 Moreover, the public authorities are obligated to negotiate with the Sámi Parliaments “in matters of major importance to the Saami”



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and the states are not permitted to adopt measures “that may significantly damage the basic conditions for Saami culture, Saami livelihoods or society, unless consented to by the Saami parliament concerned.” Taken together, these provisions do not considerably expand the existing framework and decision-​making authority of the Sámi Parliaments unless national laws are also concurrently reformed. According to Chapter II, Sámi self-​determination is implemented nearly exclusively through the Sámi Parliaments, regarded as Sámi people’s “own social structures.”176 As discussed earlier, the Sámi Parliaments are not, however, traditional social structures of the Sámi but rather centralized elected assemblies and copies of Nordic parliamentary institutions, which have not incorporated traditional Sámi governance structures or conventions into their operations.177 The design and organization of the Sámi Parliaments as copies of mainstream, Western political institutions rather than a reflection of Sámi values or modes of organization were frequently criticized by participants in my previous study on the Sámi Parliaments. According to a former member of the Sámi Parliament in Norway, the entire mainstream political organization and culture are inappropriate for Sámi society and the Sámi way of communication.178 Notwithstanding the provisions of the draft Convention, the three expert members of the draft Convention Expert Group suggest that the right to self-​determination is not necessarily exercised through the Sámi Parliaments: “In the end, it should be up to the Saami themselves to determine their own decision-​making processes within the framework of the right to self-​determination.”179 Given the nature of the Sámi convention as a binding treaty, however, it is difficult to envision how Sámi governance could be practiced differently under the Convention. Moreover, the content of the right to self-​ determination in general and how this right is to be implemented in practice beyond the existing Sámi Parliaments specifically requires further clarification.180 There are a number of shortcomings in the draft Nordic Sámi Convention, some of which are acknowledged by members of the expert group. In addition to the exclusion of the Sámi in Russia, the draft contains very little regarding the rights of Sámi women, children, and elders.181 The draft Convention remains silent on Sámi elders and their rights and roles in Sámi society, and women are mentioned only in the preamble as “custodians of traditions in the Saami society.”182 Sámi children are provided with the right “to practise their culture and to preserve and develop their Saami identity.”183 Mattias Åhrén explains that although the rights of these three different groups were discussed at various stages during the three years of drafting, none of the tabled proposals failed to obtain the support of the expert group. Instead, the prevailing view was that the Sámi people have the right to decide themselves how to address the rights of Sámi women, children, and elders.184 The draft Convention was presented to the Nordic governments and the three Sámi Parliaments in November 2005, but the negotiations did not commence until 2011. Several compromises were made before the final draft was released in January 2017. In the final draft, the central rights of the Sámi as an Indigenous people have been considerably

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compromised.185 Whereas the preamble endorses the UNDRIP and refers to the ILO Convention 169 ratified by Norway, the articles only provide for minority rights directed toward preserving Sámi culture, traditions, and language.186 Overall, the final draft Convention is a deeply deceptive document. It appears to recognize the rights of the Sámi as an Indigenous people, but with close reading, it amounts to the recognition of (already existing) minority cultural rights. Specifically, it maintains the exercise of Sámi self-​determination at the level of cultural autonomy in internal affairs, and consultation with the state on matters which may be of particular importance for the Sámi. There is a fairly broad consensus among Sámi leadership that the draft Convention cannot be ratified in its current form, but that further negotiations are required.

Differences and Similarities of the Self-​G overnment Arrangements The self-​government models examined in this chapter are diverse:  autonomy through contemporary Indigenous political institutions (the Sámi Parliaments in the Nordic countries); self-​ government agreements negotiated with the state (Canada); and Indigenous overseas autonomy, also based on a negotiated agreement with the state (Greenland). There is no question that self-​government “means different things for different people and different communities,” as argued by a number of Indigenous women who participated in the study. A  comparative analysis of existing Indigenous self-​ government models demonstrates, however, that regardless of the regional, geopolitical, cultural, and other sometimes significant differences, there is a fundamental tendency toward Western parliamentary style institutions and arrangements. In part this is due to the insistence by the states with whom Indigenous peoples are expected to negotiate their autonomous arrangements, but in part it often is also the expressed preference of Indigenous leadership. A comparative examination illustrates two distinct phenomena: while there is no uniform, single form or model of Indigenous self-​government, the imperative of negotiating the outcome with the state frequently results in arrangements resembling those of the state institutions and structures. Whereas Indigenous self-​government is regarded as requiring a localized, culturally specific, and territorialized application and practice, the exercise of Indigenous self-​determination seldom is localized, territorialized, or culturally specific all at once. The cases discussed in this chapter have provided illuminative examples of this. As a standard Western cabinet-​parliamentary system, the Greenland self-​government model is neither localized nor culturally specific. In Canada, negotiated self-​government agreements are rarely culturally specific as they typically follow the formula set by the federal government. The Sámi Parliaments in the three Nordic countries are none of the above. What is more, this is not always only due to the state pressures but as this chapter has shown, there has been little interest by a



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majority of the Greenlanders and the Sámi in exploring what localized, culturally specific self-​government arrangements could look like. In this final section, I consider the differences and similarities of the three self-​government arrangements and draw some conclusions on key comparisons among the case studies discussed above. Differences There are a number of profound differences among the three case studies, starting from the historical foundation and framework of the right to self-​determination. Greenland was formally an overseas colony for a brief period after World War II, after which it became a county of Denmark until it was granted limited autonomy known as Home Rule in 1979. In some ways Greenland, in its deep-​seated aspiration for independence, is more comparable to the overseas colonies of Asia and Africa that gained independence in the 1960s and 1970s than other Indigenous peoples. This is particularly evident in its current political discourse which in number of ways resembles the postcolonial, modern nation-​ building. On another hand, it is surprising that unlike the colonies in Asia and Africa, it took until 2009 for Greenland to gain extensive self-​government and jurisdiction over most of its own affairs in the form of a Self-​Government Act, a negotiated deal with Denmark. With an overwhelming Inuit majority, Greenland has achieved, perhaps unsurprisingly, an extensive degree of self-​government with jurisdiction over most of its own affairs within the Realm of Denmark. Claims for greater autonomy in Greenland have made sense although the colonial authorities in Copenhagen have not always been convinced by the ability of Greenlanders to run their own affairs. Patronizing colonial attitudes aside, with its 2009 Self-​Government Act Greenland has achieved what most Indigenous peoples can only dream about: complete jurisdiction over nearly all of their own affairs. Although not formally based on international norms for Indigenous peoples’ rights but rather a public government, Greenland self-​government is commonly considered a successful example of implementing and exercising Indigenous self-​determination. Yet Inuit Greenlanders aim even higher and regard self-​government merely as a step toward the ultimate goal: full independence. Thus for Greenlanders, self-​government represents a process toward modern nationhood and nation-​building within the framework of Western institutional arrangements. In Canada, self-​determination and self-​government discourses draw upon pre-​existing sovereignty of Indigenous nations, treaty-​making, and the consequent nation-​to-​nation relationship with the Crown. Indigenous people regularly refer to the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the attendant Treaty of Niagara (1764) as a decree premised on a nation-​to-​ nation relationship which asserted the pre-​existing sovereignty of Indigenous nations. Unlike the unitary Scandinavian countries (including Denmark), Canada’s federalism also informs the nation-​to-​nation relationship and self-​government arrangements.187 On the other hand, international human rights norms carry little significance and are

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of limited relevance. The Indigenous–​state relations have been typically “framed in domestic terms (and largely in terms of domestic policy rather than domestic law)” and “to the extent that the discourse has a domestic legal content, historically that content has been framed in terms of land law (aboriginal title) and property rights rather than human rights law.”188 Since 1995, Indigenous self-​government has been recognized as an “inherent right” and considered an existing Aboriginal right under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 by the federal government. According to the government policy, the inherent right to self-​government implies that Indigenous peoples (recognized as Aboriginal peoples in the Constitution and comprising of the Inuit, First Nation, and Métis) have the right to govern themselves in relation to matters that are internal to their communities, integral to their cultures and in regard to their relationship to their land and resources. A number of First Nations have negotiated deals, some of which are constitutionally protected, that enable various degrees of autonomy. Self-​government arrangements vary from municipal style governments, land claims settlements (i.e., modern treaties), self-​government agreements, territorial arrangements, and sectoral negotiations to the overarching colonial Indian Act system which, although top-​down, archaic, and deeply paternalistic, allows limited decision-​making authority in some reserve affairs. As in Greenland, there is no history of treaty-​making or nation-​to-​nation relationship between the Sámi people and the various Crowns that preceded the current nation-​states of Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Beyond cultural affairs, the Sámi Parliaments do not have jurisdiction or decision-​making powers in any areas that would give practical effect to Sámi self-​government such as healthcare, social services, schools, child welfare, land and natural resources management, hunting and fishing permits, housing, infrastructure, and policing—​areas that, among others, are typically on the agenda when negotiating self-​government agreements with Indigenous peoples (including in Greenland and Canada).189 The role of the Sámi Parliaments in these and other affairs is typically limited to consultation when decisions are made by the municipal or state administration in charge of the specific issue at hand. Similarities Indigenous self-​government arrangements examined in this chapter are all delegated authorities, deriving their powers from the state. In Greenland and Sápmi, delegation of powers from the state is generally accepted. There is no sustained public debate or scholarship with regard to the historical source and legitimacy of Indigenous self-​determination originating from beyond the state or international law in either region.190 Many Indigenous people in Canada, on the other hand, are highly critical of the delegated authority of self-​government as it is currently negotiated with the state because it legitimates the colonial state as the ultimate authority rather than acknowledging and accepting the preexisting sovereignty and prior occupancy of Indigenous nations.



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Another key similarity is that in spite of their considerable differences, the Sámi Parliaments, Greenland self-​government institutions, and negotiated self-​government arrangements in Canada are all modeled after Western political institutions, with very little consideration of the role of Indigenous structures or values in establishing these institutions. My research shows that notwithstanding the accepted wisdom of diversity of Indigenous self-​government arrangements and frameworks, there is a strong tendency for uniformity in terms of institutional organization (modeled on political structures of the dominant society) and political practices (e.g., elections and majority rule), as well as centralization.191 Significantly, the tendency toward Western political institutions is not only a result of outside (i.e., state) pressure, but often the Indigenous political elite has either implicitly or explicitly given their consent to it, as is the case in Greenland and with the Sámi Parliaments.192 The reason for this consent is fairly straightforward, as explained by Paul Nadasdy: “To function in a universe of states and state-​like political entities  .  .  .  [Indigenous peoples] have themselves had to assume the trappings of the state.”193 On the one hand, there is the “practical need to be recognizable to settler states for the purpose of engaging with them politically,”194 and on the other, where Western political institutions are seen as “the natural order of things, it becomes hard to imagine society organized in any other way.”195 In cases where the state influence (if not direct involvement) in shaping Indigenous political institutions has been extensive, the outcome is frequently a body that reflects “the values and priorities of the state rather than those of indigenous peoples themselves.”196 This in turn has an effect on the legitimacy of Indigenous political institutions in their own communities. The fundamental problem is that existing Indigenous self-​ government institutions are characterized by the unavoidable “tension between the need for internal legitimacy and external recognition,”197 leading to the current quagmire and incessant ambivalence. The reorganization of Indigenous–​state relations through self-​ government agreements and other socioeconomic institutions may seem empowering but can in reality have a reverse, negative effect of increased state control and influence, including Indigenous peoples’ “ways of talking, thinking and acting with those specifically sanctioned by the state.”198 This chapter has examined the contemporary self-​government arrangements, their scope and mandate and the degree of meeting the expectations of their constituents vis-​ à-​vis the idea(l) of Indigenous self-​determination. It has identified a number of relations of domination between Indigenous self-​government institutions and the state in need of restructuring. It goes without saying that in all three regions, state policies toward Indigenous people represent deeply colonial relations of domination that stand in the way of the value of Indigenous self-​determination. First, there is the foundational problem of deliberately circumscribed delegated authority, creating institutions that neither entail de facto political autonomy nor represent Indigenous governance structures. By definition, self-​government refers to arrangements

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with the state in which an Indigenous people have been delegated certain administrative, representational, or consultative authority and tasks. As such, self-​government is premised on relations of domination, and thus it is not surprising that there is wide criticism of these arrangements among Indigenous people. Second, there is the deeply problematic colonial relation of the state-​driven process supposedly advancing Indigenous self-​determination, but in reality entrenching and incorporating Indigenous peoples more extensively and intricately into the state structures. Considering each region with regard to the question of restructuring relations of domination vis-​à-​vis Indigenous self-​government arrangement, one of the most pressing issue was identified most explicitly by the participants in Greenland: the strong and pervasive Western (Danish) influence present in the laws, standards, values, and administration of Greenland self-​rule. The prevalent presence of Danish authority demonstrates the reality that political institutions are not merely empty or neutral shells. While they can be filled by Indigenous bodies, the institutions come with their own underlying values, assumptions of power, and ways of organizing and distributing that power. As the other example of self-​ government with an Inuit majority, the Government of Nunavut shows, “indigenizing” Western political structures is extremely complicated if not impossible.199 Hence, in such circumstances, restructuring relations of domination would necessarily begin by dismantling the current institutional structures of the Western cabinet–​parliamentary system. It is, however, the opposite what Greenlanders are currently considering. In Canada, restructuring relations of domination would involve first and foremost eliminating the Indian Act together with its institutions, structures, and derivative organizations nationally, regionally, and locally. It would also require discarding the Inherent Right Policy and state-​led self-​government negotiations process. Segments of Indigenous nations and people have been expressing these demands for a long time, and there is a growing consensus and pressure to address both in one way or the other. In Sápmi, restructuring relations of domination pertaining to the Sámi Parliaments would imply rejecting not only the cultural autonomy paradigm of the states, but the ubiquitous culturalization of Sámi rights. All these different aspects of restructuring relations of domination will be examined in the next two chapters that focus more closely on questions of implementation and the gendered relations of domination in the form of gender regimes of Indigenous self-​government.

There are a lot of talented young people out there who are ready to lead our society, and I am ready to keep working for Greenland’s independence. Lars Emil Johansen, speaker of the Parliament and former premier

3 Implementing Indigenous Self-​Determination

SELF-​A DMINISTRATION, REMATRIATION, OR INDEPENDENCE?

Implementing Indigenous self-​d etermination can be an overwhelming undertaking, not only given the constraints of the legal and political straightjacket Indigenous peoples often find themselves with their signed self-​government agreements and enacted legislation, but also because of the sheer scope of self-​determination itself. The challenges typically lie in translating the political objectives into the nitty-​gritty of taking over areas of jurisdiction: establishing actual programs, services, and infrastructure; and creating capacity, as well as creating entirely new institutions such educational systems, health and social services, police, courts, and political decision-​making bodies. These in turn require systematic and detailed long-​term planning and considerable amount of financial and human resources. With regard to implementing and exercising Indigenous self-​ determination, Greenland is a precedent-​setting case in a number of ways. First, the Inuit of Greenland have arguably achieved the most extensive degree of Indigenous self-​determination in the world. Second, it is significant that extensive self-​determination has been achieved in a relatively short time, considering how in many other regions negotiations between states and Indigenous peoples for greater autonomy and self-​government have been protracted for decades. Third, Greenland is unique among Indigenous peoples’ regions globally for it has set its goal to become an independent country one day. In order to achieve political independence, however, Greenland needs to become economically self-​ sufficient. Pushing toward greater economic independence, it has very few options beyond extensively exploiting and developing its mineral resources and offshore oil and gas deposits to which it possesses the sole rights as of the 2009 Self-​Government Act. As such, Greenland is posed to become a leading Arctic and Indigenous jurisdiction in developing its mineral resources. 97

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At the other end of the spectrum is a situation where Indigenous political institutions are limited to self-​administration and consultation with the states. This is the case in Sápmi where Sámi Parliaments hold symbolic significance, but do not have jurisdiction over their own affairs. The implementation of self-​determination in Sápmi is further complicated by the indeterminacy of the political discourse surrounding self-​ determination. Nobody appears to know for certain what Sámi self-​determination in fact would imply. The third dimension of Indigenous self-​determination includes a vision of a complete overhaul of the existing structures and institutions and a radically different way of governing Indigenous communities. The vision considered in this chapter makes a case for the restoration and reclaiming the political roles and authority of Indigenous women alongside traditional governance structures and political orders, which I  call rematriation. In some ways, the cases represent the three very different ends of the spectrum. At the same time, they are representative of the complex and diverse realities of implementing, exercising, and envisioning Indigenous self-​determination today. There are those Indigenous peoples who envision self-​determination entailing political and economic independence, and those who are stuck in the politics of dispossession and distraction by the states. Still others propose alternative orders not bound by the state structures and Western political modes of organization. My objective of this chapter is to demonstrate the complexity and array of different approaches of implementing and exercising Indigenous self-​determination by drawing on the participant discussions. I also show that while the existing Indigenous political institutions have focused on restructuring relations with the state, it has not been as extensive as many would have desired. There is a widely shared view that the existing self-​ government institutions are regarded as lacking teeth and the implementation process is protracted, if not entirely stalled. A central problem identified by many is that neither the Indigenous leadership nor the general public in Indigenous communities have a clear idea what self-​determination in fact entails in practice. I begin the chapter with discussing the main challenges standing in the way of implementing and exercising self-​determination in the three regions. Major obstacles discussed by the participants include the state and its legislation, bureaucratization of Indigenous communities as the result of the self-​government arrangements, ambiguity of the self-​determination discourse, the lack of human capacity, and economic constraints. Each challenge is present in all three regions albeit in a different degree and form. Next, I explore the specific problem of self-​administration in the context of the Sámi Parliaments. I then examine in detail the two specific future visions of Indigenous self-​determination, independence in Greenland, and rematriation of Indigenous governance in Canada. In terms of these two visions discussed in this chapter, there is a considerable difference both in substance and structure between the vision of Westphalian nation-​state self-​determination and rematriation as a way of decolonizing and ultimately, exercising Indigenous self-​determination. Yet at a higher level of abstraction and analysis,



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the objective of Indigenous self-​determination looks alike regardless of the location, constitutional context, and geopolitical circumstance. The struggle for Indigenous self-​ determination is a struggle for strong, thriving communities connected with their own social, cultural, political, and legal practices in order to resist both internal and external colonization and with the capacity to deal effectively with external encroachment and exploitation in order to protect their territories. Also the obstacles of implementation are similar. The goals may differ pertaining to the specific form self-​determination ought to take, but the vision pertaining to restructuring relations vis-​à-​vis the state are the same: freedom from the colonial state. There is, however, one critical difference between the vision of Westphalian nation-​ state self-​determination and rematriation. The former stops short of restructuring all relations of domination with an exclusive focus on relations with the colonial state. As this book argues, this generates only partial Indigenous self-​determination and fails to engage with the concept of self-​determination as a foundational value informed by the norm of integrity. What is overlooked in Westphalian nation-​state self-​determination is the critical dimension of individual integrity which encompasses freedom from coercion and violence.

Challenges of Implementation Participants discussed a range of considerable challenges, including excessive institutionalization of local governance, overcoming the social consequences of past policies, structural and lateral violence, capacity and economic problems, and the lack of clear vision and gap between the leadership and community members, as well as drug and alcohol problems among youth. While specific concerns often varied from region to region, most could be framed under five major themes: the state, the institutionalization, ambivalence of the substance of self-​determination, and lack of human and financial capacity. In this section, I consider the details of these obstacles in the three regions. It is not news that the colonial state and its legislation and policies loom large and is considered the most extensive obstacle standing in the way of Indigenous self-​ determination. Previous chapters have discussed the broad contours of the ideologies and practices of the state that characterize Indigenous peoples’ experiences of dispossession past and present in Canada, Greenland, and Scandinavia but also worldwide. The critique of the state and the governments were present in nearly all participant discussions. Many spoke to it directly while for others it was more the implicit undercurrent that carried through the conversation. The state as a problem was most explicitly discussed by participants in Canada. Several maintained that the federal government is the biggest obstacle in implementing and exercising the inherent right to self-​determination and none supported or spoke favorably of the negotiated self-​government model. There was a widely held view that negotiating

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neoliberal self-​government within the colonial system pushes Indigenous people back into being colonial objects. Tokenistic recognition or worse, “giving back” sovereignty for which the colonial subjects are expected to be grateful, is not going to amount to “decolonization or any form of real self-​determination.”1 Strong criticism was directed at the federal government and its continued practice of negotiating in bad faith or with extensive strings attached aimed at subsuming Indigenous communities and governance into the Canadian state and settler control and dominance.2 As one participant rhetorically asked: “How are we ever going to achieve any kind of form of real self-​determination, none of this neoliberal self-​governance, if we’re always negotiating within a system that pushes us back to that colonial subject, or object, being dictated to, and being controlled?”3 State coercion and manipulation through funding was regarded as an effective means of colonial containment. This takes a number of forms, including the federal government providing loans for communities to engage in protracted negotiations with dubious results: The amount that [communities] owe to the federal government in loans, especially for the small communities, is more than they could hope to achieve in a settlement. And so, there were actually people leaving the negotiation table because they didn’t want to get a settlement because it would basically bankrupt them, which is kind of a perverse outcome.4 Another form of preventing an Indigenous nation from claiming greater authority is to threaten to cut the funding for community programs and services. For example, according to Jeannette Corbiere Lavell of the Anishinabek Nation (Ontario), the federal government mentality of “if you do this, you’re going to lose that” generates fear among people who have already lost so much and as a result, many may feel that the answer is not to support the self-​government initiative. Reclaiming governance becomes a difficult balancing act: But at the same time, we have to ensure that we’re not going to lose anything. We’re going to do whatever we can. And we have to take our stand and fight for what we believe in, whether it means just ignoring the government and they can take whatever they want away. We’re going to stay here. We’re not disappearing.5 Similarly, getting rid of another major obstacle, the Indian Act legislation, has proven to be a tricky business. Many noted how the Indian Act has been a violent and gendered imposition upon Indigenous nations in order to “break our political power,”6 but nonetheless has been so deeply entrenched in its hundred-​year existence that it could prove to be difficult to move away from its policies and the mindset of dependency the legislation has created. While some people fear of “losing everything”; that is, the (limited) rights



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and benefits stemming from that legislation,7 for others the Indian Act system provides the familiar framework to follow, which is easier than envisioning something new and different especially without an alternative economic basis to rely on.8 Some participants noted the internalized inferiority created by “hundreds of years being told that you’re less than nothing.” This has resulted in a stagnating fear of repercussions and doing things differently; fear that manifests as internal divisions in relation to the idea of practicing or returning to traditional governance.9 The state control and dispossession frequently leads to symbolic politics, the lack of self-​ government authority, and turning Indigenous political institutions into puppets of the government. This is particularly pronounced with the Sámi Parliaments whose authority is largely limited to self-​administration which I discuss in detail in the next section. The indeterminacy and ambiguity of the substance and meaning of self-​determination is also partly an outcome of the lack of self-​government powers. Minna Näkkäläjärvi, former member of Sámi Parliament in Finland, suggests: Self-​determination is nothing but an abstract concept; we haven’t implemented it in practical terms. We don’t have any kind of self-​determination. In Finland, it is the state deciding what we’re allowed to do; everything is restricted, such as the boundaries within which we can operate. We are never provided with anything, such as health services in the Sámi language, we always have to demand it. So we are still very far from self-​determination.10 Ironically or not, one of the major obstacles is created by the very process of self-​ determination, specifically the self-​government structures. While land claim and self-​ government agreements may have brought institutions to the local or regional level, at the same time it has lead to an extensive institutionalization and bureaucratization of Indigenous communities,11 a concern frequently raised especially by participants in Sápmi and Tulít’a. The bureaucratization is particularly pronounced in Tulít’a where the excessive institutionalization and governmentality is required by the Sahtú Dene and Métis Land Claim Agreement of 1993. A key objective of land claim agreements in the Canadian North has been the returning of resource governance at least in part to the community level from territorial and federal capitals. In the Sahtú region of the Northwest Territories, the institutionalization of community governance has complicated and in some cases stalled decision-​ making and created circumstances and structures that are a far cry from the direct democracy and consensus decision-​making promoted by the Dene leadership in the 1970s.12 In addition to the division and domestication of the Dene nation13 and the transformation of the way in which Indigenous people think about and relate to the land,14 the outcome of the land claims process in the Denendeh (part of which is the Sahtú region) has been not only but a radical obstruction to local governance and decision-​making.

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In Tulít’a alone, the Sahtú Dene and Métis Land Claim Agreement created the Tulít’a Land Corporation (for the Dene) and the Fort Norman Métis Land Corporation responsible for land administration, the Tulít’a District Land Corporation in charge of the claims agreement funds and the Renewable Resources Council to ensure local involvement in conservation and management of resources. In addition, there are a number of regional boards in which Tulít’a residents and other Sahtú beneficiaries are called to participate and provide input to, including the Sahtú Secretariat and the Sahtú Renewable Resource Board with its office located in Tulít’a.15 Such an intrusion of a massive administrative apparatus with its attendant bureaucracy has created a governance structure that is ill-​suited and inappropriate. As many participants noted, it is nearly impossible to run such a number of organizations and administrative structure effectively for a small community of five hundred people. The governance structure intended to advance local self-​government in fact has created a major obstacle and stands in the way of community control of their affairs. It has also lead to the duplication of activities and the lack of coordination and cooperation among the community institutions. One woman maintained that with so many organizations in such a small community, decision-​making is next to impossible.16 Another woman held: For me, I don’t think Tulít’a is really ready for self-​government yet because it seems like they’re also unorganized. Things are not organized very good. There’s too many presidents and too many of those small organizations and there’s only one chief, but it’s seems like there’s too many wannabe chiefs or subchiefs or whatever. So, it’s kind of confusing, especially for the youth.17 Moreover, the bureaucratization of Indigenous communities has distanced many people from land-​based activities as they spend their days in the office rather than engage in “activities that they continue to see as vital to their way of life.” Nadasdy posits: “Day in and day out, they have to think, talk, and act in ways that are often incompatible with (and even serve to undermine) the very beliefs and practices that this new government-​ to-​government relationship is supposed to be safeguarding.”18 The new reality of the land claims and self-​government bureaucracy, including its onerous requirements and often unreasonable demands, has subtly altered the way in which especially leadership thinks, talks, and acts which in turn has alienated them from their community members. Combined with limited human resources and capacity, the community decision-​making and development are effectively stalled, demoralizing the leadership and disenfranchising the community members. Whether at the local level or through centralized institutions, creating a large administrative apparatus to operate Indigenous self-​government is a problem worldwide. It has not received the attention it requires by Indigenous leadership in spite of the fact it frequently leads to a lack of community involvement and a perceived gap between the



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political institutions and ordinary people. Observing the circumstances in Indigenous Australia Megan Davis notes: “There is a very real tension between those who drive the rights agenda at a national level and those in communities who believe the discourse of the political domain is detached from the daily realities of life across Australia.”19 My earlier study on the Sámi Parliaments in Norway and Finland showed a similar tension: they were seen as centralized, bureaucratic institutions that lack community engagement serving first and foremost the needs of state bureaucracy rather than those of the Sámi people.20 Similar themes were discussed by a number of participants in my current study. The lack of visibility and legitimacy of the Sámi Parliaments has been increasingly raised as an issue in the past few years.21 Heidi Eriksen, member of the Sámi Parliament in Finland at the time of the interview, remarked: “When I decided to run, I was thinking how ordinary people don’t see or hear anything about the Sámi Parliament. Now when I’m inside, it’s hard to say. I don’t think I’ve been able to change that at all, to increase [the Sámi Parliament’s] visibility among its own people.”22 In the same vein, two Sámi journalists observed the lack of public debate and the failure of Sámi leadership to communicate their views and vision specifically to their own administration and in general, to broader Sámi society: [Sámi] politicians say they want self-​determination but does the administration in the Sámi Parliament know and understand what they are talking about? . . . The presidents of the Sámi Parliaments can talk about self-​determination all they like but if they’re not able to convey their vision, [the administration] prioritize[s]‌as they’ve always done. The people who sit there and make decisions from their own perspective, they don’t think they’re building Sámi society.23 What is missing [from the work of the Sámi Parliament] is the internal work within Sámi society. The Sámi Parliament in Finland seeks to work with the government and various state authorities but if they were able to get  all the Sámi on board, it would have much more weight rather than infighting and pulling to opposite directions, as is currently the case.24 In Tulít’a, nearly all participants noted the lack of community engagement and consultation by the self-​government negotiation team. In the words of one Tulít’a participant, there is “a barrier between leadership and the people, even though the leadership are all our own people.”25 In general, the community members had very limited knowledge of the on-​going negotiations. Two participants, young women in their early twenties, had no idea their community has been negotiating self-​government since 2003. One of them maintained: “There has been absolutely nothing of self-​government in Tulít’a that I’m aware of. I’ve never seen anything. I’ve never seen any flyers. So, that’s news to me.”26 The other noted: “The self-​government negotiations is not something that people talk about or it’s not really on people’s radar at all.”27

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A Tulít’a elder active in community development initiatives similarly acknowledged how little people in general knew about the negotiations and asked, “how we’re going to support self-​government when we don’t even know the issues?” In her view, the lack of inclusion of community members in the process creates a sense of irrelevance: “I’m beginning to feel as a community member I’m not important to the community leaders.”28 Even so, there had been a number of attempts to hold annual general meetings by the self-​government secretariat which “kept being postponed” due to the lack of attendance. A number of participants cited bad timing and not taking into account annual community activities on the land when scheduling the meeting. The lack of community engagement and sense of alienation is often felt particularly strong among Indigenous youth. On the one hand, there is a growing number of Indigenous youth mobilizing around issues of sovereignty and resurgence as discussed in ­chapter 1. On the other, there is a segment of Indigenous youth who feel alienated and disenfranchised from their community affairs. According to participants in all three regions, most young people are not typically tuned in to self-​determination and self-​ government politics in their communities. Several participants in all regions were concerned about young people and their prospects and future in their communities. Young people themselves felt that leadership is not concerned about young people, their well-​ being or their views on community issues. In Tulít’a, for example, youth discussed how they feel alienated from decision-​making and maintained that the community leaders were not interested in them or their ideas. They were not that preoccupied with self-​government and instead, main concerns they raised were low motivation and self-​esteem and challenges related to schooling, such as existing curriculum that insufficiently covers traditional teachings and local knowledge. Nonetheless they saw a big need for leadership training, in particular on-​the-​land youth leadership programs that would consist of teaching of traditional skills, among others.29 Moreover, many participants including the youth were particularly concerned about the young people and the way in which many were engaged in drugs and alcohol abuse and lacked access to traditional land-​based activities: I don’t know how [leaders] are going to do with self-​government here when they can’t even listen to their community. It’s just watching and observing the young people with alcohol and drugs. Today that should be the first priority before any development or any talk about self-​government. Just pay attention to the young people otherwise nobody is going to break that cycle.30 In many Indigenous communities, there is currently no real discussion about key questions relating to youth: youth and the future of Indigenous communities, including basic concerns of Indigenous youth’s personal security, safety, and survival. In some communities, youth suicide is a major problem.31 As one participant put it: “How are we ever going to get to be self-​determining communities when our kids don’t want to be



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there?”32 Further, there is a common pattern in that youth talk among themselves and the band council occasionally talks about youth but there is little interaction between the two. If young people do take initiative they frequently feel they do not receive the support of the community or their leaders. As a result, they turn away from politics or they have to find other avenues to channel their desire for change. Bourgeois remarks: “There are young people who really want this, and want to be part of these new discussions, but they’re being foreclosed.” At the same time, the level of violence and self-​destructive behavior many young people witness or engage in can sometimes be staggering. Thus the ultimate question of implementing self-​government has to do with the future: is “how are our kids going to be [part of ] healthy, self-​determining nations if this is where we’re at still?”33 Further, increased bureaucracy and institutionalization has resulted in a politics of distraction, which in turn has lead to a sustained lack of a vision for self-​determination. Unintended a not, running an excessive administration effectively diverts attention and limited human resources from a more foundational and substantive issues. A Sámi teacher observed:  “I have often walked the halls of the Sámi Parliament building, wondering what these people are doing, what they are advancing because we don’t see anything . . . It is too much at the level of bureaucracy, pushing papers.”34 Another participant pointed out the time-​consuming and largely ineffective role of the Sámi Parliaments as the formal representative body required to provide statements for state authorities on matters affecting the Sámi: “They produce a huge amount of statements but how much they have an impact? I’m afraid that it stops there.”35 Regardless a number of conferences, workshops and reports on Sámi self-​ determination, there is an obstinate lack of coherent vision and policy regarding its meaning and substance.36 As one participant put it, “the Sámi Parliaments are not able to think the contents of self-​determination; they hold a conference or a meeting but it’s only on paper.”37 According to Laila Susanne Vars: “There is no coherent self-​determination policy. It depends on who sits in the administration and writes things down, and on who is on the executive in each area of responsibility. One statement says one thing, another says something else. . . . So often it ends up being an inconsistent policy.”38 This has lead to a situation where nobody knows what Sámi self-​determination in fact may entail. Sámi leadership and ordinary people alike spoke in very similar terms about the ambiguity of Sámi self-​determination. Katarina Pirak Sikku, artist and former member of the Sámi Parliament noted: There are a lot of beautiful words that we are a people in four countries, that we have traditional knowledge, we think of nature’s best and of animal welfare. But often they are just empty words. . . . I think I’m rather disappointed with Sámi politics; that it has not gotten any further than “we are one.” We are stuck in a whole bunch of words but we haven’t got anywhere.39

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Essentially, the views of Sámi leadership did not differ from those above. Vars who at the time of the interview was a member of the Sámi Parliament in Norway argued: Everybody talks about Sámi self-​determination but nobody has given it content. Or everyone has their own view. I noticed it when I was involved in the international indigenous politics. That’s when I realized that there is no shared view which would be the foundation for the principle of [Sámi] self-​determination.40 Sara Larsson who also at the time of the interview was a member of the Sámi Parliament in Sweden held very similar opinion: I don’t think we Sámi know what self-​determination means. . . . We often talk about self-​determination, about cultural development in such abstract terms that it’s difficult for ordinary people. Except when it pertains hunting and fishing rights. People understand that, or at least think they understand, they think that we’re going to close all the mountains and nobody can do anything.41 Another common view was that Sámi leadership have adopted the rhetoric of self-​ determination at international meetings but not translated it into concrete policy or initiatives at home. In the words of a healthcare professional: Nobody talks about self-​determination. The concept exists of course, but if you ask people, they’d say, “well the Sámi Parliament, they go to Geneva and talk about it sometimes, something about the UN but it doesn’t apply to us.” . . . Part of it is that the Sámi Parliament is not very good at communicating what they are doing. . . . I also don’t know what the Sámi Parliament means by self-​determination, except very theoretical, whether it is “peoples” or “people”—​at that level. . . . Also it’s a lot easier to travel to Geneva or New York and participate in the debate there than build connections with the municipalities and other institutions here at home. It’s symbolic politics rather than concrete initiatives.42 Another characteristic of the indeterminacy and ambivalence of Sámi self-​determination discourse is apparent in its tendency to metamorphose depending on the circumstance. At the international arena, the Sámi political discourse (represented by the Sámi political bodies such as the Parliaments and the Sámi Council) takes cue from the international Indigenous politics, focusing on the collective right to decide over own affairs and on land rights. Back at home, Sámi political discourse is much more conciliatory if not compromised. Discussing Sámi self-​determination is typically limited to election campaigns and conference presentations but even at those occasions, it is limited to more palatable, “soft issues” such as language, education, and children. Although land and



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resource rights supposedly form the backbone of Sámi self-​determination, they are not on the agenda.43 Particularly when explaining Sámi self-​determination to non-​Sámi audience in Scandinavia, Sámi leaders tend to be tongue-​tied. Vars who studied how the two most recent presidents of the Sámi Parliament speak about self-​determination during an election campaign and explain it to the Norwegian public observed:  “For the Norwegian public you have to speak in nonthreatening terms, to assure them we’re not building a state;44 that all we want is to speak Sámi and to maintain contact with our relatives on the other side of the border. We cannot mention the more contentious issues: oil, gas—​don’t they belong to the Sámi?—​land rights, minerals—​shouldn’t we receive royalties?”45 In Greenland, the very opposite was the case. Since the passing of the Self-​ Government Act in 2009, the development of oil, gas, and mineral resources have dominated the self-​determination debate to a point that most participants expressed frustration of the lack of a more extensive public debate on the implementation process beyond paving way for extractive industries. For example, Tine Pars, former rector of the University of Greenland, suggested that since the self-​rule, the focus has been almost exclusively on establishing contacts with Asian countries with regard to potential mining partnerships.46 Notwithstanding that extensive political autonomy and even independence have been on the Greenlanders’ agenda for several decades, enacting self-​government in 2009 left many struggling to come to terms with the new reality. People had high expectations and deep desire for freedom in the abstract but once it was reality, many realized that very little discussion and thinking had gone into what self-​government means on the personal level and how every citizen could and ought to contribute to its implementation and exercise. Some participants suggested that self-​government was viewed by many ordinary Greenlanders a magic bullet which once enacted, would change circumstances overnight. It was pointed out how four years after passing the Self-​Government Act, many people have been disappointed with the slow pace of change as they have become aware of the fact that legislation alone does not deliver self-​determination, whatever that may mean for different people. At the time of the interviews, four years into the self-​government era in Greenland, nearly all participants shared a sentiment that Greenlanders do not have a clear idea of self-​government. Some typical views included: I think we had very high expectations, and a lot of the party that won at that time actually talked about self-​determination, culture, language. I  think we all had a feeling that now we are finally going to have more Greenland for Greenlanders. And I think the same party for four years have [sic] been so busy working with economics, and trying to create a healthy economy and making long-​term politics. The people have been very disappointed.47

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I can hear when people are talking and I can hear on the radio, that people are not there. They said yes, and voted yes for self-​governance, and probably they will vote yes again for self-​determination without knowing what it really means.48 I think [implementation] is a problem, problem where we stand right now, because the people don’t know what does self-​government mean, what does it require of me, what do I have to do differently?49 I think we have no realistic idea of [self-​government]. . . only by hard work you can move forward. We thought that in a few years everything will change.50 It is significant that regardless the very different political circumstances and status of self-​determination between Greenland and the other regions studied here—​the fact that unlike other Indigenous peoples, Greenland now holds authority over its own affairs and mineral resources—​similar sentiments of ambivalence about the contents of self-​government were expressed by Greenlandic participants. Thus, the problem of not knowing what self-​determination means in practice is not limited to jurisdictions without real self-​government powers and authority. In addition, problems that plagued the functioning of the Home Rule administration have not been fully eliminated under self-​government in Greenland. Major issues include limited infrastructure, economic dependency on Denmark, nepotism, high turnover and difficulty in maintaining qualified and well-​trained workforce in Greenland, a large public sector that strains the economy, and irregularities and inconsistencies in legislation which can lead to arbitrary procedures and corruption.51 The Self-​Rule administration is also seen as a closed institution that prefers to maintain the status quo.52 In Greenland, the focus on the development of mineral resources is understandable given that by far, the most considerable challenge of implementing self-​government in Greenland is economy. Currently fishing is the main and the only considerable industry in Greenland, accounting for over 90 percent of total exports. Greenland continues to be highly dependent on annual subsidies, or block grants from Denmark which, in the past, were negotiated between the two countries every second or third year.53 The freezing of the block grant has presented itself as a double-​edged sword. On the one hand, since the block grant is now fixed and no longer negotiated, it cannot be used as political leverage by Denmark in other negotiations, which apparently happened occasionally “if we didn’t behave.”54 On the other hand, a fixed annual subsidy has created great pressure for the Greenland government to pursue an aggressive resource policy, in an attempt to find new sources of revenue as fast as possible. The dilemma expressed by nearly all participants in Greenland was the challenge of finding the balance between the pressing need for new revenue sources, for diversifying the country’s struggling economy and engaging in resource extraction, while meeting high environmental and social standards so that the Inuit hunting and fishing culture, dependent on healthy natural resources, is not jeopardized. According to the Inuit



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Circumpolar Council (ICC), “resource development in Inuit Nunaat [the homeland of the Inuit]” “must proceed only with the free, prior, and informed consent of the Inuit of that region.”55 Yet public engagement has been limited and there have been considerable shortcomings with regard to consultation and transparency by the government and the multinational companies alike. Information about the social, cultural, and environmental impacts of resource extraction has been hard to come by and is often provided in technical jargon available only in Danish or English.56 Also related to economy, the other major obstacle of implementing self-​government in Greenland is the overall low educational level. Seventy percent of Greenland’s adult population (between the age of fifteen to sixty-​four) has only a primary school education, which according to a report poses a challenge in developing a competitive edge in developing the extraction industry in Greenland.57 Lack of education is particularly pronounced among men. Nearly all participants pointed out how urban women specifically are far more educated than their male counterparts. Several participants expressed concern that without formal education Greenlandic men will be left behind. A young filmmaker noted that while women are eager to educate themselves, young men have hard time to find their place in the rapidly changing society.58 A preeminent municipal politician took pride in her family line of strong women advocating for gender equality and formal education while expressing concern for “losing the Greenlandic men”: My grandmother was running for equality between men and women in Greenland. She was a pioneer. My mother and all her sisters—​that’s why I say I grew up with very strong women. But on the other hand, they were very respectful to all the men in my family. . . . So I think I’m very proud of being brought up in a family with strong women and we should have an education. But on the other hand I’m sorry for all the men that are not yet educated, because it’s so important in these years to have also a formal education. So, I do not want to lose the Greenlandic men, and if we do not take very much care, and are aware of having a way of running society which includes everyone, we can lose lots of men.59 Regardless the growing need for educated men in the era of self-​government, particularly for men trained in professions of the extractive industry, women continue pursue education in much higher numbers.60 Women’s higher educational levels, however, have not translated into a corresponding increase of women in leading positions of the self-​ government administration. The vast majority of departments, directorates, and agencies have more male than female managers in top positions, and women held in 2009 only 20 percent of board seats in the government-​owned companies.61 On the other hand, Pars maintained that Greenlandic women with education are increasingly competing with Danish men for the highest positions in public administration—​except “on the CEO level on the companies,” which remains male-​dominated.62

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While there is an increasing number of Greenlanders in the administrative apparatus, especially in the areas of language and culture, many key positions in self-​government continue to be occupied by Danish professionals. These are often young Danish men who come to Greenland to start their careers, build their resumes, and make money. They commonly stay in these jobs for only a couple of years, resulting in high staff turnover, which gives rise to a lack of continuity and inconsistent political goals.63 While possessing the appropriate education for the job, during their brief stints Danish professionals do not acquire an understanding of Greenlandic culture, values, or language, which is widely seen a significant problem. Dependency on Danish expertise and civil servants who lack cultural competence may impede the implementation of a more Greenlandic version of governance and erode the sense of ownership, among Inuit Greenlanders, toward the process of greater self-​government. At another end of the spectrum vis-​à-​vis the challenges of human resources and qualified employees is the question of laborers at the future development sector in Greenland. Proposed extractive projects have been criticized for a number of reasons, including inadequate impact assessment and public consultation process and considerable environmental, cultural, and socioeconomic impacts, such as the importation of several thousand foreign laborers to construct and operate the mine.64 As many participants pointed out, thousands of foreign workers would be a lot in a sparsely inhabited country with a population of 56,000 and could have an impact, for example, on the status and use of the Greenlandic language. Some raised the risk of Greenlanders becoming a minority in their own country.65 Similar concerns were expressed in Tulít’a which at the time of the fieldwork was at the cusp of the fracking boom. Some Tulít’a participants also held that the community was not ready for self-​government because of the lack of qualified or educated workforce, including teachers and nurses.66 Self-​Administration as Self-​Determination Worldwide, the Indigenous vision and premise of self-​determination has remained constant and straightforward:  the exercise of the inherent right to govern themselves according to their own priorities, needs and institutions. Indigenous communities claim full ownership of their lands and resources while the government would allow only limited rights and decision-​making powers. Instead of control and governance of own affairs, territories and resources, for the states Indigenous self-​determination has meant narrowly executed self-​administration and an opportunity of downloading responsibilities to Indigenous communities without the required support, training, or financing. In Canada, for example, Indigenous leaders frequently argue for distinct order of government with provincial-​like authority whereas the government prefers to delineate the right to self-​ government in much narrower terms, often as municipal-​level authority with control of the design and delivery of community services and programs. However, as a number of



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scholars have argued, taking over administration, funding, and management of initiatives and programs from the state is not self-​government.67 There are a number of examples of self-​administration presented as Indigenous self-​ government worldwide, varying considerably in design and extent. In this section, I consider the Sámi Parliaments as a prime yet rarely discussed example of self-​administration. Several participants raised the issue of pretense in relation to the Parliaments. For example, the exercise of self-​government through the Sámi Parliaments was seen as a make-​ believe with small pots of funding from the government: It is the Finnish authorities telling us how to implement self-​determination. “Here’s a little money so you can implement your right to self-​determination.” But it all follows the Finnish way. It’s often kind of a “pretend.” We’re pretending to make decisions on our own, even if we ourselves decide shit nothing. A good example is the Sámi funds. . . . They give us a little money and call it autonomy.68 In the same vein, another Sámi participant pondered whether allocating state funding constituted a form of self-​government:  “We have been talking about the cultural autonomy so much. I’ve tried to think what it actually is, and I don’t really know. Is the content of cultural autonomy that the Sámi Parliament receives a certain sum of money from the state? Is the allocation of that funding our cultural autonomy, or what is it?”69 As mentioned in the previous section, the Sámi political institutions have been successful in creating rhetoric of self-​determination that closely follows the contours of and draws on the international Indigenous peoples’ human rights framework, including the international law discourse pertaining to “peoples” and the right of all peoples to self-​determination. The Sámi Parliaments are frequently provided as examples of the successful exercise of Sámi self-​determination. For many Sámi, however, this remains suspect: “We Sámi have constructed an image we want to show to the rest of the world, that we have successfully implemented self-​determination when in reality we haven’t.”70 Stephen Cornell’s comparison between self-​government and self-​administration in the context of tribal governments in the United States is among the most comprehensive, covering six main areas: jurisdiction, governmental form, core governmental functions, revenue, accountability, and intergovernmental relations. Although specific to the Native American nations, his framework is helpful in illustrating the key differences between the scope of self-​government on the one hand and self-​administration on the other, enabling the analysis of self-​administration in other settings as well. The main difference between self-​government and self-​administration is of jurisdiction: in the former, an institution has decision-​making authority over its own affairs, including resource use, civil affairs, and economic development. In self-​government, the governance structure is designed by Indigenous people themselves while in self-​administration it is “typically shaped or imposed by outsiders,” usually the state.71

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According to Cornell’s framework, in terms of core functions self-​administration is limited to administering programs, service delivery, and distribution of resources such as jobs and money. In addition to program administration, the core functions of self-​ government include establishing constitutional foundations, making and enforcing laws, and making and implementing policy decisions. In self-​government, revenue comes from multiple sources and there is an ongoing effort to increase revenue under Indigenous control (such as enterprises, permits and fees, taxation). In self-​ administration, the main source of revenue is transfer payments from other government and the efforts to increase revenue take the form of lobbying the government for additional funding. In self-​administration, accountability is typically one-​dimensional from the institution to the source of revenue, taking the form of reporting how the funds are used. In self-​government, accountability is a two-​way street, including “(1) Native nations’ accountability to their own citizens for governing well, (2) their accountability to funders for how funds are spend, and (3) outside governments’ accountability to Native nations for policy decisions.”72 Finally, in self-​government intergovernmental relations are characterized by partnerships, joint decision-​making, and mutual respect, whereas in self-​administration, they require consultation (i.e., “other governments consult with Indigenous communities, then decide what to do”) and are premised on assuming that “other governments know what’s best for Native nations but should at least talk to them about it.”73 With regard to the Sámi Parliaments, some of aspects in the above framework have already been examined, including the core functions (in the previous chapter where the mandates of the Parliaments were considered) and accountability discussed in the previous section above. In this section, in addition to expanding these themes, I focus on the question of revenue and intergovernmental relations. I  demonstrate that Sámi Parliaments exercise self-​administration through distribution of resources, being entirely funded by their respective national governments and limited to consultation with the governments. All three Sámi Parliaments are financed by the state budget, allocated yearly by the national governments. Part of the revenue is distributed as annual operating grants to Sámi language programs and projects and various cultural initiatives such as stipends, museums, heritage sites, libraries, and Sámi theatre and festivals. Besides some exceptions, the Parliaments do not administer these programs, let  alone make their own policies. As Rune Fjellheim, the director of the Sámi Parliament in Norway, notes, the Sámi Parliament is not in charge of its own Sámi policy but instead, administers the Sámi policy of the state—​a state of affairs that hardly can be regarded as Sámi self-​determination.74 In Norway, where the Sámi autonomy is considered most extensive, the Sámi Parliament is increasingly burdened by its growing administrative responsibilities with regard to financial and grant management, leaving less and less capacity for political and policy development.75 In Sweden, the work of the Sámi Parliament largely revolves



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around culture and language, even though it is also is tasked with serving as governmental expert agency on reindeer herding. As a government administrative agency, the Swedish Sámi Parliament has not been “granted any actual political influence or real power, such as a right of participation in decision-​making, veto-​rights concerning administrative decisions, or a legal status as a body to which proposed legislative measures on Sámi issues ought to be referred for consideration by other administrative authorities.”76 In Finland, although the Sámi Parliament has not been entrenched in “the state machinery” quite extensively as in Sweden,77 it does not exercise self-​government authority beyond the areas of culture and language. One participant suggested that the reason for limiting Sámi self-​determination to mere administration and distribution of resources is the extensive municipal autonomy and the role of municipal politics in local decision-​making. In her view, Sámi Parliaments have been placed on top of an existing system without reconsidering jurisdictional boundaries and areas or the relationship to existing institutions: Part of the problem with the lack of progress is that a lot is done by the municipalities. The Sámi Parliament has been superimposed on top of an extensive municipal self-​government. The Sámi Parliament has an advisory role but it has never been properly assessed what kind of role it has in relation to the province, state and municipality. The result is a bit of an anomaly. It is the same in Finland and Sweden. They say the Sámi Parliament has authority; well in Norway they have some authority over cultural heritage. And they have [authority over] funding organizations and individuals can apply for, and they have funding for the Sámi language.78 The extent of the municipal government and its jurisdiction over local issues makes Sámi self-​government appear as unnecessary to some people. According to one participant, many Sámi think that self-​determination would not make a big difference in their lives. Somewhat flippantly, she argued Sámi are affluent enough not to care too much about self-​determination talk except in the form of window-​dressing when attending international meetings: I think many people think that self-​determination is extra; we don’t really need it. A lot of people think that if we’d have self-​determination then what? It could be because many people think that we so well off in Sámi society. We’re lucky that Sápmi is in Scandinavia and nowhere else. We’re so well off that we don’t really have to care if we don’t want to. Because our wallets would be as thick and cupboards as full [without self-​determination]. We can play in our sand box and we know that salaries are coming to our accounts. We follow the international custom of talking about these issues, what the international community expects us to say.79

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The reality is that the Sámi in the three Scandinavian countries reap the rewards of citizenship of the Western, liberal states to an extent that a form of collective self-​determination may seem superfluous for some. Scholars have suggested that by seeking to provide Sámi individuals “a parallel standard of living to that of the Scandinavian majority,” the Nordic welfare states have simultaneously diminished “the importance and realization of the Sámi’s collective rights.”80 Standing in stark conflict with collective rights of Indigenous peoples, the welfare state ideology of egalitarianism, social equality, and individualism has been a very powerful driving force in Scandinavia.81 Historically, it has had no room for difference and no consideration for structural relations of power. Difference-​blind liberalism treats Indigenous people like any other members of the mainstream society and according to Tully, is one of the many strategies of incorporation by the state. This in turn is “a form of indirect colonial rule, . . . not a valid form of self-​determination.”82 The Sámi and their institutions have been incorporated into participatory democracy and political institutions to an extent that exceeds most other Indigenous peoples globally.83 For some Sámi leaders and scholars this integration has increased Sámi self-​determination. They suggest that integration into the political structures of the state allows the Sámi, through their representative bodies, to influence decisions and policy relevant to them. As one scholar argues: “The institutionalized consultation process promotes the involvement of the Sámi Parliament in state decision-​ making processes. The concerns defined within the space of self-​g overnment can be expanded upon and expressed more widely through the shared space of governance to the legislature.”84 Consultation with national governments may constitute participatory engagement in broader social and political structures, regarded as an aspect of the norm of self-​ determination in international law. It falls short, however, of the substance of political autonomy or self-​government premised on decision-​making and authority over internal affairs. According to Cornell’s framework, intergovernmental relations characterized by consultation with other governments is a hallmark of self-​administration. The state–​Sámi relations in Scandinavia are deeply marked by the assumption that the national governments know best what is best for the Sámi. Only in Norway has the Sámi Parliament established a procedure and consultation agreement with the government. In the two other countries, consultation may or may not occur, and sometimes it occurs once the decisions are made.85 Even in Norway, there have been several occasions where the assembly has “been deprived of their right to participate in matters of importance for the Sámi people.”86 According to Vars, the current consultation agreement with the state does not measure up to an exercise of self-​determination.87 Successful incorporation of the Sámi into the state structures—​both politically as well as socially through extensive welfare provisions—​combined with the pervasive ideology of difference-​blind liberalism has been so ubiquitous in Scandinavian societies that many Sámi have also adopted and internalized the tenet of formal equality. In Scandinavia, this



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has amounted to the widespread view according to which all members of the society are formally equal, there are no structural impediments preventing any groups from being equal with other members, and thus there is neither a need nor grounds for considering specific rights for certain groups. Such a social and political climate has created a Sámi political discourse that emphasizes collaboration, diplomacy, and good relations with the state.88 Young Sámi entering into politics are mentored along these lines and told that the confrontational style of some Indigenous peoples is not the Sámi way. The received wisdom in Sámi society is that adaptability and accommodation are defining Sámi qualities that have helped Sámi survive the history of Scandinavian colonialism.89 As the result, in spite of the evidence remaining thin on the ground, the prevailing modus operandi of Sámi politics has long been that “if we behave . . . we will be rewarded with rights and recognition.”90 I suggest that a more correct analysis would be that such an approach has effectively undermined the Sámi prospects for self-​determination. I further argue that the Sámi incorporation into participatory democracy and political institutions of the state is one of the reasons for the ambiguity and indeterminacy of Sámi self-​determination discourse discussed in the previous section. First, thanks to the living standards on par with other Scandinavian citizens, Sámi have a lot to lose if they were to rock the boat. Second, the high living standards mean that there is no pressing need to rock the boat. As the participant above put it, “We’re so well off that we don’t really have to care if we don’t want to.” Third, because the difference-​blind liberalism is so powerful and because there is no critical mass, most Sámi are afraid to rock the boat in fear of a backlash in the form of increased racism and repercussions from the state that may include losing funding and good relations with the authorities. Young, active Sámi have, however, started to question the received wisdom of the Sámi conciliatory approach and increasingly regard it as co-​optation. To conclude this section, I provide an account by one of the participants, Helena Omma, that illustrates how the younger generation views the state of affairs. Attending an international meeting, Omma was frustrated to witness the timid stand of the President of the Sámi Parliament toward the recent failure of the Norwegian government to recognize and protect the Sea Sámi rights to fisheries. She expressed her frustration to the staff member of the Sámi Parliament and asked how it is possible that the President of the Sámi Parliament is not in the slightest critical of the Norwegian government, but instead publicly asserts in a formal statement that the flawed compromise is an important step toward Sámi self-​determination. The staff member had given Omma a surprisingly candid answer: “We cannot criticize the government because they pay our trip here and allow us make a statement.” In the interview, Omma commented on her reaction to the response she received: “I am so disappointed because is it really so easy to buy us Sámi, just by covering our travel expenses? It all looks good on the surface, Norway has given a couple of minutes of its own time to the Sámi Parliament, but if the Sámi Parliament no longer dares to say publicly how badly the government has failed. That is not Sámi self-​determination at all.”91

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Future Visions and Alternative Approaches Since breaking the ranks of the early self-​determination movement, an increasing number of Indigenous women have been critical of male politics and masculine political structures.92 More recently, there has been a growing chorus calling for different and alternative politics that would mark a radical departure from organizational hierarchies, boardroom meetings, backroom lobbying, and “dirty deals.” Among the most well-​known example is Idle No More, which in the late 2012 emerged as a grassroots action in Canada to oppose Bill C-​4593 by a handful of determined women but which quickly grew into a nationwide and international movement for Indigenous sovereignty and treaty rights.94 Arthur Manuel astutely observes how the name of the movement “struck a chord among a generation that felt Indigenous peoples had been left standing idly by as their leaders frittered away their sovereignty and allowed developers to despoil their lands.”95 Idle No More rejected the politics-​as-​usual discourse characterized by mainstream organizational structures and hierarchical, male-​dominated leadership. Nanibush suggests that “self-​determination, by definition, means that we have to build, create, and do.”96 This desire to create and build was in part what motivated and inspired people involved in Idle No More who, according to Nanibush, were tired of the status quo and no longer wanted to wait for change. The movement emerged from a context of ongoing and growing sense of frustration and desire to engage in radically different politics and to create something different than ordinary political organizing. The frustration that the founders felt was not only a general dissatisfaction with the politics-​as-​usual approach but more fundamentally, with Indigenous women not having been given a chance to think about governance and their roles and responsibilities in it.97 One of the most striking departures from Indigenous politics as usual has been the characterization of Indigenous women’s resistance in terms of love, which became pronounced at the height of Idle No More. Especially love of the land, their children, future generations, and their communities were frequently discussed as the reasons for Indigenous women to take a stand and the streets.98 Similarly, Plain discusses love and care for “our relations” as motivating factors for Josephine Mandamin, the founder of the Mother Earth Water Walk. In contrast to the conventional agendas of organizations such as the Assembly of First Nations, the focus of the Water Walk is on the positive energy: Why give my good energy away to, I’m going to give at least in my own capacity what I can do now—​do what I can do now with that positive energy instead of focusing on the negative. That’s the thing about the Water Walk and why it had such a big impact; it’s how Josephine did things, with love, with kindness. That had way more impact than protesting, yelling around and hoping somebody would hear me. So that’s the work I’ve chosen, is to work with the people, work individually, work within my own capacity, and to work with that, with love.99



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According to Plain, there is a significant difference between contemporary Indigenous politics of elected male leaders behind closed doors and the diplomacy and treaty-​making in the past. In hew view, the closed-​door politics would have not been possible in the earlier times when leaders brought their families and sometimes entire communities to treaty-​making gatherings. This guaranteed ongoing dialogue, accountability, transparency, and emphasis on consensus without which the decision-​making becomes too limited, one-​dimensional, and ego-​driven.100 Discussing Mandamin’s Water Walk, she suggests that action characterized by kindness and love can be more effective as a strategy: She didn’t go around boasting that, “This is what I’m going to do.” She did it on her own because she knew it was right, and then it grew over the years. . . . I think Indigenous women just do things in a very kind way and they know through that kindness and love are going to make a bigger impact than going out and being a single, strong loud voice.101 At the same time, we must not reify and re-​stereotype “women’s ways” of politics. Condoning certain emotions such as love as typical for Indigenous women may imply a disapproval of behaviors that show anger, frustration and resentment leading to a return to the persistent stereotypes of appropriate female behavior as loving, caring, and modest. Some Indigenous women are angry, rightly so, with the various forms of state and interpersonal violence they and their people have endured.102 Anger is seen as a “tool to unleash against the very techniques that brought [violence] into being.”103 This does not mean love and kindness ought to be denounced. Instead, we need to recognize how strong emotions—​both love and anger—​are powerful motivators and driving forces for collective and political action whatever the scope. We also need to bear in mind we cannot expect love in relations of domination:  “When the dehumanization of all Indigenous peoples is accepted as normal, especially aimed at the minds and bodies of Indigenous women through continued land dispossession and violence, it is unrealistic for settler society to expect us to forgive let alone love.”104 Although Indigenous people have long been both discussing and practicing alternative ways of governing and running their own affairs, Idle No More brought many of these conversations and initiatives together and into the broader public. Simpson identifies a number of interrelated Indigenous political strategies in Idle No More, including a treaty rights approach and the nationhood approach, both of which stand as an alternative to the rights-​based, electoral politics–​driven approach. While the treaty rights approach involves foregrounding the historic numbered treaties signed between different Indigenous nations and the Crown to change Indigenous–​state relations, the nationhood approach is premised on anti-​capitalist Indigenous resurgence.105 The fact that different approaches coalesce in one movement is a testament to the range of future visions for Indigenous nations and communities. The cases studied here reflect the same diversity.

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On one end of the spectrum, the ultimate goal is restoring pre-​existing Indigenous governance systems through reclaiming the political power, authority, and roles of women while on the other end the objective is full independence and a modern nation-​state with no regard to Indigenous forms of governance. A lot fits in between and is beyond the scope of this study. Although some participants in Canada discussed treaties and the significance of treaty relationships, it was not in the context of considering future visions. Next, I  focus on rematriation and independence, the two future visions discussed by participants in Canada and Greenland. Rematriation of Indigenous Governance In Canada, the participants frequently discussed Indigenous women’s political roles in the past and many maintained that restoring these roles was a precondition for Indigenous self-​determination and successfully implementing contemporary Indigenous governance.106 Deeply critical of Indigenous male leadership for their double standards and “back-​burnering” women’s needs and concerns, Lee Maracle is among the first to raise the issue of restoration of women’s political roles and call it as rematriation of Indigenous governance. For her, it makes no sense to proceed “as through the rematriation of our governing structures were somehow separate and secondary to nation-​building.”107 Following Maracle, I examine Indigenous women’s visions and views about decolonization and restructuring relations of domination vis-​à-​vis self-​determination and governance through the concept of rematriation, which forges an analysis of the intersections of colonialism and heteropatriarchy in Indigenous communities. Scholars have suggested that Indigenous self-​determination endeavors and discourses are frequently shaped by and expressed within the framework of heteropatriarchal settler colonialism. Existing self-​government institutions and proposed Indigenous political structures are modeled after the logic and governance structures of the colonial state instead of drawing and building on practices of diplomacy and systems decision-​making that Indigenous peoples had in place in the past. In short, existing self-​government arrangements “serve as extensions of the colonial project.”108 By internalizing the settler colonial logic, Indigenous self-​determination struggles also internalize and replicate the structures of racialized and gendered hierarchies and domination they claim to dismantle.109 As the result, there is a growing call for moral and political commitment by Indigenous leadership and others to restructure Indigenous governance structures in a way that reinstates the centrality of women. The mimicking and internalizing of the settler state logic and negotiating self-​ government agreements with the settler colonial state is an ongoing concern for many Indigenous women in Canada. Maracle bluntly argues that copying Western models and structures lacks cultural integrity and cannot be considered self-​government: “It is not self-​ governance to take up another nation’s legal system and entrench it in our nations. There is not cultural integrity in guiding our actions based on external beliefs.”110 Chaw-​win-​is



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points out the absurdity of mimicking models haven proven not to work: “Why are we copying something that’s not working? We need to be aware and critically reflect how we’re taking up things we’ve learned from outside.”111 Others stressed the primacy of decolonization-​cum-​Indigenizing as the precondition for the implementation and exercise of self-​determination. According to Kundoqk ( Jacquie Green), too often the focus of self-​government negotiations is on outside interests (such as those of the municipality or state) rather than asserting “Indigenous autonomy within education, within social services, within our own politics.” In her view, before even entering into negotiations communities must internally figure out how Indigeneity can be asserted in various areas of jurisdiction to be claimed by a community. As part of the internal process, questions about colonialism and its effects need to be addressed, including “How do we unravel and unpack colonialism in our lives and in our own communities? How do we unpack the hand of the Indian Act in our everyday living?”112 The internal dynamics of colonialism exist and materialize inside various structures including bands, nations, communities, and organizations and intersect with a range of external dynamics. The interplay of internal and external dynamics permeates our most intimate relations and are always gendered and often violent: It is in this internal frame that the personal faces of colonialism can be seen more clearly because it is the faces of our families, friends, and neighbours where it pervades our relationships and our communities. And, as we well know from the horrific example of the 500 missing Aboriginal women in Canada, this personal face of colonialism is sexist, oppressive, and violent.113 Part of decolonization entails the identification and recognition of all forms of violence, including lateral violence. This implies, according to several participants, breaking away from the existing system and the various dependencies it has created. Sometimes it may mean “just doing it,”114 or “recognition that we have to start doing things for ourselves.”115 Restoring traditional governance structures as a bona fide way of implementing self-​determination was discussed by a number of participants in Canada. Although nearly everyone emphasized how each community is different, the suggestions of returning to clan governance system and especially, restoring the authority of clanmothers were strikingly similar. Discussing her Haisla community on the West Coast, Kundoqk noted how traditionally each clan always had male and female chiefs: “Historically, the way the leadership operated in my community, is that there was always male and female chiefs in each clan. And it was up to them to provide the leadership to each clan.” This could be accomplished today, for example, by incorporating traditional hereditary leadership into the Indian Act governance of chief and council; something that according to Green, some communities are in the process of implementing. The common problem, however, is that

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the two systems remain unequal, with the chief and council system “having more autonomy over the clan system.”116 As discussed by a number of participants, patriarchy stands in the way of Indigenous self-​determination. Therefore, “we can’t chart a path forward if we’re working with the same old boys’ club type of mentality.”117 This mentality manifests in numerous ways, one being resistance to and fear of female leadership and power-​sharing by current male leaders. Maracle recounts how she had suggested a leadership model consisting of a female and male chief for the Assembly of First Nations after its 2003 elections: A good example is Wendy Grant and her campaign to get elected as AFN Chief. She was running against Phil Fontaine and she nearly won. And I  think Phil Fontaine said something like, “It’s a shame because Wendy’s as capable as me at being the Grand Chief.” And I said, “Well then, put up another Chair because that is how it had been done before. Take her on. Both of you two, together, make a whole Chief.”118 Maracle’s suggestion was not seriously entertained, however, in spite of its transformative potential for Indigenous political organizations: “If they had both those chiefs happening together, a dual chieftainship, we would be in a much better place today, twenty years later, than we are. And still, you can’t convince people of it, you know? It’s something that they’re so afraid of, power sharing.”119 Nanibush sees the same problem in the ongoing Anishinabek Nation restoration of jurisdiction initiative, a process of negotiating with federal and provincial governments to rebuild traditional governance and restore jurisdiction in a number of areas such as governance and education among others.120 The restoration of jurisdiction, as it is currently structures, is still a top-​down process: “The problem with that is there’ll be a bunch of Chiefs running our jurisdiction, so that doesn’t take care of anything, it’s still men leading.”121 For Nanibush, in order to eliminate existing hierarchies and domination and ultimately for Anishinabek jurisdiction to make sense, the entire structure needs to be transformed by returning to the clan system and returning to the power that women held. There are Indigenous communities where the system of clanmothers still exists, such as the Six Nations of the Grand River in Southern Ontario, although informally and in a compromised manner.122 The traditional form of governance at Six Nations, the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy involving hereditary chiefs and clanmothers, was forcibly removed by gunpoint in 1924 by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and followed by the institution of the Indian Act band council system. The Confederacy governance went underground and while its existence was denied by the state, it continued operating in addition to the band council. Recently, the Six Nations has witnessed a resurgence of the confederacy governance, clanmothers, and their authority in community affairs, connected to the 2006 reclamation and occupation of a construction site in Caledonia/​Kanonhstaton, Ontario.123 Yvonne Hill, a Mohawk clanmother who played a



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central role at the reclamation, notes: “It was the clanmothers at the site that made the decision to stay there when the [band council] chief had ordered people to leave.”124 At the height of the occupation, people involved in the reclamation looked to the women, especially to the clanmothers for guidance who set the ground rules for a peaceful protest.125 One of the strongest cases for reinstating the political roles of women has been made by Robert Porter. He suggests that the Seneca Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (situated in the New York State) has been troubled by the disruption of the traditional method of checks and balances, the concentration of political power in the hands of only a few men and the failure to address critical issues facing the Seneca people. According to Porter, the legitimacy of Seneca governance and sovereignty can be restored only by reinstating the political roles of women, clan and family decision-​making and participation structures.126 The Haudenosaunee Confederacy is constituted of the Grand Council, made up of fifty chiefs or royaneh selected by clanmothers. “The royaneh are all men, but are selected by the women from his nation whose family ‘holds’ the particular title.”127 Clanmothers also removed chiefs from their positions had they failed to serve their people. If and when the chiefs neglected to heed clanmothers’ advice, “both the men and women of the Confederacy would meet in their own separate councils to discuss the matter and give notice and warnings to the royaneh to take corrective action.”128 This structure of governance was radically undermined by a series of events, starting from the American Revolutionary War. Other influences included Handsome Lake and his assimilationist gospel that replaced extended family relations with the nuclear family ideal and transformed gender roles and the adoption of the Seneca Constitution in 1848 which made “no provision for women to vote or hold office.”129 The transformation from matrilineal kinship relations to patrilineal nuclear family structure happened within a generation, radically undermining women’s previously held political and economic authority.130 For Porter, to suggest the restoration of women’s and clans’ political roles is not idealizing women’s roles or theorizing in the abstract but, in his view, something urgently needed in order to address major problems affecting the Seneca people. According to him, these problems include the destruction of ecosystems by extensive logging, growing socioeconomic inequalities created by laissez-​faire capitalism, elimination of treaty rights, inadequate administration, and dying Seneca language and culture.131 Although Seneca women have been able to vote since 1964 and hold office in their nation since 1966, these political rights do not amount to restoration of gender-​based political roles. Notably, Porter submits that the idea of equal (i.e., same) rights to political participation does not necessarily square off with the Seneca Nation’s unique historic gender-​based decision-​making in which women were politically equal with men, but in which the political roles were clearly differentiated along the gender lines. He suggests: “Restricting and channeling the power associated with intra-​gender politicking—​by allowing the power of each gender group to develop consensus on its own in its own way—​may have been a key to collective strength in the pre-​colonial Seneca decision making process.”132

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Restoring the legitimacy of the Seneca governance would require, in part, reinstatement of political roles on the basis of gender, even if it meant some degree of gender segregation. Porter concludes his analysis by pointing out that the Haudenosaunee governance structure based on Gayanashagowa (the Great Law of Peace) worked “for one important reason—​it promoted peace by ensuring that all members of Haudenosaunee society had a say in the governmental process.”133 Although the system of clanmothers and hereditary chiefs is unique to the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and could not be copied or adopted as such by others, its basic premises of political decision-​making would serve well all Indigenous governance structures; that is, promoting piece by ensuring everyone’s involvement and that serious political ramifications would follow for overlooking or ignoring concerns and views of a segment of a society. Such checks and balances rarely exist in contemporary Indigenous self-​government structures, yet there was near unanimity among all the participants that this is what fundamentally holds implementing Indigenous self-​government back. Importantly, reinstating the political roles and authority of Indigenous women, which I  call rematriation, goes beyond the usual calls for equal opportunities or equal political participation for women to (re)establish a system that would guarantee in practice that women’s concerns and needs are not back-​burnered in all decision-​making. It takes different forms for different people but has the common ground of being informed by a rejection of the ongoing violence of the colonial state, which self-​government also represents, and the recognition-​based approaches to Indigenous self-​determination. In short, rematriation rejects self-​government politics as usual typically driven by male agendas and structured by and for the state. Some scholars are critical of references to matriarchies. They claim that Indigenous matriarchies as “a world in which women are the centers of the universe, controlling all power and resources” are fantasies based on romanticized and idealized versions of Indigenous polities (especially the Haudenosaunee Confederacy) popularized by early Indigenous feminist authors such as Paula Gunn Allen.134 For others, employing the term matriarch in reference to Indigenous conceptions of gender and power is unfounded because it reinforces the colonial gender binary, anthropological interpretations of Indigenous social order, and authoritarian power.135 I acknowledge the importance of these criticisms because they highlight some of the problematic aspects of interpreting the concept (as well as existing matriarchal or matrilineal societies) through a narrow lens of reversal of heteropatriarchal gender binary. Yet the fact that in many Indigenous societies women engaged in hunting, fishing, diplomacy, leadership, warfare, and domestic tasks (and many still do in many of those activities) does not negate the existence of matrilineal or matriarchal societies either in Indigenous or non-​Indigenous world. Further, the suggestion that the term matriarch in reference to Indigenous conceptions of gender and power reinforces authoritarian power is unsubstantiated. As scholars of matriarchal societies have noted, matriarchies are neither mere reversals of patriarchy, nor do they privilege one gender over others. They are mother-​centered (starting from



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and including the Mother Earth) societies in that they are matrilineal and foreground values of egalitarianism and peace, as well as caretaking and nurturing of all relations. Egalitarianism in matriarchies does not imply mainstream gender equality of eliminating differences between genders. Instead, the dignity and integrity of all genders is recognized without establishing hierarchies between them.136 Thus the concept of matriarchy critiques narrow anthropological interpretations of Indigenous matrilineal societies and refuses the heteropatriarchy of settler colonialism and its hierarchical gender binaries. Moreover, matriarchal societies challenge the Western feminist objective of equal opportunity and rights to political participation, while engaging in radically different political practices of gender-​based decision-​making that promote peace by ensuring everybody’s participation and recognizing everybody’s contribution. Recognizing the dignity and integrity of all genders is the foundation of individual self-​determination, discussed in c­ hapter 1. This includes sexual self-​determination, meaning “the ability to choose how to identify one’s experience, sovereignty over one’s body, and respect for the decisions a person makes over their own lives today.”137 Rematriation as a transformative process takes this critique further by reclaiming the concept from misinterpretations and putting the idea of Indigenous egalitarianism into practice in today’s setting and contemporary governance. At the core of rematriation, Indigenous egalitarianism foregrounds the dignity and integrity of all genders and is predicated on nondomination of all relations. This requires eliminating the regulation of Indigenous gender relations that in many ways has been at the heart of the colonial project with the objective of controlling the political authority of specifically Indigenous women and two-​spirit and queer (2SQ) people. This has taken place through the control of sexual agency, “because this agency is a threat to heteropatriarchy, the heteronormative nuclear family [and], the hierarchy colonialism needs to operate.”138 The challenge and strategy of rematriation is therefore to exceed the existing heteropatriarchal gender binary because as long as that remains in place, it operates as a mechanism of oppression in which gender relations are “discursively articulated in whatever ways are useful to the colonial enterprise, according to what the situation requires.”139 Through Indigenous egalitarianism and eliminating the regulation of Indigenous gender relations rematriating Indigenous governance has the potential of normalizing and centering Indigenous queerness. Importantly, centering Indigenous queerness cannot be a mere token recognition or inclusion of queer individuals in straight Indigenous spaces.140 Even if existing matriarchal societies may not adequately center and involve 2SQ people, it must be the foundation of rematriation of Indigenous governance. That is ultimately needed if the objective of Indigenous self-​determination is indeed nondomination of all relations. As Dana L. Wesley argues, taking the idea that we are all related seriously requires strengthening all those relationships, including 2SQ people: If Indigenous people want to have real conversations about nationhood, then there have to be serious efforts made to foster relationships between Two-​Spirit

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people and wider Indigenous communities. If our leaders, academics, teachers, clanmothers, elders and medicine people are serious about the idea that we are all related, and that nation-​building is how we are going to decolonize our minds and communities, then there has to be more than just lip service recognition of Two-​ Spirit existence. Creating real connections with Two-​Spirit people means asking them what matters to them in relation to nation-​building.141 Indigenous nation-​building and self-​determination will not be transformative if they replicate the erasure of two-​spirit, trans, and queer Indigenous people. Therefore rematriation needs to be about embracing the fact that traditionally queer identity has often been so normal in society that there have not necessarily been specific words or terminology for it. Centering Indigenous queerness is about accepting and honoring all gender expressions and creating spaces where all Indigenous bodies are celebrated, and where none are violated.142 Rematriation premised on such Indigenous egalitarianism poses a considerable challenge for governance. First, it is a radical challenge for it calls into question the very structures of political institutions—​mainstream and those Indigenous ones modeled after them. As the next chapter demonstrates, the existing Indigenous political institutions studied here are all characterized by deep and troubling gender regimes and that no matter how many women you add to the system, numbers alone will not change them. This is why Indigenous egalitarianism necessarily transcends the standard mainstream approach of equal rights or equality of opportunity to political participation. The second challenge rematriation poses for governance is that it requires no less than overhauling the way in which contemporary Indigenous political institutions are conceptualized, established, and operated. Ellen Gabriel argues that the restoration of Indigenous women’s political roles requires above all dismantling “the oppressive system that does not work.” She does not advocate returning to Longhouses, but instead calls for finding and creating ways of living the Great Law of Peace in contemporary society.143 What is more, it is important to bear in mind that rematriation is not a form of governance per se but a deliberate process of reclaiming (or instituting in places where preexisting systems do not exist) of women’s political authority and roles, which also recognizes and heeds the need to simultaneously reinstate clan and family decision-​making and participation structures. Also notably, whatever shape rematriated systems would take will needs to pay close and continuous attention to institutional relations of domination. Every system will need to establish their own method of checks and balances to ensure everyone’s participation and avoid replicating heteropatriarchal hierarchies and structures of power. In the Seneca Nation, for example, the key to collective strength in the decision-​making process was the distinguishing of political roles along gender lines but only as long as all genders were politically equal. Necessarily, in any contemporary



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system all genders would need to be embraced as equally important and the colonial gender binary rejected and eliminated. No question, any rematriation process would face many of the same challenges as any other Indigenous governance system. Indigenous political difference elicits fear in the colonial state and non-​Indigenous public, resulting in backlash and fierce opposition in the mainstream and even state intervention.144 This is perhaps most obvious in the case of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, whose assertions of sovereignty and attempts to reclaim space for the Confederacy Council have been met with a major police response in a number of occasions since the Council was removed from office by force in 1924. Other common strategies of denial and undermining of Indigenous political authority include smear campaigns in mainstream media seeking to create suspicion and mistrust in the public. There is also a practical challenge of exercising traditional governance protocols such as decision-​making and consultation in the clan system in a way that are considered legitimate and commensurate to the existing standards and expectations of accountability and transparency by the Indigenous community.145 Further, nepotism poses a potential concern in all political systems of small societies where personal relations are important. For example, it is a commonly raised problem in Greenland where personal relations tend to influence politics and decision-​making.146 To avoid this, a stringent system of checks and balances need to be established to specifically address the role of close relations so that they enable a well-​functioning, transparent network system rather than creating a quagmire of nepotism. Another considerable complication is the perpetual pressure of extractive industries on Indigenous territories faced by all Indigenous governments and communities. The difference to the standard approach of consultation, access, and benefit-​sharing arrangements, however, lies in the way in which decisions about economic development would be made in a rematriated political order. Most importantly, the political structure would ensure everyone’s involvement in the process leading to the decision. The structure would be designed in a way that if decisions by those in charge of decision-​making (whether men, women, or 2SQ) were not acceptable to the entire community, those decision-​makers would be promptly removed from office. Second, if self-​determination is perceived as a value—​that is, a widely shared understanding of what a group considers indispensable for their well-​being—​attained through the norm of integrity as discussed in c­ hapter 1, the collective deliberative process leading to a decision would closely heed the norm of integrity, both territorial and individual, in all considerations and at all times. In such a system, the decision-​making process regarding complex issues such as economic development would not, by any means, be any easier and possibly it would be even more difficult, given the necessity and complexity of everyone’s involvement. At the very least, it would not be an old boys’ club making decisions behind closed doors while the rest of the community finds out about them through the media.147

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The Dilemma of the Modern State In Greenland, the development and vision of self-​government is very different from that of rematriation of Indigenous governance and transcending the patriarchal nation-​state. The Greenlandic vision could be perhaps termed, tongue-​in-​cheek, the patriation of the nation-​state model. Most Greenlanders hope to see their country become an independent nation. Since passing of the Self-​Government Act in 2009, the long-​standing ambition of Greenland as independent is now stipulated in law, according to which the “decision regarding Greenland’s independence shall be taken by the people of Greenland” and “independence for Greenland shall imply that Greenland assumes sovereignty over Greenland territory.”148 The dogged determination of Greenlanders to achieve political independence from Denmark is admirable, especially given that it occurs in the face of decades of the global Indigenous rights movement seeking to convince reluctant if not hostile states that Indigenous self-​determination does not mean secession or independent nationhood. Nonetheless, Greenland is presented as the example for other Indigenous peoples to follow. In his celebration speech on the inauguration of Greenland self-​government in June 2009, former premier Kuupiq Kleist referred to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and mentioned Greenland’s active involvement in the process leading to the adoption of the Declaration in 2007. For Kleist, the Greenland self-​government agreement represented a leading example to “Indigenous peoples everywhere.”149 Later in the same year, he maintained that the “new development in Greenland in the relationship between Denmark [sic] should be seen as a de facto implementation of the Declaration and, in this regard, hopefully an inspiration for others.”150 No doubt, Greenland serves as an inspiration particularly for other Inuit in the Arctic.151 Independence would make Greenland as the first Inuit state and Greenlanders as the arguably first Indigenous people in the world to achieve statehood.152 As such, Greenland would be radically pushing the limits of Indigenous self-​determination as defined by the international Indigenous political discourse. Indigenous rights discourse in Greenland, however, has been by and large replaced by discourses of the nation-​state and modern nation-​building. The explicit inclusion of the prospect of independence in the Self-​Government Act has boosted people’s confidence in the country. A preeminent municipal politician regarded the act as important not only for bringing Greenland closer to “being a free nation,” but also for the pride and self-​confidence it created among Greenlanders.153 In the same vein, Aleqa Hammond maintained that in the first few years of self-​rule, “a lot has changed mentally in the population.” According to her, the way in which people understand self-​ determination has been publicly debated and people have been given “tools to talk freely about independency which we couldn’t [do] before.” According to Hammond, the Self-​ Government Act has been “an eye-​opener for many to see what state we are in, both in mind, and political and cultural sense.”154



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Greenland has significant mineral resources such as gold, copper, iron, uranium, zinc, gas, and oil, some of which deposits are considered among the largest in the world. Until recently, these reserves were inaccessible due to the ice sheet. Climate change and the resulting warmer temperatures in the Arctic, however, have meant the melting of the ice cap and thus, easier access to natural resources in even the most remote areas. Given the precondition of economic self-​sufficiency for political independence, it was not surprising that the right to mineral resources was regarded as undeniably the most significant aspect of the Self-​Government Act by a majority of the participants. For Hammond, the implementation of self-​government is first and foremost a matter of becoming economically independent: Fully implementing the Self-​Government Act would require us to become economically independent. In order to take control of all the new fields of jurisdiction requires us to become self-​sufficient and self-​governing in those areas. This puts a lot of pressure on us by ourselves. It is very important that the pressure comes from within and not from outside. The Self-​Rule Agreement is a fair agreement although achieving a full implementation is a very challenging task for us. If we are not able to do it, we also cannot achieve independence.155 The idea of Greenland as a modern nation predominates the politics and public debate in the capital Nuuk, reflecting the recent shift in the political discourse from ethnic divisions between Greenlanders and Danes to modern nationhood. As Dahl argues: “To the Greenlanders in general and the political parties of Greenland in particular there is nothing new in considering Greenland as a nation, but there are clear indicators which point at a process where this is less linked to ethnicity and more to Greenland as a nation in its own right.”156 Indigenous nations have existed historically and the contemporary political and legal discourse of Indigenous nationhood is particularly evident in North America where the term “nation” more or less conceptually corresponds to “tribe,”157 which is often considered somewhat pejorative and dismissive of the peoplehood of Indigenous nations. Yet there is a long-​standing disagreement of the origins and character of the nation among scholars, including Indigenous ones. While some Indigenous scholars maintain that there is well-​documented Indigenous nationhood that predates contact,158 others maintain that the nation is essentially a modern phenomenon characterized by the transformation of local practices (“low cultures”) into a unified “high national culture” which is the foundation of the nation.159 In Greenland, nationhood is not of historic origin and the Inuit in Greenland do not claim to have been a nation (or a people) prior to colonization. According to Dahl, the Inuit in Greenland as well as in Alaska and Canada are recent constructions of the political mobilization of the late 1960s and early 1970s and therefore, “imagined nations”: “In fact all traditional Inuit societies had been of very limited geographic range, which meant

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that any image of an Inuit nation larger than a few bands was a post-​colonial phenomenon.”160 Simpson, however, argues that decentralized, family-​based governing structures and political systems remain frequently misunderstood and misinterpreted as simple and local.161 In many Indigenous precolonial societies, social organization was typically decentralized, flexible, reciprocal, and context dependent. Central to it was a networked web of kinship relations characterized by lack of institutionalization. This, however, does not make them less sophisticated (one could in fact argue that such organization is more robust and effective in its adaptiveness than a rigid structure). Even if the Inuit in different regions did not conceptualize themselves as one nation, it would be incorrect to assume that no networked, interconnected systems of decision-​making and leadership existed between and among extended families and communities. Whether Inuit nationalism “is based on a tradition of only shallow historical depth [and] is not a renewal of an old nationalism” or rooted in reclaiming and restoring historically existing Indigenous nations is ultimately insignificant.162 What is more important is to acknowledge that in Greenland, the origins and contemporary conceptions of nationhood are different than, say, in Indigenous North America. Scholars have argued that although the notion of a Greenlander began to emerge in the late eighteenth century,163 the particular identity as “Greenlander” did not occur until the nineteenth century.164 In spite of the fact that Greenland “was far from a fully-​fledged nation in the mid-​1970s” and “only a few indices symbolizing Greenland as one ethnic nation existed before Home Rule,” the country has become a powerful political reality and a nation of its own right in the past forty years.165 Yet nationhood in Greenland is not constructed in terms of Indigenous identity, governance, or rights. In spite of its majority population being Indigenous Inuit, nationhood is fully embedded in Western conceptions of the nation and ultimately, nation-​state. Indeed, it has been argued that self-​government in Greenland cannot be fully appreciated “without understanding the state-​like structure of Greenland after 1979.”166 In other words, rather than a matter of Indigenous self-​determination and rights, the development of autonomy and self-​government in Greenland has been a project of mainstream standard nation-​building. Mark Nuttall observes: Greenland Home Rule has often been considered a model of indigenous self-​ government, but it has been a process of nation-​building rather than an ethno-​ political movement. Its relevance goes beyond that of self-​determination for indigenous peoples and says much about the aspirations for autonomy in small political jurisdictions and stateless nations.167 Nation-​building—​and the nation itself—​is commonly considered a process of constant mediation between modern and traditional.168 Tom Nairn calls the nation “the modern Janus,” referring to “the old Roman god, Janus, who stood above gateways with one face looking forward and one backwards.”169 The passage to modernity, however, is



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difficult and as Nairn maintains, “fiercely destructive of all custom and tradition”: “As human kind is forced through its strait doorway, it must look desperately back into the past, to gather strength wherever it can be found for the ordeal of ‘development.’ ”170 As melodramatic it may sound, this is a very apt description of the challenging process Greenland is currently undergoing in its implementation of the Self-​Government Act. The development of mineral and hydrocarbon resources poses an unavoidable ordeal while at the same time, Greenlanders feel strongly about their traditions and culture. In the process of nation-​building, the Greenlandic language is a critical signifier in the delicate act of balancing between traditions and modernity. Promoting the status of the Greenlandic language has become a central means of maintaining Greenlandic identity and culture while being part of the modern world. According to one participant: In this process of self-​governance I think that even if we are very aware of, we are a part of the rest of the world, it’s so important that we do not lose our culture and our language. In my childhood many people thought it didn’t make sense to talk Greenlandic, because to have an education you have to move to Denmark and to the Nordic countries. But in the 1970s, when we moved to Home Rule government, there was a process in society when we said, “No, we want to keep our language. We want to have the right, the cultural right.” . . . So we have to balance between modern, being part of the whole world and not losing our identity, culturally, language. . . and it’s not easy.171 The right to one’s own language is imperative but so is being “part of the whole of the world” which implies thinking globally and following “what’s going on with the rest of the world.” Paying attention to the outside world is necessary, the participant argued, because “we cannot just look inside ourselves and have the idea that we can develop our country only of our own premise.”172 As a newly elected premier, Hammond offered the metaphor of an airplane for the way in which she wanted to run Greenland. Her metaphor is not so different from that of the two-​faced Janus: One wing right now is the traditions and values; the identity we have as Inuit. The best, use the best of it, because we are no longer hunting from kayaks, we are no longer living in igloos. But take the best from there. The other wing is the global influence, the global influence we have with Denmark, the global influence we have with our corporations, with the European Union, and many other countries. And the demands that is required by us to live as a globalized person, and take the best from. . . we can’t use everything, but take the best from there, and use it as a second wing. Make these two things balance; it can fly. And I think that being globalized, and being modern, doesn’t mean you have to give up the best in you. A lot of people in the 1960s, a lot of families taught their children only to speak Danish, because this was the way ahead. Talking Danish is only a plus, an extra. It doesn’t mean

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I  have to give up my own language for that, do I? And being [a]‌globalized society citizen of this world doesn’t mean I have to give up my Inuitness for that. This “globalized” thing is just only an extra plus on top of that. It’s a “bingo!” if you can make these two things work together.173 Shaped by the traditional way of life and its values (signified by hunting, kayaks, igloos), the core of the Inuit identity is rooted in the past and the challenge is to find ways to extract the best of it in a way that is compatible with modern values and the global influence; that is, the relationship with Denmark (including its colonial legacy), Europe and beyond and the growing impact of multinational corporations. Finding the compatibility (and thus balance) between the Inuit identity and the global influence will make Greenlanders globalized, modern people. Unlike many other Indigenous scholars, Scott Richard Lyons contends that the nation and nationalism are always modern (although not necessarily Western) constructs that depend on the willingness to modernize. Whereas cultural resistance says no to modernity, nationalists welcome it.174 Although Lyons acknowledges that Indigenous nationalisms often seek both cultural survival and political power, he maintains that “there are not radically different kinds of nations in the world” and that in spite of claims otherwise, no nations, including Indigenous ones, can make claims “without using the universal language, terminology, and conceptual apparatus of nations in general.”175 Similarly, Jennifer Denetdale maintains that in spite of arguments otherwise, Navajo nationalism is a contemporary one.176 Of all Indigenous peoples, Indigenous nationalism as contemporary and modern is most manifest and unquestioned in Greenland, where the Indigenous leadership is up front about their long-​term objective of full sovereignty and independence with no qualms about modernity and its trappings. Moreover, the process Greenland is going through resembles the classic scenario of postcolonial nationalism. For postcolonial nationalism and nation-​building, the biggest enemy is not “foreignness” but rather “backwardness.”177 The common colonial portrayal of non-​Western peoples is representing them stuck in timeless tradition and therefore, unable to meet the (Western) standards of governance and statehood. In order to justify independence, the political elite of the emerging nations is required to present themselves as modern.178 Greenland is no exception, and presenting modernity is particularly clear in the way in which the growing divide between urban and rural Greenland is highlighted by the elites in the capital. In popular discourse, a dichotomy is created in which Nuuk and the handful of other larger towns represent modernity while small settlements are symbols of timeless tradition, if not backwardness.179 Several participants shared a view according to which people in the small communities were used to “waiting for someone to come and tell them what to do.” In the words of a civil servant working in the municipality:



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[People in the small settlements] are not challenged to change. . . it’s not necessary to change, they just sit there, there’s no business life, there’s no influence from the international world or, so they don’t know what is the reality today. They have their own little community and, and are not forced to change. . . . I think the main issue is that, the, a large part, or the biggest part of the Greenland, Greenlandic people doesn’t know that things have to change. And it’s, in, when we had Home Rule we had, our economy was tied to the Danish and we could just, if we didn’t have enough money, we could just send out a, please give us more money, and they would give us more money.180 Even elitist and patronizing views were voiced. One participant was openly condescending and maintained that people in settlements are “doing nothing”: In my opinion people are just getting more and more stupid in those small villages doing nothing. . . . they’re not contributing, they’re useless, and they’re just placed there.  .  .  they don’t take part [in] the development, and the ambition of having people [to] take part [in] the development, having a common vision, I think they have failed in that.181 The participant did not consider why people in settlements may feel disenfranchised or disconnected from the nation-​building project, or whose responsibility it would be to engage small communities in implementing self-​government. Instead, she saw the pressing need for more Greenlanders to understand “that Greenland is part of the world; [that] we cannot isolate us in small societies.”182 Meanwhile, in the settlements, people are frustrated with the arrogance and disinterest of the political and other elite in Nuuk in their affairs and concerns. Overall, people in the settlements know very little about the Self-​Government Act and feel excluded from both the political process of their elected government and economic development decided by their elected Greenlandic leaders. In the words of Elisabeth Johannesen from Aappilattoq in northwestern Greenland (population 160): “The biggest drawback [of living in a small community] is that when politicians decide something, they don’t ask us. They don’t listen to us at all. Our Internet connection is lousy and there are no newspapers, which makes it hard to follow along with politics.”183 Moreover, several participants noted how extractive industries so keenly promoted by the government may well lead to unequal distribution of profits, and benefits wealth and social opportunity, thus further deepening the existing divide and social stratification. The discourse of “waiting for someone to come and tell what to do” corresponds to colonial attitudes in the 1960s, according to which Danish civil servants and other employees had altruistically come to Greenland to help Greenlanders (and thus qualified for privileges not accorded to Greenlanders such as higher wages, superior positions and guaranteed inexpensive housing).184 Beyond few exceptions, patronizing views of

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“non-​defined progress”185 construed as beneficial for Greenland have not been critically interrogated by the educated Greenlandic elite and political leaders. As a result, although Home Rule overhauled colonial policies of forced relocation and sought to improve living conditions in the settlements, it adopted colonial views of settlements in need of modernity. This is not to suggest that there is no awareness or criticism of the Danish colonial influence and oppression. In the 1970s, the Danish-​speaking Greenlandic elite strongly opposed Danish policies (such as centralization and forced urbanization) imposed and implemented in Greenland by Danish-​imported workforce. Once established, the Home Rule administration immediately adopted an explicit policy of “Greenlandization” of the political and bureaucratic apparatus, with the objective of giving priority to hiring Inuit to the Home Rule administration and other public sector jobs. The goal of filling the newly established administration by Greenlanders, however, was met with a stark reality of not having enough educated Inuit to fill all the positions. While the explicit colonial policies were opposed, implicit colonial ideologies underlying the policies were not. A remedy for colonial policies was seen as a question of ethnicity and representation, not an examination of colonial ideologies or imposed and internalized ideas of progress, modernity, and nation. As Jens Nielsen suggests, Greenlandization did not occur as a movement away from the Danish system; rather, it occurred inside the Danish system and in a sense in a symbiotic process with it.”186 This also explains the apparent quandary of aspiring to modernity and the modern nation-​state, given the deep colonial impact of the Danish modernization era in the 1950s and 1960s. This era saw the radical transformation of Greenlandic society from traditional subsistence economies to industrial fishing, relocation of settlements, administrative intervention, major economic investments, and the huge increase of Danes in Greenland. Besides rapid changes in society, modernization entailed the adoption of Danish ideas, institutions, and practices and greater economic dependence in Denmark. While the negative material effects of the modernization era have been felt criticized and opposed, the more intangible, ideological, and discursive aspects such as Western ideas of progress and primacy of the nation-​state have been largely unquestioned, and therefore internalized. The Danish colonial rule introduced governmentality that has not been reconsidered at any point of Greenland’s path to greater political autonomy. Indigenous scholars have pointed out how settler-​ colonial rule, as a form of governmentality, produces “neocolonial subjectivities that co-​opt Indigenous people into becoming instruments of their own dispossession.”187 In Greenland, the Danish-​ cum-​Greenlandic governmentality has created circumstances in which an Indigenous people exercises self-​determination in an international law sense (and thus, more extensively than any other Indigenous people), yet remain internally colonized. But have Inuit Greenlanders become instruments of their own dispossession? If the measure is the extent to which the Inuit in Greenland are able to run their own affairs through their own institutions, including Inuit-​run Parliament and Government, they certainly are not. But



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if the measure is the extent they are dependent on (and have internalized) the colonial structures and institutions of governance, law, and economy, they no doubt are. Given that economic self-​sufficiency is the sine qua non of independence in Greenland, the potential of new dependencies looms large. Partnerships between Indigenous peoples and corporations frequently resemble and replicate colonial relationships and neoliberal, market-​driven self-​government tends to widen rather than diminish socioeconomic inequalities.188 In Greenland, self-​government dependent on resource extraction—​ considered “high risk” by the industry itself—​and a neoliberal development paradigm would amount to “substituting one type of dependence based on the unilateral transfer incomes from the Danish State with another type of dependence founded on the dominance of Danish and foreign trans-​national corporations.”189 Moreover, considering the lack of transparency, long-​term comprehensive strategic planning and regulatory framework with regard to extractive industries and decision-​making in Greenland,190 there is a real danger to lose at least some of the planning and decision-​making capacity at the arrival of foreign investment. Noting “the long list of failed and weak states in the world,” some scholars suggest that in fact, a nation might be better off with partial independence, which tends to have “greater economic, security, and self-​determination advantages” than full independ­ ence.191 Economic advantages include “opportunities for specialization and economies of scale that are not typically available to fully independent states that shoulder the full burden of sovereign responsibility,” while security advantages consist of arrangements that have served as working solutions and compromises in regions characterized by some of the world’s most complex disputes.192 Indeed, the autonomy of some “partially independent territories” (PITs) is so extensive that they are often incorrectly considered fully independent, largely due to their membership in the UN. This is another benefit of PITs; nearly all are “members of international organizations alongside states, but this does not change the fact that they divide and share powers with a core state.”193 Given the enormous challenges and a number of potential pitfalls, why does Greenland insist on full independence? In part, it is the glory of modern nationhood fuelled by sometimes romantic nationalism, but also a deep-​seated desire for freedom and ridding oneself from the yoke of colonial masters who for too long have governed with a tenor consisting of superiority, paternalism, and contempt. It is a mix of nationalist hubris and deep decolonialist desire to show to the world that a small nation of Indigenous Inuit in the Arctic can and will decide their political status on their own in the not too distant future. In the words of former premier Hammond, it is about “the Indigenous people wanting to be free.”194 Full independence also makes good political headlines in a former overseas colony in the era of increasing claims for and growing recognition of Indigenous self-​determination. Equally significant, the insistence on independence is a testament to the legitimating force of Westphalian sovereignty in the world of a naturalized system of sovereign nation-​ states as the pinnacle of political development. The Westphalian system is informed by

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an evolutionary framework in which “non-​state societies appear as ‘primitive’ societies that have ‘not yet’ developed into states and the state itself appears as a natural and obligatory state in universal human history.”195 The legitimacy of Westphalian sovereignty is so strong that it appears appealing even when its way of organizing the world and conceiving governance is clearly antithetical to Indigenous conceptions, practices, and political orders. The evolutionary framework makes nonstate societies appear deficient and lacking vis-​à-​vis sovereign states. Hence, the drive to modernize. Economic realities such as collapsing commodity prices, however, might play a bigger role in Greenland’s future. They already have dampened the dreams of independence, but also thrown into sharp relief how unsustainable such dreams are as long as they are premised on global corporate capitalism. Greenland may well conclude that “a mix of credible autonomy and political integration”196 is more sound, viable, and palatable an option. Greenland is certainly in an interesting juncture in its process of implementing its Self-​ Government Act, which some consider an exercise of Indigenous self-​determination. On the one hand, this process is unique to Greenland but on a more fundamental level, it is not so different from many other Indigenous peoples who seek to exercise their self-​ determination through political institutions made in the image of the colonial state. Westphalian sovereignty is a powerful legitimating force, and the “need to be recognizable” to nation-​states informs the landscape of Indigenous politics well beyond Greenland.197 It leaves us with a question as to whether other Indigenous people would also push for full independence, had they a chance and circumstances like Greenlanders.

Indigenous Governance as Freedom This chapter has examined the challenges, prospects, and visions of implementing Indigenous self-​determination in Canada, Greenland, and Scandinavia. The objective has been to illustrate the complexity and range of approaches of implementing and exercising Indigenous self-​determination. The three cases demonstrate how the legal and political discourse of Indigenous self-​determination translates into very different practices and visions on the ground. On the one hand, there is a vision of rematriation of Indigenous governance that centers on the restoration of women’s political positions and decision-​ making authority. On the other, there is a dream of full independence which is supposed to be the no-​go zone for Indigenous peoples. Finally, there is the example of self-​ administration posing as self-​government characterized by stagnation and ambivalence. In spite of the considerable differences in terms of future visions and current status, the challenges of implementing and exercising self-​determination are relatively similar. Regardless of the different contexts, histories, and current political arrangements, a commonality among participants across the regions was relatively strong dissatisfaction with existing Indigenous political institutions and state-​driven self-​government processes, frequently seen as shaped by colonial ideologies, policies, and legislation and premised on



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colonial containment. The major obstacles identified in each region fall under five main categories: the state and its legislation and policies, bureaucratization and institutionalization of Indigenous communities, ambiguity of the self-​determination discourse, the lack of educated workforce, and economic constraints. Each challenge exists in varying degrees in all three regions. The state was seen as a major obstacle, particularly in Canada. The federal government’s self-​government framework and negotiations were strongly criticized regarded as intended to absorbing Indigenous communities and governance into the Canadian state and settler dominance. The self-​government framework and structures themselves create another major obstacle of Indigenous self-​determination by imposing an extensive and often inappropriate administrative apparatus in Indigenous communities. A  prime example of this is the requirement of institutionalization embedded in some land claim agreements. Especially in small and remote communities the bureaucracy is almost impossible to run properly, while simultaneously distancing many people from land-​based activities and alienating leaders from their communities. This turns into tensions between the leadership and community members and raises questions about the relevance, accountability, and legitimacy of existing political institutions. Many participants in all three regions discussed the lack of visibility and community engagement of their respective self-​government bodies. The sense of disenfranchisement is particularly pronounced among Indigenous youth who often fell that although they were mentioned in celebratory speeches, they are not listened to or taken into account when decisions are being made. Increased bureaucracy has presented itself as a politics of distraction which has lead to a persistent lack of a long-​term vision for self-​determination or a coherent self-​ determination policy. This has been particularly marked in Scandinavia and with regard to the three Sámi Parliaments. Many cited the indeterminacy as the main challenge of Sámi self-​determination:  that nobody knows what self-​determination actually means. Similar concerns were raised in Greenland, although in very different circumstances. Having enacted one of the most extensive self-​government legislation of all Indigenous peoples in the world, the reality of self-​determination had taken many people off guard and left them unprepared for the daunting task of enacting and implementing self-​ government. The expectations were very high but very little discussion had taken place about how people individually and collectively could participate in and contribute to the exercise of self-​government. The only sustained public debate had been around the economic sector and in particular, the development of the mineral resources and forging partnerships with extractive industries. The twin challenge of economic self-​sufficiency and the pronounced lack of qualified workforce were by far most considerable in Greenland, although they are concerns in all Indigenous communities. Greenlanders agreed on the need to develop the resource sector yet many had serious reservations of the speed and scope of the planned projects and the shortcomings in meeting environmental and social standards to protect Greenlandic society and the Inuit hunting and fishing traditions. Imported civil servants and potentially,

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laborers in extractive industries left many worrying about the future of Greenlandic language, culture, and society and concerned that the Greenland self-​government administration continues to be run by Danish professionals. In terms of the two visions discussed in this chapter, there is a big difference in substance as well as direction between Westphalian nation-​state self-​determination (Greenland) and decolonial rematriation as a way of exercising self-​determination (Canada). Yet at the more fundamental level, both share the same aspiration of gaining freedom from relations of domination and freedom to live as an Indigenous people. The difference has to do with the scope of relations intended to be restructured. In Greenland the focus is on restructuring the relations with the government of Denmark. In the words of Greenlandic participants, to be a “free nation” and “people wanting to be free” from the colonial ties. This is the substance and foundation of self-​determination in international law: freedom of a people to determine their political status and pursue their economic, social, and cultural development. The vision of many Indigenous women (including the vision of rematriation), however, goes further than that by extending that freedom to individual self-​determination, consent and body sovereignty. The vision of Indigenous self-​determination in the rematriation process is restructuring relations of domination in a much broader scale: freedom from structures of violence, coercion, discrimination, and dispossession as well as cultural, religious, and other forms of patriarchal oppression, including gender binaries and hierarchies. Both share the vision of freedom to live as Indigenous peoples and as Indigenous individuals, to practice Indigenous governance over their own territories and peoples, to be able to make decisions about using the lands and its gifts in a way that ensures the integrity of the land and consequently, and the collective and individual integrity of the people. Freedom (in its positive form) is seen as nondomination of all relations, and freedom as possible only when all relations are restructured, not only the relation with the colonial state. The significance of the vision of rematriation is that it reveals the possibility and practice of alternative forms of self-​determination not structured along the lines of Westminster style governance, mainstream nationalism, or the nation-​state. The two visions of Indigenous self-​determination, rematriation, and independence, are by no means the only ones. At the two ends of the continuum, they demonstrate how the idea of Indigenous self-​determination can translate into contrasting, even conflicting ideas of practice. As Greenlanders aspire for independence from Denmark, they have to deal with economic realities of budget shortfalls, and thus the pressure to pursue an aggressive agenda of resource extraction. Their political dream hinges on economic self-​ sufficiency but in order to achieve it, Inuit leaders have to actively go against not only the stance of most Indigenous rights advocates globally but also prevailing notions of Indigenous world views that emphasize the relationships with the land and seek to protect its integrity. Even without full independence, there already is a similar cleavage between the political elite and the civil society than in any settler colonial state with Indigenous people where the latter are calling for greater attention to Indigenous rights enshrined in



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UNDRIP such as free, prior, and informed consent. The irony—​or unfortunate reality—​ is that in Greenland, both sides are Indigenous Inuit.198 This is the inevitable process of state formation that transforms the struggle for Indigenous self-​determination and exposes the structural violence embedded in the very process of building a nation—​the fact that it is founded upon hierarchical relations of political power and “technologies of violence.”199 With regard to rematriation or any decolonizing process of Indigenous governance, for that matter, one of the greatest challenges lies in integrating the theory with the insights of grassroots initiatives into tangible models with practical application that can pose as real alternatives to the existing frameworks. Theories of Indigenous governance outside the state-​driven processes are beset by two common, interconnected problems. The first relates to the practice of generalizing Indigenous peoples without regard the complexities and intricacies of the particular circumstances.200 Without attention to the specificities of each context, we reproduce monolithic and inaccurate interpretations of settler colonial powers and Indigenous peoples’ engagement with it. As the analysis of the three cases in this chapter has shown, while there are similarities with regard to the effects of the colonial governmentality there are also major differences pertaining to how to address them and what kind of processes, structures, and institutions are most suitable to deal with the challenges. This is the second common problem, that generalizations result in the persistent gender blindness of most self-​government theories and analyses. Notwithstanding the increased recognition of Indigenous women’s traditional or contemporary roles and their knowledge in scholarship, government studies, reports, and beyond, most analyses fail to consider the extent of heteropatriarchal power in Indigenous women’s subordination or analyze the ways in which institutions support this subordination.201 The next chapter will consider the gender regimes and the subordination of Indigenous women, their political concerns, and views in Indigenous political institutions.

4 Gendering Indigenous Self-​Government

Previous chapter examined the ongoing efforts, challenges, and visions in implementing and exercising self-​government in Sápmi, Greenland, and Indigenous Canada. This chapter delves into the question of gender of Indigenous self-​government by examining heteropatriarchy, gendered relations of power, and gender regimes in Indigenous political discourses and institutions formally in charge of implementing and exercising self-​government.1 My objective is to demonstrate the tenuous logic in arguments that suggest implementing self-​determination or, fuzzier yet, “decolonizing,” will by itself rid Indigenous communities and political structures from gender discrimination, sexism, misogyny, and violence against women in Indigenous communities. The common rhetoric according to which “once self-​government is established, all will be well” creates a problematic hierarchy and separation between interlocking issues that require to be examined and addressed in tandem. The logic of this rhetoric typically goes as the following: Given this imagined future, there is no present need to address Aboriginal women’s issues or oppression, because sexism and violence against women are simply the result of colonisation, residential schools, and loss of culture. If with the return of self-​government, sexism and its attendant violence will effortlessly disappear, why worry about sex discrimination or gender at all?2 Idealizing Indigenous self-​determination in this way is particularly problematic and also dangerous for Indigenous women, because they cannot count on their leadership and political institutions actively addressing some of the most pressing concerns in their communities and societies. Instead of explicitly stating that there is a problem of gender discrimination, sexism, or violence against women, the rhetoric asserts the need to “return to culture and tradition, spirituality, and the restoration of pre-​contact balance and 138



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harmony” in which “men and women will once again fulfill their traditional, usually idealised, gendered roles according to their cultural mores.”3 Building on Indigenous feminist critiques questioning the plausibility of Indigenous self-​ determination and self-​ government if Indigenous regimes internally uphold gender oppression, I argue in this chapter that if sexism is not squarely addressed when Indigenous self-​government structures and institutions are set up, gender discrimination and oppression become naturalized as gender regimes and entrenched as part and parcel of the exercise of Indigenous self-​determination. I draw on the interview data and employ feminist institutional analysis to investigate how Indigenous political institutions and their cultures and discourses are gendered.4 Participants in the three regions were asked questions such as whether Indigenous self-​government efforts reflect the voices of Indigenous women and whether Indigenous political institutions take into account the needs of women. They were also asked about their priorities in terms of Indigenous self-​determination, as well as most effective ways for Indigenous women to participate in advancing self-​determination and self-​government in their own societies and communities—​in other words, whether Indigenous women should join the existing political structures or whether there are alternative forms to advance society and self-​ governance for Indigenous women. The focus in this chapter is not on numbers, such as the percentage of Indigenous women represented in political institutions, simply because as many participants pointed out, adding women does not in itself transform or restructure the masculinist political institutions or discourses. While some call for a greater inclusion of women, a stronger argument is made for a politics of restructuring: placing Indigenous women at the center of nation-​building by reclaiming women’s leadership roles, political power, and authority. The key issue is the way in which gender regimes of Indigenous self-​government institutions impede the incorporation of Indigenous women’s conceptions of self-​ determination into political institutions and practices. This in turn prevents the restructuring of Indigenous self-​determination into form that do not replicate or imitate the heteropatriarchal settler state and its political institutions. Jill Vickers argues that if exclusionary ideas become a constitutive part of political institutions and structures of power, their path-​dependent nature cements gender regimes that marginalize or exclude women from decision-​making. She further posits: Once set up, [political institutions] will follow the path established for them unless and until something powerful shifts them from it. . . . Institutions also tend to favour the status quo. The structural arrangements come to seem natural, and a self-​ reinforcing feedback loop develops over time, creating a stable equilibrium. Gender regimes are part of institutional design, so getting in on the ground floor matters. If women are excluded when an institution is founded (or restructured), ideas legitimizing their exclusion will be incorporated into the feedback loop, making resistance to their subsequent entry especially strong.5

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Path dependency of political institutions has direct consequences for women, including Indigenous women. If Indigenous women and their interests are not part of the institutional design before and during the establishment of political institutions, it will be challenging to include them at a later date, as some Indigenous sovereignty struggles have demonstrated.6 The interrogation of the path dependency of political institutions as the solidifier of exclusionary gender regimes is particularly relevant with regard to Indigenous women in Canada, where their participation outside the formal political structures is sometimes emphasized. While not questioning the validity of the informal and indirect forms of participation of Indigenous women, I do maintain that in light of path dependency analysis, the lack of women’s participation in self-​government negotiations and institutions is a concern to be taken seriously. When exclusionary ideas (in the form of gender scripts) become institutionalized, Indigenous women continue to be denied real access to power and decision-​making even after gaining formal entry in political processes and institutions. Importantly, the institutionalized exclusionary ideas or gender scripts are not mere ideas in the minds of individual politicians, but are ingrained in policy and law. As Wendy Cornet notes, “The risk of incorporating patriarchal or other biases from the dominant legal system is a challenge for any First Nations self-​government exercise.”7 In British Columbia, where most of the modern treaty negotiations in Canada are currently taking place, Indigenous women’s involvement is a particularly central question. Many First Nations women consider the British Columbia’s treaty process deeply flawed, not least because women are kept in the dark regarding “what our bands are doing at the treaty tables.”8 Some women are concerned about losing gender equality rights and others view self-​government and modern treaty initiatives as “draconian in their present form, relegating native women to the Dark Ages.”9 For a female Nisga’a citizen, the Nisga’a self-​government agreement “is a dictatorship-​structured treaty. Those who have concerns are left on the outside looking in.”10 Gendering and queering Indigenous self-​government is an argument for restructuring relations of domination. As a number of participants in all three regions held, the central problem in the current status quo is that regardless Indigenous women increasingly (re)claiming leadership roles and their political authority, the priorities they bring to the table and demand to be put on the agenda are regularly identified as “women’s issues” and, as such, separate from governance issues. The division of labor has been widely observed by Indigenous politicians, laypeople, and scholars alike—​in the words of Dian Million, “it might be said that ‘nation building’ appears as a segregated labor.”11 What is not generally recognized is that by introducing different priorities, Indigenous women are transforming the meaning and scope of self-​government in order to incorporate and address issues that previously have been omitted, dismissed, or neglected but that inherently are Indigenous governance issues. The fundamental question, therefore, is not about inclusion or political representation of women—​adding Indigenous women and



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stirring—​but gendering Indigenous self-​government in ways that have been overlooked by most arguments and scholarship on Indigenous governance.

Gendering and Queering Political Institutions In the past few decades, feminist political analysis has shifted the emphasis of inquiry from “what’s wrong with women” to “what’s wrong with the system.” Instead of focusing on “women in politics” and “cataloguing the attributes of the exceptional women in male-​dominated institutions” or “counting the women at various levels” feminist institutional analysis examines the way in which the institutions are gendered.12 As a result, the more recent analytical focus on “gender and politics” enables critical insights into gendered relations of power. What is more, in feminist theory gender is no longer considered a discrete variable but instead, a central category of analysis and frame of reference. Gender is not what people have but what they do.13 Besides “a basic constitutive element in family and kinship,” gender frames in part “the underlying relations of other structures,” such as organizations, institutions, and their operational logic and fundamental assumptions and practices.14 Similarly, the concept of patriarchy is no longer understood as simply a form of domination, but as “a system of social structures and practices.”15 Gendering refers to a multiplicity of interacting processes shaped by the distinction between male and female, masculine and feminine, which create and conceptualize social structures and privilege certain groups over others. Gendering occurs through the construction of various divisions along gender lines (of labor, identity, approved behavior, power, etc.), and through interpersonal interactions that enact gendered hierarchies.16 Institutions and organizations are gendered through the construction of symbols, images, and ideologies that legitimize institutions generally conceived as gender-​neutral. Examples include hegemonic masculinity that permeates a variety of institutions,17 and portrayals of successful institutions and leaders in terms considered masculine (aggressive, assertive, competitive, authoritative, productive).18 Gendered processes include decisions and procedures that control, exclude, and construct hierarchies on the basis of gender (and race) and they often involve or imply violence.19 In short, “The term ‘gendered institutions’ means that constructions of gender are present in the processes, practices, images and ideologies, and distributions of power in the various sectors of social life.”20 Moreover, Kenney holds that to “argue that political institutions are gendered . . . means that all people within the institution have a gender, . . . [that] the experience of participants within an institution will vary according to gender. . . [and that] political institutions produce, reproduce and subvert gender.”21 She offers a number of theoretical insights to gendering institutions, including that numbers impact power and

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culture of an institution, that “gender has no universal content,” that institutions seek to restrain change, and that “gender is reinscribed,” implying that despite gendering is a continuous process of change and negotiation, tinkering with the system does not necessarily lead to the elimination of women’s subordination. Even in the face of apparent progress, gender imbalance is reinscribed in the institutional structure.22 Cynthia Cockburn submits: “Male power is not dying out with the retirement of the old traditionalist men. It is being reproduced in new, one might say literally ‘virulent’ forms that are appropriate and effective for the late twentieth century.”23 Not losing sight of the new, virulent, and inconspicuous forms of heteropatriarchal power is critically important in examining political institutions. At the same time, we must bear in mind that the exercise of male and patriarchal power has never been limited to “old traditionalist men” or even men in general. Heteropatriarchal power has long been exercised by hegemonic white women in the name of colonialism—​and often under the guise of Christianity—​in order to eradicate and eliminate Indigenous political, legal, economic, and social orders.24 Patriarchal power is exercised by white women also when they write “themselves out of responsibility for benefiting from and replication of the gendered violence of colonialism through assumed allied spaces.”25 Thus the “enemy” is not just the “old traditionalist men” but the very colonial, heteropatriarchal structure that enables, perpetuates, and rewards various forms of gender binaries and disparities and hierarchical relations of domination in which it is possible to avoid accountability for the processes of dispossession. In addition to political institutions being deeply gendered, they are racialized or “raced,” as suggested by Mary Hawkesworth. Her analysis of “racing” and gendering of the institutional practices in the United States’ Congress and the interpersonal interactions among members of Congress sheds light to the production and reproduction of institutional power hierarchies on the basis of race and gender. Strategies of racing and gendering include, according to Hawkesworth, silencing, stereotyping, imposed invisibility, exclusion, questioning of authority, and refusals to hear. Through these and other tactics especially women of color are constituted as “other,” and thus “treated as less than equals in various ways that carry palpable consequences for their identities and their policy priorities.”26 R. W. Connell, in developing a theoretical framework of gender and the state, is critical of gender policy discussions that take the history of modern state for granted and limit the analysis to its impacts on women. Instead of trapping the analysis of gender politics in this way in an external logic, she argues “we need to appraise the state from the start as having a specific location within gender relations, and as having history shaped by a gender dynamic.”27 Examining the gendered consequences of the political institutions is not enough but the analysis must include an understanding of the ways in which the institutions have been shaped by gendered histories and dynamics. Connell’s argument is echoed by Napoleon who calls for an approach to Indigenous nation-​building and governance that begins “from the perspective that gender matters.” This means “being critical



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from the ground up” and recognizing how governance and self-​determination are gendered concepts largely “by what’s ignored.” The challenge, according to Napoleon, is to ensure “that the way [concepts of governance and self-​determination] are gendered is productive and anti-​oppressive,” because the way in which gender exists in everything is “usually in an oppressive way.” This can be achieved “by trying to shift the normalization of the absence of discussion about gender into a productive recognition” so that gender becomes a starting point and necessary part of our theorizing. Moreover, it would ensure that every question we ask includes women’s perspectives, experiences and knowledge from the ground up.28 Queering political institutions takes this process one step further by deconstructing the heteronormativity of analyses that erase 2SQ people by being limited to only two genders of men and women. Queering political institutions exposes and undermines normative assumptions not only of the gender binary and power relations, but the very structures and identities of political institutions even more profoundly than gendering is able to do. Path dependency of political institutions has direct consequences also for 2SQ people. If they and their interests are not part of the institutional design from the outset, relations of domination are being reproduced by creating Indigenous political institutions as heteronormative spaces which erase 2SQ people and their roles in governance. Restructuring all relations of domination in Indigenous political institutions will not be successful if it does not entail also queering those spaces and structures by centering 2SQ people. I argue that careful, nuanced considerations of gendering Indigenous self-​government encompasses queering as well:  if we seriously engage in dismantling gender binary, the idea of gendering is not limited to only men and women but is used in reference to all genders, gender variety, and fluidity.

Gender Regime Theory and Analysis Connell refers to the pattern of gender relations within a particular institution as its gender regime.29 She defines the gender regime “as the historically produced state of play in gender relations within an institution, which can be analyzed by taking a structural inventory.”30 Vickers has expanded the term gender regime to acknowledge how institutions “are composed of two parts—​social structures and the ideas that legitimize them” by distinguishing “between the gender scripts, or ideas that legitimize sex/​gender practices, and the practices themselves.”31 In a gender regime, three main structures can be identified: a gender division of labor, a structure of power, and the gender patterning of emotional attachments. One of the main structures of the gender regime is the gender division of labor. Connell identifies two forms of the gendered division of labor: one that occurs at the individual level, and the other at the collective level. At the individual level, it refers to the gendered structure of employment and examines the gender differentiation patterns

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and predominance in various areas of labor. At the collective level, the gender division of labor refers to the way in which administrative units are arranged hierarchically according to gender interests. Units representing women’s interests tend to be outliers and of lesser importance. As a result, women’s advisory bodies and councils have marginal institutional power compared with departments of economic development, for example, which tend to be dominated by men. Connell argues that the gender division of labor at the individual level “is both cause and consequence” of the differentiation of units along gender lines. Certain units are more “masculinized” in their ideology and practice than others and thus placed higher in the administrative hierarchy.32 With regard to Indigenous self-​government, examples of more “masculinized” and thus areas would be matters related to land rights (including the management and use of land and resources) and economic development while issues such as child and healthcare and education would be less “masculinized” and thus more peripheral. A similar pattern of division and hierarchy would be between leadership and service provision and delivery. The second constituent of the gender regime is the power structure consisting of external power relations of the state as well as a less examined internal dimension, the state bureaucracy, considered by some “a gendered hierarchy.”33 In addition to the state bureaucracy, another dimension of internal power structures consists of an informal side: “personal networks, factions, the informal organization of resources and contacts,” as well as the use of language such as “economic rationalism” employed to downgrade issues and interests of particular importance and concern for women such as education and child-​ care. The system of representation is another aspect of the gendered power structure, with the majority of elected representatives being traditionally male. As Connell points out, this “electoral patriarchy” has been “surprisingly resilient” except in Scandinavia, “where women are elected in substantial numbers to positions of real power.”34 One could easily argue that the relatively successful “fraying” of electoral patriarchy in Scandinavia has extended to Indigenous politics among the Sámi and Greenlanders alike, resulting in a considerable number of elected women in politics (the Sámi Parliaments and the Parliament of Greenland). At the same time, however, it is necessary to acknowledge that representation does not guarantee an unproblematic access to participation and to the structures of power, as the analysis below demonstrates. The third constituent of the gender regime is the gender pattering of emotional attachments. The least studied area, it refers to gender patterns of the psychological attachment within the state apparatus such as “emotional labor” often allocated to women or the intricacies of hierarchical workplace relationships, for example, between bosses and secretaries. In this chapter, I focus on two specific aspects of gender regimes: the collective gender division of labor and the internal structure of power. These features of Indigenous political institutions were most frequently raised and discussed by the participants. Both aspects shed light on different strategies of constructing women’s interests as peripheral in the institutions and in political discourse in general. The participant conversations revolved around their elected bodies:  in Scandinavia, the Sámi Parliaments; in Greenland, the



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Parliament and the Government; and in Canada, the band council system. The focus is not on specific band councils, although the examples participants provided are from specific communities. Given the local and decentralized character of the band council system and more recently, of self-​government arrangements the discussion in Canada also featured the Indigenous political discourse in general. The chapter begins with an overview of the formal gender equality policies of the Sámi Parliaments and the Government of Greenland. Because the focus of the interviews was not on specific band councils or self-​government arrangements, I  have not examined equivalent policies in Canada. Second, I  analyze the two aspects of gender regimes, the collective gender division of labor and the internal structure of power of the Sámi Parliaments, and the parliamentary system in Greenland and the band council system in Canada. I conclude with a comparative consideration of the key points crosscutting all regions.

Gender Equality Policies of the Government of Greenland In Greenland, men (who at the time were almost all Inuit) were enfranchised in 1908, forty years earlier than women. After their initial exclusion, women’s access to civil and political rights was partial at best. In their path dependency, exclusionary ideas became institutionalized as part of political discourse in Greenland and “the male-​ dominated traditions inherent in the system continued to create obstacles long after the introduction of universal suffrage.”35 Since the 1970s, Greenlandic women have actively participated in advancing self-​determination particularly at local and grassroots levels, but also in formal politics, organizations, and public debate. Women formed their own local and national organizations and networks. According to Henriette Rasmussen, cofounder of the women’s group Kilut in the 1980s, Greenlandic women have always been leaders even if they were not appointed or elected in formal positions.36 Greenlandic women played an important role in working toward greater autonomy in Greenland but were marginalized when Greenland Home Rule was inaugurated. Greenlandic scholar and former senior policy advisor for the Government of Greenland Marianne Lykke Thomsen notes: “Greenland women, who were very patient and supportive during the initial preparations for the transfer of powers from Denmark to the Home Rule, were frustrated and disappointed to find themselves neglected by male politicians.”37 Greenlandic women’s involvement in politics was constrained by several layers of structural and systemic discrimination that came with the Danish governance model: “Danish paternalism . . . pervades the operational structures and attitudes of the Home Rule government. Thus, women in Greenland must now address paternalism in their own structures, in addition to the discrimination inherent in the Danish authority.”38 In addition to contributing to the establishment of political institutions such as Home

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Rule, Greenlandic women’s activism has resulted in the creation of local women’s shelters and promotion of women’s rights and issues nationally and internationally.39 Following the Danish Equal Status Council model, which had a Greenlandic representative, a national Equality Committee was established in the late 1980s. Initial issues addressed by the Equality Committee included upbringing of children and female representation in Greenland Home Rule. The work of the Committee was met by some resistance as some people questioned its relevance or did not understand their demands but considered the Committee’s agenda as “a luxury problem.” Elected politicians did not actively support the Committee’s work and it suffered from lack of resources.40 The successor of the Equality Committee, the Gender Equality Council, established in 1998 by the Government of Greenland, has played a central role in advancing gender equality issues in the country. The mandate of the Council is to raise awareness of gender equality through media, social media, and campaigns at schools, with a special focus on violence against women. The Council was actively involved in drafting the Gender Equality Act, passed in 2003. The act centers on equal treatment of men and women in employment and in public services through policies of mainstreaming and affirmative action. It also stipulates the principle of gender parity in public service and boards of directors, a measure of which has, according to the government, “shown immediate effect on the composition of councils and boards.”41 The act was replaced by new gender equality legislation in November 2013. Women’s organizations formed by urban, well-​educated Greenlandic women in the 1970s in the lead up to the establishment of the Home Rule government have not, however, met their goal of becoming a movement for “all women” in Greenland. One participant criticized the government’s gender equality efforts for its mainstream, individualistic approach: “If you take a look at gender equality in Greenland, there is great work being done, but it’s following the Danish or European, or Western, or whatever you call it, model of gender equality on an individualistic approach.”42 In her view, an individualistic approach of the gender equality legislation in Greenland has significance only to women who belong to the mostly urban well-​educated elite who no longer live in more traditional and community-​oriented Greenlandic settlements. Yet it is the women in small settlements with more patriarchal gender patterns who would potentially benefit more from gender equality legislation than their urban counterparts. For example, in settlements unemployment is significantly higher among women than men.43 Moreover, according to lecturer Mariia Simonsen at Ilisimatusarfik (the University of Greenland), communities in northern Greenland are “very patriarchal,” dominated by hunters and fishers with very few women in municipal council.44 Women in settlements cannot take advantage of gender quotas in government boards and publicly owned companies because they do not meet the basic requirements such as formal education and proficiency in Danish. Therefore, in spite of an increased number of “strong political women” skilled at advancing women’s rights and equal representation, there are many



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women who remain outside the system and are not heard in self-​government and gender equality politics.45 Former premier (and first female premier) Aleqa Hammond disagreed and maintained that Greenlandic women do not have a gender equality problem. In her view, “Women are doing fine. Women get education, men commit suicide.46  .  .  .  We are not fighting for more rights for women, we should fight for more equality among both genders. Because women are doing fine.”47 Another elected leader made a similar comment but she was more specific: “We do have women doing very well here, but these women belong to the new elite” who are highly educated and speak excellent Danish.48 Hammond’s rather oversimplified analysis needs to be taken critically in light of a number of pressing gender-​based issues in the country in addition to male suicide, including the high levels of domestic abuse and violence against women, considerable pay inequality between men and women,49 the deepening social and economic inequality among women, and underfunding and closing down of women’s shelters.50 Recognized by a number of participants, the blatant dismissal of women’s rights and concerns by leading politicians and is a clear indication that a lot remains to be done with regard to transforming attitudes and perceptions in Greenlandic society.51 In spite of identifying public education and awareness raising as priority areas, the Gender Equality Council’s work appears to have a limited reach. As Danish and Greenlandic human rights bodies note: “There does not appear to be a concerted effort to fight against prejudice and stereotypes” in Greenland.52 Gender equality legislation has had a limited effect on general thinking and attitudes about women’s bodily integrity and the right to be free from violence. Naaja Nathanielsen who played a key role in drafting the new legislation on gender equality, argues: For a feminist, we have wonderful regulations. We respect women, we don’t allow bias based on gender, or anything, discrimination based on gender. But we still have a very high violence rate. We hit women. We rape women. Our women have abortions like nowhere else. I mean there are still some structures here that are very horrible for women.53 The predicament of high rates of violence against women in spite of robust gender equality legislation is by far not unique to Greenland. As elsewhere, it points to the inadequacy and incapability of legislation alone to eradicate gendered violence. Gendered violence is only partially a gender equality issue. Nedelsky points out that violence against women is an example of a problem that cannot be solved without a restructuring of relations. She notes: “This problem is particularly challenging because it involves so many state and nonstate relations; [and] because those relations in turn are shaped by deeply held, sometimes unconscious beliefs, needs, and desires.”54 The persistent problem of violence against women in spite of existing gender equality legislation speaks to conflicting views pertaining to gender inequality in Greenland.

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Some Greenlandic scholars reject Western notions of gender inequality and argue that Inuit social organization has traditionally been without gender distinctions.55 The norm of gender equality appears either foreign or irrelevant to many, even though today, heteropatriarchal gender binary forms part of the social fabric and gender relations of political and social institutions. Among Indigenous peoples, there is a fairly common (although misguided) argument according to which gender inequality is not an issue today because of the existence of traditional gender egalitarianism in the past. Unlike Greenlanders, most Indigenous peoples are not in a position to consider whether and what kind of gender equality legislation they need to pass. Thanks to their extensive law-​making authority as part of self-​ government, Greenlanders, however, have had to formulate some kind of a provision for access to political participation to women and men alike. Because they have chosen the standard Western parliamentary system as their political organization, they have had to opt for the Western gender equality ideology and standard equality of opportunity model rather than drafting legislation that reflects Inuit conceptions of gender and traditional gender egalitarianism. Had the Greenlanders opted for a different type of a political order—​such as something more aligned with their traditional social and political organization—​we may ask whether they would have the same dilemma with gender equality in those structures as they currently have in their parliamentary system? If the traditional Inuit social organization was without gender distinctions, how would that be translated into a contemporary political order with gender equality constructed in Inuit terms? How would traditional Inuit gender equality look like in contemporary settings, or perhaps better still, how and what kind of Greenlandic political institutions could be founded on traditional Inuit gender equality? Obviously answers to these questions can only be speculated. Notably, none of these questions were raised by the Greenlandic participants themselves. As in other Scandinavian countries, gender equality is one of the benchmarks of a progressive society and democracy in Denmark. The gender equality ideology and normative framework have been imported to Greenland by Danish administrative apparatus as well as by Greenlanders who, having studied or worked in Denmark, returned home. Many Greenlandic women who identify themselves as feminist and advocate gender equality in mainstream (Danish) terms are highly educated individuals living in larger towns. They do not see a problem with Western notions of gender or gender equality and they have been central in ensuring that gender equality discourse and legislation is expected to be a part of (modern) Greenlandic society. Greenlandic lawmakers have been successful in drafting and passing gender equality legislation. However, it remains largely a paper tiger while ethnicity and national identity have taken precedence over gender issues if and when equality is discussed. Frequently, Greenlanders are more concerned about ethnic inequality pay mostly lip service to gender equality.



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Notwithstanding the Equality Act and the Equality Council, gender has been relegated to a subordinate role in key policy fields.56

Gender Equality Policies of the Sámi Parliaments Early Sámi political mobilization began thanks to the wherewithal of Elsa Laula, a South Sámi woman who spearheaded the first national Sámi meeting in 1917 and was involved in establishing several Sámi political associations locally and nationally. After Laula, it took decades for Sámi women to reappear in leading positions in politics. Today, it is frequently argued that due to the high representation of Sámi women in political and other Sámi institutions, gender equality has been achieved and hence, gender discrimination no longer exists. Vibeke Larsen, former member of the Sámi Parliament in Norway, strongly disagrees. In a pithy statement issued on the International Women’s Day in 2012, she opined: “The most dangerous thing for equality is the myth that we have equality.”57 Larsen noted how some have suggested that now that women have taken half of the power in the Sámi Parliament as well as most of power in the Executive Council of the Parliament, we are under women’s rule.58 Larsen opposed such views and asserted that rather than equal representation, equality is about rights, obligations, and opportunities as well as the values a ​​society must be built on. She observed how we are not there yet: “We do not have a society with equal rights, obligations and opportunities for both women and men.”59 The three Sámi Parliaments have paid uneven attention to the question of gender equality. In Norway, the Sámi Parliament’s understanding of both gender and equality are ambiguous if not obscure. Notwithstanding that gender is considered to apply to both men and women, the focus of gender talk is largely in direct reference to women. The term equality is employed at least in two ways: to refer equality vis-​à-​vis Norwegian society and equality within Sámi society. Equality is therefore a matter of minority-​ majority relations as well as a gender issue, which is confusing to many.60 The Sámi Parliament of Norway adopted its first gender equality strategic plan and policy in 1999. Prior to that, the question of female representation was relatively high on the agenda in Norwegian Sámi politics, largely due to the declining number of women elected in the Parliament between its first elections in 1989 and 2001, when the female ratio dropped from 33 percent to 18 percent.61 In the Sámi Parliament’s strategic plans, gender equality is constructed in strict terms of female representation, quotas, and specific funding initiatives and subsidies to increase the number of women in small business and other economic activities. Yet there is no mention of ways to enforce gender quotas. Gender equality policies of the Sámi Parliament in Norway are oversimplified in terms of measures and weak in terms of enforcing them.62 What is more, the construction of Sámi women’s interests and concerns as marginal tends to depend on the way in which they are articulated and presented. If they are

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framed in terms that can be perceived as feminist, they simply do not stand a chance. Female Sámi politicians do not adopt a feminist perspective simply because it is a political suicide.63 This is a common trend also in mainstream politics, and studies show that women in politics are commonly disinclined to openly identify themselves or their policy objectives as feminist.64 Instead, Sámi leadership are expected to tread carefully the middle ground that espouses gender equality (in the normative spirit of the formal Nordic equality discourse) but is not viewed as feminist: They of course say that equality is important but it is only political rhetoric, because you have to speak like that in Norway. It is part of the public discourse; every politician in Norway knows that she or he must know something about equality. But the current status of social democracy is such at the moment that equality refers not only gender but to all other forms [of vulnerability], it’s not only women but they’ve clumped everything together.65 As in Greenland, there is a clear (though unwritten) expectation to adopt and espouse the mainstream Nordic gender equality discourse yet at the same time, there is a degree of unease among many Sámi leaders and laypeople alike toward adopting mainstream Nordic gender equality policies. The resistance stems in part from a desire to distinguish the Sámi from the dominant Nordic society.66 As one participant maintained, Sámi insist on “solving [gender inequality] in our own way,” yet they do not quite know what “our own way” is.67 The word “solving” suggests that gender equality issues are considered a problem—​view corroborated by others: “In Sámi society, equality is seen as a problem. Like in reindeer herding, for example, if you talk about women’s issues, gender is always seen as a problem.”68 The gender equality policy of the Sámi Parliament in Norway focuses largely on women and constructs women as deviation from the male norm in need of special measures. Sámi women’s limited participation in the exercise of power in political institutions is explained by women’s individual characteristics, not in asymmetrical power relations embodied in formal and informal structures or in gender roles and gender stereotypes at play. In order to meet the “norm” and confront various tactics of gendering by Sámi male politicians such as “moody silence or undisguised sarcasm” or “sexist male commentaries,”69 a number of equality policy documents and debates have included recommendations targeting female Sámi politicians. These measures include the usual proposals for childcare allowances and playrooms and courses in communication techniques. Gender equality in the Sámi Parliament is therefore weakly institutionalized and as a result, its significance remains symbolic. The debate in the Sámi Parliament plenary meetings is typically framed in simplistic terms and understandings about equality and gender relations, commonly polarized into discourse of “we” men and “you” women and vice versa. The Executive Council of the Sámi Parliament has attempted to change this focus without much success.70



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The Sámi Parliament in Norway has adopted strategy of “gender mainstreaming,” which implies that all ideas and decisions ought to be analyzed from a gender equality perspective in order to understand how they affect men and women differently (until very recently, 2SQ people were typically left out of the equation). A UN briefing note on gender and Indigenous peoples suggests that gender mainstreaming in development initiatives is particularly valuable for Indigenous peoples. It suggests that gender mainstreaming enables an improved understanding of the distinct situations of Indigenous men and women through, for example, gender disaggregated data, and contributes to a significantly better and more effective design and implementation of programs for Indigenous peoples.71 However, a common criticism of mainstreaming is that in practice it entails co-​opting into the patriarchal structures.72 In spite of attempts of gender mainstreaming, the gender equality of the Sámi Parliament in Norway has been largely focused on numerical participation of women. The Sámi Parliament’s gender equality strategy plan has been premised on an assumption of formal equality—​that is, equal representation of men and women.73 Meeting the requirements of formal equality and increased women’s participation in the Sámi Parliament has also symbolic significance to the legitimacy of the institution as a democratic representative of the Sámi people.74 Seeing women being represented in Sámi political bodies increases their legitimacy in the eyes of both Sámi and non-​Sámi people. Therefore, besides symbols of gender equality, female Sámi leaders serve as instruments of legitimacy of Sámi political bodies. The subsequent strategic plan (2009–​2013) of the Sámi Parliament in Norway follows the same trajectory of defining gender equality in terms of formal equality and equal representation, and specific economic measures to support women’s economic activities. In the 2009–​2013 plan, equality has been expanded to encompass ethnicity and sexual orientation in addition to gender. Three areas of priority are identified: gender equality, tolerance toward all forms of sexual orientation, and intimate partner violence. Like its predecessor, the new plan is short on detail (the entire document is only seven pages) and remains silent on the institutional gender dynamics in the Sámi Parliament itself.75 The most recent statement of gender equality (which forms the basis of the new strategy plan) by the Executive Council of the Sámi Parliament reflects these same shortcomings. In addition to gender equality, tolerance toward any sexual orientation, and prevention of intimate partner violence, three new key areas have been identified: gender equality in decision-​making, opposing gender stereotypes, and solidarity and collaboration with other Indigenous societies opposing gender discrimination. Briefly assessing the implementation of the previous strategic plan, the statement recognizes the lack of success in gender mainstreaming and clarity about the primary instruments for conducting gender equality initiatives. To correct this, the document outlines the main mechanisms, such as collaboration with the Norwegian government and Sámi organizations working on gender equality issues (including Sámi LGBT networks and communities).76 For some

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reason, however, collaboration with Sámi women’s organizations has long been next to nonexistent or limited to providing meager funding and holding an annual meeting with the organizations with no follow-​up nor competence building on gender issues among parliamentarians.77 In Sweden, the Sámi Parliament has adopted two gender equality strategic plans, the first in 2002 and the second in 2004, which was revised in 2016.78 In addition, it has conducted a specific project aiming at improving gender equality in Sámi society by strengthening Sámi women’s participation in public life.79 With a gender analysis on Sámi livelihoods, politics, identity, and Sámi women’s status in society, the 2004 strategic plan and its 2016 revision are considerably more substantial than those of the Sámi Parliament in Norway. It acknowledges that gender equality does not exist in Sámi society and recognizes gender inequality as a structural problem informed by unequal power structures and the construction of the male as the norm. Notably, the strategic plan emphasizes that the problem of gender inequality must not be individualized. Drawing on existing research, it points out how gendered power structures have existed and continue to exist in Sámi society and as the result, the prevailing notion of strong Sámi women is a construction to obscure women’s marginalization in society. While recognizing the structural, systemic nature of gender inequality, the strategic plan nonetheless places a strong emphasis on gender mainstreaming, formal equality, and, in particular, equal female representation as the means in achieving gender equality. Examples of gender equality mainstreaming in the work of the Sámi Parliament and its political parties include the adoption of zero tolerance on sexual harassment, raising awareness of male suppression techniques and improving the opportunities for parents of small children to attend meetings.80 In Finland, the Sámi Parliament has never adopted a gender equality strategic plan. The only document addressing gender explicitly is the statement and formal response of the Sámi Parliament in Finland to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, adopted in 1979)  2008 country report. At the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland, the Finnish Sámi Parliament issued a brief (eight pages) statement on women, discussing their role, status, future challenges, gender mainstreaming, political participation, education, employment, access to social services, girls’ health, and finally, gendered violence. Unlike the 2004 strategic plan of the Sámi Parliament of Sweden, the statement by the Sámi Parliament of Finland maintains that historically, Sámi women have had an equal status with Sámi men. However, the statement notes, today Sámi women are torn between two sets of demands, that of the modernity and of tradition. The importance of a collective understanding of the ways in which colonial, patriarchal policy and conventions have operated and still operate among the Sámi is also mentioned. The Sámi Parliament of Finland holds that while mainstreaming gender perspective is important, focusing on gender is insufficient for it ignores other forms of inequality such



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as between different generations and ethnicities. Nonetheless, according to the statement, one of the most important questions in Sámi politics today is the restoration of Sámi women’s (unspecified) traditional roles, rights, and responsibilities. Strengthening the status of Sámi women is considered a central part of developing Sámi society.81 The lack of a strategic plan or any other policy statements besides its 2009 response to CEDAW is a clear indication that gender equality has not been a priority are for the Sámi Parliament of Finland. To sum up, gender equality has received inconsistent attention by the three Sámi Parliaments. The Sámi Parliament of Norway was the first to adopt a gender equality strategic plan in 1999, but the focus has mostly been on formal equality and individualizing and naturalizing gender discrimination by focusing on female characteristics which are implicitly constructed as shortcomings of the male norm of engaging in politics and women’s gendered circumstances as the primary caregivers of their children. The Sámi Parliament in Sweden adopted its first strategic plan in 2002. Unlike in Norway, it has an explicitly structural focus with an analysis of unequal relations of power and the construction of male as the norm. Of all the three Sámi Parliaments, only the one in Sweden has acquired a specific understanding of the gendered structures of power in society and thus seeks to address them and their effects in Sámi society and specifically in Sámi politics. However, in spite of the most extensive and in-​depth attention to gender equality several participants pointed out the tendency of gender issues falling off the agenda also in Sweden. As for an explanation of the absence, a member of the Swedish Sámi National Association suggested: “Sámi organizations are not prioritizing social issues because in their view, land rights and recourse exploitation have to be solved first.”82 A  typical argument of nationalist struggles world over, this view permeates Sámi political discourse, including the draft Nordic Sámi Convention discussed in the previous chapter. “Social issues” such as gender discrimination were not included in the draft Convention because they were considered internal issues to be addressed later.83 As the history of nationalist struggles demonstrate, however, “later” tends never to arrive. What McClintock observes about nationalism, applies to Indigenous self-​determination claims: To ask women to wait until after the revolution, serves merely as a strategic tactic to defer women’s demands. Not only does it conceal the fact that nationalisms are from the outset constituted in gender power, but, as the lessons of international history portend, women who are not empowered to organize during the struggle will not be empowered to organize after the struggle.84 If and when the struggle for the nation (or self-​determination) is won, women and gender are typically overlooked with their demands and struggles indeterminately deferred or altogether rejected.85

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Collective Gender Division of Labor in Indigenous Political Institutions The collective gender division of labor involves creating organizational structures and ranking political issues according to gender interests. Concerns and issues representing women’s interests are typically considered less significant and frequently neglected in decision-​making and setting the organization’s priorities and agenda. The collective gender division of labor manifests itself, for example, in ingrained attitudes in society according to which male leaders and politicians carry generally more weight than female ones. These views often persist in spite of increased female representation in political institutions. In the following sections, I examine three forms of collective gender division of labor in Indigenous political institutions: the hierarchical separation of the so-​called self-​determination and social issues, the gender division between formal and informal participation, and the challenge and role of motherhood in politics. Self-​Determination versus Social Issues In Greenland, political institutions as well as nongovernmental organizations are considered traditionally masculine institutions where focus has been on male traditional economic activities and self-​determination as defined by men.86 Social issues are regarded as “women’s issues” and thus peripheral also to the agenda of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), the leading NGO in Greenland. Although somewhat changed compared to twenty years ago when the focus was solely on fishing and hunting, social issues still receive much less attention in the organization. As observed by a participant:  “[ICC] is very male-​oriented, and their main interests are very much on issues of oil and minerals and so forth. And, cultural aspects of people. . . no, not really.”87 Maliina Abelsen, who served as the Greenland’s first Minister responsible for gender issues, holds that self-​g overnment in Greenland “has been very much based on male values; we have had a lot of male politicians in the past, and that has also influenced of what we have considered self-​g overnance.”88 Political institutions regularly overlook social issues such as family welfare, health and well-​being of children, and identity and culture. Abelsen notes how she was dismayed with the national elections in March 2013: I was really, really disappointed how much time we used on talking about minerals. We talked about industrial development, . . . how nice it could have been if we also discussed the social aspect. The well-​being of people. Because the well-​being of the people is so central if we are ever going to take part in new industries. Social issues, we do have to solve before we can move on to another stage. Those things were kind of a little bit in the background in the election campaign.89



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Major structural questions remain unaddressed, including gendered impacts of the proposed large-​scale mineral extraction and oil and gas exploration in the country—​ issues that were not raised by the participants either. Studies have demonstrated, however, that the lack of gender analysis in the environmental and social impact analyses leads to a failure to grasp and deal with the gendered impacts of increased extractive activities, among the worst being increased levels of violence against Indigenous women.90 Conversely, a study of Inuit women in Labrador (Canada) suggests that the inclusion of a gender analysis in the environmental, social and cultural impact assessment processes “could lead to policies and agreements that factor in women’s concerns and issues,”91 something that is currently missing in the actual impact assessments as well as scholarship discussing them in Greenland.92 In Canada, there is a widely shared view according to which Indigenous women’s concerns such as gender equality, social issues, and accountable governing structures are generally not part of Indigenous self-​government agenda or institutions.93 According to one participant, the established organizations frequently elect the “same old guys” who do not follow “the lead of what is going on in the communities, of what some of the priorities might be, including children and women’s issues.” Beyond lip service or creating women’s councils with no real impact, there is very little progress in addressing the structures and the gender regime which typically place men in leadership positions and women in charge of “community” issues.94 Napoleon maintains: I don’t think “women’s issues” are understood as being as important as the big political issues of self-​determination and self-​governance. I think that the blood and guts work that women do in shelters and elsewhere is just—​it’s not respected, not just in indigenous societies. It’s not respected in any society. It’s sort of the lowest paid and undervalued.95 While Indigenous women have made great inroads to politics and are increasingly represented in political institutions, they are typically expected to take responsibility for certain domains (such as child care, elder care, social issues, education) that are not considered de facto self-​determination or sovereignty issues. Sámi artist and former member of the Sámi Parliament in Sweden Katarina Pirak Sikku opined that the hierarchical division of labor was the reason for women’s reluctance to join in politics: “Women don’t get involved in politics because these ‘soft issues’ are not taken up,” although they are the most important issues in terms of keeping Sámi society and culture “moving on and moving forward.”96 By “soft issues,” she meant social issues such as education, social services and healthcare in the Sámi language as well as matters related to Sámi culture and identity. Another Sámi participant asserted that while men focus on “Sámi issues” (i.e., self-​ determination and rights), women advance social issues in municipal politics as well as

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volunteer in organizations and institutions which are less valued by political bodies and where “you rarely see men.”97 Moreover, women with the main responsibility for their families often feel they are not able to be away from home as much as it is needed if elected to the Sámi Parliament.98 For some, childrearing and involvement in traditional livelihoods, especially reindeer herding, are women’s forms of participation in Sámi society and affairs.99 The gender division of labor is well reflected in the draft Nordic Sámi Convention. There is no mention of the rights of Sámi women and the document refers to Sámi women only in the preamble as “custodians of traditions in the Saami society,”100 reflecting the well-​treaded nationalist discourse of representing women as traditional, “embodying continuity with the past, in their bodies, lives and values.”101 Sámi women’s roles, contributions, and authority in society are limited to that of a timeless, ahistorical task of upholding the traditions.102 As culture bearers, women are (unfairly) endowed with a lion’s share of naturalizing nations through their gendered roles of custodians of (unspecified) traditions. At the same time, their roles as rights holders are not mentioned. As many feminist scholars have pointed out, as long as men can count on women looking after social issues, they simply do not need to concern themselves with such trivial matters: “Low-​paid or un-​paid labor of women will always be there to pick up the pieces in terms of family life, welfare, and personal survival.”103 The mostly male leadership can focus on land rights and state relations because they can depend on the caretaking role of Indigenous women in their communities—​while they busy themselves with travelling to various negotiations and meetings and thus are too occupied to attend to community matters.104 This is not radically different from nation-​state building that historically depended on the privatization of women,105 and the traditional division of labor between paid “productive” labor and unpaid “reproductive” labor.106 Although in many Indigenous communities women are formally employed in higher numbers than men,107 they nonetheless typically are responsible for the care work in and outside the family. The second explanation has to do with the settler colonial and patriarchal genealogy of the sovereignty and self-​determination discourse. Joanne Barker suggests that the dichotomy between gender and sovereignty stems from a particular intellectual genealogy of sovereignty rooted within European and North American ideologies and practices of colonialism and imperialism. It was adopted and espoused by the National Indian Brotherhood (NIB) and the Indian Act band leadership in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the self-​government discourse first emerged. She notes:  “Ironically, this sovereignty was embedded within the same ideologies that the bands and NIB were criticizing Canada and Indian women for as inherently colonialist and anti-​Indian.”108 Supposedly nongendered (yet masculine both in theory and practice) sovereignty and self-​determination discourse was adopted from European and North American nationalist ideologies and established as the norm for the Indigenous nationhood struggle



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against colonialism, while gendered struggles against the same colonial oppression were “reduced to ‘women’s issues’ by the formal male leadership, and then presented as a wholesale threat to sovereignty.”109 Accusing Indigenous women in particular for being “anti-​Indian” when raising issues of gender discrimination has been a highly successful strategy of not only naturalizing the dichotomy between sovereignty and gender, but also instilling a persistent gender silence in most areas of policy, law, and politics. It has also effectively disempowered and further marginalized Indigenous women. McClintock argues, “To insist on silence about gender conflict when it already exists, is to cover over, and thereby ratify, women’s disempowerment.”110 Napoleon provides an example of the way in which sexism has been normalized to a point it has become invisible and simply “the way the world is” in Indigenous communities. She recalls an exchange at a conference where a young woman in the audience asked a speaker, a well-​known Indigenous male leader, about social issues and especially women and gender issues in his community. The male leader responded: “Gender? We don’t think about that here. We don’t have a problem. Women can run for council. There’s no problem.”111 According to the interviews, collective gender division of labor is a major, if not the fundamental, obstacle in realizing, achieving, and implementing Indigenous self-​ determination.112 Although frequently invisible and unrecognized, gender and gendering are far from absent in Indigenous self-​determination. Gendering and ideologies of gender have been normalized to an extent that gender, women, and 2SQ people have been constructed as irrelevant or secondary in Indigenous governance and self-​determination discourses predicated on the privileges, benefits, activities, and voices of Indigenous men.113 Consequently, male activities, agendas, benefits, and voices have been taken for granted as the Indigenous self-​determination discourse, upon which the deliberations, structures, and ideas of self-​government arrangements have been premised. As issues and interests constructed as male have been prioritized, gender and social issues are left for women rendered of secondary importance or postponed “until self-​determination has been achieved.” When social issues are constructed as “soft” or less important “women’s issues,” they can be either overlooked or addressed through symbolic politics such as statements and recommendations without concrete results.114 However, postponing key concerns affecting a large segment of Indigenous peoples (i.e., not only women but frequently their children and families as well as 2SQ people) with wide-​ranging ramifications for Indigenous communities is misguided and potentially dangerous. Not only it divides Indigenous peoples internally, marginalizing and overlooking the critical work on the ground by and with women, 2SQ individuals, elders, and youth. It also sanctions and enables violence in its many forms to continue, and leaves relations of domination firmly in place. Not addressing the heteropatriarchy inextricably embedded in colonialism will inevitably lead to reproduction of the very hierarchies and oppression Indigenous self-​determination is supposed to overthrow.

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The Gender Division Between Formal and Informal Participation Like in nationalist movements elsewhere,115 Indigenous women commonly serve in support and auxiliary roles in Indigenous nation-​building and self-​determination struggles. Sylvia Plain notes: “[Women] can be the backbone for things, but they’re not necessarily the loudest voices. They’re there. They’re definitely moving things. They always have, but the visibility of them isn’t there. It’s become a men’s game. But in terms of being a support for men, yeah, they’re there.”116 Notwithstanding formal underrepresentation in formal political structures, some Indigenous women can be relatively influential through other channels in the community. Discussing her community in Ontario, an Anishinaabe woman points out the informal influence of some women: “Especially the older women in our community tended to be quite bossy and could have a lot of influence in matters, especially when they were discussed at community meetings.” She continues: It can be misleading to look at elected positions and assume that there is a male predominance or that women are excluded. Women have a lot of influence in our community. There’s an overrepresentation of women that work in the administration, that work in the schools, that work in the daycare, that work in the health center, so that women actually do have a lot of influence and power in things that matter socially to the community, so child welfare, daycare, schooling, healthcare, [and] for a while, although it’s been closed now, a crisis shelter.117 The view according to which Indigenous women are active (and influential) in their communities through informal channels, including local decision-​making, is fairly common among Indigenous peoples. It reflects the gender division of political labor traditionally,118 as well as in contemporary Indigenous communities where men tend to be more involved in politics while women occupy the administrative positions of the political institutions.119 It is an important but also problematic view that needs to be examined more closely with regard to the collective gender division of labor. It is crucial to recognize that the official numbers and standard conceptions of political participation fail to identify some of the specific ways in which women engage in politics, decision-​making, and community affairs.120 In the context of Indigenous politics, even though they may not be at self-​government negotiation tables Indigenous women commonly hold important roles and positions in traditional governance institutions that are less visible to outsiders.121 In the words of an Indigenous male negotiator in the Northwest Territories: “They may not be negotiators but our women are strong leaders. They are influential in our communities. Women were always in the forefront of establishing our political organizations. They hold positions on the board of directors of our council; we’ve had women presidents. They are very much involved.”122 The comment reflects the common view of traditionally strong and influential Indigenous women. It no doubt has



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a basis in reality, including that self-​government negotiations frequently extend “beyond the formal talks held with government.”123 Frequently employed to undermine concerns of the lack of women in leadership positions, such comments fail to “acknowledge the well documented patriarchal systems and systemic discrimination identified as existing within formal institutions.”124 At the same time, the less visible informal political roles of Indigenous women need to be recognized and acknowledged. Excessive focus on formal political participation displays a profound lack of understanding of Indigenous women’s innumerable forms and channels of involvement in building their communities and nations, ranging from raising and educating children and running community programs to direct action and academic critiques of colonialism.125 For example, a study from Norway suggests that Sámi women are not marginalized regarding their interest and participation in politics and that overall, “Sámi women’s organisational participation is extensive when compared with the population as a whole.”126 Sámi women were “particularly active in acts of direct protest” during the Alta River conflict in the late 1970s and early 1980s.127 The same applies to Indigenous women elsewhere. For that reason, some Indigenous women are critical of frequent calls for a greater participation of Indigenous women in self-​determination and nation-​building. Leanne Simpson contends: Far too often, these contributions go unrecognized, unappreciated and uncelebrated. Women have always been resisting and re-​building, and the vast majority of this work has been done and is being done outside of the bounds of the Indian Act and Aboriginal organizations. This unrecognized labour, inspiration and unending contribution forms the backbone of our families and communities, and family and community are the backbone of our political systems.128 Some of the most successful community initiatives are by Indigenous women outside the political institutions. As an example, Elle Maija Tailfeathers mentions the principal of Kainai High School Annette Bruised Head who, due to a very high dropout rate, decided to restructure of the organization of the school year in a way that takes the needs and backgrounds of the students into account. As a result, the improvement in the student retention in the past couple of years has been significant.129 Restructuring of high school timetables may not come across as an act of advancing Indigenous self-​determination, but the concrete results in terms of student retention rate have a direct long-​term effect and make a critical difference in community capacity-​building, considered central in any self-​determination endeavor. It is therefore crucial to consider and acknowledge the myriad invisible, taken-​for-​ granted and sometimes trivialized forms of Indigenous women’s community work beyond formal politics and political institutions as acts of self-​determination beyond the state-​driven self-​government discourse. Dian Million calls these women-​led initiatives as “first mobilizations of non-​ state-​ directed acts of self-​ determination.”130 As one

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participant suggested, it is often women who know best “what’s going on in their homes and in their communities.”131 Having said that, I argue that Indigenous women’s community work needs to be given credit and recognized as bona fide participation in self-​ determination in a way that do not legitimize, entrench, and reproduce the collective gender division of labor. In each circumstance, women need to be asked whether they are satisfied in their informal, often less celebrated (or even ignored) roles as community builders? Participants who discussed women’s informal participation considered it inadequate. Dorothy Christian agreed that male leaders “talk to us behind the scenes before they do things,” but was adamant that a growing number of Indigenous women consider it insufficient: “More and more women are refusing to be pushed aside or refusing to uphold that protocol [according to which] women are not supposed to speak out.”132 Diane Redsky (member of First Nation Shoal Lake #40) similarly asserts that a token inclusion, as in the form of opening and closing ceremonies in male-​dominated organizations, is no longer considered acceptable and women are increasingly taking over: “Grandmothers are saying uh-​uh, we’re not doing that any more, in fact, step aside, we’re doing the opening, we’re actually going to chair this meeting.” According to Redsky, male leaders such as chiefs are slowly “recognizing that this is an important role that grandmothers need to play.”133 Some participants took further issue with pigeon-​holing Indigenous women into specific issues. On the one hand, for many people working on specific issues such as violence, water, and food security/​sovereignty represent self-​determination in practice. On the other, segregating women and their issues into special interest groups or women’s caucuses reinforces “the idea that women aren’t part of the main system.”134 Notwithstanding the critical importance of these issues, they are never considered “hard politics”:  “[Women] are not being included in the conversation about what, like, what does our governance look like, what might, you know, our justice system look like?”135 Sylvia Plain similarly questions why only women are involved in addressing water issues:  “There’s a lack of women, although the Union of Ontario Indians has a Women’s Water Commission. But, why is it just women? I  think it’s really good, but, again, it’s like the [women’s] commission is always pushed off to the side.”136 Women’s councils and other forms of compartmentalizing or constraining Indigenous women into “other” forms of engagement are prime examples of the collective gender division of labor. Representing the hierarchical arrangement of units according to gender interests, women’s councils tend to be outliers with lesser importance and marginal institutional power compared with units typically dominated by men. Sometimes women’s informal, supplemental ways of participating are normalized and legitimized by referring to it as “traditional” without further examination of the origins of such a tradition. At other times it is suggested that informal participation is women’s preference; that they rather stay away from formal settings. Either way, naturalizing Indigenous women’s participation into informal spheres constructs the gender regime as a benevolent, well-​functioning, and acceptable system that works



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for everyone and takes everyone’s (differential) needs and interests into account. It takes for granted that women have no interest or capacity in formal politics and negotiation tables where the important decisions about the contours of future governance are being made. Many Indigenous women in Canada argue that it makes a big difference whether women are at the negotiation table or not. Maureen Chapman, hereditary chief of Skawahlook First Nation in British Columbia, insists that when women enter into politics and negotiation tables, agendas, and leadership styles are transformed: “At the time I entered into politics as a woman, it was very much male dominated, of course, and very much just the old boys mentality and the way they went about their meetings. It was like a locker room, which changed quickly after more women started coming in.” Now women hold half or more of the band council seats which according to Chapman, “has really shifted and changed the dynamic at the table.”137 The absence of women translates into absence of women’s concerns and priorities on the political agendas and negotiation tables. Excluding or subordinating women (i.e., individual gender division of labor) entails excluding or subordinating women’s interests (and thus reinforcing the collective gender division of labor). Yet as the case of Sámi Parliaments demonstrate, simply adding more women into the mix does not preclude or eradicate the collective gender division of labor that creates a hierarchy between “self-​determination” issues and “social” issues. The former is the normalized discourse of Indigenous political institutions while the latter belongs to community organizations, women’s councils, and groups, informal networks and on the shoulders of individual women. Nonetheless, sometimes creating women’s groups is the only way for Indigenous women to mobilize around an urgent issue that otherwise would not receive any attention from the formal leadership. At times women’s groups emerge out of an pressing need even if they sometimes are band-​aid solutions rather than long-​term structural change. As Chapman suggests, “It’s not because it’s something they want to do. It’s something that they have to do because the need is sitting in front of them.”138 For example, child welfare is a pressing concern that often requires an immediate intervention, especially if a child might be removed from a home. Women’s groups step in as intermediaries:  “They’re the mediator sort of role to keep them out of the ministry, to keep them out of being apprehended, resolving those sorts of things. So there’re just some things that naturally fall to the women.”139 This is the conundrum of the collective division of labor when it comes to Indigenous self-​determination:  some issues “naturally fall” to Indigenous women because Indigenous men are “too busy” with other issues and because they can count on women picking up the pieces. In most cases, women simply cannot afford to close their eyes and ignore major issues pertaining to the family life, welfare, and personal survival taking place right in front of them. Others still prefer to work on “community issues” in the informal sector, not least because the results are often more tangible and immediately visible.

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Indigenous women are not a homogenous group and thus it is not surprising there is no unanimity regarding the best or most appropriate channels of advancing and participating in self-​determination. Some participants were adamant that the only way to create structural change is to join politics at all levels, including non-​Indigenous organizations such as municipal and city councils. Many Indigenous women take leadership roles because, as Kundoqk ( Jacquie Green) puts it, they see the need to “come forward and stop the bus.”140 Some consider it possible to change the system from within. For example, the all-​female band council at the Saik’uz First Nation in northern British Columbia, elected in early 2017, thinks that by adopting a more holistic, “hands-​on” approach will transform “the business as usual” way of doing things. Instead of funneling issues into separate portfolios, the all-​female council has identified four key areas to focus on, one of them being sociocultural issues and child welfare.141 Others refuse to enter into formal politics and argue that Indigenous women should not waste their time, energies, and resources on a system that is profoundly flawed. Instead, they stress the on-​going grassroots activism or maintain that Indigenous women need to create something else rather than participate in existing political structures. Wanda Nanibush suggests: “There’s a reason there’s not a lot of women chiefs, and it’s not just patriarchy; there’s something wrong with the structure.” Rather than “engaging structures that are already messed up” Indigenous women need to develop something else or build a different structure so that the limited resources and energies are not “sucked up by working inside something that actually doesn’t work at all.”142 For Robina Thomas, the system of formal politics is too dependent on the options dictated by and approval of the government—​the options being constrained to either a flawed process or nothing, resulting in Indigenous people getting caught in the middle in a continuous disagreement.143 Kundoqk similarly maintains: When you’re involved in chief and council or the summit or the AFN, you’re so busy negotiating and delegating and doing all of this political work that there’s no time to really regenerate and strengthen cultural knowledge as a form of governance because you’re distracted. . . . We need to take a break from that. And let’s put that on the shelf for a while. And let’s rebuild this. Let’s look at the ways in which we can make this a part of our governance and our autonomy.144 While some consider Indigenous social movements as a potent challenge to the political establishment, others maintain that the current focus on women’s participation and women-​led movements such as Idle No More is not enough and will not bring the much needed structural transformation. For one participant, structural change will not happen without a “radical discussion” about reframing governance and nation-​building in ways that social and gender issues, including violence against women, form the core agenda and political debate. In her view, this is taking place neither in formal politics nor in current social movements.145



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There are considerable difficulties in changing the ingrained thinking and ways of doing things, as well as ridding entire communities from entrenched dependency created and maintained by colonial legislation and policy. Some maintain that the only way to solve the problem of the gender divide and exclusion of women in conversations on self-​ determination is to reject the Indian Act and other patriarchal systems and stop saying “we’ll play your game.” This is not an easy task because, as Bourgeois notes, “a lot of us want to hold on to the Indian Act in particular because there are certain rights and privileges accorded through that, that we would rather hold on to even that minimal, than to imagine a new reality.” Imagining new realities is challenging in circumstances where “we are so frightened, and we are so bound, and to thinking that we have to function within the system instead of deciding to dream new worlds, and create new worlds.”146 Motherhood in Politics The collective gender division of labor in political institutions corresponds to the division of labor in the private sphere particularly in the discourse of motherhood. Indigenous women’s political involvement is shaped by the discourse of motherhood in two main ways: first, Indigenous women are, like many other women, regularly expected to choose between motherhood and political careers. If they choose both, many are harshly criticized for not being “good mothers.” Second, Indigenous women’s political roles and responsibilities are frequently defined through motherhood. Below, I examine the role of motherhood in politics as a form of collective gender division of labor. In Greenland, there is a long-​standing view that a woman has to choose between being a mother and politician and that women are expected to prioritize motherhood:147 “I find that we are welcomed [in politics], and our voices are heard, but there is still some sort of unspoken structure that says, you still have to be a good wife, you have to be a mother first.”148 Modernization, as part of Danish colonization, instituted Western, patriarchal gender relations and gradually restructured the egalitarian social organization of Greenlandic society and domesticated and constructed Greenlandic women as mothers rather than political actors in the process of nation-​building.149 Consequently, many Greenlandic women are reluctant to get involved in politics. As taking care of children and home is considered women’s responsibility, they feel that entering in politics is too big a burden and sacrifice.150 Once in politics, women are expected to adopt schedules and working methods typically considered male: If you want to work as a woman in a decision-​making level, you have to work like a man, you have to leave your kids and we don’t feel like that necessarily. You have to join the men, drinking and eating in the evenings when our children are supposed to get love. You have to join meetings that are structured for men. In Greenland you can go home, where the children is taken care of, and the women have cooked for them. You see the political system initially in Greenland has been made of only

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men, so it’s never been changed to fit either for family orientation or for women orientation.151 Women who choose to do both—​ be mothers and politicians—​ are frequently reprimanded, as was the case with two young leading female parliamentarians in 2009, both of whom were pregnant when elected. According to Abelsen, it led to a huge debate in the media whether or not they were bad mothers because they, and whether or not they could do the job because they were women and they were going to maternity leave, and could they even get elected when they were pregnant because then their minds would be on something else than the job.152 Entering into politics after their (brief ) maternity leaves, the two women were publicly vilified whereas their male partners were put on the pedestal for simply taking care of their infants. One participant related: when the husbands were seen walking in town with the baby in the stroller, people were “clapping, and [saying] ‘oh my god, they’re so good parents, and good fathers.’ ”153 The astounding double standards aside—​have women ever got an ovation for walking on the street with a baby in the stroller?—​the incident speaks volumes about how men are allowed to move outside the established gender norms (and are celebrated for doing it) while women are not. The act of celebrating the husbands can be also taken as implicit, indirect criticism of the women viewed as leaving their babies behind in order to pursue their (selfish) political interests.154 Regardless the position or rank, women breaking the gendered norm of good motherhood is condemned particularly harshly. Their skills, qualifications, and moral values as politicians especially in leading positions are repeatedly questioned in public vis-​à-​vis their roles and responsibilities as mothers. Women are moralized, while male leaders political abilities or parenting skills are never scrutinized for the same reasons. Besides a reflection of deep double standards in society, it is heteropatriarchy’s deeply ingrained method to regulate women, their bodies, reproductive rights, and choices in a way that men never are. The heteropatriarchal regulation of women has played a pivotal and specific role in nationalism and nation-​building throughout history.155 Particularly in nations seeking greater autonomy or independence, women are assigned the critical collective role of a mediator who bridges between modern norms (i.e., the public sphere) and traditional values (i.e., the private sphere). In both Western and postcolonial nations, women are “expected to reproduce citizens and collective identities, and to mediate between traditional values associated with the nation (including language and religious values) and modern norms associated with the state and market economy.”156 Even if what women are required to represent and what is perceived traditional may vary considerably from a context to another, women “are always expected to bridge modernity and tradition.”157



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However, performing this kind of mediation frequently marginalizes women politically and economically. The collective gender division of labor in Greenland’s political institutions reflects the pattern typical to postcolonial nationalism seeking to prove itself by rejecting “backward” practices that oppress women. Playing the key dual roles between modern and traditional, women are expected “to symbolize modernity in the public sphere to demonstrate their country’s worthiness for independence . . . but—​like Western women—​they [are] also expected to preserve domestic traditions (including male dominance) and spiritual values at home.”158 Especially highly educated urban Greenlandic women in public office “who speak fluent Danish and know European norms and so forth” are prime symbols of modernity and do well in politics.159 They are the “new modern women” in the public sphere—​although their credentials such as speaking Danish also position them as suspect in the eyes of more “traditional” male politicians, as I will discuss. In their private lives, however, many Greenlandic women are expected to conform to traditional gender roles and male dominance. In North America, traditional Indigenous womanhood is commonly “expressed through the social and sacred values of motherhood.”160 The notion of traditional Indigenous motherhood is particularly ubiquitous in the construction of Indigenous women as mothers of their nations, common in both political and scholarly discourses.161 Sometimes Indigenous male leadership is also keen to promote the discourses of motherhood and mothering the nation discourses. Rarely, however, their words translate into prioritizing issues directly related to the welfare and safety of mothers and children, such as housing, matrimonial property laws, and violence against women. On the other hand, many Indigenous female leaders see motherhood as a blueprint for their work. In a study of Indigenous women’s leadership in Canada by Kim Anderson, half of the interviewed female band council chiefs “equated women’s leadership styles with motherhood” and “spoke about leadership as a caretaking role, in which one assumes responsibility for the benefit of others.”162 As an example, Chief Veronica Waboose of Long Lac First Nation (Ontario) submitted: “I guess it’s just the mother inside of us that makes us want to do what’s best for everyone and not just us ourselves. It’s like looking after your kids; you want them to be better and that’s the way I think a lot of the women chiefs feel about the community members.”163 For these women, leadership is about taking care of community matters in the same nurturing and caring ways as taking care of their children and families. In and of itself, there is nothing wrong in equating certain leadership styles with motherhood. Evoking motherhood, however, is problematic when it supersedes Indigenous women’s political roles and political citizenship to social citizenship and domesticates Indigenous women to private spheres even when holding public office. Evoking motherhood in politics signifies an entrenched double standard when only female leaders feel they have to “draw upon sexual/​reproductive roles to mark their identity and capabilities.”164 The same is rarely expected from male leaders who, instead of standing

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“before us as grandfathers, fathers, and uncles . . . pose together as brothers, united in a fraternity, once explicitly defined as ‘the Brotherhood,’ now implicitly signified by the male majority of elected community leaders and delegates to AFN.”165 The related discourse of “mothering the nation” is even more problematic by placing unfair burdens and unrealistic expectations on Indigenous women. It is hardly justified to expect or pressure especially those women who already “are economically, politically, and socially disadvantaged, as well as at risk of high rates of violence . . . to somehow find their way to nurture and take care of everyone.”166 What is more, mothering the nation rhetoric overlooks the fact that historically, motherhood did not supersede Indigenous women’s political roles and political citizenship and that Indigenous women did not have to justify themselves or earn their place in the nation only through claims to motherhood. It ignores that Indigenous women are not mere instruments of the nation, and that in order to have political power they do not need to invoke concepts of motherhood or other kinship relations. Reifying motherhood as a political role may ring true to some Indigenous women. When it is presented as the only option and as universally empowering to Indigenous women, however, it becomes a constraint that serves to silence other identities and ways of being.167 Framing women’s responsibilities and contributions as citizens in terms of nurturing and caring for the nation is “totalizing and exclusionary,” forcing women into “what is essentially an heterosexist framework.”168 As Napoleon wryly notes, “if that’s the only option that women have, it’s a constraining option. It’s—​well it’s not even an option anymore.”169 There is a need to recognize the importance of women’s embeddedness in relations yet we cannot overlook the fact that women’s relational status can also define and limit their options, “the rights they can enjoy and the resources they can access.”170 I do not seek to deny the importance of motherhood as an identity (or part of their identities) for many women. Nor do I imply that mothering and political participation and civic engagement are mutually exclusive. In some cases not only do they coexist, but also serve as mutually reinforcing roles and activities for Indigenous women.171 Some Indigenous scholars suggest that motherhood or mothering is political participation,172 and that women’s responsibility to create and nurture has traditionally been linked to power, including political power.173 By definition, it deconstructs the public/​private dichotomy created by colonialism and heteropatriarchy and upheld by the state and male-​ dominated leadership.174 The discourse of motherhood as a political strategy has been employed by Indigenous women in response and resistance to forms of colonial gender violence ranging from gender discrimination in law and exclusion from self-​government discourse, to the forced sterilization of Indigenous women and abduction and apprehension of Indigenous children by the state.175 Nevertheless, the discourse of political motherhood has had only a limited effect and success. As the participants in this study attested, the domination of male interests and ideology prevails as does the public/​private divide, visible in the construction of self-​ determination issues separate from “social” or “women’s issues,” including gender violence.



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As long as that is the case, the rhetoric of motherhood and arguments for “protecting women the life-​bearers and life-​givers of nations [as] central to the well-​being of nations” must remain open for interrogation.176 There is no question that well-​being of Indigenous women is essential to the well-​being for Indigenous nations and societies—​but their well-​being is essential as women and as human beings, not as merely instruments for the nation. Ultimately, the problem is not with motherhood but with nationalist discourses that have been successful world over in constructing similar constraining gendered scripts and roles that have been adopted by many women themselves, often to their own marginalization. Like other nationalisms, Indigenous nationalism has conventionally constructed Indigenous women in constrained terms of their maternal, mediating, and auxiliary roles. This is, however, slowly changing in the wake of Indigenous resurgence and nationhood movements, but is yet to reach formal political organizations.177 The fundamental difficulty with reifying motherhood as a political role is that in effect, it can prevent women from exactly what they posit as the precondition for Indigenous governance: reclaiming and restructuring their political authority and status in their societies by domesticating Indigenous women to private spheres even when holding public office.

Internal Power Structures in Indigenous Political Institutions Internal power structures refer to the informal dimension of gendered relations of power. They consist of the informal aspects of discriminatory practices and modes of organization within political institutions:  personal networks, informal political groupings or cliques, and the informal organization of resources and contacts. Internal power structures also involve the use of language employed to marginalize and trivialize issues and interests of particular importance and concern for women such as education and child care. The five common male suppression techniques in politics identified by Berit Ås include making invisible, ridiculing, withholding information, and blaming and shaming.178 These techniques are frequently employed also in Indigenous political organizations. Drawing on the interview material, I discuss below how these and other practices operate and are employed Sámi and Greenlandic political institutions. Notwithstanding the considerable or nearly equal political representation of women, most participants held that the Sámi Parliaments remain masculine institutions predominantly driven by male agendas.179 A number of Sámi participants discussed the old boys club in Sámi politics and how it shapes political agendas. One participant held that in spite of the increase of Sámi women in politics, “men still have more political weight than women.” She suggested that women may occupy the majority of leading positions in a number of institutions in Sámi society, “but politically men still are more important” because they are the ones who set the agendas and whose views carry more weight than

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those of women.180 Seasoned male Sámi politician Lars-​Anders Baer noted how the old boys club model was adopted from mainstream Nordic political institutions by the Sámi leadership: In the early days, you can see very clearly in places like the Arctic Council, and all the governing bodies they’d set up after World War II in Iceland, Greenland, Sápmi, they were full of men and still are. At the Sámi Parliaments of Norway and Sweden also, in Sweden the great majority were men. So we had a campaign, an internal discussion, and in Norway women became a majority, and now it is more or less fifty-​ fifty. But often equality in numbers doesn’t mean anything. You can also say that to a certain extent, it is not reflected in politics. In Sweden, the Sámi parliament has now more women but it used to be such an old boys club, and if you look at the agenda, it is only old boys club issues: a lot of hunting and reindeer herding and such, very few social issues, education. Now there are more issues related healthcare so it has changed a little. But if we look at the Sámi Parliament and who we can hear and see it is still the old men. And frankly, it is those old men who are creating the conflicts. Today, it is the same old gang who are still involved.181 For a long time, the “consolidation of a Sámi political power elite consisting of old men” resulted in “the exclusion of women from the de facto corridors of power.”182 Today, two out of three Sámi Parliaments are headed by women and Sámi women occupy other high ranking positions in these organizations. While some participants suggested that the growing number of women in politics eventually leads to changes within Sámi political institutions, not everybody agreed. The prolonged discord in the Sámi Parliament of Sweden was mentioned as an example of women’s co-​optation into the patriarchal structures of power: “[Sámi] women are now in leadership positions so who is it that allows the conflict to continue? And what is it in the system that makes a woman to join in feuding rather that says to the men, ‘listen, now you’ve been feuding enough for twenty years and I’m no longer going to accept it.’ ”183 As the participant notes, the question that needs to be asked is what is wrong with the system, rather than what is wrong with women. In part, the answer can be found in the construction of a hierarchy and prioritizing certain issues over others. The political discourse is established in a way that there is simply no room for other questions or approaches, allowing the same old arguments to continue. Nearly all Sámi participants viewed the Sámi Parliaments and Sámi politics in general as masculine political arenas where women’s views are not adequately heard specifically on the topic of self-​determination. All but some agreed that women’s voices tend to be overlooked or are few and far between: “No, you can’t hear women’s voices. After the Alta conference on Sámi self-​determination in 2008, there have been very few women saying anything about self-​determination.”184 Another participant suggested that Sámi women’s



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voices are shrugged aside because “they are not so important, they are considered dilly-​ dallying.” She noted: You cannot hear women’s voices, it’s male politics. I think because the focus is on resource management. I’ve been thinking that if we owned the land then what? What about the other aspects of our lives? Especially women’s lives, child rearing, handicrafts, reindeer herding and women’s status in the livelihood. When mothers have to go to work, have a salaried job outside reindeer herding, how are the children going to learn, for example what it means to live in a reindeer herding family and what kinds of tasks are involved?185 Land rights and resource management are central for Indigenous self-​determination. Yet there is a problem when major issues are cast aside as apolitical and less urgent, such as transmitting language, land-​based knowledge, and skills to the next generation. There is also a problem when land rights are premised on male activities of hunting, fishing, and reindeer herding. In the Sámi rights debate, Sámi women’s views and land use practices have long been invisible.186 One participant maintained: The political agenda is set by [Sámi] men. The political processes are male which you have to adopt if you want to advance an issue. It is difficult to discuss issues that have not been previously on agenda, such as matters related to children and school. The Sámi political institutions are focused on rights and question of traditional livelihoods; issues which pertain to women as much as to men but it is usually men who discuss them, not women.187 This view is supported by my earlier research on Sámi women and self-​determination.188 Several members of the Sámi Parliament of Norway interviewed in 2008 suggested that women’s perspectives are frequently disregarded because their activities on the land differ from those of Sámi men constructed as the norm. In their experience, rather than ensuring a much more comprehensive picture of the Sámi land use and self-​determination by including women in the debate, women are regularly shunned by more experienced, senior male politicians.189 When dismissed, women begin to question their own knowl­ edge and capabilities. A senior member of the Sámi Parliament of Norway argued that Sámi women do not adequately assert themselves in contemplating and deliberating the contents of self-​determination: It is mostly men who dare to discuss, and they pretend they know more than women about self-​determination. Men have been attending international meetings and return home with that experience, and women think they don’t know anything. At the international level, self-​determination is tied to livelihoods and land rights and

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it is men who are in control of these debates. Men don’t take women seriously; I have experienced and seen this myself. But women know as much as men, for example older women know the land as well as the men, about rights, collective use, family boundaries and so on.190 All women who had been involved in the Sámi political institutions including the Sámi Parliaments and the Sámi Council had experienced gender-​based discriminatory behav­ ior in the form of exclusion and trivialization. Especially when a woman raises a concern about gender discrimination, typical reactions by male colleagues include trivializing comments, jokes, or labeling the woman as a troublemaker.191 At the Sámi Parliament of Sweden, the techniques of exclusion are so common that one of parties has begun training for its members to recognize and identify the common gender discrimination techniques in politics. There has also been an internal struggle in the Sámi Parliament of Sweden between those who accept the discriminatory and authoritarian leadership style and those who promote a more consensus-​oriented approach.192 In Greenland, there have been considerable gender differences between the main two political parties, Siumut and Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA). With its constituent basis mostly in smaller towns and rural settlements among the fishers and hunters, Siumut was widely regarded as male-​dominated by a number of participants. One called it an “old men’s party,”193 while another noted that Siumut has “a more traditional way of seeing the women’s rights movement.”194 Hence, some participants were concerned about gender equality with Siumut’s return in power in 2013 elections. The IA, on the other hand, is seen as the party of educated, urban elite, and thus more women-​friendly with a lot of young female candidates (particularly in Nuuk). When the IA formed the government (2009–​2013) for the first time, three out of seven ministers were women, including Ministers of Finance and Fisheries. Yet as Rasmussen remarks, the IA has not always been as women-​friendly as today. She was among the very first female politicians in Greenland and at the time, “the powerful men in our party, they didn’t like me because I had different opinions.”195 She advanced issues pertaining to the development of the self-​determination, youth engagement, education, and municipal restructuring. Rasmussen eventually left politics partly because, as she claims, “I became too old in the party, and young women were much easier for the men, the powerful men in our party, to deal with. That’s how the mechanism was.”196 Today the IA is considered to take its female members seriously, indicated for example by breaking away from the gendered division of labor when assigning ministers and appointing women as Ministers of Finance and of Fisheries, portfolios that typically go to men. Comparing Rasmussen’s comment with Abelsen’s experience of older male politicians not taking her seriously because of her young age illustrates the masculine character of political institutions: there is little room for women of any age—​they are either too young (i.e., too inexperienced and unknowledgeable) or too old (i.e., too strong and unwavering in their views).



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In the early Home Rule elections of the 1980s, disparaging attitudes toward women’s political participation and voting habits that preferred male candidates created a situation where large numbers of the female electorate did not vote for female candidates.197 Not until 1984, five years after the introduction of Home Rule, the first two women were elected into the parliament. In their own analysis, Greenlandic women were dismayed how “the women totally failed to support their sisters” at the Landsting (parliamentary) election and suggested that not only they have to prove themselves but also to do considerably better than male candidates.198 They criticized the male-​dominated political system that was not flexible enough to meet women’s needs (such as childcare), but they also fervently blamed themselves for their inadequacies, lack of skills, and allowing men’s dismissive views influence their decisions. According to Rasmussen, Greenlandic women balked at taking formal leadership positions because having been looked down upon by men, they no longer trusted their own capabilities.199 Women were also blamed for “giving up too easily” if they decided not to run for office after several failed bids.200 As for solutions, Greenlandic women were expected to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. For Petersen, in order to overcome the obstacles of electoral patriarchy, “we must analyse our problems and ourselves to be able to get ahead in this world. We have to become fully aware of the things we do wrong and how we can improve ourselves . . . so that more people are inclined to vote for women.”201 Others suggested that women’s roles as mothers held them back from politics: “If women are to become more integrated into decision-​making bodies, certain aspects of their valued traditional role may have to be ‘renegotiated.’ ”202 A majority of participants held that in the past decade or so, there has been a noticeable increase of women participating in politics. Several recognized, however, the urban and rural disparity, evident for example in municipal councils where the percentage of women varies from 47 percent (Kommuneqarfik Sermersooq where Nuuk is located) to less than 10 percent (Qaasuitsup). Statistics reveal an interesting trend: after the slow start in the 1980s, the female representation steadily increased and in the 2005 elections women held just over 42 percent of the seats. Similarly, municipal politics saw an increase of female representation during the same period.203 The number of female parliamentarians, however, has since declined: in 2013 elections women held 30 percent of the seats in the Parliament and 22 percent in the Government of Greenland.204 As recently as 2011, the UN Human Rights Council mentioned women’s limited participation in national politics in Greenland in their report.205 Gendered internal power structures can prevent women from seeking for political office particularly at the top level. A Sámi woman expressed a hesitant interest in politics but noted she has not gotten involved because she feels does not command the system dominated by experienced male politicians: “The Sámi political structure is a male arena and you have to be pretty tough to persevere, and you need to have skills to deal with and operate within the structures.”206 A sense of self-​criticism or self-​doubt persists among

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Indigenous women when it comes to political participation. According to Simonsen, Greenlandic women continue to be unreasonably critical of themselves in the vein of “I’m not good enough, I know too little,” while for a man it is much easier to say, “oh yes, of course I can do that.”207 Notwithstanding the increasing number of women interested in politics and seeking for political office since the 1980s, political institutions remain largely “a men’s world.” One Sámi participant submitted that many women are not interested in seeking for leadership positions because of the macho culture that prevails in Sámi organizations; “it’s too much to fight against.”208 When first elected to the parliament in 2005, Hammond was also taken aback by the male dominance and the disparaging attitudes toward women: I noticed that it’s a very, very men-​dominated world. And I noticed that they do not really take me serious, even though I had a very good election. I had many votes. [I was told:] “You are new in politics, you’re a woman. You don’t have that much experience as we do have. You have less to say because you’re lowest in the rank.”209 Women are shunned for being women and for lack of experience and skills. A number of participants mentioned the need for certain skills to be able to operate and work effectively in Sámi politics. Minna Näkkäläjärvi, former member of the Sámi Parliament in Finland, described the male politicians in the institution: They were long-​term politicians who knew how to play the game behind the scenes. I had to learn it myself if I wanted to advance anything. I find it stressful because you constantly need to think strategically ahead, how others are going to react, who should put forward what and who needs to stay silent to get most traction.210 For Näkkäläjärvi, serving as an elected member of the Parliament was too consuming with little concrete results and she decided to leave politics altogether: “I’m no longer ready to go to politics, it is more draining than rewarding. I’ll let men do the politicking, I’m not sure it suits me or women in general. I  think women think differently about what is important in life and what isn’t.”211 In the same vein, a former member of the Sámi Parliament of Sweden Katarina Pirak Sikku bluntly stated: “I’m tired of politics.”212 Both participants were fairly young when they were elected to their respective Sámi Parliaments. A casual observation of the Sámi Parliament in Finland shows a similar pattern among young women, who are typically active locally or in Sámi organizations. In their desire for change in Sámi affairs, they run for office, get elected, serve one term but do not rerun, having learned the flaws of the system and limited potential for meaningful and concrete changes. In Sámi society, a successful technique of silencing women’s concerns and views, particularly regarding gender discrimination, has been the appealing to the notion of strong



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Sámi women. It was particularly common in the early days of the contemporary Sámi political movement in the 1970s and early 1980s with the intention of distinguishing the Sámi people from Norwegians, Swedes, and Finns. Jorunn Eikjok argues: “It was alleged that, in contrast to women in the majority society, Sámi women were strong and powerful. The Sámi woman was used as an ethnic symbol; she was portrayed as the all-​mother of Sámi culture.”213 Because Sámi women are imbued with influence and economic authority within their kinship relations, the argument goes, they cannot be oppressed like non-​Sámi women living under patriarchy. No question, there have been (and still are) strong Sámi women who wield power and influence in different spheres. As the Sámi participants attest and the discussion of gender violence in the next chapter demonstrates, it has not prevented Sámi women from being marginalized, or oppressed. For several decades, the myth of strong Sámi women has effectively diverted attention from problems related to unequal gender relations, including gender violence and sexual abuse: because Sámi women are strong, they are not oppressed thus they do not experience any form of violence either.214 The idea of strong Indigenous women is also common elsewhere and while having roots in reality, it has been similarly employed to keep women out or to dismiss their concerns. In the previous section on the collective gender division of labor, I discussed the division into formal and informal participation in negotiating Indigenous self-​government agreements in Canada. Sentiments along the lines “they may not be negotiators but our women are strong leaders; they are influential in our communities” are not only often heard,215 but also accepted as the way things are instead of considering how they legitimize the marginalization of Indigenous women in formal political institutions. As Roland Barthes has pointed out, myths are naturalized discourses that have their roots in history but which have been emptied from that history. In this way, myths create their own histories and serve as a vehicle to give meaning to phenomena.216 Moreover, it is not uncommon for Indigenous women to internalize assumptions about “strong women.” According to Hammond, things have changed considerably since she was first elected to the parliament in 2005. She insisted that women are no longer told to shut up and now it is women who tell men to keep quiet: We are very strong women, all over. Also in small communities. . . I come from a small community. We are a lot of strong women, we can stand up and speak up. People listen and take me seriously, and nobody is saying, “Shut up, you woman!” On the contrary, we could say, “Shut up, men; we are speaking now!” We could do that. And we have the courage to do so. And also we are not thinking of whether it’s a man or a woman. We are speaking up because we have something to say. And that is being respected by many others, all over.217 Another (now former) parliamentarian, Naaja Nathanielsen, sees things differently. As a self-​identified feminist, she recognizes how the patriarchal power structures in politics

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hold tremendous power over some “strong” women and create strict gender divisions of labor. Women are given authority over less important social problems and told to leave more significant issues such as economics to men: I’ve seen many strong, competent women become silent when a man talks, having difficulty saying to a man, “I don’t agree with you, I’m offended by what you’re saying.” That is still very difficult for a lot of Greenlandic women, because this is a patriarchal society to some extent. So it also has to do with the upbringing of the children. We have to tell the girls, “involve yourself in your society, speak up.” But also we have to teach them that it’s okay for you to have another opinion than a man. And he is your equal in every way. And I still see that women say [to me] that “oh you’re so brave because you say these things” and I have to say I’m still nervous sometimes when I say them, but I’ve been taught as a feminist you have to do it, because if you don’t do it, then you just blend in, or you accept this underlying structure that women should shut up or take the areas of the social problems, and you can mess around with that, but please don’t have any opinion on economics or anything.218 An attempt of silencing was exactly what Maliina Abelsen experienced when she was appointed as the Minister of Finance in 2011. Her credentials were questioned because she was a young woman with no formal training in economics: “You don’t know anything about it, you’re a sociologist, and you work with human rights.” For Abelsen, the double standards were obvious: “[They] never said those things to the previous finance ministers [who were all men], even though they were dentists, not educated, or you know, whatever.” She used to respond to such comments by stating: “Well yes I’m not an economist but I’m a politician that has a background, an educational background that is longer than most people’s, so why should I not be capable of doing this?” Yet she felt that she had to work much harder and “deliver twice as much” as men and in that way, she became an expert on economics.219 Abelsen recounts how particularly older male politicians had an attitude of “this young woman, she’s also Danish speaking, what does she know?” Male politicians found it difficult when she had strong views about an issue or when they saw that she took her job seriously. If she confronted them, “either they get very nervous . . . or become a little bit arrogant because they don’t really know how to react.” Even in politics, women are expected to behave in a self-​effacing, unpretentious manner compared to men: if a woman is assertive, she is considered to be “too much” while a male colleague in a similar situation is considered “strong.”220 It seems there is always something wrong with women rather than the system and its structures of power that denigrate, downgrade, and trivialize women as well as interests and concerns regarded as “women’s issues.” Patriarchy and misogyny are often most effective at the internal and informal level, which also means that no amount of public education or awareness raising will erase them. They are powerful, hard to pin down, and frequently naturalized, and therefore they work.



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Gender Regimes of Indigenous Political Institutions The modern state is predicated on gender differences. Is Indigenous self-​determination similarly predicated on gender differences? Is Indigenous self-​determination possible only if certain gender roles and private and public divisions of labor are upheld? It must not be. However, as this chapter demonstrates, existing self-​government institutions in the three regions are premised on gender regimes that create hierarchies and exclusions that negatively affect Indigenous women more than men. I concur with Connell who maintains that it is insufficient to analyze the gendered effects of the state and its political institutions on women. Instead of taking the history of modern state for granted, the state itself needs to be examined as having been shaped by specific gender relations and gender dynamic.221 Interrogating the state and its gendered structures and violence has also been the objective of Indigenous feminism for some time now. For some Indigenous women and feminists, however, employing mainstream feminist theories such as Connell’s gender regime to the analysis of Indigenous political institutions may seem inappropriate. As an example, Karla Jessen Williamson considers the foundations of Western feminist thought too androcentric and narrow to examine Greenlandic gender relations while Leanne Simpson is concerned “that Indigenous feminisms are sometimes too influenced by mainstream white, straight feminism.”222 I take their point, especially Simpson’s who calls for queering Indigenous nation-​building and centering queer theorists and activists as a precondition for transformative practice. Yet I  argue that when examining Indigenous political institutions shaped by and embedded in the Western conceptions of power and structures of decision-​making, it is imperative to use the analytical and theoretical tools of Western feminist theory if we are to fully comprehend the character and scope of heteropatriarchy’s effects in Indigenous institutions and gender relations. Such an examination forms the core of relational analysis required for the restructuring of relations of domination. An analysis of gender regimes is queering Indigenous self-​determination as it disrupts the status quo and normative foundations of Indigenous political institutions. If sexism and other gender-​based discrimination that manifest as gender regimes are not confronted in the process of creating Indigenous governance and political institutions, heteronormative and patriarchal ideologies and practices are naturalized and entrenched as an foundational feature of Indigenous self-​determination. We need to understand how political institutions are shaped by gender regimes, defined as the pattern of gender relations within a particular institution. The same goes with Indigenous self-​determination. I do not equate it with the modern state, but like all discourses and political practices, Indigenous self-​determination and its accompanying institutions are currently shaped by specific gender relations and dynamics. This is why in this chapter I have not asked whether gender regimes exist in Indigenous self-​government institutions, but how and what kinds of gender regimes dominate in those institutions.

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If Indigenous self-​determination is to be about restructuring all relations of domination (rather than just Indigenous–​state relations), it must begin, as noted by Napoleon, “from the perspective that gender matters.”223 This means, among others, recognizing how governance and self-​determination are gendered concepts largely by what is ignored and silenced. It also requires acknowledging and owning up the fact that once Indigenous self-​determination is established, all will not be simply well. If there is a segment of a society whose interests are systematically brushed aside in the institutional design and establishment of political institutions, path dependency make it very hard to adequately incorporated later—​not to mention that mere inclusion does not constitute restructuring of relations of domination, as the analysis of all three regions above clearly demonstrates. Processes of gendering occur in Indigenous self-​government institutions through divisions along gender lines—​whether of labor, approved behavior, or structures of power—​as well as through gendered hierarchies constructed and enacted by interpersonal interaction and relations. In their discussions, the participants focused particularly on two aspects of the gender regimes: the collective gender division of labor and the internal gender structure of power. The collective dimension of the gender division of labor refers to the way in which administrative units or political issues are arranged hierarchically according to gender interests. Units or agenda issues representing women’s interests tend to be of lesser importance. Participants in all three regions attested that regardless of growing female representation in Indigenous political institutions, land rights and resource management are considered the key self-​determination questions (dominated by men) while the social issues are considered “soft” “women’s issues.” If the latter are not completely disregarded, they are addressed symbolically such as with strategic plans, typically limited to mainstream gender equality rhetoric. Although the Sámi Parliaments in Norway, Sweden, and Finland and the governance institutions in Greenland (the Parliament and the Government) have in a varying degree addressed gender inequality, none have explicitly linked it with self-​determination. Not only gender and self-​determination remain disparate issues, the Sámi Parliaments and Greenlandic governance institutions appear to have paid attention to gender because they are expected to do so under the pervasive Nordic gender equality ideology. As such, they all follow and copy the mainstream gender equality discourse of the Nordic countries with the focus on formal equality and political participation of women. Gender relations of power within the political institutions and their daily conduct may be mentioned in political rhetoric and strategic plans but not internally examined or interrogated. In short, Indigenous political institutions in Greenland and Scandinavia have not succeeded in moving beyond mainstream Nordic conceptions of gender equality. The extent the Sámi Parliaments deal with questions of gender is limited to adopting mainstream gender equality agendas that emphasize women’s political participation, with little interest in discussing gendered relations of power within the political institutions and their political conduct. Neither there is sustained discussion of the meaning of



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equality in Indigenous society, including whether Indigenous gender equality policies should have different focus and content from those of the mainstream society. When matters of equality are publicly debated, the discussion particularly in Greenland pivots on ethnic relations rather gender. Only scanty attention is paid to queer people and the LGBT community. In Canada, gender equality discourse has long been contested and considered suspect by Indigenous male-​led political organizations. Gender equality discourse became a bone of contention at the height of the self-​government era in the 1980s between national male-​dominated Indigenous organizations and Indigenous women’s groups and organizations. It developed into two persistent camps, one arguing that without guaranteed gender equality provisions (the Canadian Charter) self-​government will be a continuation of colonial, repressive regime, while the other maintained that gender equality rhetoric was an indication of the selling out to colonial ideologies, laws, and policies. Only in the past few years the two camps have begun to move closer to one another, although many holdouts remain. The other main dimension of the gender regimes widely discussed by the participants was internal power structures and strategies of gendering such as political maneuvering of informal political groupings, snide comments, and dismissive gestures. As many participants attested, common strategies of gendering include silencing, stereotyping, trivializing, exclusion, imposed invisibility, challenging authority, and the refusal to hear. Subtle, informal, and understated, these strategies make it very difficult to challenge and change the gender regimes of an institution. What often happens instead, as the interviews confirmed, is that women at the receiving end often begin questioning themselves and their own abilities. The internal power structures are naturalized and internalized to an extent that some women conclude that they do not possess the required skills to successfully and meaningfully participate in formal politics. The conclusions they draw include that there is something wrong with them rather than in the system—​or that politics is not for women because of their different priorities. Although feminist political analysis no longer preoccupies itself with the question of “what’s wrong with women” (and instead, has shifted the inquiry to “what’s wrong with the system”), the unfortunate reality of Indigenous self-​government institutions appraised in this chapter is that they still very much concern themselves—​when they are preoccupied with “gender equality”—​with the question of “what’s wrong with women.” Whether Sámi, Greenlandic, or Indigenous women in Canada, they are the ones lacking a range of capabilities and resources, material and immaterial: assertiveness, debating and negotiation skills, communication techniques, and personal networks, as well as special arrangements such as childcare allowances and playrooms. At the same time, it is a catch-​22: when women are assertive, have the debating skills and run office with babes in arms, they are criticized and castigated as “bad mothers,” for example. By the majority of Indigenous leadership, motherhood is venerated and considered sacred, but only in apolitical and limited terms.

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What is overlooked by most accounts is that through introducing different priorities to the self-​determination agenda, Indigenous women seek to transform and restructure the self-​government framework in order to incorporate and address issues that previously have been omitted, dismissed, or neglected but which inherently are Indigenous governance issues. The fundamental question, therefore, is not about inclusion or political representation of women—​adding Indigenous women and stirring—​but gendering Indigenous self-​government in critical ways that have been overlooked by most arguments and scholarship on Indigenous governance. The challenge of Indigenous governance is ultimately the same as discussed by feminist scholars: when the gender lens is directed exclusively on women it results in scholarship that “fails to examine systematically what is uniquely masculine in a structural, cultural or social sense, about such clearly gendered activities and institutions as crime, nationalism, politics, or violence, among others.”224 Rather than relegating all gender references to the sphere of “women’s issues,” the political and academic discourses of Indigenous governance needs to engage in a systematic investigation of not only the logic of masculinity but more importantly, heteronormativity about Indigenous self-​government as it is currently constructed. Although the starting point of gendering self-​determination in this chapter is the interrogation of gender regimes of Indigenous self-​government institutions, it is clear that a number of participants, especially many Indigenous women in Canada, push the interrogation beyond gender regimes to queering self-​determination: the examination of the naturalized logic of self-​government as a mere imitation of Western political structures and institutions. Arguments for rematriation expose the possibility of alternative forms of self-​determination that are not structured along the lines of Westminster style governance, mainstream nationalism, or the nation-​state. Both queering and gendering of self-​determination allow us to see through “the fog of colonialism” that prevents us from seeing and envisioning those alternatives necessary for restructuring relations of domination that have become to inform also Indigenous self-​government institutions.225 In the next chapter, I will examine in detail the most common and ubiquitous form of the collective gender dimension of labor:  the categorical division between self-​ determination (or self-​government or sovereignty) issues and women’s (or community or gender) issues.

5 Self-​Determination and Violence against Indigenous Women

In the end, the success of Indigenous self-​determination is measured by eliminating violence against Indigenous women, children, and 2SQ individuals. However, regardless the elevated levels of violence against Indigenous women in many countries, discourses on Indigenous self-​determination and self-​government institutions have not paid adequate, sustained attention to the violation of fundamental human rights taking place in Indigenous communities.1 Indigenous women in Canada were among the first to raise the problem of gendered violence in the context of Indigenous self-​government in the 1980s, as the result of the heightened public debate on self-​government combined with the culmination of Indigenous women’s struggle against sex discrimination in the Indian Act (discussed in c­ hapter 2). There was a broadly shared concern among Indigenous women that they would be marginalized in self-​government and community development in the same vein as they were excluded from their communities by the Indian Act. Many asserted that patriarchal values had been internalized and naturalized to the extent that they will be carried into self-​governing institutions and practices and as a result, women’s concerns and realities, especially gender violence, will be overlooked and ignored. Hence, Indigenous women and their organizations called for making Indigenous self-​ government subject to the gender equality provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.2 Native Women’s Association (NWAC) was leading the efforts to draw attention to the ways in which violence against women (including structural violence of marginalizing Indigenous women in their communities and their exclusion from their communities) ought to be at the center of self-​government agenda.3 Attending a conference on Indigenous politics and self-​government organized by Sámi scholars in Tromsø, Norway in the mid-​1990s, NWAC representative Cindy Polchies outlined the main concerns with self-​government raised by many Indigenous women:

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Why are we so worried as women? We have never discussed self-​government in our communities. . . . We have disproportionally high rate of child sexual abuse and incest. We have wife battering, drug and alcohol abuse and every kind of perversion imaginable has been imported into our daily lives. The development of programs and policies for handling domestic violence has been placed in the hands of men. Has it resulted in a reduction in this kind of violence? Is a woman and child safe in their own home in an aboriginal community? That is surely not the case. As one woman said: “People are killing each other in our communities!” Do they want to govern that? Men rarely speak of family violence. What are they doing about it? Yes, we want rights—​individual and collective rights! But we want our governments to have responsibilities too!4 Polchies argued that there had been no broad-​ based discussions or community consultations about self-​government and how pressing issues of violence and abuse affecting particularly women and children would be addressed under self-​government. She articulated the common fear that under self-​government, women, and children would be left without recourse beyond their communities where men were often in charge of domestic violence programs.5 Around the same time, Marilyn Fontaine-​Brightstar noted how Indigenous women have been unsuccessful in convincing their elected leadership of the importance of violence against Indigenous women and children as a political issue equal to the right to self-​government. She contended, “self-​government is not possible without the resolution of violence within Aboriginal communities.”6 The problem of women and their concerns being marginalized in self-​government is not limited to Canada. Discussing the United States and Australia, Eileen Luna links the question of implementation of Indigenous self-​determination with elimination of gendered violence. She submits that “Indigenous women have had limited influence in their communities’ movements for self-​determination” and points out the direct correlation between decrease in gender violence and self-​determination: Indigenous communities in both Australia and the United States have found that there is a direct link between community and individual empowerment, self-​ determination, and the reduction of violence against women. . . . It is this empowerment, of both Indigenous women and Indigenous communities, which is the key to significant legal and policy advances.7 Luna’s central point—​that a failure to address the problem of violence against Indigenous women ultimately results in a failure of collective self-​determination—​has since been underscored by Indigenous women’s organizations, Indigenous feminist scholars, and activists alike. Pauktuutit, the national Inuit women’s organization in Canada, for which the elimination of gendered violence has been a long-​standing priority, considers political and economic self-​determination inseparable from the health and well-​being of



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individuals, families and community members:  “Inuit society cannot prosper while violence and abuse continue to be a common occurrence.  .  .  . Inuit health, economic self-​sufficiency and political self-​determination have been compromised because of the impact of violence and abuse on our communities.”8 This chapter builds on the work of Indigenous women’s organizations and Indigenous feminism and further argues that existing models and structures of Indigenous self-​ government are, by and large, a form of structural violence in their exclusion of Indigenous women’s conceptions of self-​determination, which necessarily includes the norm of individual integrity and freedom from bodily harm. I begin by examining how Indigenous political institutions and leadership in Canada, Greenland, and Scandinavia have addressed gendered violence. Nearly all participants agreed that violence against women is a self-​determination issue but maintained that existing self-​government institutions do not address the problem as such (if at all). I also consider the role of the state vis-​à-​vis Indigenous women, specifically the question of whether Indigenous women and their organizations ought to rely on the patriarchal, colonial state in seeking to remedy gender inequality in their communities. In the final section, I seek to answer to the question, if, as Polchies argues above, a segment of Indigenous women were afraid of self-​government, what is the kind of self-​determination that would encompass and include them rather than intimidate them? Due to gendered violence in its various forms, the “self ” in self-​determination no longer guarantees the inclusion of Indigenous women “selves.” Many participants argued that collective self-​determination depends on the ability of all members of the community to not only participate in collective self-​determination but equally importantly, to exercise individual self-​determination and bodily autonomy. If our vision of Indigenous self-​determination is to be just, inclusive, relevant, and meaningful to all, “the recognition and dismantling of existing patriarchal social relations, eliminating discriminatory policies and the continuous commitment to Indigenous women’s rights in all Indigenous institutions and at all levels” must be placed at the front and center of our theory and struggle.9

Violence against Indigenous Women Indigenous women and their organizations have long criticized mainstream approaches to violence against women for being too restrictive or not taking Indigenous peoples’ realities and specific circumstances, specifically the consequences of colonialism, into account. They have pointed out that categories such as family, community, and state may carry different meanings and relationships to Indigenous peoples than what is implied in mainstream research or standard strategies addressing violence against women. These studies and strategies also fail to take account of the specific ways Indigenous women are

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targeted by various forms of violence—​some of which may not apply to non-​Indigenous women (e.g., cross-​border violence, ecological violence, spiritual violence).10 Consequently, the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (FIMI) stresses the need for an “Indigenous conception” of violence against women in order to generate concrete and effective strategies to address the widespread problem. In its companion report to the UN Secretary-​General’s study on violence against women, FIMI considers six broad categories of violence against Indigenous women:  neoliberalism and development aggression, violence in the name of tradition, state and domestic violence, militarization and armed conflict, migration and displacement, and HIV/​AIDS. I have suggested elsewhere that while important, not all manifestations of violence discussed by FIMI are gender-​specific. In other words, Indigenous women are not specifically targeted although women may (and often do) carry the disproportionate burden of the effects of various forms of violence due to their reproductive capacity and roles and primary caretakers of the children and families. I argued that a weakness in FIMI’s analysis is that it conflates gendered forms of violence with gendered effects of more general forms of violence that target Indigenous communities at large rather than specifically Indigenous women.11 A number of participants spoke in strong terms how the interpersonal dimension of gender violence must be an inextricable part of the process and implementation of Indigenous self-​determination. Nationhood is not possible in crisis conditions, and endemic levels of violence against Indigenous women and girls need to be regarded as a state of emergency that has a major effect on the future of Indigenous self-​determination.12 As one participant put it, “How can we be nations if we’re all beat up and bruised all the time, not just literally the women, but as families and communities?” For her, it was obvious how gender violence is a self-​determination issue: “How can you function and survive when you’re constantly trying to deal with trauma and crisis related to violence?”13 Gender violence negatively impacts not only women and girls but entire communities, typically creating cycles of violence and intergenerational individual and collective trauma, as well as breakdown of family and kinship relations, including the removal of children to foster care and child welfare system. This all has an immense impact on the cohesion of the community, community capacity, and thus its ability to have control over its collective affairs. The effects of gender violence are felt not only by women who experience violence, but by families and entire communities in terms of grief and suffering as well as in terms of the community’s capacity to function collectively.14 Relations of gender domination and violence are not limited to intimate relationships, but extend to women’s relations with the state and its institutions such as law enforcement officers, the criminal justice and court systems, and welfare agencies. Interpersonal relations of domination can also consist of community, kinship, and family members who persuade or pressure women to tolerate or forgive violence, who consider it a private matter that does not require external intervention, or who blame the woman for the violence she experiences.15 These are all manifestations of gender relations of domination that I argue need to be restructured in the name of Indigenous self-​determination.



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Focusing on the interpersonal dimension of gender violence does not entail depoliticizing violence against Indigenous women or laying the blame on Indigenous communities and in particular, Indigenous men without discussing the larger structural and systemic issues at play.16 The violent history of colonization of Indigenous peoples continues to manifest itself in structural factors such as poverty, lack of access to lands and resources, or limited access to education and health services, and Indigenous women often bear excessive brunt of these factors. Limiting the analysis to recognition of this historical causality, however, risks considering internal oppression based on gender as merely a consequence of discrimination against the entire Indigenous community.17 Similarly, as discussed in the previous chapter, if women are to be protected from violence only because of their roles as “life-​bearers and life-​givers of the nation,” we instrumentalize women rather than recognize them having the same right to bodily integrity, safety, and freedom from coercion and violence as everyone else. Fay Blaney of the Aboriginal Women Action Network in British Columbia, a long-​time activist and advocate working on eliminating violence against Indigenous women, is critical of the commonplace focus on colonialism when discussing gender violence generally and missing and murdered Indigenous women specifically: It’s a very seductive narrative that’s out there right now about colonization especially with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that has happened. . . . It’s not an issue only of Indigenous men perpetrating this violence against Indigenous women but on the other hand, I’m a survivor of that. I  was thirteen years old and running away from my community, my mother was twenty-​ three years old and running away from my community because of male violence. On my reserve, there have been Indigenous women who have been murdered, [and] the cops couldn’t care less. Today in Canadian society there is very little attention being paid to male violence against any woman, much less Indigenous women, and unfortunately we were impacted by both colonization and gendered violence. And all of these issues point to the fact that Indigenous women are marginalized. Yes we have settler Canada but more importantly we have male Canada. It’s open season for women.18 Rationalizing violence only as a consequence of colonial history denies agency and condones perpetrators’ behavior.19 The question is not which—​colonialism or patriarchy—​is a more foundational form of oppression and the other is merely a second-​ order consequence of the foundational subjugation.20 As Indigenous women in Canada and the United States have long argued, gendered violence experienced by them is not fully understood without an intersectional analysis of all relations of domination and oppression, including settler colonialism, patriarchy, racism, and capitalism, which are constituted by and reinforce one another in myriad ways. Hence, decolonization that does not pay close attention to the interlocking forms of oppression cannot and will not

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eliminate various forms of gendered violence. John Borrows, Val Napoleon, and Emily Snyder submit: Gendered violence will not effortlessly disappear if colonialism is fully addressed. Indigenous men do not harm Indigenous women just because of colonialism. . . . There are many myths about violence, and one of these myths is that people abuse others because of stress. Indigenous women face as much if not more exploitation than Indigenous men, yet Indigenous women are primarily the ones who are subjected to violence by men rather than being its perpetrators. There are complicated reasons for the high rates of violence in Indigenous communities, and we have to move beyond rhetoric and myths so as to recognize and work with this complexity. Violence and conflict should not be conflated; violence is a learned response to conflict and relates to power.21 Even when violence against Indigenous women is identified as a serious problem, it often is explained as a consequence of problems plaguing male population such as mental illness or alcohol abuse. As an example, the Arctic Human Development Report opines:  “Violence against women has been identified as a significant problem in the Arctic and has been attributed in part to male loss of identity and self-​worth, societal tension as well as issues of power and control.”22 In the Canadian context, it has been suggested that “violence in [Indigenous] communities is a function of male powerlessness in the face of colonial violence.”23 Such analyses construct a hierarchy of subordination, positioning Indigenous men as greater victims of colonization. In his study on violence against women in intimate relationships in Greenland, Sørensen argues that male perpetrators of violence against women are often viewed as victims “on a par with the actual victims of violence.”24 Men are considered victims of colonialism and historical suffering while social agency, gender, and power relations are generally overlooked. Thus, violence against women is construed as “a symptom of deep-​ seated male problems” rather than a problem of its own right.25 Sørensen further holds that there is “a peculiar ambiguity of both scholars and lay people” when it comes to the gendered nature of violence. Very few seem to “question the “naturalness” of male violence against women. It is more often than not taken for granted that violent men are under great pressure and hence cannot be held fully responsible.”26 Externalizing responsibility for gendered violence and constructing male violence as a reflection of their own victimhood and loss of status establish a hierarchy of subordination, positioning Indigenous men as greater victims of colonization. Such discourses fail to account for the internalization of patriarchy, which perpetuates the colonial construction of Indigenous women as second-​class citizens and subordinate members of their communities. As Scott Lyons maintains, there is a “pressing danger” for employing Indigenous sovereignty “for purposes that can be just as harmful and retrograde as anyone else’s oppression.”27



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Moreover, feminist scholars, activists, and frontline workers have long criticized a gender-​neutral approach to violence against women, reflected in the terminology of “domestic violence,” “spousal abuse,” and more recently, “family violence.” They argue that violence, abuse, and aggression in intimate relationships are always gendered and that claims for gender symmetry obscure the facts, the problem, and solutions alike.28 Donileen Loseke and Demie Kurz argue that “men’s violence toward women and women’s violence toward men are not the same, because these acts occur within the historical, cultural, political, economic, and psychological contexts of gender.”29 These contexts include women’s lower economic status within the family, greater share of caregiving work, and the very construct of nuclear patriarchal family in which men are able to yield their privilege, power, and control over their wives.30 Further, naming the problem explicitly as violence against women instead of using euphemisms such as “domestic violence” exposes the gendered character of the problem, legitimizes it as a serious concern and helps identifying and creating specific and more appropriate policies, programs, and laws to address the issue. Laurie Naranch asserts, “by giving voice to a problem, women gain the power to make a concern publicly visible as a social and political problem, not just as a personal or individual problem.”31 Recognizing the gendered nature of interpersonal violence entails paying attention to the gender division between the victims and perpetrators of violence. Importantly, this approach recognizes how gender and structures of power are fundamental in understanding violence.32 More recent intersectional theory has further expanded the analysis to include the role of political economy in oppression. Floya Anthias posits that intersectionality alone does not always explain subordination and thus can be misleading.33 As an example, the exploitation faced by Indigenous women in Canada does not arise only from the intersections of gender and race but also from political, economic, and legal structures and practices that exclude women from the social rights of membership or citizenship in their own communities. Neoliberal policies play a role creating or compounding existing vulnerability by impoverishing those who are already poor while cutting key social and health services, including shelters for victims of abuse. Gender Violence in Greenland, Sápmi, and Canada Violence against Indigenous women is a global concern yet in many parts of the world it remains a little studied question.34 There is a notable lack of statistics, detailed reports, and disaggregated data on the extent of violence against Indigenous women especially in Africa, Asia, the South Pacific, Latin America, and most of the Arctic.35 Michele Bograd insists that the lack of statistics is neither accidental nor neutral: The invisibility of certain populations reflects more their social importance in the eyes of the dominant culture than the absence of domestic violence in their midst.

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The lack of statistics is also not of minor consequence. These statistics are fundamental to the distribution of funds and the creation of social policy, which in turn shape the development of mental health initiatives, the availability of services, and the possibility of safety for disenfranchised populations.36 Studies on violence against Sámi women are very limited and research on gendered violence in Greenland remains scant.37 Elsewhere such as North America and Australia, on the other hand, research on violence against Indigenous women is fairly extensive and well established but has not attracted public attention until long-​standing advocacy and campaigns by Indigenous women’s and other organizations calling attention to the fact that a disproportionate number of Indigenous women are targeted by gendered violence.38 Although there are no comprehensive statistics to make straightforward comparisons, it is fairly safe to suggest that violence against Indigenous women in Canada is more prevalent, systemic, institutionalized, and extreme than against Sámi and Greenlandic women. Inuit women in Greenland and Sámi women in Scandinavia are not disappearing, murdered, or victimized by the state and its policies and institutions nearly at the same degree than in Canada. The Scandinavian countries, including Denmark, never had legislation comparable to the Indian Act that would have systematically excluded women and their children from their communities and all levels of participation. In Canada, Indigenous women experience violence at rates three times higher than other women in general and are five times more likely to be killed or disappear as compared to non-​Indigenous women.39 Moreover, Indigenous women in Canada are more likely to be victims of violence that Indigenous men.40 In Canada and the United States, it has been well established that the disproportionate rates of gendered violence are a result of a history of state policies and institutional practices, as well as racist and sexist attitudes in society devaluing and dehumanizing Indigenous women.41 This has lead to normalizing violence against Indigenous women in mainstream and Indigenous communities alike. In Greenland, violence and homicide rates in general are high. Yet statistics on gendered violence in Greenland are next to nonexistent. Available information is largely from police reports and hospital records. The population survey 2005 to 2010 estimates that 60 percent of the population over seventeen years has experienced violence or serious threats. This corresponds to approximately 23,500 people and is a significant increase since the survey in 1993, when the figure was 47 percent. While men are most at risk of violence from strangers, women are mostly exposed to intimate partner violence.42 According to a 2002 survey, “Young women, 18–​24 years of age, had more often been assaulted than young men.”43 Young Greenlandic women also report having been sexually abused more than other groups. While “overall prevalence of violence is somewhat higher in Greenland than in Denmark, . . . the Greenlandic women report to have been the victims of violence much more often than Danish women.”44 Moreover, according to



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the Survey of Living Conditions in the Arctic, 63 percent of the adult population perceive family violence and 58 percent perceive sexual abuse as a social problem.45 Comprehensive information and statistics about violence against Sámi women is as scarce as in Greenland. First of its kind, a recent study shows that Sámi women in Norway experience physical and sexual violence at higher rates than non-​Sámi women in the country.46 Similar information regarding Sámi women in Sweden, Finland, and Russia is not available. According to the study in Norway, of all groups (Sámi men and women, non-​Sámi men and women), Sámi women “reported highest prevalence of violence exposure.”47 Nearly half of the Sámi women reported violence (emotional, physical, and sexual) compared to one-​third of the non-​Sámi women. In a great majority of cases (80%), the perpetrator was known to the victim. Sexual violence was more prevalent among women, particularly so among Sámi women (one in five or 21.8%). Nearly 17 percent of Sámi women reported to have experienced sexual violence in their childhood. The authors of the study note that the rates of violence against Sámi women correspond to the global statistics of increased levels of violence against Indigenous women: Our findings are consistent with other studies which show that Indigenous people are more likely to be exposed to violence than non-​Indigenous people. Findings for Sámi women in our study (49.1%) are congruent with a study of the Inuit population in Greenland that reported that 47% of Inuit women were exposed to violence.48 These numbers might surprise some. If anything, they are alarming given the lack of awareness and knowledge the extent of the problem even among Sámi healthcare workers. A number of participants speculated that they did not think violence against Sámi women was more prevalent than against non-​Sámi women in Scandinavia. When asked whether there is a crisis in Sápmi regarding violence, Sámi psychologist Anne Lene Turi admitted she does not know the answer: “The Sámi have never been portrayed that way. You can get an impression of Greenland that everyone drinks, fights, and beats children and everything is a total tragedy. Sápmi is not portrayed that way. I  don’t know whether it is as bad or whether we are so skilled at covering up.”49 While nobody denied the utmost importance of addressing gender violence in any of the three regions, there were considerable differences in the way in which violence against women was discussed. Sámi and Greenlandic women tended to focus on interpersonal violence (especially physical and sexual male violence against women), while Indigenous women in Canada had generally a broader perspective that included systemic, structural, and state violence such as the residential school system, the justice system, the police, the legislation, and policies that have had and continue to have particularly adverse effects on Indigenous women. In Scandinavia and Greenland, considerations of gendered structural and state violence and the colonial origins of violence against women is virtually nonexistent. If mentioned at all, colonialism was considered by Sámi and Inuit women

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as a culprit to increased alcohol abuse, which in turn is seen as the main factor for interpersonal gender violence. Several participants in Canada discussed the violence of the ongoing removal and displacement of children from their families and communities as the result of residential school and child welfare policies.50 The link between the social problems borne out of the residential school system and the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women is well established.51 Robina Thomas submits: “What’s going on in our communities is directly linked to the myriad of policies that have disenfranchised women and children, systematically displaced women; policies like our child welfare, our current child welfare policies and our past residential school policies.”52 Wanda Nanibush puts it more bluntly: if “you take all of a society’s children, and you abuse them for a bunch of years and then you throw them back into the community, you’re going to have issues, you’re going to have lots of violence happening.”53 While a great majority of all participants concurred that violence against women is a central self-​determination question for Indigenous peoples, the link between the two was by far most clearly established in Canada, where several women emphasized that without addressing violence against women, Indigenous societies and nations will not be able to become self-​determining. In Greenland, violence against women is a recognized problem, but not as a self-​g overnment issue. The gendered dimension is frequently overlooked or downplayed such as in the 2013 Government of Greenland action plan to address violence in Greenlandic society.54 A  number of participants criticized the plan’s gender-​neutrality and lack of consideration of the roots of the problem. In Sápmi, the most frequently raised concern by the participants was the lack of public debate and support (both material and psychological) for the victims or survivors of gendered violence. The persistent silence about gender violence in Sámi society was addressed by nearly all Sámi participants, many of whom linked it directly to the question of self-​determination and insisted that as long as gender violence is not taken seriously and placed squarely on the agenda, self-​determination will remain a distant dream. There was a broad consensus among all participants in the three regions that by marginalizing gender, the participants argued, we willfully neglect the well-​being, safety, and integrity of approximately half of Indigenous communities. That can hardly be called collective self-​determination.

Violence against Women as a Colonial Strategy Anticolonial writers have pointed out how one of the primary colonial strategies was to specifically target the women in the process of colonizing non-​Western societies. Early colonizers recognized the crucial role of women in reproducing societies, not only through giving birth but as importantly, through collective identity, culture, and language.



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Franz Fanon considered the constitutive element of gender in the colonial conquest by identifying the strategy of targeting women as a central means in the consolidation of colonial control. He notes how at the individual level, the French colonial strategy of disrupting Algerian society assigned the Algerian woman a prominent place from early on: “If we want to destroy the structure of Algerian society [and] its capacity for resistance, we must first of all conquer the women.”55 As Fanon writes, conquering of women through conversion to Western values was regarded as a successful way of gaining control over men and destabilizing the society: “Converting the woman, winning her over to the foreign values, wrenching her free from her status, was at the same time achieving a real power over the man and attaining a practical, effective means of destructuring Algerian culture.”56 “Conquering the women” as a well-​established practice of colonial settlers exposes the fundamentally gendered character of the colonial project from the start. In this process, structural and discursive forms have played a central role in addition to direct sexual and physical violence. The twin strategy of indoctrination into the European norms of womanhood and construction of women as the deviation from those norms informed the legislation and policies of the early colonial era. In North America, Indigenous women were frequently “constructed as lascivious, shameless, unmaternal, prostitutes, ugly, and incapable of high sentiment or manners—​the dark, mirror-​image to the idealized nineteenth-​century visions of white women.”57 This characterization of Indigenous women as hypersexual “was essential to the justification of colonization.”58 The conversion into the European norms of womanhood took place particularly at residential or boarding schools where Indigenous girls were to learn the behavior, values, and norms of the settler society and be assimilated into the mainstream. The guiding view was that “If we get the girls, we get the race,” because “they will wield a greater influence in the future.”59 Some residential and boarding schools explicitly stated as their mission to raise “model mothers” for Indigenous nations; in other words, “to indoctrinate them with the ideals of Christian womanhood—​piety, domesticity, submissiveness, and purity.”60 In Canada, premised on the Victorian patriarchal model of family and subordination of women under the control of their husbands, the Indian Act sought to impose Victorian values and norms of femininity as a key aspect of the assimilation objective. Women who did not fit into confines of the Victorian values and norms of femininity such submissiveness and chastity were “branded as deviants (often prostitutes) and considered fair game for mistreatment.”61 The stereotypical portrayal of Indigenous women as “squaws” has been inscribed as a core element of Canadian legislation and governance. The Indian Act has played a critical role in the on-​going practices of projecting and constructing Indigenous women as racialized and sexualized targets of violence whose agency and consent are simply irrelevant and nonexisting. What is more, Indigenous women were rarely allowed any other than sexualized identity. Some scholars suggest that constructing Indigenous women as sexually deviant was a colonial fear of Indigenous women’s agency.62 The same dehumanizing discourse

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continues in the present-​day media and police accounts that fail (or refuse) to connect incidents of physical and sexual violence to the framework of structural violence of the state: “Labelling [missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-​spirit people] as high-​risk, trafficked/​prostituted, troubled runaways but not acknowledging the forced child-​welfare policies that put Indigenous people at risk for violence, disappearance, and death is both disingenuous and dangerous.”63 As the result, “the state commodifies us as victims, builds entire economies around our regulation, patriarchal economies that reinforce old narratives: Indigenous women and girls are promiscuous, available for violence and sex, lascivious tastes, and responsible for our own deaths.”64 Iris Marion Young has suggested that gendered vulnerability of women of color is premised on the division of labor within the family that assigns them primary responsibility for domestic care work. Without income, women are dependent on their male partners, rendering them vulnerable for abuse. Seeking paid employment that would enable women to continue their domestic responsibilities (e.g., part-​time, flexible jobs) renders them vulnerable for exploitation and poverty in the labor market.65 With regard to Indigenous women, however, this is only partly true. Especially in settler colonial states like Canada, Indigenous women’s gendered vulnerability is much less predicated on the domestic division of labor than on settler colonial relations, racism, and material relations of capitalism that create an entangled web of interlocking oppression that has both a private and public face. Further, Nedelsky reminds us, “the power relations between men and women, the patterns of women’s dependence on men, are sustained not just by economic inequalities but also by ideas and beliefs.”66 In the same way, standard feminist analyses of women’s decisions to do sex work explain only partially the circumstances of Indigenous women. I agree with Alison M. Jaggar who suggests that some of the reasons for sex work include “gendered inequalities of access to economic resources, and transnational as well as national policies and institutions that encourage the emergence of a gender-​structured global sex industry.”67 At the same time, I argue that there is a whole host of colonial policies, such as child welfare policies mentioned above, aiming at eliminating Indigenous peoples generally and Indigenous women specifically that play even a more significant explanatory force for Indigenous women choosing sex work. Nonetheless, Jaggar’s argument, according to which “treating sex work differently from other forms of work” often intensifies women’s vulnerability,68 applies to Indigenous women as well. Gendered violence through sex-​discriminatory legislation and governance has been the central means of colonization of Indigenous societies. Indigenous women have also established a causal relationship and continuity of violence from early settler colonialism to present-​day extractivist agenda of the neoliberal settler governments.69 As discussed in ­chapter 1, there is an important recognition how the question of free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) is central not only to the development of Indigenous lands but also integral to addressing gendered violence. The primer and toolkit by the Women’s Earth Alliance and Native Youth Sexual Health Network, “Violence on the Land, Violence on



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our Bodies,” suggests that advancing Indigenous peoples’ consent over their lands and resources requires establishing a stronger discourse around consent over bodies: In order to increase the recognition of free, prior, and informed consent over Indigenous territories we need to simultaneously build up the ways that consent is supported around people’s bodies. If discussions are taking place about violations of industry on Indigenous lands, we should also be talking about the violations of people’s bodies.70 The exploitation of Indigenous women and their bodies has been inextricably tied to the process of ongoing exploitation and dispossession of Indigenous lands and resources since the first contact. As settler colonialism’s logic of elimination seeks to erase Indigenous political, legal, and economic orders that stand in the way of its access to Indigenous lands and resources, it has to destroy those Indigenous bodies that represent those orders. Audra Simpson argues:  “Indian women ‘disappear’ because they have been deemed killable, rapeable, expendable. Their bodies have historically been rendered less valuable because of what they are taken to represent: land, reproduction, Indigenous kinship and governance, an alternative to heteropatriarchal and Victorian rules of descent.”71 Indigenous women have been historically constructed as a “population of prey” and “the spoils of colonial conquest.”72 The crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, for example, can only be properly understood in this context. Therefore conversely, assertions of Indigenous sovereignty and nationhood and the struggle for Indigenous land rights cannot be separated from Indigenous women’s assertions of sovereignty over their own bodies.73

Responses to Gender Violence by Indigenous Self-​G overnment Institutions In many cases, existing Indigenous self-​governance arrangements have failed to protect women from social and economic dispossession and from multilayered violence they experience in their own communities and in society at large. The inaction is sometimes explained by the lack of necessary resources and jurisdiction. For example in Canada, Indigenous communities do not possess shared constitutional responsibility for addressing gendered violence,74 while in the United States, tribal governments have not had jurisdiction over crimes committed on reservations by non-​Native Americans.75 There are, however, other significant factors, including depoliticization and normalization of violence against women in Indigenous communities. The 1991 Manitoba Justice Inquiry observed: “The unwillingness of chiefs and councils to address the plight of women and children suffering abuse at the hands of husbands and fathers is quite alarming.”76

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Although the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is not an Indigenous self-​government institution,77 it is the only national Indigenous organization in Canada not specifically focusing on women that has identified violence against women as one of its main policy areas. An AFN Women’s Council was established in 2006 and it has worked closely with Indigenous women’s organizations, particularly the NWAC, on missing and murdered Indigenous women. At the AFN National Justice Forum in 2012, missing and murdered Indigenous women was one of the three agenda items.78 The Forum held a ceremony honoring the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and developed an action plan to end gendered violence. Four main themes were identified: accountability, prevention and holistic responses, systemic/​structural issues, and agency approaches. Like the UN Expert Meeting on Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls (discussed at the 2012 AFN Forum), the accountability of Indigenous leaders was emphasized, together with the need to address underlying causes such residential school-​related intergenerational trauma and economic insecurity, including access to housing. The Grand Chief of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs “issued a challenge to First Nations men and leaders to take ownership and responsibility for their attitudes and actions.”79 In 2015, the first roundtable on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls gathered national Indigenous organizations (AFN, NWAC, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, the Métis National Council), together with other Indigenous organizations as well as federal, provincial, and territorial leaders, to discuss action needed to address and prevent violence against Indigenous women and girls. One of the three priority issues was community safety with a focus on supporting Indigenous communities, organizations, and individuals in developing safety, prevention, and intervention initiatives. The roundtable also adopted the Framework for Action to Prevent and Address Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls. The Framework stresses the primacy of community-​based and community-​driven solutions that recognize the diversity and differences of Indigenous communities and “the varying needs and perspectives of women, youth, Elders, urban, northern and remote populations.”80 The second national roundtable was held in 2016, to reinforce and discuss further the efforts outlined in the framework. Whereas the 2012 AFN Justice Forum acknowledged the critical role of Indigenous leadership in taking responsibility for gendered violence, the two national roundtables did not include it in the framework document in spite of emphasizing community-​based solutions. Moreover, notwithstanding their commendable objectives, neither the Justice Forum nor the National Roundtable addressed problems such as gender discriminatory policies and practices that can contribute to increased gender violence and conditions of vulnerability.81 Another issue the AFN has remained silent on with regard to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is prostitution, and how policies meant to protect victims often permit violence to occur with impunity. As argued by Colleen Hele, Naomi Sayers, and Jessica Wood, we cannot discuss missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and



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two-​spirit people (MMIWG2S) without discussing prostitution. For them, unanswered questions include: How many of those missing or murdered Indigenous women and two-​spirit people were trafficked through Canada’s child welfare system during the Sixties Scoop, and how many do we continue to erase when we ignore the role that Canada’s current child welfare system and anti-​human trafficking policies continue to play in the issue of MMIWG2S?82 While the AFN National Action Plan to End Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls briefly mentions child welfare policies and trafficking, it does not consider the link between the two or the point made by Indigenous women according to which child welfare policies in general and the Sixties Scoop in particular represent “the history of state-​sanctioned trafficking of Indigenous children.”83 Instead, mainstream Indigenous organizations tend to conflate human trafficking with prostitution and consider “prostitution as the sole problem that permits human trafficking to take place.”84 In Greenland, the Government of Greenland launched its Strategy and Action Plan against Violence, 2014 to 2017 with an accompanied website (brydtavsheden.gl; English translation “Break the Silence”). As the focus of the strategy and action plan is on violence in general, it remains by and large gender-​neutral. Somewhat ironically, the plan calls for a gender perspective but does not heed its own advice. The gendered character of violence is not considered beyond making a passing reference to violence being gendered and the recognition that in Greenland, perpetrators of violence are mostly men. As the result, gender perspective is entirely absent except in the paragraph where gender equality is discussed: Violence is often gender-​based. Experience shows that increased gender equality can contribute significantly in preventing violence in general. Violence involves gender when men think they have the right to “put women in their place,” and when women accept these gender roles. Women often remain in a violent relationship which negatively affects their children, including creating unhealthy perceptions on gender roles.85 When discussing domestic violence, the plan provides detailed statistics about children who have witnessed their mothers being victims of abuse at home. The plan mentions “a cycle of violence” resulting in normalizing violence and the creation of violent culture in part of society, but does not discuss how “the cycle of violence” is created. Causes for violence or the role and impact of colonialism contributing to high levels of violence are not examined. Instead, excessive alcohol use is considered a factor leading to violence and one of the recommendations specifically calls for alcohol treatment councilors to acquire the skills and knowledge to detect signs of violence, to discuss it with their patients, and

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to refer offenders for further treatment.86 The plan acknowledges that violence “has many faces and can be found in all walks of life,” yet presents violence against women either as a communication problem or a problem of those who drink excessively.87 This view is widely shared, as pointed out by one participant: “There’s a connection between alcohol, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and suicide. It has been proven by research, for years. So alcohol problems are still very, a key problem.”88 The focus on alcohol deflects the attention away from the gendered nature of violence and also contributes to seeing violence as a problem of certain demographics. Violence becomes a question of how to help people with alcohol problems to get education or a job and off the welfare. As one participant put it, the endlessly discussed problem is alcohol rather than violence itself:  “We’re not talking about violence or why men are hitting women or that men are hitting women in all classes in the society, not just those on the bottom. It’s easy to talk about drunk people on the street but we don’t talk about violence in society at large.”89 In the same vein, Naaja Nathanielsen contends: When you talk about women being hit in this country, you will find a lot of people say “oh it’s just the alcohol” or “it’s the women also, they are provoking” or “women also hit.” You will find a lot of people trying to not address the fact that this is happening to women more than to men. It is women who are being raped, it is our girls that are being fucked by older men. That’s the problem, how we treat our women. And I think many people don’t dare say it so openly. They are afraid of the consequences; “will people be mad, will the men in society, male politicians be mad if we say this?”90 For the Government of Greenland, violence is primarily a social and criminal issue leading to ill health and socioeconomic marginalization of individuals. It can be eliminated by raising awareness in society and changing societal and individuals’ attitudes. According to the government’s strategic plan, “Knowledge on the nature, extent and implications is a prerequisite for creating targeted interventions that take into account the diverse issues. Knowledge is a prerequisite for breaking taboos and changing attitudes.”91 The plan has four priority areas of action, none of which discuss the elimination of violence in relation to implementing self-​government. Explaining intimate partner violence mainly through individual and interpersonal factors such as alcohol abuse and psychological or personality disorders,92 the family conflict research promotes solutions that focus on counseling of individuals, both victims and perpetrators.93 Psychological approaches that seek to address violence against women are preferred because of a common belief “that violence against women is a function of mental illness and that it can be easily solved through individual therapy or counseling.”94 The theory of individual “bad apples” advocated by family conflict research is appealing especially for political institutions because it does not call for the transformation of “our social, political, economic, and cultural order, which is a more difficult



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task and challenges those who gain from maintaining the status quo.”95 For Indigenous political institutions such as those examined here such an approach, however, may radically undermine and even backfire on their self-​determination aspirations. As explicitly demonstrated in Australia, medicalizing and pathologizing social problems such as gender violence and reducing them into diagnosis of addiction, alcoholism, and mental health concerns has enabled the state to question Indigenous peoples’ ability to control and manage their own affairs, and consequently, replaced self-​determination policies and initiatives with coercive, violent “intervention.” Dian Million submits: In the same arena Indigenous peoples seek to define terms of self-​determination, outcomes of prior colonization are measured and diagnosed as trauma. This creates a site for our healing, our reconstruction and its management. This is actually a dangerous position. If we take seriously Australian Aboriginal people’s recent violation by the Australian state, where the sexual abuse and incest that were diagnosed in a prior moment as trauma then became a policing rationale or their further colonization, we must be warned. The space of our medicalized diagnosis as victims of trauma is not a site wherein self-​determination is practiced or defined.96 The Sámi Parliaments in Norway, Sweden, and Finland have paid uneven attention to violence against women. In its 2009–​2013 strategic plan for equality, the Norwegian Sámi Parliament has identified three priority areas, one being the prevention of violence in local communities, with the objective of strengthening culturally appropriate support services in the Sámi language.97 Following the strategic plan, the Sámi Parliament together with the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security initiated a research project to study the scope of violence and sexual abuse in intimate relationships in order to improve services to victims of violence. The results of the study, published in the report “If You Dare to Ask, People Dare to Answer,” does not present new information but confirms already known facts: Sámi victims of violence face cultural and linguistic barriers accessing police and support services; violence is a taboo subject; there is a culture of silence and silencing, especially in small Sámi communities and in the construction of strong Sámi women (and Sámi people in general), who are expected to endure anything without complaining. A number of the identified challenges have to do with the strong role of Christianity in parts of Sámi society, which “contributes to the fact that those exposed to violence and abuse have to bear the shame and guilt related to the violence.”98 As for explaining reasons for violence being a taboo subject in Sámi society, the report mentions the discourse of strong Sámi, combined with child-​rearing traditions that emphasize independence and strength.99 Since the appointment of a female president in 2013, the Norwegian Sámi Parliament has taken steps to address violence against women. According to Vibeke Larsen, former member of the Sámi Parliament in Norway, “[we] must dare to expose violence in Sámi society and discuss it. Violence is not a private matter, it is a criminal issue. We know that

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violence is a big social problem.”100 Similarly, in her statement on the International Day of the Elimination Violence against Women in November 2017, the president of the Sámi Parliament Aili Keskitalo asserts that violence against women and men is an obstacle in Sámi nation-​building, and that Sámi must have the courage to break the taboos by talking about violence within family and with friends. She also emphasizes the importance of talking to children about gender roles, abuse, sexuality, and boundaries. Finally, she stresses that violence is a crime that must be addressed and resolved through police and law enforcement, not internally in Sámi society, in spite of the fact that the Sámi in general mistrust the authorities. This mistrust, Keskitalo states, “needs to be changed together with police.”101 In Sweden, the Sámi Parliament has recognized violence against Sámi women as a problem and held that it is the responsibility of the Sámi Parliament to address the problem in its Equality Program of 2004. However, the report contains no details as to how the Sámi Parliament intends to take up this responsibility.102 Only minor steps have been taken since, such as holding a seminar in 2008 to discuss a need for a telephone help line for Sámi women victims of violence. Rather than drafting a plan to make a help line reality, the feeble outcome of the seminar was a decision to apply for funding to further investigate a basis for Sámi help line.103 In 2010, the Parliament received funding from the Swedish National Institute of Public Health for this purpose but it did not use the funding by the end of the grant period. Sara Larsson admitted: “We have received money from the Swedish government to [conduct] a study on how we can start up a phone line for women. . . . But at the same time we don’t really know what to do with [the money]. Because the question is so new, and it’s . . . some people don’t want to touch it. . . . maybe we have to start it in a bigger, you know bigger end, to talk about ‘what is violence?’ ”104 The Finnish Sámi Parliament has paid the least attention to violence against Sámi women. In its response to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 2008 country report (discussed in the previous chapter), gendered violence is briefly mentioned. The final subsection of the statement identifies a lack of resources, expertise, and Sámi-​language victim services. Rather than providing details about violence against women in Sámi society, the statement sidelines the issue by emphasizing “the need to increase the awareness and knowledge of authorities and health service providers about the language and culture of the only Indigenous people in our country.”105 How such awareness may assist Sámi women victims of violence, or more fundamentally, violence against Sámi women, is unaddressed. Considering the brevity and placement of this discussion, the Finnish Sámi Parliament does not seem to regard gendered violence as a serious concern, if a problem at all. If there are individual members who considered it an important issue, they lack courage to bring the issue of violence against women on the table: “At the executive council, there is nobody who dares to raise these questions.”106 The Finnish Sámi Parliament has been criticized of passing the buck and leaving questions of social issues to organizations such as Sámi Soster, an organization focusing on social and healthcare issues based in Finland.



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Several participants mentioned Sámi Soster as a main example of initiatives beyond the Sámi Parliaments addressing violence against women. Overall, violence against women as a problem in Sámi society is, as one participant put it, “very, very low” on the agenda of Sámi political institutions. On a rare occasion it is addressed, plans and recommendations are not executed.107 The level of awareness regarding violence is also very low, as suggested by a member of the Sámi Parliament who maintained that public debate in Sámi society needs to begin by considering what violence is. Lars Anders Baer, senior Sámi politician is blunt in his answer as to why the Sámi Parliament has not taken a greater responsibility: It is a question of prioritizing and of course who is in charge of prioritizing. Often it also seems easier to discuss everything between the Swedish state and hunting and game rather than difficult internal issues. It is more difficult to be self-​critical. There are many reasons. It is more or less the same situation in the Finnish Sámi Parliament, the only one who raises these questions is Sámi Soster. In Norway as well, it is not so much the Sámi Parliament but healthcare workers and civil society that talks about violence against women.108 With the exception of the Swedish Sámi Parliament, the institutional response to violence against Sámi women is characterized by a pronounced lack of gender analysis. Gender is given only a token recognition without proper analysis or consideration of the gender power relations that might be mentioned but not examined at any length. Gender is a critical factor not only in understanding interpersonal violence, but social and structural problems surrounding violence. Housing shortages, a major problem in Greenland and Indigenous Canada, affects women differently than men and contributes to the victimization and creation of vulnerability of women. Women might be stuck in abusive relationships because of the lack available housing. With regard to Greenland, Kathrine Bødker, one of the March 8 group members, notes: “In Nuuk many people live in staff housing which is tied to the man’s workplace. These women have nowhere to go. Women think of their children first. If they cannot find a new home the children will have problems.”109 The shortage of housing is even more heightened in smaller settlements where it is “difficult to seek support and help when everybody knows everybody. Moving to another village to escape the violence is not easy either.”110 Because of the circumstances, Inge Olsvig Brandt, the head of the secretariat of the Council of Gender Equality, maintains: “There is no freedom of movement for women. . . . A woman cannot just move to another town. It takes a lot of resources.”111 Yet the Government of Greenland’s strategic plan does not mention the critical issue of housing as a factor contributing to violence in Greenland or as an issue to be taken into account when considering strategies eliminating violence. Male violence against women in intimate partner relationships is part of larger structures of domination and control. Conceptualizing violence in gender-​neutral terms

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obfuscates the dynamics and power relations involved in “domestic violence,” resulting in analysis and solutions that are partial at best or misguided at worst. Political implications of this trend include disregarding women as legitimate victims, cutbacks of crisis services for women, and revoking important policies for women.112 Moreover, overlooking the gendered nature of violence fails to address structural violence against women beyond abuse in intimate relationships, including state violence which is particularly an issue for Indigenous women, 2SQ individuals, and other groups who are systematically marginalized in policy, law, and decision-​making.

Silencing and Normalizing Violence Several participants raised the problem of silence around violence not only by the political institutions, but in society at large. In Greenland and Sápmi, participants mentioned that talking about violence in general and sexual abuse in particular is still considered an unspeakable subject, especially in small communities where family ties are paramount and people are more interdependent than in larger towns.113 According to Nathanielsen, problems are smoothed over and people try to “keep the conflict level low so everyone can coexist.”114 The problems are further compounded by the lack of shelters or support services and no road to next settlement or town. As one participant put it, “communities are so small and everyone knows each other. So it’s difficult to find sympathy and find shelter. So many women just live with the violence, and it’s very often lethal.”115 Others discussed the cultural preference for conciliation over conflict. In small, tight-​knit communities where family ties are extensive through blood and marriage, it is considered fundamental to agree and not create strife and controversy. “This is very generalized but we [Sámi] don’t like disagreement. We want to have peace, and the traditional norm has been that everyone has to get along.”116 This, however, appears true only with regard to certain issues. There are increasing internal tensions and conflicts over land use in reindeer herding, for instance, in some Sámi regions where pastures have been appropriated and lost to industry, tourism, and infrastructure.117 When asked about the norm of peace vis-​à-​vis the two types of conflict, one Sámi woman replied: “It could be that it is easier to talk about certain conflicts, such as disagreement over pastures, compared to sexual abuse which is such a taboo.”118 The bottom line, therefore, is not so much a wholesale cultural preference for avoiding conflict as it is a reluctance and refusal to address sexual violence and the powerful cultural norm of family reputation. In some Sámi communities, family honor precedes individual problems, and peaceful relations within and between families can be upheld at the cost of hiding violence and silencing individuals. A person who voices “unspeakable” issues can be severely disciplined by her family or others, as is particularly noticeable in more traditional communities where strong kinship ties are held in very high regard.119 Several Sámi women discussed how the victim is sometimes left completely alone inside the family “to



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suffer in name of collective peace.”120 They discussed how women experiencing violence either feel shame or blame themselves for being weak for letting it happen, and do not know where to go. As one woman poignantly put it: It [violence] is such a taboo topic that we don’t talk about it although we have all no doubt experienced it in one form or another. But as you can hear me, I may also, I don’t want remember, I don’t want to think or tell about it because it is shameful. It is a taboo and we don’t want to talk about it because we don’t want to diminish ourselves. It is a burden to carry, a label that affects your self worth both individually and collectively. We don’t talk about problems. But we must dare to talk about problems, right? And vent about sensitive issues because how otherwise we are going to improve the situation?121 Further, there is a widely held perception that is it humiliating if other Sámi know one’s personal difficulties, including family difficulties, illnesses or “anything that could be considered a sign of weakness.”122 Showing weakness brings shame onto the individual and her family, although some argue that this is changing with the younger generation. Several women mentioned family pride as an explanation for silence. One participant suggested that certain families have made themselves into nobility—​especially wealthy reindeer herding families within which for example divorce is disapproved.123 Like male hunters in Greenland, a male reindeer herder carries significant symbolic weight in Sámi society. But unlike in Greenland, where today only very small percentage of the (male) population receives their main livelihood from hunting, in Sápmi reindeer herding continues to define many people’s daily lives and livelihoods. Although those involved in reindeer herding full-​time are mostly men, women actively participate in numerous ways, often on top of their full-​time employment in other sectors.124 As an explanation for the continued silence, Laila Susanne Vars suggests that it is almost as if one is not allowed to bring up difficult issues in public. Every time when somebody says in public that they have been sexually abused as a child, “Sámi society condemns the person in the most cruel terms” by belittling, not taking seriously, questioning, and watering down the victim’s statement. Further, according to Vars, talking about collective trauma and the need for healing, common among many other Indigenous peoples, is not considered acceptable in Sápmi. The Sámi have not collectively processed or grieved the trauma resulting from colonial violence and practices of assimilation. If you mention publicly that the Sámi need a collective process to deal with historical abuse, there is an immediate backlash by the Sámi. If you mention that the Sámi people need to collectively mourn the historical loss resulting from colonialism, you are sneered at: “Oh she’s strange, she’s spent too much time with the Indians and learned [funny ideas] from them.” Talking about trauma and healing is considered wishy-​washy and unnecessary, as the Sámi are supposed to be tough and well-​off, yet “we’re afraid of talking about difficult issues.”125

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Internalizing violence has left many individuals and communities deeply damaged and violence has become normalized as part of daily life.126 Violence has become “normal,” for example, due to several generations being abused and bearing witness to violence in residential schools. In a Canadian example, discussing three generations of her extended family who all attended a residential school, Robina Thomas submits that witnessing aggression is a form of violence that is eventually internalized and normalized: They were raised in a situation where violence and terror was an every day part of their lives. So, even children that weren’t necessarily beaten or abused in some way witnessed it on a regular basis. And that witnessing of it is a form of violence. And, so, I think that much like Paulo Freire talks about the oppressed becomes the oppressor, something similar is going on in our communities where a lot of the men are bigger and stronger and have been so abused and beaten that it almost becomes like a natural thing—​completely unacceptable, completely not natural—​but, it becomes an everyday thing that they have witnessed, that they’ve experienced, that then becomes a part of their every day life.127 The less studied internal community dynamics that facilitate normalization of gender violence was frequently issue by participants in Greenland and Sápmi. Gendered violence is considered something that couples do, “that’s how it is,” while violence against children is taken far more seriously and there is a greater willingness to do something about it.128 In Greenland, some suggest that violence is so commonplace and normal that many violent incidents are “not dramatized or taken very seriously. . . Wife beating among neighbors is usually commented on with a shrug of the shoulders—​‘this is their way of life, their choice.’ ”129 Maliina Abelsen, former parliamentarian and the minister for gender equality, concurs by noting that violence is such a common occurrence in Greenlandic society that people have stopped reacting to it: “When you read about violence every day, you think that’s kind of, well, it’s not too bad.”130 This is a common public discourse, shrouded by ignorance and misunderstanding, which trivializes violence, “blames the victim, provides excuses for the perpetrator, and, in effect, allows large scope for violence with impunity.”131 Several participants in Sápmi and Greenland considered gendered upbringing to play a central role in the gendered attitudes and normalization of violence. Girls are raised to take responsibility while boys are “spoiled.” According to Nathanielsen, from an early age on, girls are raised to “be a team player, look out for your siblings, your family, your society” while boys are not taught the same way to take responsibility and “to do their part.”132 The different treatment of and set of expectations for boys and girls result in “an allegedly widespread practice of spoiling boys who learn not to take no for an answer.”133 Expected to behave modestly, women and girls are held responsible not only for their own but also male behavior.134



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Female modesty and chastity are regarded by many as Sámi traditional norms although parallels to Christian and Victorian values of femininity are rather obvious. Christianity has long played a central role in shaping Sámi cultural norms, including creating the taboo of female sexuality and proscription of talk about sex.135 In Scandinavia, missionary work that began as early as the eleventh century was a major strategy in colonizing the Sámi. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, intensified proselytizing initiatives sped up the elimination of cultural traditions, social practices, and belief systems. Since the mid-​1800s, Laestadianism, an evangelical, revivalist movement inside the Lutheran Church influential in the Northern parts of Scandinavia, has had a particularly strong effect in Sámi society.136 The tradition of Laestadian gatherings led by powerful laymen preachers was strong in the core Sámi regions until mid-​1970s. Women’s sexuality was particularly controlled and scrutinized through values of female chastity and dualistic notions of women as either good or evil. These views and values still deeply inform especially the older generation of Sámi people, including views regarding “traditional” upbringing and sexuality of girls. This manifests in cases where teenage girls and young women have been blamed for sexual abuse they experience because they do not follow the norms of “proper” female behavior, including “dressing properly” in order to not attract male attention.137 All this goes back to the question of norms and specifically, the origins and purpose of various sets of norms. Sámi participants in particular discussed the prohibition of talking about violence against women in terms of norms: the norm of peace within and between families and the Christian norm of proper female behavior. Although some might suggest that the norm of peace would be more aptly named as a conspiracy of silence, what is neglected in the discussion of norms is the vision and norm of nonviolence. Hunt remarks: Imagine if we had not lost the capacity to determine and enforce this jurisdictional power over our homelands and our bodies. If we started enforcing this now, I can tell you that there would be many chiefs, language speakers, cultural and political advocates who would lose their heads, because the version of resurgence we’ve been nurturing has allowed for cultural leaders to take up their roles on the “political” front-​lines even while violently preying on people at home.138 If there were a strong norm against violence against women (or violence in general), the fact that many Indigenous communities are small would provide protection through individual and collective responsibility to act when experiencing or witnessing violence. To be successful, however, creation of new norms must go hand in hand with restructuring institutions and relations therein. Maracle asserts: “Zero tolerance for violence is not a sufficient goal. The restoration of our original institutions of power, management, authority, choice, permission and jurisdiction is what nationhood is all about.”139 Even so, transforming general attitudes and forging new norms do play a role in eliminating violence against Indigenous women. However, this must happen bottom up, starting

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from grassroots initiatives and in a form of peer pressure among ordinary people rather than institutional campaigns, as the largely failed attempts by organizations and political institutions in Greenland demonstrate. Examples of such initiatives are discussed in the next section. Notwithstanding the importance of critically examining the tendencies and practices that normalize violence against women and sanction the norm of silence in Indigenous communities and holding Indigenous political institutions and leadership responsible for addressing these practices, we cannot ignore how the state and its institutions naturalize the structural conditions that lead to and enable gender violence. Dehumanizing Indigenous women through sustained negative racialized and gendered stereotypes has lead to a stark reality in which even extreme forms of violence against Indigenous women are normalized and commonly met with indifference and impunity. Blaming Indigenous men or Indigenous communities writ large for dysfunction and disrespect for women are phony tactics to conceal the role of the state in gender violence.140 Not surprisingly, a number of Indigenous women no longer “seek justice [through the state] because they know they will not get it.”141

Beyond the State? The state plays a significant role in constructing, reproducing, and reinforcing oppressive gender relations and gender regimes, including mechanisms of violence and other means of control. This “is because the state, in part through law, institutionalizes male power. If male power is systemic, it is the regime.”142 Moreover, this male power is deeply colonial and racial that specifically targets racialized communities.143 The settler colonial state and its institutionalized male power has systematically and systemically compromised Indigenous social, political, and legal institutions including kinship structures through “forced education at denominational residential schools, imposed male-​dominated political structures, gender discrimination in determining who is to be recognized as an ‘Indian,’ and the ongoing removal of First Nations children by child welfare authorities.”144 This has created circumstances in which Indigenous women have had to struggle on two fronts: against state-​imposed policies and legislation and against “the internal imprint of state-​enforced patriarchy on our men and on our political structures.”145 Because of the state complicity and settler colonialism rooted in the displacement of Indigenous peoples and gendered violence, a growing number of Indigenous women reject the state as the solution in addressing and ending gendered violence against Indigenous women. The idea of mobilizing the entire community and creating community-​based initiatives against gender violence has been long debated by Indigenous women and their organizations particularly in Canada, the United States, and Australia.146 As late Patricia Monture suggested, the state is “the invisible male perpetrator”147 that cannot be the



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solution for gender violence which has, inter alia, resulted in thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. While criticism of the state did not feature in conversations with Sámi and Greenlandic women—​in Sápmi, the state and its authorities were in fact considered necessary partners in eliminating violence, as noted by the president of the Sámi Parliament in Norway148—​ it was widely shared by participants in Canada. Robyn Bourgeois submits: “When we try to deal with something like violence, the state controls the terrain, the state tries to foreclose anything, and if we get too threatening the state shuts us down. So why go there? Why go back to that battle again and again?”149 Audrey Huntley is adamant that because the state is the root cause of violence, solutions cannot come from the perpetrator and instead, strategies and solutions need to be community-​based. For Huntley, “Looking to the state for solutions just has . . . always ended up increasing the violence.”150 As an example, she mentions the mandatory minimum sentences introduced by the Conservative government in 2012. As a result, Indigenous women are increasingly incarcerated for poverty-​related crimes, among others, and comprise third of the female prison population in Canada.151 Colleen Cardinal further argues that the state rhetoric of protecting victims by increased policing does the very opposite:  “Prisons are institutionalizing Indigenous people and have become the new residential school system. The government is going to war on Indigenous people using the police as their enforcers to serve and protect their oil, land, and resource assets.”152 The Canadian state has a long track record of controlling the discourse and depoliticizing gendered and racialized violence. Bourgeois maintains that the state has long defined and controlled the terms in which violence can be discussed. She notes how in the 1980s and 1990s, violence against women in general was neutralized into the discourse of family or domestic violence, obscuring the colonial origins and structures of the violence Indigenous women experience. As the result, Indigenous women are “pigeonholed” by the state discourse that repeatedly “tries to constrain what Aboriginal women say” and silences voices who discuss “the role of dominant systems of oppression in [producing] family violence.”153 The legal system of the colonial state has been considered particularly problematic in bringing justice due to its heteropatriarchal foundations.154 Relying on the police and criminal justice system for protection of Indigenous women and children has not only proven to be “a crapshoot,”155 but also often means an exposure for further abuse, violence, and victimization.156 Val Napoleon maintains: We know that the justice system doesn’t protect Indigenous women or the efforts to do so just are not enough. And we know that having increasing numbers of Indigenous men in jail doesn’t change anything. So, the whole thing has to be rethought. . . . I think that we have to deal with the violence in our families and in our communities and in a way that connects it to rebuilding citizenry for both men and women and transgendered.157

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As an example, the primer “Violence on the Land, Violence on our Bodies” seeks to shift the reliance on law and other external resources to “community-​based strategies and self-​determination for Indigenous peoples over their bodies, lands, and nations.”158 The message of community-​based strategies is simple: “Start looking at what we can do now; stop looking to the state to save us.”159 A commonly held view is that the entire community is needed in building healthy relationships, gaining empowerment, and developing joint strategies rather than merely focusing on violent behavior and aggressive individuals. Referring to the Indigenous context in Australia, Judy Atkinson argues:  “Restitution must be decided by the victim and the perpetrator, with support and encouragement from the community. Forms of conflict that facilitate such behavior must be dealt with within the community, so that the community itself begins to redefine its social control mechanisms.”160 As one of its initiatives, No More Silence has created a community database documenting premature and violent deaths of Indigenous women, 2SQ, trans, and gender-​nonconforming individuals. According to the website “It Starts with Us,” a collaboration of No More Silence and other organizations, “It’s time for community to build our own structures independent of government and institutional funding. The purpose of this database is to our honour our women and provide family members with a way to document their loved ones passing while asserting community control of our own record-​keeping.”161 There are a number of other community-​driven initiatives to address violence against women in Canada. Many are based on specific cultural teachings and traditions such as spirituality and connecting with the land and land-​based activities. For many Indigenous women and girls who have experienced violence, including sexual exploitation and trafficking, such programs not only fulfill their need to connect to their spirituality and culture (connection that some women never had), but also help understand why their background as Indigenous women renders them vulnerable in society.162 Other initiatives focus on traditional methods of dispute resolution and restorative justice initiatives that may include elders as advisors or mediators.163 Others still emerge out of an immediate need for safety and protection, such as informal women’s groups and shelters in private homes, as well as local safety patrols.164 Other examples include organizing anti-​violence marches within Indigenous communities,165 and men taking a pledge to stand against violence against Indigenous women and children such as the Moose Hide Campaign in British Columbia.166 In Greenland, a new approach of resolving conflicts has been considered based on the tradition of iverneq (drumsong), which would allow reincorporating offenders of domestic violence in society rather than further excluding them.167 Community-​driven initiatives addressing gender violence in Indigenous communities are noteworthy and admirable, not least because they are often run by volunteers on a shoe-​ string (or nonexistent) budget. While the motivating concerns for rejecting the state are understandable, it is, however, a double-​edged sword. First, there is a danger of reifying



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the very same masculinist nationalist discourse that male-​led Indigenous organizations employed against Indigenous women advocating for sex equality in their communities and elimination of sex discrimination in the Indian Act. This nationalist discourse, according to which “any appeal to an outside authority diminishes the autonomy of the community/​nation, imperiling the struggle for self-​determination and diminishing traditional culture and decision-​making processes,”168 discredited Indigenous women as co-​ opted, corrupted by white feminists. In the same way, a dogmatic stance against engaging the state in addressing violence against Indigenous women may create new exclusionary and hegemonic practices in which only the unproblematically “traditional” approach is valid. Brendan Hokowhitu puts it bluntly: Simply being Indigenous, or adhering to “traditional” cultural practices, or even resisting the neo-​colonial state does not naturalise a sovereign space located beyond the postcolonial complex. . . . Too often in Indigenous studies we fall into a coloniser/​colonised binary, which debilitates our ability to see the density of the postcolonial complex. Too often Indigenous studies scholars envisage Indigenous acts as inherently sovereign acts against an omnipresent hegemonic colonial state.169 Furthermore, by constructing solutions along the binaries of state versus community, we end up once again blaming Indigenous women. Like the male-​led Indigenous organizations blamed women for their corruption, co-​optation, assimilation, and breaking the ranks, women relying on and resorting to the state are blamed for their naivety, misplaced trust, and lack of critical consciousness. This is particularly cruel in the current circumstances of having few options in violent situations or conditions. Sarah Hunt notes, “given that we have generally not been nurturing options within Indigenous legal systems for defending our self-​determination at personal and family scales, Indigenous women have instead had little choice but to appeal to police, the government and the Canadian public to recognize that we are being slaughtered.”170 Second, restorative justice programs can be more damaging than healing when applied to cases involving violence against women. Drawing on her research on Navajo Peacemaking, Donna Coker posits that restorative justice processes have potential to be helpful for some women “but only if those processes meet five criteria: prioritize victim safety over batterer rehabilitation; offer material as well as social supports for victims; work as part of a coordinated community response; engage normative judgments that oppose gendered domination as well as violence; and do not make forgiveness a goal of the process.”171 Let alone met, in many cases these conditions are not even considered, resulting in revictimizing women.172 Other Indigenous scholars maintain that restorative justice is an inappropriate approach in cases of gender violence such as rape.173 As with any initiative or attempt to address gender violence, the role of personal boundaries is paramount. Although boundaries may have been fluid in the realm of precolonial diplomacy for some Indigenous peoples,174 that was not the case for

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all. Nuu-​Chah-​Nulth warrior, activist, and educator Chaw-​win-​is discusses how in Northwest coast Indigenous law, boundaries were strict and swiftly enforced particularly in matters of interpersonal conflict. A far cry from present-​day restorative justice initiatives, perpetrators of gender violence were severely disciplined because addressing violence and having serious consequences for perpetrators of violence was considered a priority.175 For example, the punishment for a rape by a community leader could involve beheading on a specific rock or getting tied between two trees.176 The lack of accountability that characterizes restorative justice initiatives dealing with sexual violence can further endanger the victim and the community at large, for instance, by not having enforcement mechanisms, not acknowledging the inflicted psychological harm nor addressing the underlying criminal behavior. The objective of restorative justice, at least in incidents of sexual violence, appears to be more focused on protecting the offender from “the white man’s system” than providing justice to the victim.177 Third, Wendy Brown reminds that “neither state power nor male dominance is unitary.”178 Thus “the question of increasing or decreasing the extent of state power is usually the wrong question” simply because the state is where the law is, and the law is “virtually everywhere.”179 The law and state policy are involved even in structuring intimate relations.180 According to Nedelsky, “the law and the state are so entangled in existing relations of inequality, in the unequal distribution of access to core values such as security, that deep transformation will have to exceed, but cannot bypass, the state.”181 Bourgeois notes how patriarchal state power has penetrated Indigenous communities: “I’m always really concerned about that, when people talk about self-​determination, how are you not going to replicate those same systems of oppression, how are we not going to implement patriarchy all over again, especially because it’s infiltrated our community so insidiously.”182 Critiques constructed around monoliths such as the state versus Indigenous peoples tend to produce pithy quotes while overlooking the complex realities on the ground which perpetuate and reproduce old and new forms of oppression.183 Drawing on Nedelsky, I therefore argue that the complex entanglement of the law and state in existing relations of domination means that transformation or restructuring those relations in Indigenous communities also cannot entirely bypass the state. I suggest that instead, the starting point of any analysis needs to acknowledge that the ubiquitous quality of the state and “its multiple dimensions make state power difficult to circumscribe and difficult to injure.”184 Rather than assuming a straightforward step outside the unitary state power and its ability to structure myriad relations, the more important questions include how to hold the state accountable and “what form state engagement should take.”185 For example, the relational analysis Nedelsky proposes “should always look beyond the immediate choices—​say mandatory arrest or not—​to the ways the whole structure of relations could be reshaped such that those choices are not necessary.”186 With regard to Indigenous communities, such restructuring of relations of violence and domination might mean, for instance, fostering and enabling the capacity and systems to prevent or respond to aggression and coercion at a local level. This could be



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as straightforward as having a network of neighbors and friends who can be called to assist and attend an incident, rather than calling the police or people intervening so that it would be “not okay to let someone beat up his wife on Saturday and go be at the council table on Monday.”187 If colonialism and dispossession of Indigenous lands and resources is premised on gender violence, it is obvious that the state is not going to eliminate the violence it depends on for its very existence. Nonetheless, rather than refusing engagement, the state as the creator of the historical and the ongoing political, socioeconomic, and cultural conditions for the violence (the “invisible male perpetrator” as suggested by Monture) must be held accountable while seeking to transform the conditions in Indigenous communities. That said, there is need for caution with the way in which the issue of the elimination of gendered violence as a fundamental aspect of Indigenous self-​determination is taken up and discussed by the state and Indigenous leadership. There is always a danger of co-​optation of neoliberal governance that turns critical analyses of Indigenous societies against those very communities, blaming either Indigenous leadership, Indigenous men, or Indigenous women and girls, while concealing the state’s own role in the structural factors creating, perpetrating, and contributing to violence.

Gender Violence as Self-​D etermination Issue For most participants in this study, gender violence as a self-​determination issue entails first and foremost taking responsibility individually and collectively to end violence and abusive behavior. Identifying gender-​based oppression is the responsibility of self-​ determining peoples “for whom the self fully includes women.”188 For many, collective self-​determination is inseparably linked to the question of responsibility. For Helena Omma, failure to take collective responsibility for violence and other difficult questions in Sámi society is a reflection of inability to take responsibility for self-​determination: “If we are not able to take responsibility for our society and engage with these questions, if we pass the responsibility of dealing with violence to mainstream society, we are clearly not able to take responsibility for our society. No question these two issues are connected.”189 Other Sámi women discussed collective responsibility in nearly identical terms to Omma, critical of the lack of individual and collective courage to put gender violence on the agenda:  “We have to dare to do it [address violence], we cannot wait that someone else will do it for us. We cannot wait for help from outside to move forward. The situation won’t change unless we talk about it.”190 A Sámi journalist asserted that self-​determination does not work without taking collective responsibility for the well-​being of all, even when it involves dealing with complex issues. Self-​determination cannot merely be a passive mechanism of receiving benefits such as state funding: “We must be able to also deal with difficult issues, take responsibility. The Sámi and Sámi society must themselves take responsibility for internal issues and for its own people.

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Otherwise self-​determination simply won’t work. You cannot only receive the benefits, otherwise it remains an empty balloon.”191 For Vars, the Sámi Parliaments have the primary responsibility to raise the issue in public: “If we at the Sámi Parliament don’t dare to address these issues, then how can we expect Sámi society in general dare to do it? So we must. One of our roles is to strengthen society which necessitates to discuss these issues.”192 Larsson strongly agreed: “The Sámi Parliament has an important role to raise questions and support those people who want to bring these issues up. But we the members of the Parliament also ourselves need to be aware of these issues.”193 One participant, however, held that due to internal divisions, infighting, and the resulting stagnation, the Swedish Sámi Parliament was not in a position to address such complex and difficult issues. In her view, the reaction among Sámi would be, “How can the Sámi Parliament solve my problems if it can’t solve its own?” She maintained that while violence against women definitely is a self-​determination issue, there should be a separate institution with skilled professional staff to address it. Nonetheless, as part of their mandates, Sámi political institutions need to prioritize violence against women as a political issue and end the silence on the problem.194 Almost identically, already twenty-​five years ago the authors of the Aboriginal justice inquiry of Manitoba report pointed out the need to identify violence against Indigenous women as a serious problem by Indigenous leadership: “We believe that there is a heavy responsibility on Aboriginal leaders to recognize the significance of the problem within their own communities. They must begin to recognize, as well, how much their silence and failure to act actually contribute to the problem.”195 Similar problems persist in many Indigenous communities. Discussing the tribal governments in the United States, Renya Ramirez suggests that the continued disregard of rampant gender violence and lack of development of necessary laws and policies is made possible by the consolidation of male power in tribal councils.196 According to a number of participants, an insistence on individual responsibility of leadership and political elite in particular cannot be overstated. At the same time, individual responsibility for gender-​based violence needs to be situated in a broader context that takes into account “all the factors that drive the choice for violence” and “structures of relations that demand violence or complicity in it.”197 This includes structures in society that demonstrate persistent moral and institutional commitment to uphold the norm of individual integrity and the legal rights to women’s bodily security and freedom from bodily harm. Individual and collective responsibility and accountability are inseparably intertwined, and therefore can be adequately and appropriately addressed only when done simultaneously. In Greenland, the discourse of violence against women as a self-​determination and governance issue is not well established. While the elimination of violence is part of the stated long-​term vision of the government, it is not recognized specifically as a self-​ government issue. The government’s strategy and action plan only notes that “there has



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been an increasing political focus on violence, abuse and sexual abuse in recent decades and improved legislation has provided social services, police, probation and justice system new opportunities to intervene.”198 Most participants agreed that violence against women is a self-​determination issue but did not quite know why it has not been established explicitly as such. Some pointed to the continued failure of the Government of Greenland to consider violence against women. One participant noted that on the rare occasion violence in general was on the agenda, it is “always tied up with everything else,” such as marginalization of large segment of the population with no education or with alcohol or substance abuse.199 Among the participating female Greenlandic parliamentarians, there was a unanimous agreement that high levels of violence prevents Greenlandic society from achieving its full potential and to fully implement collective self-​determination in the form of the Greenland Self-​Government Act. Hammond linked the two by suggesting that self-​ determination in Greenland must imply “breaking the cycle of social problems” and asserted that zero tolerance on violence is about self-​government. She saw violence as a weakness in society that needs to be turned into strength. She further pointed out: I think also that if we have a society with this level of violence, we will never achieve the goal we want as a people, as one people. It’s very important that we have everybody along with us. It’s very important for self-​government and self-​rule to have a population that is aware of the rights—​as a people, rights as a country, rights as an individual. That people are not tolerating any evil, and not tolerating any violence, is a self-​governance issue. And it’s an issue that has to be put highly on agenda if we are to get rid of neglect, if we are to get rid of social cycles based on violence in the home.200 It was also widely shared that the “self ” in self-​determination comprises of individual and collective selves and thus, self-​government fails without the right to and guarantees of individual and bodily integrity and freedom from violence. Like Hammond, Nathanielsen argued: “Self-​government requires every single person in Greenland; we cannot lose anyone to violence. Self-​determination is about freedom from violence and [from] fear of violence.”201 Others emphasized the significance of individuals having certain capacities to be able to contributing to the implementation of self-​government such as health, self-​ confidence, and equality: To make this process successful, I think it’s very, very, important that everyone feels they are a part of the process. . . . And to have personal resources, you have to have a healthy life, also mentally. . . . So we have to look inside our society and ask ourselves, “Do we succeed in making everyone feel worth, and [does] everyone [have] self-​confidence and self-​reliance enough, so we are all equal?” It’s very important to me. If not, it will only be for the few well-​educated people running this society.202

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Nevertheless, not everyone in Indigenous communities is ready or able to see gender violence as a self-​determination issue. There is a definitive gender fault line cutting through Indigenous leadership: while a number of female leaders recognize gender violence as inseparably linked to self-​determination and self-​government, male leaders typically regard gender violence as a social issue that, if not outright dismissed, is regarded as a low priority and as a result falls off the table. In Nathanielsen’s view, Greenlandic parliamentarians tend to approach the problem “in a very sedate . . .[and] politically correct manner so that the gender dimension is diminished.”203 She maintained: “We have a problem with openly saying we have a problem with our men hitting our women. We are trying to make it not a question of gender so much, as a question of we have this statistics, oh it’s bad, maybe we can talk to our children more about violence.”204 In Sápmi, it has been suggested that the refusal of Sámi political institutions and leadership to address violence against women is at least in part explained by the process of nation-​building. When accounts of sexual abuse of young women first surfaced in the Sámi town of Kautokeino in the late 1980s,205 the town had a flag-​bearing role in rebuilding Sámi society, which included the establishment of key institutions such as the Sámi Parliament. This contributed to more stringent demands for loyalty and unity, not least because one of the lessons learned by Sámi leaders was that in order to get state approval and recognition, the Sámi society has to speak with one, strong voice. Public airing of incidents of sexual abuse was perceived as acts of disloyalty and a threat to the development of Sámi society and advancement of Sámi rights. Sámi organizations had also long experienced negative coverage in Norwegian media, which often conflated individual criminal offences with the entire Sámi population.206 Hence, a fear of reviving and further reinforcing negative stereotypes played a role in the widespread inclination to conceal and ignore gender violence and in the Kautokeino case, violence against young Sámi women.207 Yet such suppression was highly gendered. In Sápmi, the most common and pervasive negative stereotypes in the media have been about Sámi men, who have been portrayed as stupid, primitive, and dirty drunks. Thus the fear of reviving negative stereotypes is essentially a fear of casting Sámi men in a detrimental light, and it is Sámi men rather than the female victims of violence who need to be protected. It is the classic case of sidelining women’s concerns for more pressing issues, as observed by Elena Marchetti: “The concerns of racialized women are put aside for the sake of saving racialized men from state-​inflicted forms of violence and thereby saving the marginalized group as a whole.”208 Whereas the indirect assault of Sámi men and masculinity through negative popular representations is considered an assault on the Sámi people, the direct assault on individual Sámi women is a private concern that cannot be addressed in the public.209 Therefore, “Violence as a political issue is secondary to the call for self-​government and subordinated to the presumed interest of the collective.”210 In such a discourse, Sámi men are seen as analogous to the nation as well as the nation-​ building process and thus, their gender is erased and their negative stereotypes become representative of the entire Sámi nation.



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In Canada, violence against Indigenous women has been for quite some time on the social issues agenda, but in typically narrow terms of domestic or family violence. Political institutions and organizations have decidedly stayed away from too radical a stance as it could jeopardize their funding. According to Huntley, up until very recently linking violence against Indigenous women to sovereignty, reclaiming the land and decolonization—​the position of No More Silence (NMS) since the outset—​has been too much for many people and as the result, other Indigenous organizations did not want to be associated with NMS. In her view, the problem with other Indigenous organizations and groups working against violence against Indigenous women is that they “were not framing their advocacy in terms of sovereignty—​it’s been more just about the marginalization of that community and poverty and a politics of recognition or inclusion.”211 For example, when NMS asserted sovereignty by practicing ceremony without requesting permission from the police initially alienated Indigenous community support:  “We strangely had more support from allies than our own community at the beginning.”212 The reluctance and hesitation of placing violence against Indigenous women at the center of self-​determination by Indigenous male leadership also has to do with the complicity of many leaders in that very gender violence they are expected to address. In gen­ eral, they have failed to ensure the basic safety and security of Indigenous women and in some cases, are implicated in gender violence themselves. There are Indigenous male leaders who abuse their positions of power and authority and engage in acts of physical and sexual coercion and violence, in most cases with impunity.213 Lee Maracle questions the ability of such leaders making appropriate and right decisions about self-​determination and the future of Indigenous communities: “What is the effect of their own violent behavior on decision-​making around women and children? How can we trust leaders who consider women and children secondary issues to make proper decisions regarding the visions of future?”214 Since colonization, the production of hegemonic Indigenous male leadership has often taken place at the expense of women leaders and to the exclusion of alternative forms of Indigenous masculinity.215 Essentially, the complicity implies colonized men adopting the ideology of their male colonizers and joining forces to further oppress colonized women.216 In collaboration with non-​Indigenous men, Indigenous men have been complicit in establishing the structures of patriarchy in Indigenous societies. Further, Leanne Simpson argues, Indigenous men who remain silent about ongoing gender violence collude with the goal of settler colonial, patriarchal state to destroy Indigenous nationhood. In her view, such Indigenous men are no less than “traitors to both Indigenous nationhood and resurgence.”217 Taking gendered violence seriously as a self-​determination issue involves necessarily a transformation and restructuring of all relations that violate the integrity of and create harm for Indigenous women. These relations of domination range from institutions of the state to interpersonal relations of gender, as well as oppressive familial and kinship relations that either blame women for violence or keep women in violent relationships

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by downplaying, trivializing, and dismissing the violence in women’s lives. Gendered relations of domination also include the relationships women have with the state and its institutions such as the police, courts, and health and welfare agencies. Self-​determination for Indigenous women entails restructuring all these gender relations but ultimately, it also necessitates eliminating a specific form of gender that Nedelsky calls “the intertwining of masculinity and violence.”218 This form of gender, promulgated by the media and sanctioned by society, is also supported by the state “through police behavior that amounts to failure to protect, to prosecutorial decisions, to the absence of public funding for shelters, to welfare policies that drive women back into battering relationships, and so on.”219 For racialized Indigenous women and 2SQ people, this form of gender and the state’s complicity in creating, maintaining, and reproducing it is compounded by historical and ongoing relations of colonialism and racism. For Indigenous women, it may mean that they decide not to revictimize themselves by calling the police and pressing charges which in many cases only results further violence informed by the same specific form of gender that they seek to escape. Therefore, in order to eliminate violence against Indigenous women and 2SQ people as well as to restructure the relations of domination that prevent Indigenous peoples from fully implementing and exercising their self-​ determining authority, the specific form of gender predicated on the interconnecting of masculinity and violence must be eliminated. Gender violence is a relation and structure of domination that not only excludes Indigenous women as a group from participating in the multitude of processes of advancing collective self-​determination in their communities, nations, and societies but more fundamentally, ultimately prevents Indigenous communities, nations, and societies from achieving self-​determination, whatever form it may take on the ground. Self-​determination, conceptualized as a fundamental value premised on the norm of integrity and achieved through consent has potential to restructure relations of violence and domination. The potential lies in the twofold scope of the norm of integrity and in restructuring what is considered politically significant. Restructuring of relations of domination requires dismantling the very hierarchy embedded in conventional conceptions of self-​determination that constructs it narrowly in terms of rights and in terms of relations with the state. As argued in this chapter and throughout the book, for Indigenous self-​determination, rights, and relations with the state is not the only site of political significance. The dismantling of the political division between macro/​micro levels of resurgence and recognition requires a simultaneous “looking inward toward the intimate spaces of our homes and communities as well as outward toward our engagement with systems of settler colonial power” because, as Hunt argues, these sites “are not separate, but unfold in the same spaces, within our territories, in relation to the same people, upon the same bodies.”220 If we took the task of restructuring relations of violence as seriously as we take the task of restructuring relations of domination with the state, we would potentially be further along in implementing Indigenous self-​determination:



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So what would happen if every time an Indigenous woman had her personal boundaries crossed without consent, we were moved to act in the same way as we’ve seen to the threat of a pipeline in our territories—​the nonconsentual crossing of territorial boundaries? . . . We would bring her food and song and story, we would truly protect her self-​determination and to defend the boundaries of her body which had been trespassed and violated.221 Although time-​consuming, such a practice “would certainly show our dedication to take care of one another, as we hope to take care of our lands and responsibilities to our ancestors.”222 Notably, it would uphold the norm of individual, bodily integrity. Once we begin to enact self-​determination as a fundamental value premised on the twofold norm of integrity, restructuring of relations of domination becomes a possibility. Indigenous self-​determination becomes a collective process of imagining an alternative that “makes space for each other in a respectful way.”223 It also means reconsidering the usual approaches to “social problems” such as simplistic information campaigns along the lines “Does your aunt sell drugs?” Instead, suggests Sylvia Plain, these could be reconsidered as ideas: “Like let’s build canoes. Let’s have medicine camps. Let’s put our money into something that’s proactive.”224 Obviously, restructuring relations of domination also necessitates resources. As an inspiring example of a place that turned itself around, Napoleon mentions the city of Medellín in Colombia, formerly known as one of the most dangerous and violent places in the world. With a concerted effort by local leaders and ordinary people, a convergence of creating a new imaginary and redirecting resources to the most impoverished and marginalized neighborhoods in the form of infrastructure, transit, libraries, schools, and art projects, the city was transformed. Napoleon insists the same can be done elsewhere, including Indigenous communities in Canada. For that to happen, however, “maybe we have to get over our inept hopelessness about it or we don’t really believe we can change it. . . . I think that it was to creating a new imaginary that people began to see the possibilities.”225 It also requires examining certain basic assumptions and challenging what Napoleon calls “our lazy way of thinking” such as that violence is a byproduct of something else that will vanish once the root cause is addressed.226 There is a pressing need for resources to provide adequate and much-​needed services to the victims of violence, including shelters and other support mechanisms such as counseling and therapy, detox and treatment facilities, and culturally appropriate and Indigenous language social services, including child welfare.227 In all three regions all participants agreed that resources directed at violence prevention initiatives are well below bar; another indication of the failure to prioritize the problem. Having said that, there is an equally pressing need for new approaches and thinking that goes beyond band-​ aid solutions to consider comprehensive strategies to actually ending violence against Indigenous women and girls.

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As an example, Indigenous women need real homes, not just shelters. Issues of poverty and discrimination; institutionalization of patriarchy as part of Indigenous people’s values, practices, and attitudes; and continued state coercion and structural violence (that also manifests as incidents of interpersonal physical and sexual violence by, for example, members of the police force) are among the urgent relations of domination that must be addressed and restructured if gender violence is to stop. Equally importantly, these issues need to be constructed as integral part of the self-​determination struggle. As some participants put it, it is essentially a question of how we define ourselves as a people. Self-​determination as the struggle for the integrity of land is only half of the battle and will never be won if the other half, individual integrity, is not recognized as the missing part of the puzzle—​and the key to understanding how colonial practices have, throughout history, displaced, dispossessed, and subjugated Indigenous peoples. In the end, upholding the both aspects of the norm of integrity is the only way to create new spaces and imaginaries of Indigenous self-​determination beyond state definitions and constructions.

Dispossession Revisited Self-​determination and gendered violence are among the most important and pressing issues for Indigenous women worldwide. Yet these two questions are typically considered separately, if not diametrically opposed. As this chapter has demonstrated, existing Indigenous self-​government institutions in Scandinavia, Greenland, and Canada have done little beyond rhetoric to address violence against women. They also fail to see gender violence as a self-​determination issue. Instead, violence against Indigenous women is a social issue, or a criminal concern of secondary importance to be dealt in different arenas, by different people. The inability or refusal to consider violence against women as a self-​determination has its roots, in part, the private-​public dichotomy: issues regarded as public have political significance, while concerns considered belonging to the private sphere are politically insignificant and thus, less important. For Indigenous political organizations examined in this chapter, gender violence has little to do with violence against Indigenous territories and the ongoing dispossession of Indigenous lands. If a concern is worthy of attention at all, violence against women is typically explained by these institutions through individual and interpersonal factors such as alcohol abuse or mental problems and the theory of individual “bad apples.” Suggested solutions include psychological approaches such as counseling, anger management, and awareness raising, while the gendered nature of the violence is commonly downplayed or ignored. Yet as scholars have pointed out, gender violence is far too ubiquitous to be viewed as pathological or a mental health issue. The problems of gender-​neutral approaches have been detailed by feminist scholars and they include obscuring and concealing the power relations and dynamics at play in



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“domestic violence.” The obfuscation has direct, concrete effects on women’s lives when the resulting solutions are limited, inappropriate, and misconceived and when women are not considered legitimate victims. Other political consequences include cutbacks on essential services and the repeal of relevant policies. Gender is a critical factor also in understanding other social and structural problems surrounding violence such as poverty, housing, and education. The failure of the political institutions to prioritize violence and address it as an integral question of self-​determination reinforces community dynamics in which violence is silenced and condoned. Lack of leadership, combined with obstacles related to the small size of the community such as a lack of privacy, fear of ostracism, intimidation, and humiliation through gossip make it difficult to seek or receive help. Instead, victims are commonly confronted with disbelief, anger, and family denial or betrayal.228 By decoupling gender violence from self-​determination, Indigenous self-​government institutions are colluding with the state and its bodies that naturalize the structural conditions (poverty, marginalization, child welfare and other policies, lack of adequate housing and educational opportunities) that make violence possible while framing the problem as “domestic violence” to the point that state violence, including colonialism, is invisible. This is particularly the case in Scandinavia and Greenland, where there is very little understanding or discussion of structural violence by the state, including how colonialism has played a role not only producing violence historically but through its ongoing role as a perpetrator. In Canada, violence against Indigenous women is much more readily understood as part of larger structural and systemic oppression by the state. Colonialism through state laws, policies, and the justice system has eroded the status of Indigenous women and created a system that makes them vulnerable to various forms of violence and aggression. Elle-​Maija Tailfeathers aptly notes that “people need to understand that being an Indigenous woman means that you’re living violence every day, whether that’s systemic violence or actual physical violence.”229 Even if an Indigenous woman is not beaten or raped, she lives in a context of structural violence circumscribed by colonial, patriarchal state power predicated on the elimination of Indigenous peoples through dispossession of their lands and resources. If she takes a stand to protect the integrity of those lands, she can be almost certain that her individual, bodily integrity is on line as well. Indigenous women are clear that the state is not the savior when it comes to gender violence. For some, it cannot even be a part of the answer. Thus, many Indigenous women, and their networks and organizations have taken an unequivocal turn to the community. There already is a host of grassroots, community-​led initiatives addressing and seeking to end gender violence. These are prime examples of self-​determination on the ground. They are de facto precedents in exercising self-​determination premised by the elimination of gender violence, thus something Indigenous self-​government institutions such as those examined here ought to take a closer look at.

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Yet it is not only Indigenous political institutions that have failed to consider gender violence (or the euphemized “social issues”) as an indivisible aspect of self-​determination. The opposition is equally perpetuated by Indigenous self-​determination scholarship in all disciplines, evident in discursive practices such as conferences and edited publications that treat land and resource rights as oppositional to or unconnected from “social issues.” Across the board, there is a serious need to reconsider and restructure the self-​ determination scholarship that neglects gender violence. There is an equal need to reconsider the gender violence advocacy, activism, and scholarship that shy away from sovereignty and self-​determination. In essence, a fundamental shift is needed to stop false, misleading, and counterproductive categorization between social (gender and violence) and political (self-​determination and land rights) issues. Simpson bluntly states, “ ‘social issues’ are not social. They are political. They are a direct result of state violence in the form of settler colonialism that maintains and accelerates dispossession.”230 The fact that Indigenous women insist on calling out colonial violence in its various manifestations cannot be interpreted as a betrayal of self-​determination claims or co-​ optation into colonial discourse. Quite the contrary, those questioning Indigenous women calling out violence should be considered dishonest in the struggle of self-​determination. Those who fail to recognize how exposing Indigenous women’s dispossession from their self-​determination is imperative to Indigenous nation-​building are colluding with the heteropatriarchal, colonial discourse that has naturalized that very dispossession. In the name of Indigenous self-​determination, rather than accusing Indigenous women of selling out, Indigenous male establishment and political institutions should adopt an Indigenous feminist understanding of the interlocking structures of oppression that prevent the realization of self-​determination in its fullest. It is not Indigenous women who are drawing lines between Indigenous rights and women’s rights. Indigenous women are putting forward conceptions and visions of Indigenous self-​determination within an entirely different paradigm than one informed by heteropatriarchal colonial law embedded in structural violence. As the concluding chapter argues, there is no Indigenous self-​ determination without gender justice.

6 Indigenous Gender Justice as Restructuring Relations

Indigenous self-​d etermination is about restructuring relations of domination. Frequently framed as a quest and vision for justice and freedom, Indigenous self-​ determination typically has focused on gaining equal standing with other peoples. As Indigenous feminist scholars have argued and my research has demonstrated, the quest of Indigenous self-​determination for justice and freedom must include gender justice. The imposition of colonial structures, including those of governance, have not only transformed gender relations in Indigenous communities but also instituted gender regimes in contemporary Indigenous political organizations comparable to those found in Western political structures. Therefore, failing to incorporate an analysis of gender into the struggles and exercise of Indigenous self-​determination will effectively perpetuate and replicate the logics of settler colonialism and heteropatriarchy in the structures and practices that are put in place in the name of Indigenous governance. Without interrogating gender and gender regimes of existing political organizations, Indigenous self-​determination (or sovereignty) will be a smokescreen for upholding the status quo and the subordination of groups and individuals whose interests and concerns do not correspond with the established agendas. In this book, I have sought to answer the question posed by Val Napoleon in the epigraph of the book’s introduction: “Why is it so difficult to write and speak as an Indigenous woman, explicitly from an Indigenous woman’s experience, about the broader political issues of self-​determination, Indigenous legal orders and law, self-​government, or aboriginal rights?”1 As the chapters have shown, there are a number of interrelated reasons, all of which, I contend, have to do with the relations of domination. Major reasons include the way in which Indigenous self-​determination has been limited in the political and legal discourse to a relation with the state; erasure of Indigenous political and social orders and concomitant loss of political authority of women; failure to consider individual 217

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integrity as an integral aspect of Indigenous self-​determination; policies and legislation that have either explicitly or implicitly excluded or marginalized women from political bodies and decision-​making; marginalization that was internalized by Indigenous organizations; heteronormative patriarchal norms (whether of Victorian or Christian origin) in representing Indigenous women as inferior, deviation, or sexual prey; gender regimes of political institutions (including Indigenous ones) that remain largely unchanged by increased female participation; and finally, separation of “soft women’s issues” from “hard” (and thus more important and pressing) political issues of Indigenous self-​determination, self-​government, and rights. In short, there is a lot stacked against Indigenous women and their experiences to be heard, not to mention be taken seriously. Sarah Hunt’s quote from the previous chapter speaks volumes about the complicity of many Indigenous leaders in the relations of domination that, as argued in this book, stand in the way of implementing and exercising Indigenous self-​determination. As Indigenous feminist analysis and activism has suggested and successfully demonstrated, colonialism stripped Indigenous peoples of their ability to determine and enforce jurisdiction and authority not only over their homelands, but also their bodies. Hunt trenchantly points out that if Indigenous peoples started exercising this authority today, a lot of Indigenous political and cultural leaders would be worried, given how they have been serving on the frontlines of the Indigenous struggle while “violently preying on people at home.”2 Hunt’s argument hinges on the double standards of consent, a point I return to here. Drawing on the interview material, I have theorized Indigenous self-​determination as a foundational value; a shared articulation of what a group considers indispensable for their well-​being as individuals and as a people, and a principle that guides Indigenous peoples’ lives, actions, choices, and decisions both collectively and individually. As a foundational value, self-​determination is informed by the norm of integrity which, through its two central forms of individual integrity and the integrity of the land, seeks to restructure relations of domination ranging from the colonial state to interpersonal relations. Individual integrity consists not only of upholding one’s values and moral principles in daily life, but as importantly, of others respecting one’s bodily integrity. Understood as a value, self-​determination sheds light to an array of relations of domination beyond the state. Indigenous women who participated in the study expressed clearly that the attainment of self-​determination necessitates the restructuring of all relations of domination: subordination by the settler state; oppression including gender discrimination, violence, and the lack of access to resources (including resources and support for the well-​being of children and for teaching Indigenous children their language, culture and heritage), or to meaningful decision-​making and participation. In this concluding chapter, I  return to the idea of self-​determination as a foundational value and explore it in relation to Indigenous gender justice. I  argue that there is no Indigenous self-​determination without Indigenous gender justice.3 I  propose an approach of Indigenous gender justice based on key issues and concerns raised and discussed by the research participants in Canada, Greenland, and Sápmi, all of whom



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were Indigenous and the great majority Indigenous women. To some extent, there is an overlap of concerns and priorities with non-​Indigenous feminist considerations of gender justice, but there are also a host of issues that standard gender justice theories overlook. My theoretical starting point is Nancy Fraser’s three-​dimensional theory of gender justice based on distribution, recognition, and representation, which I build upon by drawing from my interview data. I focus on three issues that Indigenous women considered most pressing with regard to the quest for self-​determination:  the welfare of children, violence against women, and the legitimacy of Indigenous political systems vis-​à-​vis existing self-​government institutions.4 In addition to the three pressing concerns, I address the question of Indigenous women’s rights as part of Indigenous gender justice. Even though rights (Indigenous or women’s rights) were not extensively considered by participants in any region, I think we cannot discuss Indigenous gender justice without addressing the seemingly thorny issue of Indigenous women’s rights, which often have been construed as standing in the way of Indigenous self-​determination. I begin this chapter with a brief overview of the conception of gender justice and how it has been discussed in Indigenous scholarship (which is scant, to say the least). The idea of gender justice is typically discussed in terms of gender discrimination in the justice system or legal orders shaping women’s lives, rights, and prospects. Gender justice is also a vague term that is often used synonymously with “gender equality,” “gender equity,” “women’s empowerment,” and “women’s rights.”5 It has been suggested that in recent years, a gender justice approach (both as a process and goal) has emerged to address the shortcomings of gender mainstreaming and gender equality approaches in communicating and providing redress for gender injustices. Yet there is no agreement on the meaning, intended goals, or outcomes of gender justice. It is a term that consists of considerations of agency, autonomy, rights, and capabilities, debates on democratization, citizenship, constitutionalism, and access to justice.6 One of the most established conceptions of gender justice is found in the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which establishes gender justice as the absence of gender-​based discrimination. As an international human rights treaty, CEDAW stipulates universal principles of gender justice that are to be applied as uniformly and impartially as possible. In the Convention, “discrimination against women” entails “any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex” which diminishes or disallows the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms by women on an equal footing with men (Article 1). Specifically, CEDAW considers reproductive rights of women among the major concerns, and thus establishes a link between discrimination and women’s reproductive role. Article 5 calls for “a proper understanding of maternity as a social function,” while provisions for protecting maternity and interests of children are incorporated in a number of other articles. As discussed in ­chapter 1, rights are important and necessary tools for fighting injustice globally and for establishing minimum standards for the freedom, dignity, and well-​being

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of various disadvantaged groups. Securing rights for such groups and individuals is a paramount political goal. Yet in order to be meaningful, rights must have efficacy on the ground, and herein lies the problem recognized by many. Onora O’Neill notes:  “The rhetoric of rights is not only deceptively easy to promulgate, but deeply evasive.”7 She does not dismiss the importance of rights; rather, her concern is “that talking as if rights were the core of justice, and rights for women the core of justice for women, is a lazy way of talking and of thinking, which systematically obscures what we would most need to think about and to do if we were to take rights seriously.”8 Some Indigenous feminists and others suggest that Indigenous cultures offer models for gender justice.9 Others maintain that affording primacy to culture, tradition, or customary law disadvantages Indigenous women and that expanding autonomy or self-​determination in Indigenous communities does not in itself guarantee justice for Indigenous women. For quite some time, Indigenous women have been confronted with the dual task of defending their societies and cultures against the state and questioning essentialist and static perceptions of culture and tradition.10 Already twenty years ago, Emma LaRocque incisively observed: As [Indigenous] women we must be circumspect in our recall of tradition. We must ask ourselves whether and to what extent tradition is liberating to us as women. We must ask ourselves wherein lies (lie) our source(s) of empowerment. We know enough about human history that we cannot assume that all Aboriginal traditions universally respected and honoured women. (And is “respect” and “honour” all that we can ask for?)11 More recently, Indigenous feminist scholarship has demonstrated how Indigenous communities can, in the name of sovereignty and tradition, replicate and perpetuate heteropatriarchal neocolonial agendas and practices instead of decolonization. The separation of Indigenous decolonization and self-​determination projects from gender justice is a common phenomenon, contributing to a continued lack of understanding of colonialism as a fundamentally gendered process. Not all, however, are interested in justice. For some Indigenous scholars it is a Western concept premised on and co-​opted by settler colonialism. Justice is frequently corrupted by the state through its justice system and also evident, for example, in the Canadian comprehensive land claims/​modern treaty process that professes to be righting wrongs but in reality is “a way of terminating Indigenous rights and bringing legal certainty to land conflicts.”12 I agree, but at the same time point out that the same could be said about most concepts seeking transformation or liberation. Similar arguments have been made about human rights discourse being co-​opted by the state against those whom it claims to protect,13 and, while true, it does not mean we should stop considering human rights (see the discussion about rights in c­ hapter 1). I am not particularly interested in justice as framed by settler colonial logics either, but I think that rather than rejecting justice, we



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need to reframe and rearticulate it to demonstrate that without Indigenous gender justice, there is no Indigenous self-​determination. Heeding O’Neill’s advice, this concluding chapter shows that justice is not only about rights, and gender justice is not only about women’s rights. If anything, rights are the foundation that Indigenous women should be able to take for granted, not (or perhaps more correctly, no longer) be forced to argue for their justification. Indigenous justice comprises of the capacity of being in control of one’s life, decolonization, and reparations, among others. Patricia Monture suggests, “To have justice means to be in control in one’s life and relations in terms of either individuals or communities.”14 In the context of settler colonial dispossession, justice for Simpson implies “the return of land, the regeneration of Indigenous political, educational, and knowledge systems, the rehabilitation of the natural world, and the destruction of white supremacy, capitalism and heteropatriarchy.”15 In the context of restructuring all relations of domination, I suggest that Indigenous gender justice means, first and foremost, protecting and upholding Indigenous children, eliminating gendered violence, and rematriating Indigenous governance. It also means addressing distributive justice issues of dispossession and subordination by settler colonialism and its key structural component, heteropatriarchy.

Gender Justice as Redistribution, Recognition, and Representation Dissatisfied with unidimensional theories of gender justice, Nancy Fraser initially developed a two-​dimensional approach that comprises of both distribution and recognition.16 Later, Fraser augmented her theory with a third dimension, that of representation, which for her is not merely about equal political participation in existing political communities. In her approach, representation implies “reframing disputes about justice that cannot be properly contained within established polities.”17 All three dimensions must be addressed in tandem to successfully ensure gender justice. Fraser calls justice framed by settler colonial logics such as the Keynesian-​Westphalian frame “a powerful instrument of injustice.” The Keynesian-​Westphalian frame effectively denies justice from various marginalized groups who are excluded from political claims-​ making, and “from confronting the forces that oppresses them.”18 This denial of justice through exclusion represents a metalevel form of injustice. Fraser calls this metalevel as “misframing,” which is an outcome of misrepresentation. Misframing created by forces of neoliberalism and economic globalization, including “powerful predator states, foreign investors and creditors, international currency speculators, and transnational corporations, but also the background structures that enable them to operate with impunity—​especially the governance structures of the global economy and the interstate system.”19

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From the distributive perspective, gender injustice is rooted in the economic structure of society and gendered division of labor, which typically assigns women to unpaid reproductive and domestic labor as well as the care work. In the context of transnationalized production, struggles for gender justice from a redistributive perspective increasingly reject the assumption of national economies created by the Keynesian-​Westphalian frame. Instead, gender justice struggles target economic policies of regional and global governance structures such as the European Union and the World Trade Organization.20 From the recognition perspective, gender injustice stems from gender hierarchy and androcentrism as “an institutionalized pattern of cultural value that privileges traits associated with masculinity, while devaluing everything coded as ‘feminine,’ paradigmatically—​but not only—​women.”21 Institutionalized, androcentric values are present not only in law, policy, and institutional practices (e.g., healthcare, policing), but permeate and inform popular culture and everyday interaction. Fraser argues that as the result of these values, women suffer gender-​specific forms of status subordination, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence; trivializing, objectifying, and demeaning stereotypical depictions in the media; disparagement in everyday life; exclusion or marginalization in public spheres and deliberative bodies; and denial of the full rights and equal protections of citizenship. These harms are injustices of misrecognition.22 Fraser’s concept of recognition differs from both recognition commonly understood in relation to the identity politics discussed in feminist and other scholarship, and the politics of state recognition discussed in the Indigenous context.23 For Fraser, recognition is a matter of social status rather than identity: “What requires recognition is not feminine identity but the status of women as full partners in social interaction. Misrecognition, accordingly, does not mean the depreciation and deformation of femininity. Rather, it means social subordination in the sense of being prevented from participating as a peer in social life.”24 Increasingly, gender justice struggles for recognition surpass the Keynesian-​ Westphalian state and focus rather on reforming international law.25 Various forms of gender-​specific social subordination experienced by Indigenous women were examined in the previous chapters. Analogously to Fraser’s argument, a number of participants, especially Indigenous women in Canada, emphasized that the precondition of Indigenous self-​determination is the recognition of the status of Indigenous women as full members of their communities and nations. The conception of gender justice Fraser proposes consists of two minimum conditions:  just distribution of material resources (the objective condition) and equal respect and opportunity (the intersubjective condition). It also encompasses distributive justice that addresses poverty, exploitation, inequality, and class differentials. As evident in the participant interviews, transforming (re)distribution, recognition, and representation as conceptualized by Fraser (i.e., not in their conventional sense) are key issues for



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Indigenous women. The participants expressed their strong concern, albeit in different ways, for distributive justice issues of poverty, exploitation, and material inequalities of Indigenous peoples in general and Indigenous women in particular, as well as for their subordination by settler colonialism and its key structural component, heteropatriarchy. What is also significant in Fraser’s theory of gender justice is the central point of the need to challenge and move beyond the Keynesian-​Westphalian frame, which effectively misframes and thus excludes a number of groups from justice premised on established polities. This corresponds with Indigenous women’s conceptions of Indigenous self-​ determination transcending the nation-​state formation and Westphalian sovereignty. It also correlates with my theory of Indigenous self-​determination as a foundational value that seeks to restructure all relations of domination rather than focusing exclusively on Indigenous–​state relations. Therefore, Fraser’s theory of gender justice serves well as a foundation for a discussion of Indigenous gender justice. Yet Fraser’s theory, as white feminist theories often do, fall short on interrogating colonialism and racism.

Protecting and Upholding Children At the 2014 International Studies Association Annual Meeting, Wanda Nanibush, one of the research participants and an Idle No More organizer, made a passionate case for the centrality of Indigenous children, arguing that “children and their well-​being is the first and last question.”26 Later, Nanibush elaborated her point:  ideally in Indigenous governance systems, children would be not only at the center of the community life but ultimately, of all political decision-​making so that “all decisions made are actually about the child.”27 At another conference, one of the founders of Idle No More, Tanya Kappo, stated in a similar vein that the work she does (organizing and community engagement) is “for the kids so that they have it differently.”28 Instead of neglecting the needs, concerns, and views of young people (which was considered by several participants an obstacle in implementing self-​determination and a common shortcoming of existing Indigenous political bodies), both Nanibush and Kappo view the centrality of children in all decision-​ making as essential for the future survival of Indigenous communities. For them, a key element of the restoration of traditional governance would be the significance and role of children in decision-​making. Love of and concern for children and future generations are frequently mentioned by many other Indigenous women as one of the main reasons for taking a stand and taking to the streets.29 In Canada, this takes place in the context of a long-​standing and growing crisis of Indigenous children in foster care. In c­hapter  1, I  discussed the 2016 Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision pertaining to Indigenous children in foster care spearheaded by Cindy Blackstock and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. I argued that the current crisis would not be addressed by merely amending the funding formulas at issue in the Human Rights Tribunal case. While amending the funding formulas might be needed as a first-​aid

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measure, a range of other issues and relations of domination must be addressed, including settler colonial relations of dispossession and heteropatriarchal gender relations that often displace Indigenous women, and consequently their children, from their communities. Rather than tinkering with existing policies, the foundational ideology and settler colonial logic of elimination behind Indigenous child welfare policies must be addressed and restructured. According to Jaye Simpson, an Indigenous youth with first-​hand experience of the system, the foster care system is not merely a side effect of a broken system. Rather, “the foster care system is working the way it’s designed: as a machine to destroy Indigeneity.”30 Child welfare issues must also be paid urgent attention at the level of Indigenous communities. If we do not prioritize the well-​being of children and ensure that they are able to stay in their communities, there will be no need for Indigenous rights in the future. Kundoqk ( Jacquie Green) points out: We need to stop and then look at how our community needs are being met. How are the children being taken care of ? Because we can be doing all of this work, but if we’re not paying attention to children and community, we’re not going to have children to take on those rights that we fought for. So, women are doing that. They’re kind of like coming forward and saying it’s not just about politics. It’s about the people, and it’s about the community.31 Several participants regarded the raising of the next generation as a way of enacting one’s individual responsibility for contributing to the collective project of Indigenous self-​determination (see c­ hapter 1). In addition, Greenlandic women in particular (and to a lesser extent Sámi women) were concerned about the double standards of gendered upbringing that reproduces and perpetuates stereotypical gender roles and ideologies of female subordination, including teaching girls to take responsibility at an early age while boys are getting off the hook. In extreme cases, this can lead to circumstances where women are held responsible for the violence they experience. Considering how the welfare of children—​that is, the imperative of protecting, providing safety for, and upholding children—​occupies the top of the list of concerns for many Indigenous women, it is a travesty that so-​called failure-​to-​protect child welfare policies and practices in place in several provinces in Canada disproportionately target Indigenous women. In an article aptly subtitled “Can Indigenous Children in Canada Be Safe If Their Mothers Aren’t?” Shelly Johnson establishes a direct link between the welfare of children and the safety of women: when mothers are not safe, their children are usually not safe either. Indigenous children and their mothers are safe neither from interpersonal male violence nor structural violence of the state.32 Yet the child welfare system holds Indigenous women unduly accountable not only to deal with violence and abuse they face, but also to protect and care for their children, regardless whether they “may not have access to adequate law enforcement protection,



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timely criminal justice measures that effectively protect women and children, or culturally sensitive resources to keep themselves or their children safe.”33 Both women and their children are revictimized and violated by the institutions that are supposed to help and support them, ranging from the welfare system to the police and criminal justice systems.34 Attempting to protect their children in child welfare disputes, Indigenous women may even end up with criminal records.35 According to Fraser, gender injustice is in part rooted in systemic, institutionalized gender hierarchy and androcentrism present in law, policy, and institutional practices. We can see how institutionalized gender hierarchy and androcentrism play out in the scenario failing to protect Indigenous women or their children. The “gender-​specific status subordination” of Indigenous women, however, is compounded by racism and settler colonialism. Privileged traits discussed by Fraser are not only associated with masculinity, but also white supremacy that subordinates Indigeneity. Meeting the two minimum conditions (just distribution of material resources and equal respect and opportunity) of Fraser’s theory of gender justice would no doubt make a considerable difference for Indigenous women in this scenario. Yet it would not amount to Indigenous gender justice. Notwithstanding her critique of the Keynesian-​Westphalian frame, what remains unquestioned is racism and settler colonialism of that frame. Consequently, the ways in which they exacerbate the misframing of Indigenous women are not understood and analyzed, and therefore, gender justice remains out of reach. Suggesting a model of redress based on corrective justice, Douglas Sanderson argues that what is frequently overlooked in justice models is the denial of Indigeneity: The wrongs committed against Indigenous peoples by the settler governments have not been limited to the denial of traditional lands but rather go to the very core of what it is to be an Indigenous person and how it is that Indigenous people can choose to live their lives as Indigenous people.36 In Canada, the denial was instituted and implemented through the Indian Act, while elsewhere it was done through a range of statutes and policies. To redress the wrongs, Sanderson proposes an “institutional approach” according to which “the settler people must assist Indigenous people in building and maintaining institutions that positively affirm Indigenous values and life-​ways.”37 As one example, he mentions child welfare. In his view, “the current child-​welfare system as it is practiced in Indigenous communities is an example of contemporary and ongoing wrongs that are wrong because they continue to deny Indigenous people the ability to develop and maintain institutions that affirm Indigenous values.”38 According to Sanderson, Indigenous (or more specifically, Cree) values consist of the kinship institution shaped by the clan rather than the nuclear family. Thus, parents “are not the institutional centre of Cree or most Indigenous conceptions of the family,” and “the Cree conception of a child welfare system is likely to stand in sharp contrast to

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that of the settler people.”39 Child welfare policies and practices currently employed in Indigenous communities are not informed by Indigenous conceptions of family, creating a conflict with sometimes far-​reaching and serious consequences. Sanderson submits: To affirm Indigenous values in the context of child welfare is to assist Indigenous communities in building a child-​welfare system that has at its core an Indigenous conception of the family, and to build such a system is to set right one contemporary wrong on the model of corrective justice because building a child-​welfare system based on Indigenous conceptions of the family restores to Indigenous people something that was taken from them:  a child-​welfare system that affirms their unique values and cultures.40 Compared to the failure-​to-​protect child welfare policies, Sanderson’s model would make a considerable difference by taking the burden of sole responsibility to protect children away from women and distributing it more evenly to members of the extended family or the clan. It would not, however, address systemic issues of poverty and violence in the lives of Indigenous women and children. Yet it has been pointed out that “the struggle to keep the family together is often an economic one.”41 Adopting Indigenous values or conceptions of family might be a significant step toward justice, but it will not redistribute material resources nor eliminate interpersonal violence, even if it may eliminate structural violence of the state as Indigenous women and children would no longer be “at the mercy of the state.”42 Another problem with Sanderson’s approach is that it is completely gender-​blind, with no analysis of the effects of the imposition of colonial institutions (such as child welfare) on gender relations and conceptions of family in Indigenous communities. Nor is there any attention paid to the concerns Indigenous women have been voicing for decades about the uncritical restoration of traditions and traditional values. Any Indigenous child welfare policy must address the implicit and explicit patriarchal ideologies and assumptions of the nuclear family. These extend to a number of other areas of legislation and policy such as matrimonial property laws and questions of housing, and have a serious impact on women’s ability to protect themselves and their children from abuse and violence and ensure basic safety and security. No question, clans and extended family networks still exist and form the essential web of social relations in many Indigenous communities (including urban ones). They can even function as primary sources of strength and recovery for Indigenous women who are survivors of violence.43 Yet we cannot sidestep the question of what exactly the Indigenous conception of family entails. How can we ensure that Indigenous conceptions of family are free from patriarchal biases such as the subordinate status of women, now common also in Indigenous communities? How do we guarantee that such conceptions have not naturalized violence against women as an acceptable means of disciplining “annoying” or “unruly” women, or of asserting male authority? Or worse, internalized views



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according to which violence against Indigenous women and sexual abuse of Indigenous children might be rooted in customary practice?44 When Indigenous men do not address gender violence, they are not adequately addressing the question of welfare of Indigenous children either. When Indigenous women are not safe, nor are Indigenous children. The question of child welfare relates to broader questions of citizenship-​building in Indigenous communities. Safety and security—​foundational principles of individual and collective well-​being in all communities—​play a critical although overlooked role in Indigenous self-​determination struggles and endeavors to implement and exercise Indigenous governance. A fundamental sense of individual safety and security is an absolute sine qua non for raising the next generation of Indigenous people with an ability and willingness to participate in collective affairs, to assume diverse leadership roles (both formal and informal), and to take responsibility for their actions and choices. If Indigenous children and youth are to be part of the nation-​building process that self-​ determination is ultimately all about, they must be able to feel safe and secure and be proud of their communities.45 Implementing and exercising Indigenous self-​determination depends on responsible and responsive citizenship that does not maintain and replicate the existing relations of domination. It necessitates a form of engaged citizenship willing to first identify and then tackle relations of domination at all levels, and committed to address both personal and institutional dynamics of domination. Considering women’s roles in reproducing citizens and collective identities, Indigenous self-​determination is premised on Indigenous women having full access to political, social, and cultural citizenship of their nations and membership of their communities. The exercise of full citizenship in Indigenous communities is premised on healthy individuals, families, and communities. This requires the commitment and collective responsibility by the entire community for child and youth welfare, which fundamentally is a matter of citizenship-​building extending from families and kinship relations to schools, educational, and other community institutions.

Eliminating Violence against Women and Gender Violence Some Indigenous communities have traditions and teachings of holding women up. Val Napoleon relates an example of community commitment to responsibility and safety displayed at a conference on Truth and Reconciliation by a community in Northern Alberta.46 The public expression of this tradition comprised of six girls ranging from six to sixteen years and their families, who had made beautiful traditional shawls for the girls: As part of the presentation about relationships, relationship-​building and respect, and so on, the fathers and brothers came on the stage with the girls, and they placed the shawls over the girls’ shoulders, and then they turned and they looked into each

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other’s eyes. . . . And then, the girls turned to show the designs on the backs of the shawls.47 For Napoleon, the ceremony represented “a public demonstration of, and commitment to respectful relations between fathers, daughters, sisters, brothers, men, women.”48 This is different from glorifying unspecified notions of culture or tradition. Indigenous scholars critical of traditions do not typically suggest a wholesale rejection but rather a critical interrogation of traditions or traditional teachings with an eye to oppression and gender subordination. Further, Indigenous law plays a central role in Indigenous gender justice, especially in addressing violence against women. Culture can serve as a useful starting point, but as Napoleon, Borrows, and Snyder suggest, transformative ideas must transgress abstractions and general claims of culture: We must move from focusing on general claims of culture to considering which specific aspects of Indigenous legal traditions can be deployed to more effectively address this problem [of violence against women]. This shift to specificity is especially important in dealing with gendered violence because culture can be used in ways that are harmful to societies as a whole and to women in particular.49 Further, they call attention to the traps of the concept of culture, including promoting circumstances that enable and perpetuate various forms of violence against women. In their view, the concept of culture can therefore never be separated from analyses of power: Culture is a concept that is always deployed in the real world, where the forces of power, privilege, and hierarchy mingle and compete. In these circumstances culture can be “hijacked” by those in authority to create or replicate a male-​dominated status quo. In other words, culture can foster conditions that reproduce individual and institutional violence against women. With this in mind, we believe that discussions of culture should never be disconnected from concerns about power; culture can be a source for the abuse of power, as much as it can be a force for liberation when examined in real world terms.50 Romantization and essentialization of culture and tradition can, in fact, contribute to concerns of and barriers to safety. Hadley Friedland submits:  “There is such a strong political push and legitimate longing for healing and for Indigenous children to remain within their own families, communities and culture, that people may focus on romanticized versions of ‘traditional culture’ without critically evaluating how the family and community are actually functioning.”51 She notes how she has encountered “far too many Indigenous youths, now in non-​Indigenous care, who were moved from relative to relative and were victimized by so many of them that they refuse to have anything to do with Indigenous people or cultural activities.”52



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Therefore, instead of considering cultural values or culturally appropriate responses, some legal scholars suggest that we need to consider how Indigenous law, specifically a critical gendered approach, could provide new tools to address violence against Indigenous women and children.53 Yet there are considerable challenges in accessing and employing Indigenous law and intellectual legal resources. Most significantly, if we insist that historically there was no violence, abuse, or coercion in Indigenous societies, these resources will remain invisible and inaccessible.54 Another is the lack of support and intellectual effort that a deep and detailed engagement with traditional stories and teachings necessitates.55 At the same time, it is imperative to recognize the limits of Indigenous law. No law, Indigenous or otherwise, should “be the only system discussed or applied in dealing with violence against women.”56 It is also important to recognize that Indigenous law is not the same as restorative justice. Like mainstream Anglo-​American models of justice, restorative justice approaches such as peacemaking have been considered insufficient and flawed in addressing gender violence.57 Similar concerns have been raised about Indigenous community-​based justice models. Discussing gendered violence and Indigenous customary law in Chiapas, Aida Hernandez Castillo points out how community-​based justice is premised on unequal gender relations that pressure women to reconcile with their subordination: “Many indigenous women’s testimonies indicate that community-​ based justice is marked by relations of gender inequality, wherein women are effectively ‘conciliated’ with their subordinate positions. These descriptions contrast sharply with the idealized visions of indigenous customary law that the academic world has helped to construct.”58 Instead of relying on idealized, distorted ideas of Indigenous customary law, Indigenous women in Chiapas involved in the Zapatista liberation movement wanted to transform community-​based law by addressing oppressive gender relations and the subordination of women in their communities as well as within the movement. Indigenous women comprise almost a third of the National Zapatista Liberation Army (EZLN, Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional). For many, EZLN has been often the only way of participating in the Indigenous struggle for autonomy and asserting individual agency as women. Yet EZLN is not free from oppressive gender relations either. The challenges experienced by Indigenous women in their communities as well as within the Zapatista movement led to the creation of the Women’s Revolutionary Law (ZWRL). The ten-​point list, accepted by consensus at EZLN meeting in March 1993, stipulates women’ rights to education, equal pay, and equal participation and leadership. The laws also oppose forced marriage and denounce male physical and sexual violence.59 I have elsewhere examined the range of rights that the ZWRL seeks to protect and compared it to the protection of Indigenous women’s rights provided in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).60 I suggested that unlike UNDRIP, the ZWRL could be regarded as an embodiment of the ideal of the indivisibility of women’s rights, enshrining both civil and political (“public”) rights as well as the

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protection of human rights violations that are usually gendered (“private”). Notably, the ZWRL explicitly enshrines women’s reproductive rights, something UNDRIP remains silent on.61 Identifying and including rights specific to Indigenous women and attending to specific obstacles Indigenous women experience would have only strengthened UNDRIP and made it even more groundbreaking instrument within international law than in its present form. In addition to critical, gendered analyses of Indigenous and international law, Indigenous gender justice must necessarily include considerations of reproductive justice and the intersectionality of violations on Indigenous territories and Indigenous bodies, especially those of women, children, 2SQ, trans, and gender-​nonconforming individuals. Some Indigenous organizations have adopted a reproductive justice framework that considers violence of land and body inextricably connected and thus in need to be examined together for any solution to violence. Women’s Earth Alliance and Native Youth Sexual Health Network suggest: “For women and young people, the safety of their bodies and the safety of their lands goes beyond biology, physiology, and sexual health. It is crucial to examine the role patriarchy and capitalism play in the struggle to rid Indigenous lands and bodies of destructive and predatory industries.”62 Rejecting mainstream responses of increased policing, criminalization, or incarceration which overlook issues of environmental violence, they advocate for “community-​based solutions by those most often impacted.”63 Combining the core ideas of environmental and reproductive justice, the reproductive justice framework centers on the principle of consent. On the one hand, collective consent is an international norm, which in the Indigenous context is closely connected to the right of self-​determination. Consent, for Indigenous peoples, is a way of exercising collective self-​determination vis-​à-​vis control of their cultural and intellectual property, as well as economic development of their territories and resources by states and industry. On the other hand, individual consent is the cornerstone of personal self-​determination and body sovereignty. Yet in spite of the increasing adoption of the affirmative consent standard as part of sexual assault prevention policies, individual consent is not, analogously to collective consent, a social norm. To the contrary, existing implicit social norms enable and frequently fuel and sanction physical and sexual violence, thus undermining and defying individual consent. Rape culture rather than sexual consent continues to be the norm in society, especially in military, sports, and on university and college campuses.64 Hunt alludes to the double standard and selective employment of consent in society, including Indigenous communities.65 She notes how Indigenous political discourse of collective consent overlooks the question of individual consent. At the same time, institutional sexual assault programs, policies, and strategic action systematically fail to account for colonialism and its role in creating violence in general and rape culture specifically.66 The two dimensions of consent rarely meet or are upheld simultaneously, reflecting the same categorical division that prevails between Indigenous self-​determination/​sovereignty issues and social/​gender issues.



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What is more, in the settler colonial context of rape culture and dispossession, sexual agency of Indigenous women and 2SQ individuals is always constrained. Constructed as a “population of prey,” Indigenous women have been systematically denied “any agency with which to consent to sexual relations since it is perpetually assumed.”67 In this way, male violence and the constraints on Indigenous women’s agency are effectively erased, while the inherently violent frame continues to radically restrict Indigenous women’s and 2SQ individuals’ ability to exercise consent. In the colonial context, Larissa Behrendt argues, “free and open consent is absent,” as consent is always “given within constraints and the legacies of colonial sexual exploitation.”68 For Indigenous women who participated in this study, the norm of free, prior, and informed consent regarding both Indigenous lands and bodies forms the core of their conception of Indigenous self-​determination. Their vision of self-​determination is premised on the norm of integrity with its two interrelated dimensions: the bodily integrity and integrity of the land. The norm of integrity is made possible through consent and consensual relations between peoples and nations (collective consent),69 between individuals (individual consent) as well as with the land. As a foundational value, self-​determination restructures the relations of domination into relations of consent. Examples of Indigenous norms and practices of consent give direction in further theorizing and practicing consensual relations of reciprocity.70 Having said that, consent is not without problems and should not be idealized, excessively focused on, or treated as a magic bullet. While a critically important norm, consent is nevertheless characterized by a deeply complex ambiguity. This is evident in ongoing debates and disputes about issues including what constitutes consent, who gives consent and at what level, what consent is given to, how consent is given, and how it can account for questions of representation and Indigenous decision-​making practices and challenges in seeking to obtain collective consent in Indigenous communities, among others.71 The efficacy of the norm of sexual consent also has been questioned, for example, in rape law reforms.72 Further, consent is susceptible to gender regimes, as women are not always included in the collective process of obtaining consent in spite of distinct effects of consent to men and women.73 Part of Indigenous gender justice, therefore, entails that women, their concerns for, interests of, and activities on the land are included in any consideration of Indigenous land and resource rights and claims on par with those of men. Rather than considering hunting and fishing as male or gender-​neutral activities, Indigenous gender justice requires that critical questions are asked about their naturalization as male activities. This needs to take place concurrently with considerations of creating space for women in those activities and giving equal importance to women’s activities and roles on the land such as seed protectors, healers, and medicine collectors.74 What is ultimately needed for the attainment of Indigenous self-​determination as a foundational value is the creation of new collective norms, such as a strong norm of consent that encompasses both collective and individual consent. We may have good

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laws—​such as the gender equality legislation in Greenland discussed by Nathanielsen in ­chapter 4 and traditional Indigenous laws as discussed in this chapter—​but bad norms.75 We need to recognize the failure of the old norms, such as the norm of collective peace in small, traditional Sámi communities discussed by Anne Lene Turi in ­chapter 5, and enact new collective norms so that, for example, there would be ramifications to the person who abuses his wife on Saturday and shows up at the council meeting on Monday. The urgent task therefore is to decide which norms communities will adopt and accept as the basis of their Indigenous self-​determination: the ones that have failed women and 2SQ individuals and sanction violence, or new ones which makes violence against women and 2SQ individuals a public concern. Related, given the significance of individual and collective responsibility and accountability in Indigenous self-​determination as a foundational value, what collective responsibility would mean in practice also needs to be reimagined. This involves, among other things, reenvisioning the division of labor for collective responsibility between various parties and institutions. Which responsibilities and tasks would the state and its institutions be held accountable for in advancing and sustaining the norm of integrity in its dual, interrelated forms? What roles and responsibilities would the community institutions, informal groups, and networks account for? What would be the role of kinship relations in upholding and promoting the norm of integrity, especially at the individual level? What kind of new institutions need to be created and how? All this must foreground the necessity of dismantling the fault line between gender and self-​determination.

Rematriating Indigenous Governance The final aspect of Indigenous gender justice is the dismantling of the binary opposition and conceptual hierarchy of gender and self-​determination—​the question that forms the backbone of the inquiry in this book. It is a core aspect that needs to be deconstructed and restructured in order for Indigenous gender justice and ultimately, Indigenous self-​ determination, to take place. It may not mean literally rematriating Indigenous governance simply because Indigenous women’s political and leadership roles were not historically identical in all Indigenous societies, not even in the regions examined in this book. While there is ample evidence and research on Indigenous women’s political authority and leadership in many Indigenous nations in North America, no equivalent data is available from Sápmi or Greenland. As discussed in c­ hapter  3, rematriation of Indigenous governing structures implies the reinstatement of the former leadership roles of women in the name of restoring the legitimacy of Indigenous political orders and institutions, and thus strengthening Indigenous self-​determination. For some scholars, it implies resurgence of Indigenous political thought with a critical eye to heteropatriarchy and gender violence.76 For others,



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reinstating the political roles of women and gender-​specific political orders is something urgently needed in order to address major problems in their communities. These problems include the disruption of the traditional method of checks and balances, the concentration of political power in the hands of a few men, and the failure to address critical issues facing the Indigenous communities, such as social problems, destruction and loss of land base, and the lack of fair and efficient administrative structures.77 In those Indigenous societies where Indigenous women did not historically hold high political positions and decision-​making authority or where there is no specific information available about women’s roles, rematriating Indigenous governance nonetheless serves as a provocative euphemism for at least three critical aspects of restructuring the gendered conceptual and political division between self-​determination issues and women’s issues. The first is the recognition of the diverse informal channels of participation in Indigenous nation-​building and self-​determination endeavors. These include ways that are not typically considered political through and by formal institutional structures, such as raising and educating children (not necessarily your own) and choosing to speak Indigenous language to them, engaging in direct action, running community programs, providing support and shelter to victims of violence, and interrogating patriarchal and heteronormative views, attitudes, and behavior in theory and practice of Indigenous self-​determination.78 Yet this recognition must not serve as a convenient excuse for excluding women from formal politics in the name of women’s informal participation. It may work well in some contexts, but it cannot be assumed or idealized. Claims of women’s participation through informal channels always need to be examined more closely rather than taken at face value, which means inquiring of women directly whether they are indeed part, one way or another, of political and decision-​making processes. This leads to the second aspect, ensuring Indigenous women’s full participation and representation in formal politics in ways that do not merely amount to a limited approach of nondiscrimination in political institutions. This is not a matter of just inserting women and hoping they adopt and survive the male political structures, agendas, and networks as well as masculinist strategies that characterize, among others, existing Indigenous self-​ government institutions. Ensuring women’s full political participation must entail an understanding of the operation of gender regimes in those institutions. It must involve willingness and commitment to transform and restructure existing political systems and institutions in such ways that address the gendered structures of power that denigrate, downgrade, and trivialize not only women but also interests and concerns regarded as those of women. What is more, the commitment to transform and restructure existing Indigenous political systems and institutions must necessarily imply the interrogation of heteronormativity and heteropatriachy in political institutions and Indigenous societies in general. This forms the third and final aspect of rematriating Indigenous political systems.

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Gender regimes and gendered forms of oppression are not only disproportionately experienced by women, but also by 2SQ individuals. Homophobia and violence against trans and gender-​nonconforming individuals is common and sometimes extreme in Indigenous communities.79 Self-​determination as a foundational value seeking to restructure all relations of domination requires an understanding and interrogation of gender violence that includes homophobia and heteropatriarchy. V. Spike Peterson submits that nationalism is not only gendered but also fundamentally heterosexist:80 “The codification of sex/​gender binaries (male–​female bodies, masculine–​feminine gender identities, gendered dichotomies)” was central to the early state-​making and in subsequent modern state-​making (and nationalism), the “heterosexual contract” was taken as given.81 Many Indigenous nongendered accounts of nationalism follow the same trajectory, including the naturalization of roles typically assigned to women: tasking women with the reproduction and socialization of new group members, constructing them as signifiers of the nation or as agents in political struggles and nationalism. As long as Indigenous nationalism relies on the institutionalization and normalization of heterosexuality through constructing women as “mothers of nations,” it reproduces not only hierarchical difference and domination,82 but also reinforces the normativity of the heterosexist, colonial nation-​state with its gendered violence.83 In conclusion, Indigenous gender justice is more than the absence of gender-​based discrimination as construed in CEDAW. It also radically exceeds ensuring gender quotas and equal representation of Indigenous women. It encompasses Indigenous women’s rights but more comprehensively than UNDRIP does, including reproductive rights. It is informed by Fraser’s theory of gender justice that encompasses both the redistribution of resources and the recognition of the subordination of women ranging from sexual harassment to violence; trivializing, objectifying, and demeaning attitudes and views; exclusion or marginalization in public spheres and deliberative bodies; and denial of the full rights and equal protections of citizenship. Yet Indigenous gender justice goes beyond Fraser’s theory (and other mainstream feminist gender justice approaches) by interrogating colonialism, racism, and the normativity of the nation-​state. It forms the foundation of Indigenous self-​determination that is not embedded in heteropatriarchy and characterized by gendered violence and discriminatory gender regimes. As such, it deconstructs the categorical opposition between self-​determination and gender. As the participants in the project have clearly and in various ways expressed it, there simply is no Indigenous self-​determination without Indigenous gender justice, and there is no Indigenous gender justice without restructuring all relations of domination. Patricia Monture captures the essence of Indigenous gender justice in the quote at the beginning of the chapter: “To have justice means to be in control in one’s life and relations” as individuals and as communities.84 Her articulation captures the dual nature of the norm of integrity that forms the core of what self-​determination means for Indigenous women who participated in this research. Indigenous self-​determination is as much a struggle for the land, its integrity, and relations with the land as it is a struggle for



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individual integrity that encompasses bodily integrity and freedom from all forms and relations of domination, violence, and coercion. Yet Indigenous gender justice and restructuring all relations of domination are not arguments for a mere return to Indigenous political systems or governance structures that were in place historically. As a number of Indigenous scholars have attested, oppression and relations of domination also existed in precontact Indigenous societies. Rather, Indigenous gender justice and restructuring all relations of domination form a framework of analysis that any conception of Indigenous self-​determination must take as a starting point if it is not to succumb to colonial co-​optation.

Notes

Introduction 1.  Val Napoleon, “Aboriginal Discourse:  Gender, Identity and Community,” in Indigenous Peoples and the Law:  Comparative and Critical Perspectives, ed. Benjamin J. Richardson, Shin Imai, and Kent McNeil (Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2009), 235–​36. 2.  Sápmi is the territory of the Indigenous Sámi people, spanning the present-​day central Norway and Sweden, northern Finland, and the Kola Peninsula, Russia. Today, the core Sámi region where the majority of Sámi population live include the northern municipalities of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. However, they form a numerical majority only in three municipalities in northern Norway and the northernmost municipality in Finland. There are no separate Sámi communities (in the form of reservations) and there is no specific legislation pertaining to the Sámi except for language and elected, representative assemblies of the Sámi Parliaments. 3.  Rauna Kuokkanen, “Indigenous Women’s Rights and International Law:  Challenges of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” in Routledge Handbook of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, ed. Corinne Lennox and Damien Short (London: Routledge, 2016). 4. Winona LaDuke, “Our Bodies, Our Communities and Our Self-​Determination,” Canadian Dimension 30, no. 1 (1996). 5.  Patricia A. Monture, “The Right of Inclusion. Aboriginal Rights and/​or Aboriginal Women?,” in Advancing Aboriginal Claims. Visions, Strategies, Directions, ed. Kerry Wilkins (Saskatoon: Purich, 2004); Jo-​Anne Fiske and Evelyn George, “Seeking Alternatives to Bill C-​ 31: From Cultural Trauma to Cultural Revitalization through Customary Law” (Ottawa: Status of Women Canada, 2006); Kim Anderson, A Recognition of Being:  Reconstructing Native Womanhood (Toronto: Second Story Press, 2000); Rauna Kuokkanen, “Indigenous Economies, Theories of Subsistence and Women:  Social Economy as a Basis for Indigenous Governance,”

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American Indian Quarterly 95, no. 2 (2011); Judith F. Sayers et  al., First Nations Women, Governance and the Indian Act:  A Collection of Policy Research Reports (Ottawa:  Status of Women Canada, 2001); Barbara A. Mann, Iroquoian Women: The Gantowisas (New York: Peter Lang, 2000); Karen Anderson, Chain Her by One Foot:  The Subjugation of Native Women in Seventeenth-​Century New France (New  York:  Routledge, 1991); Devon Mihesuah, Indigenous American Women:  Decolonization, Empowerment, Activism, Contemporary Indigenous Issues (Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 2003); Diane Rothenberg, “The Mothers of the Nation: Seneca Resistance to Quaker Intervention,” in Women and Colonization: Anthropological Perspectives, ed. Eleanor Leacock and Mona Etienne (New York: Praeger, 1980); Nancy Shoemaker, “The Rise or Fall of Iroquois Women,” Journal of Women’s History 2, no. 3 (1991); Lina Sunseri, Being Again of One Mind: Oneida Women and the Struggle for Decolonization (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011); Patricia Albers and Beatrice Medicine, The Hidden Half: Studies of Plains Indian Women (Lanham, MD:  University Press of America, 1983); Gunlög Fur, “Saami and Lenapes Meet Swedish Colonizers in the Seventeenth Century,” in Readings in Saami History, Culture and Language III, ed. Roger Kvist, Miscellaneous Publications No. 14 (Umeå: Center for Arctic Cultural Research, Umeå University, 1992); M. A. Jaimes*Guerrero, “‘Patriarchal Colonialism’ and Indigenism: Implications for Native Feminist Spirituality and Native Womanism,” Hypatia 18, no. 2 (2003). 6. Jennifer Nez Denetdale, “Chairmen, Presidents, and Princesses: The Navajo Nation, Gender, and the Politics of Tradition,” Wicazo Sa Review 21, no. 1 (2006); Diane-​Michele Prindeville, “Promoting a Feminist Policy Agenda: Indigenous Women Leaders and Closet Feminism,” The Social Science Journal 37, no. 4 (2000); “Feminist Nations? A Study of Native American Women in Southwestern Tribal Politics,” Political Research Quarterly 57, no. 1 (2004); Cora Voyageur, Firekeepers of the Twenty-​First Century: First Nations Women Chiefs (Kingston: McGill-​Queen’s University Press, 2008); Stephanie Irlbacher-​Fox, Jackie Price, and Elana Wilson-​Rowe, “Women’s Participation in Decision Making: Human Security in the Canadian Arctic,” in Environmental and Human Security in the Arctic, ed. Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, et  al. (London:  Routledge, 2014); Tina Minor, “Political Participation of Inuit Women in the Government of Nunavut,” Wicazo Sa Review 17, no. 1 (2002); Diane-​Michele Prindeville and John G. Bretting, “Indigenous Women Activists and Political Participation,” Women & Politics 19, no. 1 (1998); Robert B. Porter, “Decolonizing Indigenous Governance: Observations on Restoring Greater Faith and Legitimacy in the Government of the Seneca Nation,” Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy 8, no. 2 (1999); Bonita Lawrence and Kim Anderson, “Introduction to ‘Indigenous Women: The State of Our Nations,’” Atlantis 29, no. 2 (2005); Lloyd L. Lee, “Gender, Navajo Leadership and ‘Retrospective Falsification,’” AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples 8, no. 3 (2012); Renya K. Ramirez, “Race, Tribal Nation and Gender:  A Native Feminist Approach to Belonging,” Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism 7, no. 2 (2007); Rebecca Tsosie, “Indigenous Women and International Human Rights Law:  The Challenges of Colonialism Cultural Survival, and Self-​Determination,” UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs 15, no. 1 (2010); Rauna Kuokkanen, “From Indigenous Economies to Market-​Based Self-​Governance: A Feminist Political Economy Analysis,” Canadian Journal of Political Science 44, no. 2 (2011). 7.  Joan Acker, “Hierarchies, Jobs, Bodies:  A Theory of Gendered Organizations,” Gender and Society (1990); “From Sex Roles to Gendered Institutions,” Contemporary Sociology 21, no. 5 (1992).

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8.  R. W. Connell, Gender and Power:  Society, the Person and Sexual Politics (Redwood City, CA:  Stanford University Press, 1987); Gender in World Perspective (Cambridge:  Polity Press, 2002). 9.  Karen L. Kilcup, ed., Native American Women’s Writing:  An Anthology, C.  Rsoo-​1924 (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000); Joanne Barker, “Gender,” in The World of Indigenous North America, ed. Robert Allen Warrior (New York: Routledge, 2015). 10. Will Roscoe, “Bibliography of Berdache and Alternative Gender Roles among North American Indians,” Journal of Homosexuality 14, no. 3–​4 (1987); Changing Ones: Third and Fourth Genders in Native North America (Palgrave Macmillan, 1998); Sue-​Ellen Jacobs, Wesley Thomas, and Sabine Lang, eds., Two-​Spirit People. Native American Gender Identity, Sexuality and Spirituality (Urbana:  University of Illinois Press, 1997); Walter L. Williams, The Spirit and the Flesh:  Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture (Boston:  Beacon Press, 1986); Bernard Saladin d’Anglure, “The Inuit ‘Third Gender,’” in Aboriginality and Governance. A  Multidisciplinary Perspective, ed. Gordon Christie (Penticton, BC:  Theytus, 2006); Jennifer Nez Denetdale, “Securing the Navajo National Boundaries: War, Patriotism, Tradition, and the Diné Marriage Act of 2005,” Wicazo Sa Review 24, no. 2 (2009). There is a considerable body of research on historical and lesser extent, contemporary gender roles in North American Indigenous societies in Albers and Medicine, The Hidden Half; Mary Wright, “The Women’s Lodge:  Constructing Gender on the Nineteenth Century Pacific Northwest Plateau,” Frontiers, A  Journal of Women Studies 24, no. 1 (2003); Lillian A. Ackerman, Necessary Balance: Gender and Power among Indians of the Colombia Plateau (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003); Lisa Frink, Rita S. Shepard, and Gregory A. Reinhardt, eds., Many Faces of Gender:  Roles and Relationships through Time in Indigenous Northern Communities (Boulder and Calgary: University Press of Colorado and University of Calgary Press, 2002); Sandra Slater and Fay Yarbrough, eds., Gender and Sexuality in Indigenous North America, 1400–​1850 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2011); Gunlög Fur, A Nation of Women: Gender and Colonial Encounters among the Delaware Indians (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012). 11. Interview with Cree-​Métis woman, May 24, 2014. 12. On the other hand, one Greenlandic participant maintained that traditionally, the gender roles and responsibilities were strictly maintained and still enforced today: “We are still thinking in a very old way. Our traditions, and the way we are thinking is very old fashioned still, in our, in the way we are raising our children, and the way we are living actually. And we still think that, this is the women’s job, and this is the men’s job” (interview with gender equality official, March 27, 2013). 13.  Karla Jessen Williamson, Inherit My Heaven:  Kalaallit Gender Relations, vol. 1 (Nuuk: Naalakkersuisut/​Government of Greenland, and Inussuk Arctic Journal, 2011). 14. Barker, “Gender.” 15.  Mark Rifkin, When Did Indians Become Straight? Kinship, the History of Sexuality, and Native Sovereignty (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). 16. Leanne Simpson, As We Have Always Done. Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017), 111. 17.  Stephen Cornell, “Processes of Native Nationhood:  The Indigenous Politics of Self-​ Government,” The International Indigenous Policy Journal 6, no. 4 (2015).

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18. Kirsty Gover, “Settler–​State Political Theory, ‘CANZUS’ and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” European Journal of International Law 26, no. 2 (2015). 19.  Among others, I  was the founding chair of the Sámi Youth Organization in Finland and served as the Vice-​President of the Sámi Council, Sámi NGO, and an umbrella assembly representing Sámi national organizations in Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Russia. In my role as the vice president of the Sámi Council, I attended international Indigenous meetings at the UN and the Arctic Council. 20. See Diana Vinding, ed., Indigenous Women: The Right to a Voice (Copenhagen: International Working Group of Indigenous Affairs, 1998). 21.  Audra Simpson, “Captivating Eunice:  Membership, Colonialism, and Gendered Citizenships of Grief,” Wicazo Sa Review 24, no. 2 (2009); Leanne Simpson, “Dancing on the Back of Our Turtle:  Revitalizing Nishnaabek Intellectual Traditions” (paper presented at the Anishinaabewin Niswi:  Deep Roots, New Growth, Sudbury, 2012); Joanne Barker, “Gender, Sovereignty, and the Discourse of Rights in Native Women’s Activism,” Meridians:  feminism, race, transnationalism 7, no. 1 (2006); Myrna Cunningham, “Indigenous Women’s Visions of an Inclusive Feminism,” Development (Society for International Development) 49, no. 1 (2006); Sarah Deer, “Decolonizing Rape Law: A Native Feminist Synthesis of Safety and Sovereignty,” Wicazo Sa Review 24, no. 2 (2009); Joyce Green, “Balancing Strategies: Aboriginal Women and Constitutional Rights in Canada,” in Making Space for Indigenous Feminism, ed. Joyce Green (Halifax, NS:  Fernwood Publishing, 2007); Lisa Kahaleole Hall, “Navigating Our Own ‘Sea of Islands’:  Remapping a Theoretical Space for Hawaiian Women and Indigenous Feminism,” Wicazo Sa Review 24, no. 2 (2009); Luana Ross, “From the ‘F’ Word to Indigenous/​Feminisms,” Wicazo Sa Review 24, no. 2 (2009); Rebecca A. Hart and M. Alexander Lowther, “Honoring Sovereignty:  Aiding Tribal Efforts to Protect Native American Women from Domestic Violence,” California Law Review 96, no. 1 (2008); R. Aida Hernandez Castillo, “National Law and Indigenous Customary Law:  The Struggle for Justice of Indigenous Women in Chiapas, Mexico,” in Gender Justice, Development, and Rights, ed. Maxine Molyneux and Shahra Razavid (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2002); Dian Million, Therapeutic Nations:  Healing in an Age of Indigenous Human Rights (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2013); Ramirez, “Race, Tribal Nation and Gender”; Andrea Smith, “Native American Feminism, Sovereignty, and Social Change,” Feminist Studies 31, no. 1 (2005); Rauna Kuokkanen, “Self-​Determination and Indigenous Women’s Rights at the Intersection of International Human Rights,” Human Rights Quarterly 34, no. 1 (2012); Simpson, As We Have Always Done. I am aware of the controversy surrounding Andrea Smith, who has made false claims as being Indigenous (Cherokee) (see, for example, Akiba Solomon, “Native Feminism, White Women Passing and the Sad Tale of Andrea Smith,” Colorline, July 7, 2015, https://​www.colorlines.com/​articles/​native-​feminism-​ white-​women-​passing-​and-​sad-​tale-​andrea-​smith). Regardless, her contributions in the field of Indigenous feminism, particularly in establishing colonial, sexual violence as a central means of eroding Indigenous sovereignty, have been considerable, and therefore her work cannot be entirely omitted from the field of Indigenous feminist scholarship. 22. Statistics Canada 2011. See https://​www12.statcan.gc.ca/​nhs-​enm/​2011/​as-​sa/​99-​011-​x/​99-​ 011-​x2011001-​eng.cfm#a2. 23. See, for example, Nigel Bankes, “The Forms of Recognition of Indigenous Property Rights in Settler States:  Modern Land Claim Agreements in Canada,” in The Proposed Nordic Saami

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Convention:  National and International Dimensions of Indigenous Property Rights, ed. Nigel Bankes and Timo Koivurova (Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2013). 24. S. James Anaya, Indigenous Peoples in International Law (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996); John B. Henriksen, “Implementation of the Right of Self-​Determination of Indigenous Peoples,” Indigenous Affairs. Special Issue on Self-​Determination 3, no. 1 (2000). 25.  See Chadwick Allen, “Decolonizing Comparison. Toward a Trans-​Indigenous Literary Studies,” in The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature, ed. James H. Cox and Daniel Heath Justice (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014). 26.  The interviews with the Sámi participants were conducted in June–​July 2011, and with Greenlandic participants in March–​April 2013. The interviews in Canada were conducted in three separate regions in 2014:  Southern Ontario, Lower Mainland, and Vancouver Island in British Columbia, and the Dene and Métis community of Tulít’a in the Sahtú region of the Northwest Territories. The interviews with the Sámi participants were conducted in the Sámi language (with few exceptions when the language was either English or Swedish). The interviews with Greenlanders and Indigenous participants in Canada were conducted in English. 27. The breakdown of interviews is as follows: 40 in Canada (10 in Ontario, 10 in BC, and 20 in NWT), 20 in Scandinavia, and 17 in Greenland. Three interviews were conducted with two individuals. Although the total number of interviews in Canada was quite a bit more than the other two regions, I have used only twenty of them (those from ON and BC) extensively in this book, thereby bringing the number of Canadian interviews more on par with those in Greenland and Scandinavia. Due to the considerably different character and content (in terms of interview questions) of the Tulít’a (NWT) interviews, they have been used only in ­chapter 3. In Tulít’a, instead of using abstract concepts of self-​determination and gender which were considered alienating and not well-​known, I framed the interview questions as “Women’s roles and participation in decision-​making in Tulít’a.” The focus was on current political affairs, leadership, and community members’ views on the ongoing self-​government negotiations. Besides twenty personal interviews, I conducted three focus groups. The first was a research planning meeting with a small group of women at the beginning of my stay in the community. One of the outcomes of the planning meeting was a suggestion for me to hold youth meetings to discuss issues important to young people in Tulít’a. As a result, I facilitated two youth meetings which served as an impetus for the work of the Sahtú Youth Network. 28.  See, for example, Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics, “Issues and Options for Revisions to the Tri-​Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Humans:  Section 6:  Research Involving Aboriginal Peoples” (Ottawa:  Interagency Advisory Panel and Secretariat on Research Ethics, 2008); Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, “Definitions of Terms,” June 16, 2018, http://​www.sshrc-​crsh.gc.ca/​funding-​ financement/​programs-​programmes/​definitions-​eng.aspx#a0. 29. The reason for interviewing a considerable number of men in Tulít’a, NWT was due to the character of the interviews embedded in the community dynamics and my desire to follow the guidance and advice of the research planning group (see previous note) who saw it important to talk to and hear the views of both women and men in the community. 30.  Jennifer Nedelsky, Law’s Relations:  A Relational Theory of Self, Autonomy, and Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). 31. Ibid.

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32.  Tadd M. Johnson and James Hamilton, “Self-​Governance for Indian Tribes:  From Paternalism to Empowerment,” Connecticut Law Review 27, no. 4 (1995). 33. Vine Deloria Jr. and Clifford Lytle, The Nations Within: The Past and Future of American Indian Sovereignty (New York: Pantheon, 1984). 34.  Cited in Jeff Corntassel and Richard C. Witmer II, Forced Federalism:  Contemporary Challenges to Indigenous Nationhood (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008), 14. 35. John Borrows, Freedom and Indigenous Constitutionalism (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016), 165. 36. E. Fletcher McClellan, “Implementation and Policy Reformulation of Title I of the Indian Self-​Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975–​80,” Wicazo Sa Review 6, no. 1 (1990); Geoffrey D. Strommer and Stephen D. Osborne, “The History, Status, and Future of Tribal Self-​ Governance under the Indian Self-​Determination and Education Assistance Act,” American Indian Law Review 39, no. 1 (2014–​2015). For an early critical analysis of the act, see Russel L. Barsh and Ronald L. Trosper, “Title I of the Indian Self-​Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975,” American Indian Law Review 3, no. 2 (1975). 37. Johnson and Hamilton, “Self-​Governance for Indian Tribes.” 38. Cited in Johnson and Hamilton, “Self-​Governance for Indian Tribes,” 1268. 39. Borrows, Freedom and Indigenous Constitutionalism. 40. See Corntassel and Witmer, Forced Federalism; N. Bruce Duthu, Shadow Nations: Tribal Sovereignty and the Limits of Legal Pluralism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013). 41.  See Vine Deloria Jr., “Self-​ Determination and the Concept of Sovereignty,” in Economic Development in American Indian Reservations, ed. Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Native American Studies, 1979). 42. Deloria and Lytle, The Nations Within, 14. 43. Ibid. 44. See, for example, Taiaiake Alfred, Peace, Power, Righteousness: An Indigenous Manifesto (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1999); Kiera L. Ladner, “Indigenous Governance: Questioning the Status and the Possibilities for Reconciliation with Canada’s Commitment to Aboriginal and Treaty Rights,” in Research Paper for the National Centre for First Nations Governance (West Vancouver: National Centre for First Nations Governance, 2006). 45. Patricia Monture Angus, Journeying Forward: Dreaming First Nations’ Independence (Halifax, NS: Fernwood Publishing, 1998); Glen Coulthard, “Subjects of Empire: Indigenous Peoples and the ‘Politics of Recognition’ in Canada,” Contemporary Political Theory 6, no. 4 (2007); Ken S. Coates and W. R. Morrison, “From Panacea to Reality: The Practicalities of Canadian Aboriginal Self-​Governance Agreements,” in Aboriginal Self-​Government in Canada:  Current Trends and Issues, ed. Yale Belanger (Saskatoon: Purich, 2008); Roger Maaka and Augie Fleras, The Politics of Indigeneity:  Challenging the State in Canada and Aotearoa New Zealand (Dunedin:  Otago University Press, 2005); Stephanie Irlbacher-​Fox, Finding Dahshaa. Self-​Government, Social Suffering, and Aboriginal Policy in Canada (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009). 46. Alfred, Peace, Power, Righteousness; Glen Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014); Michael Asch, On Being Here to Stay: Treaties and Aboriginal Rights in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014); Arthur Manuel, Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-​up Call (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2015).

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47. Kate Shanley, “Thoughts on Indian Feminism,” in A Gathering of Spirit: A Collection by North American Indian Women, ed. Beth Brant (Rockland, ME: Sinister Wisdom Books, 1984). 48. See, for example, Monture-​Angus, Thunder in My Soul; M. Annette with Theresa Halsey Jaimes, “American Indian Women at the Centre of Indigenous Resistance in Contemporary North America,” in The State of the Native America: Genocide, Colonization and Resistance, ed. M. Annette Jaimes (Boston: South End Press, 1992); Leonie Pihama, “No, I Will Not Be a Post . . .” Te Pua 2, no. 1&2 (1993); Mary Ellen Turpel, “Patriarchy and Paternalism:  The Legacy of the Canadian State for First Nations Women,” Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 6, no. 1 (1993). 49. Shanley, “Thoughts on Indian Feminism,” 215. 50. Paula Gunn Allen, The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions (Boston: Beacon Press, 1986). 51.  Lee Maracle, I Am Woman:  A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism (North Vancouver: Write-​on Press, 1988). 52.  Joyce Green, ed., Making Space for Indigenous Feminism (Halifax, NS:  Fernwood Publishing, 2007); Aileen Moreton-​R obinson, Talkin’ Up to the White Woman: Aboriginal Women and Feminism (St. Lucia, QLD: University of Queensland Press, 2000); Lawrence and Anderson, “Introduction to ‘Indigenous Women’ ”; Lee Maracle, “Decolonizing Native Women,” in Daughters of Mother Earth:  The Wisdom of Native American Women, ed. Barbara A. Mann (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2006); Shari M. Huhndorf and Cheryl Suzack, “Indigenous Feminism: Theorizing the Issues,” in Indigenous Women and Feminism: Politics, Activism, Culture, ed. Cheryl Suzack, et  al. (Vancouver:  UBC Press, 2010); R. Aida Hernández Castillo, “Comparative Perspectives Symposium:  Indigenous Feminisms:  The Emergence of Indigenous Feminism in Latin America,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 35, no. 3 (2010). 53.  Joyce Green, “Constitutionalising the Patriarchy:  Aboriginal Women and Aboriginal Government,” Constitutional Forum 4, no. 4 (1993); Barker, “Gender, Sovereignty, and the Discourse of Rights”; Denetdale, “Chairmen, Presidents, and Princesses”; “Securing the Navajo National Boundaries: War, Patriotism, Tradition, and the Diné Marriage Act of 2005,” Wicazo Sa Review 24, no. 2 (2009); Ramirez, “Race, Tribal Nation and Gender.” 54. Ross, “From the ‘F’ Word to Indigenous/​Feminisms,” 50. 55.  Chris Finley, “Decolonizing the Queer Native Body (and Recovering the Native Bull-​ Dyke)): Bringing ‘Sexy Back’ and out of Native Studies’ Closet,” in Queer Indigenous Studies. Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature, ed. Qwo-​Li Driskell, et al. (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2011); Scott Lauria Morgensen, “Settler Homonationalism: Theorizing Settler Colonialism within Queer Modernities,” GLQ: A journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 16, no. 1–​2 (2010). 56.  Michael Warner, Fear of a Queer Planet:  Queer Politics and Social Theory (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993), xxvi. 57. Finley, “Decolonizing the Queer Native Body”; Morgensen, “Settler Homonationalism”; Smith, “Queer Theory and Native Studies.” 58. Cf. Rifkin, When Did Indians Become Straight? 59. Waziyatawin, “Colonialism on the Ground,” Intercontinental Cry, January 2, 2014, https://​ intercontinentalcry.org/​colonialism-​ground/​.

244

Notes

60. Smith, “Queer Theory and Native Studies”; Leanne Simpson at leannesimpson.ca, June 1, 2012, http://​leannesimpson.ca/​queering-​resurgence-​taking-​on-​heteropatriarchy-​in-​indigenous-​ nation-​building/​. 61. Eileen Luna, “Indigenous Women, Domestic Violence and Self-​Determination,” Indigenous Law Bulletin 4, no. 25 (1999), 8, 9. 62. Cited in Jaskiran Dhillon, “Indigenous Youth Are Building a Climate Justice Movement by Targeting Colonialism,” Truthout.org, June 20, 2016, http://​www.truth-​out.org/​news/​ item/​ 3 6482-​ i ndigenous-​ y outh-​ a re-​ b uilding-​ a -​ c limate-​ j ustice-​ m ovement-​ b y-​ t argeting-​ colonialism., n.p. 63.  Rachel Flowers, “Refusal to Forgive:  Indigenous Women’s Love and Rage,” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 4, no. 2 (2015), 41. 64. Debra Utacia Krol, “Pascua Yaqui Tribe First to Use VAWA to Prosecute Non-​Indian,” Indian Country Today, June 9, 2017, https://​indiancountrymedianetwork.com/​news/​politics/​ pascua-​yaqui-​tribe-​first-​use-​vawa-​prosecute-​non-​indian/​. 65. Pascua Yaqui Tribe, “Pascua Yaqui Tribe VAWA Implementation,” Pascua Yaqui Nation, AZ: Pascua Yaqui Tribe, n.d., 5. 66. Ibid., 3. 67. Ibid., 4. 68.  Lee Maracle, “Indigenous Women and Power,” in Memory Serves. Oratories, ed. Smaro Kamboureli (Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2015). Chapter 1 1. Interview, June 25, 2012. 2.  Michael A. Murphy, “Representing Indigenous Self-​Determination,” The University of Toronto Law Journal 58, no. 2 (2008), 187. 3. Ibid., 203. Other scholars who have discussed relational self-​determination include Benedict Kingsbury, “Reconstructing Self-​Determination:  A Relational Approach,” in Operationalizing the Right of Indigenous Peoples to Self-​Determination, ed. Pekka Aikio and Martin Scheinin (Turku:  Åbo Akademi University Institute for Human Right, 2000); Andrea Muehlebach, “What Self in Self-​Determination? Notes from the Frontiers of Transnational Indigenous Activism,” Identities:  Global Studies in Power and Culture 10, no. 2 (2003); Rudi Colloredo-​ Mansfeld, “Autonomy and Interdependence in Native Movements: Towards a Pragmatic Politics in the Ecuadorian Andes,” Identities:  Global Studies in Power and Culture 9, no. 2 (2002); Carol Lynne D’Arcangelis, “Exploring Indigenous Feminist Relational Sovereignty:  Feminist Conversation, Non-​Colonizing Sovereignties, Inclusive Nations,” Atlantis 34, no. 2 (2010); and Astrid Ulloa, “The Politics of Autonomy of Indigenous Peoples of the Sierra Nevada De Santa Marta, Colombia:  A Process of Relational Indigenous Autonomy,” Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies 6, no. 1 (2011). None except D’Arcangelis consider relations of domination. Kingsbury and Muehlebach focus on international law, and Colloredo-​Mansfeld and Ulloa discuss forms of relational Indigenous autonomy in Latin America. D’Arcangelis discusses Indigenous feminist notions of relational sovereignty vis-​à-​vis postcolonial feminist critiques of the modern nation-​state. For her, relational sovereignty signifies a form of an inclusive nation premised on interdependence, responsibility, and balance.

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4. Iris Marion Young, “Two Concepts of Self-​Determination,” in Ethnicity, Nationalism and Minority Rights, ed. Stephen May, Tariq Modood, and Judith Squires (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 188. 5. Nedelsky, Law’s Relations, 242. 6. Although theorists typically consider integrity a value rather than a norm, I argue that integrity is also a norm since it is a precondition for the attainment of Indigenous self-​determination. 7. Antonio Cassese, Self-​Determination of Peoples: A Legal Reappraisal (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995); Anaya, Indigenous Peoples in International Law; Karen Knop, Diversity and Self-​Determination in International Law (New  York:  Cambridge University Press, 2002); Maívân Clech Lâm, At the Edge of the State: Indigenous Peoples and Self-​Determination (Ardsley, NY: Transnational, 2000). 8. Aureliu Cristescu, “The Right to Self-​Determination. Historical and Current Development on the Basis of United Nations Instruments” (Geneva: Sub-​Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, Commission on human rights, United Nations, 1981), para. 268. 9.  Rigoberta Menchú Tum, “Report of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations on Its 11th Session,” E/​CN.4/​Sub.2/​1993/​29 (Geneva:  United Nations Commission on Human Rights, 1993), 15; Marie Léger, “Summary of Discussions,” in Collected Papers and Proceedings of the Seminar on the Right of Self-​Determination of Indigenous Peoples (New York: Rights and Democracy, 2002); Lars-​Anders Baer, “The Right of Self-​Determination and the Case of the Sami,” in Operationalizing the Right of Indigenous Peoples to Self-​Determination, ed. Pekka Aikio and Martin Scheinin (Turku:  Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University, 2000); Michael C. van Walt and Onno Seroo, eds., The Implementation of the Right to Self-​Determination as a Contribution to Conflict Prevention: Report of the International Conference of Experts Held in Barcelona from 21 to 27 November (Paris: UNESCO Division of Human Rights Democracy and Peace and Centre UNESCO de Catalunya, 1998); see also T. Gurr, Minorities at Risk: A Global View of Ethnopolitical Conflict (Washington, DC: US Institute of Peace Press, 1993); R. Lapidoth, Autonomy: Flexible Solutions to Ethnic Conflicts (Washington, DC: US Institute of Peace Press, 1996); H. Hannum, “The Sami (Lapp) People of Norway, Sweden and Finland,” in Autonomy, Sovereignty and Self-​Determination: The Accommodation of Conflicting Rights, ed. H. Hannum (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990). 10. Anaya, Indigenous Peoples in International Law; Henriksen, “Implementation of the Right of Self-​Determination of Indigenous Peoples.” 11. Interview with Laila Susanne Vars, July 1, 2011. 12.  Erica-​Irene A. Daes, “The Spirit and Letter of the Right to Self-​Determination of Indigenous Peoples:  Reflections on the Making of the United Nations Draft Declaration,” in Operationalizing the Right of Indigenous Peoples to Self-​Determination, ed. Pekka Aikio and Martin Scheinin (Turku/​Åbo, Finland: Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University, 2000). 13.  S. James Anaya, “The Right of Indigenous Peoples to Self-​Determination in the Post-​ Declaration Era,” in Making the Declaration Work: The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ed. Claire Charters and Rodolfo Stavenhagen (Copenhagen: International Working Group of Indigenous Affairs, 2009), 187. 14. Baer, “The Right of Self-​Determination and the Case of the Sami,” 230. 15. Steven M. Tullberg, “Indigenous Peoples, Self-​Determination and the Unfounded Fear of Secession,” Indigenous Affairs 1 (1995); S. James Anaya, “Divergent Discourses About International

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Law, Indigenous Peoples, and Rights over Lands and Natural Resources: Toward a Realist Trend,” Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law & Policy 16 (2005). However, some scholars have questioned the states’ rhetoric of fear of Indigenous secession. Pitty and Smith note that only relatively weak African states “were genuinely worried about their territorial integrity,” while for the established states especially in the West “the rhetoric of opposition to self-​determination focused on excluding external scrutiny of what governments regard as domestic policy making” (Roderic Pitty and Shannara Smith, “The Indigenous Challenge to Westphalian Sovereignty,” Australian Journal of Political Science 46, no. 1 (2011), 136). Others maintain that the real concern of states is their access to resources and the fact that Indigenous self-​determination will result in the loss of control over lands and resources deemed necessary for the economic development and in some cases, the existence of the very state (Andrew Huff, “Indigenous Land Rights and the New Self-​Determination,” Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law & Policy 16, no. 2 (2005); Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks. 16. Mauro Barelli, “The Interplay between Global and Regional Human Rights Systems in the Construction of the Indigenous Rights Regime,” Human Rights Quarterly 32, no. 4 (2010), 959. 17. Article 4 reads: “Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-​determination, have the right to autonomy or self-​government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions,” UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (September 13), Article 4. 18. Muehlebach, “What Self in Self-​Determination?,” 259. 19. Lâm, At the Edge of the State. 20. H. Patrick Glenn, “The Three Ironies of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People,” in Reflections on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ed. Stephen Allen and Alexandra Xanthaki (Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2011), 174. 21. Megan Davis, “A Reflection on the Limitations of the Right to Self-​Determination and Aboriginal Women,” Indigenous Law Bulletin 7, no. 23 (2011), 7. 22. Ibid., 6. 23. Rauna Kuokkanen, “Indigenous Women’s Rights and International Law. Challenges of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” in Handbook on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, ed. Corinne Lennox and Damien Short (London: Routledge, 2016). 24. Ibid. 25. The “ratification of an international instrument by the federal government does not change the existing division of powers” between federal and provincial levels and as a result, “the federal government is very reluctant to ratify international instruments that will require domestic implementation at a provincial rather than a federal level” (Nigel Bankes, “Land Claim Agreements in Arctic Canada in Light of International Human Rights Norms,” Yearbook of Polar Law 1 (2009), 190, 191). 26. Ibid., 191. 27.  Joanne Barker, “For Whom Sovereignty Matters?,” in Sovereignty Matters. Locations of Contestation and Possibility in Indigenous Struggles for Self-​Determination, ed. Joanne Barker (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005). 28.  David Held, Democracy and the Global Order (Cambridge:  Polity Press, 1995); Ruth Lapidoth, “Sovereignty in Transition,” Journal of International Affairs 45, no. 2 (1992). 29. Philpott, “Sovereignty.”

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30. Anaya, Indigenous Peoples in International Law, 80. 31. Roger C. A. Maaka and Augie Fleras, “Engaging with Indigeneity: Tino Rangatinaranga in Aotearoa,” in Political Theory and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ed. Duncan Ivison, Paul Patton, and Will Sanders (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 93. 32. Mary Druke Becker, “We Are an Independent Nation: A History of Iroquois Sovereignty,” Buffalo Law Review 46 (Fall 1998). Becker notes that the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) made a declaration of sovereignty as early as in 1684. 33. Alfred, Peace, Power, Righteousness; Paul Nadasdy, Sovereignty’s Entailments: First Nation State Formation in the Yukon (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017). 34. Nadasdy, Sovereignty’s Entailments, 7. 35. Anaya, Indigenous Peoples in International Law, 78 36. John Borrows, Recovering Canada: The Resurgence of Indigenous Law (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002); Patrick Macklem, Indigenous Difference and the Constitution of Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001). 37.  Victor P.  Lytwyn, “A Dish with One Spoon:  The Shared Hunting Grounds Agreement in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Valley Region” (paper presented at the Paper of the 28th Algonquian Conference, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, 1997); Joyce Tekahnawiiaks King, “The Value of Water and the Meaning of Water Law for the Native Americans Known as the Haudenosaunee,” Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy 16, no. 3 (2007). 38. Cited in Borrows, Recovering Canada, 149. 39. Ibid. 40.  Cited in Kevin Bruyneel, The Third Space of Sovereignty (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 2007), xii. 41. James (Sa’ke’j) Youngblood Henderson, “Treaty Governance,” in Aboriginal Self-​Government in Canada: Current Trends and Issues, ed. Yale D. Belanger (Saskatoon: Purich, 2008). 42. On the qualified recognition of tribal sovereignty in the United States, see, for example, Duthu, Shadow Nations; David E. Wilkins, “Tribal-​State Affairs:  American Indian States as ‘Disclaiming’ Sovereigns,” Publius 28, no. 4 (1998). 43. Monture Angus, Journeying Forward; Barker, “For Whom Sovereignty Matters?” 44. Anaya, “The Right of Indigenous Peoples to Self-​Determination in the Post-​Declaration Era,” 194. 45.  Rebecca Tsosie, “What Does It Mean to ‘Build a Nation’? Re-​Imagining Indigenous Political Identity in an Era of Self-​Determination,” Asian-​Pacific Law and Policy Journal 7, no. 1 (2006), 41. 46. Glenn, “The Three Ironies of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.” 47.  Patrick Macklem, The Sovereignty of Human Rights (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2015), 156. For an in-​depth discussion of the taken-​for-​granted nature of settler state sovereignty in Indigenous politics, see James Tully, “The Struggles of Indigenous Peoples for and of Freedom,” in Political Theory and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ed. Duncan Ivison, Paul Patton, and Will Sanders (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000); Nadasdy, Sovereignty’s Entailments. 48. Macklem, The Sovereignty of Human Rights, 156. 49. Ibid. 50. Saskia Sassen, Losing Control? Sovereignty in an Age of Globalization (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996).

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51. Stephen Allen, “The Consequences of Modernity for Indigenous Peoples: An International Appraisal,” International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 13, no. 4 (2006), 331. 52. Ibid. 53. Manuel, Unsettling Canada, 167–​68. 54.  Charmaine White Face, Indigenous Nations’ Rights in the Balance:  An Analysis of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (St. Paul:  Living Justice Press, 2013); see also Irene Watson and Sharon Venne, “Talking up Indigenous Peoples’ Original Intent in a Space Dominated by State Interventions,” in Indigenous Rights in the Age of the UN Declaration, ed. Elvira Pulitano and Mililani Trask (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2012); Duane Champagne, “AISA Presidential Address,” in 13th Annual Conference of the American Indian Studies Association “Making the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Work for Tribal Communities” (Tempe: Arizona State University, 2012). 55. Pitty and Smith, “The Indigenous Challenge to Westphalian Sovereignty,” 127. 56. Richard Falk, Achieving Human Rights (New York: Routledge, 2009); Pitty and Smith, “The Indigenous Challenge to Westphalian Sovereignty.” On the other hand, we need to take note of critiques according to which the human rights framework was created as a strategy to ward off decolonization struggles Randall Williams, The Divided World (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010). 57.  Audra Simpson, Mohawk Interruptus:  Political Life across the Borders of Settler States (Durham, NC:  Duke University Press, 2014); Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks; Kino-​nda-​ niimi Collective, ed., The Winter We Danced: Voices from the Past, the Future and the Idle No More Movement (Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring, 2014); Manuel, Unsettling Canada. 58.  Kent McNeil, “Indigenous Land Rights and Self-​ Government:  Inseparable Entitlements,” in Between Indigenous and Settler Governance, ed. Lisa Ford and Tim Rowse (New York: Routledge, 2013). 59. Interview, April 11, 2013. 60. Slim Allagui, “Greenland Votes Massively in Favour of Self-​rule,” Sydney Morning Herald, November 26, 2008, https://​www.smh.com.au/​world/​greenland-​votes-​massively-​in-​favour-​of-​ selfrule-​20081126-​6iem.html. 61. Interview with preeminent municipal politician, April 8, 2013. 62. Act on Greenland Self-​Government, 473 ( June 12, 2009), Article 21.4. 63. Kuupik Kleist, “Statement by Mr. Kuupik Kleist, Premier of Greenland, 2nd Session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Genera, 10–​14 August, 2009,” in Making the Declaration Work. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ed. Rodolfo Stavenhagen and Claire Charters (Copenhagen: International Working Group of Indigenous Affairs, 2009); “Celebration Speech by Premier Kuupik Kleist on Inauguration of Greenland Self-​Government 21st of June 2009,” Nuuk (2009). 64. As a contrary example, the legal opinion is that the Sámi are not considered to be in a position to demand independence or sovereignty on the basis of international law; John B. Henriksen, Martin Scheinin, and Mattias Åhrén, “The Saami People’s Right to Self-​ Determination. Background Material for the Nordic Saami Convention,” Gáldu Čála 3 (2007). 65. The Inuit Circumpolar Council (former Inuit Circumpolar Conference), representing the Inuit across the Arctic with regional offices in Greenland, Canada, Alaska, and Chukotka, Russia, has long been at the forefront of the international advocacy for Indigenous self-​determination.

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Since the inception of the organization in 1977, Inuit rights and self-​determination, together with the protection of Arctic environment, have been the organization’s key policy areas. 66. ICC, “The Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Sovereignty” (2009), Article 4.1. 67. Ibid., Article 2.1. 68. Interview, July 1, 2011. 69. Interview, May 30, 2014. 70. Nedelsky, Law’s Relations, 236 (emphasis added). 71. Ibid.,232. 72. See, for example, Anaya, Indigenous Peoples in International Law; Macklem, The Sovereignty of Human Rights. 73. Nedelsky, Law’s Relations, 232. 74. Ibid., 233. 75. Watson and Venne, “Talking up Indigenous Peoples’ Original Intent in a Space Dominated by State Interventions”; Mary Ellen Turpel, “Aboriginal Peoples and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:  Contradictions and Challenges,” Canadian Woman Studies 10, no. 2/​ 3 (1989); Sharon H. Venne, “The Meaning of Sovereignty,” Indigenous Woman 2, no. 6 (1999); Monture Angus, Journeying Forward. 76.  Alfred, Peace, Power, Righteousness; Jeff Corntassel, “Partnership in Action? Indigenous Political Mobilization and Co-​ Optation During the First UN Indigenous Decade (1995–​2004),” Human Rights Quarterly 29, no. 1 (2007); “Toward Sustainable Self-​ Determination:  Rethinking the Contemporary Indigenous-​Rights Discourse,” Alternatives 33, no. 1 (2008). 77.  For discussion on different types of group rights, see Will Kymlicka, “Individual and Community Rights,” in Group Rights, ed. Judith Baker (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994); Peter Jones, “Human Rights, Group Rights and Peoples’ Rights,” Human Rights Quarterly 21, no. 1 (1999). 78. Watson and Venne, “Talking up Indigenous Peoples’ Original Intent in a Space Dominated by State Interventions,” 95. 79. Ibid. By (incorrectly) asserting that states have rights, Watson and Venne also overlook the critical premise of international law, according to which self-​determination is a right vested in peoples, not states. 80. Manuel, Unsettling Canada. 81. Interview, May 26, 2014. 82.  Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, “First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada Et Al. V. Attorney General of Canada (for the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada)” (2016), 7. 83. The federal government has indicated that this is not in the plans, in spite of the heightened political rhetoric of a new “nation-​to-​nation relationship” with Indigenous peoples upon coming to power in 2015. In the words of Cindy Blackstock, the children’s advocate behind the human rights complaint, in unveiling its 2016 budget soon after the Tribunal’s decision the Liberal government “failed First Nation children and families” Jorge Barrera, “Federal Liberal Budget Failed First Nation Children, Families: Blackstock,” APTN.ca, March 22, 2016, http://​aptn.ca/​news/​ 2016/​03/​22/​federal-​liberal-​budget-​failed-​first-​nation-​children-​families-​blackstock/​. 84. I return to this question in ­chapter 6.

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85. Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks. 86. UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Article 26.1. 87. Ibid., Article 18. 88.  Avigail Eisenberg, “Self-​Determination Versus Recognition,” in Recognition Versus Self-​ Determination: Dilemmas of Emancipatory Politics, ed. Avigail Eisenberg, et al. (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2014). 89. Ibid., 299. 90.  Inter-​American Court of Human Rights, “Mayagna (Sumo) Awas Tingni Community V. Nicaragua,” in Ser. C no. 79 (2001). 91. Jeremie Gilbert, “Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights, and Cultural Heritage: Towards a Right to Cultural Integrity,” in Indigenous Peoples’ Cultural Heritage. Rights, Debates, Challenges, ed. Alexandra Xanthaki, et al. (Leiden: Brill Nijhoff, 2017), 31–​32. 92. Ibid., 32. 93.  Cindy Holder, “Culture as an Activity and Human Right:  An Important Advance for Indigenous Peoples and International Law,” Alternatives:  Global, Local, Political 33, no. 1 (2008), 18. 94. Inter-​American Commission on Human Rights, “Proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” (1997), Article 7.3. 95.  On cultural and individual integrity in Indigenous politics, see Maracle, “Decolonizing Native Women.” 96. See, for example, Vine Jr. Deloria, God Is Red (New York: Dell, 1973). 97. Erica-​Irene A. Daes, “Indigenous Peoples and Their Relationship to Land. Final Working Paper,” E/​CN.4/​Sub.2/​2001/​21 (Geneva: Sub-​Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, Commission on Human Rights, United Nations, 2000). 98. Monture, “The Right of Inclusion”; Napoleon, “Aboriginal Discourse.” 99.  Deborah McGregor, “Anishnaabe-​Kwe, Traditional Knowledge, and Water Protection,” Canadian Woman Studies 26, no. 3/​4 (2008); Anderson, A Recognition of Being. Reconstructing Native Womanhood; Shelagh Day, “The Indivisibility of Women’s Human Rights,” Canadian Woman Studies 20, no. 3 (2000); Wanda Nanibush, “Idle No More: Strong Hearts of Indigenous Women’s Leadership,” in The Winter We Danced:  Voices from the Past, the Future and the Idle No More Movement, ed. Kino-​nda-​niimi Collective (Winnipeg:  ARP Books, 2014); Tara Williamson, “#Idlenomore Provides Us with Opportunity to Examine Nationhood,” in The Winter We Danced. 100.  Clogg cited in Grace Visconti, “WCEL Senior Lawyer Explains Bill C-​45, First Nations Rights, FIFA,” Digital Journal, March 4, 2013, http://​www.digitaljournal.com/​article/​ 344495#ixzz49E84KLXf; see also Ingrid Washinawatok, “Sovereignty Is More Than Just Power,” Indigenous Woman 2, no. 6 (1999), 23; Janice Alison Makokis, “Learning Self Determination through the Sacred,” Canadian Woman Studies 26, no. 3/​4 (2008). 101. Renee Elizabeth Mzinegiizhigo-​kwe Bedard, “Keepers of the Water: Nishnaabe-​Kwewag Speak for the Water,” in Lighting the Eighth Fire, ed. Leanne Simpson (Winnipeg:  Arbeiter Ring, 2008). 102. Interview, July 28, 2014. 103. Deborah McGregor and Sylvia Plain, “Anishinaabe Research Theory and Practice: Place-​ Based Research,” Anishinaabewin Niiwin: Four Rising Winds (2013), 96.

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104.  Cited in Dhillon, “Indigenous Youth Are Building a Climate Justice Movement by Targeting Colonialism.” 105.  WEA and NYSHM, “The Violence on the Land, Violence on Our Bodies:  Building an Indigenous Response to Environmental Violence” (Berkeley and Toronto:  Women’s Earth Alliance and Native Youth Sexual Health Network, 2016). 106. Ibid. 107. Ibid., 16. 108. Interview, September 11, 2014. See also Kino-​nda-​niimi Collective, The Winter We Danced. 109.  I  use the term Two Spirit and Queer (2SQ) in this book to recognize Indigenous conceptions of multiple genders or gender-​nonconforming identities and sexualities, in addition to queer. For me, the term embraces the entire range of gender-​nonconforming identities and sexualities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersex, gender questioning, and asexual (cf. WEA and NYSHM, “The Violence on the Land, Violence on Our Bodies”). 110. Ibid., 6. 111. Darlene Rude and Connie Deiter, “From the Fur Trade to Free Trade: Forestry and First Nations Women in Canada” (Ottawa: Status of Women Canada, 2004). 112. Linda Archibald and Mary Crnkovich, If Gender Mattered: A Case Study of Inuit Women, Land Claims and the Voisey’s Bay Nickel Project (Ottawa: Status of Women Canada, 1999); Connie Deiter and Darlene Rude, “Human Security and Aboriginal Women in Canada” (Ottawa: Status of Women Canada, 2005). 113. Deiter and Rude, “Human Security and Aboriginal Women in Canada”; David C. Natcher, “Gender and Resource Co-​Management in Northern Canada,” Arctic 66, no. 2 (2013): 218–​21; David Cox and Suzanne Mills, “Gendering Environmental Assessment: Women’s Participation and Employment Outcomes at Voisey’s Bay,” Arctic 68, no. 2 (2015): 246–​60. 114. WEA and NYSHM, “The Violence on the Land, Violence on Our Bodies,” 18–​19. 115.  Interview, September 11, 2014. See also CBC News, “Arrests Made in Blood Tribe Fracking Blockade,” CBC.ca, September 11, 2011, http://​www.cbc.ca/​news/​canada/​calgary/​ arrests-​made-​in-​blood-​tribe-​fracking-​blockade-​1.1072388. 116. Interview, September 11, 2014. 117. Elle Maija Tailfeathers, “Fractured Land: A First-​Hand Account of Resistance to Fracking on Blood Land,” Briarpatch, February 28, 2012, n.p. 118. Cf. Andrea Bear Nicholas, “Colonialism and the Struggle for Liberation: The Experience of Maliseet Women,” University of New Brunswick Law Journal 43, no. 1 (1994). 119. Tailfeathers, “Fractured Land,” n.p. 120. Interview, September 11, 2014. 121. Tailfeathers, “Fractured Land,” n.p. 122. Nedelsky, Law’s Relations, 243 123. Borrows, Freedom and Indigenous Constitutionalism, 126. 124. Ibid., 93. 125. Kuokkanen, “Indigenous Economies, Theories of Subsistence and Women.” 126. Interview, June 15, 2011. 127. Interview with teacher, June 13, 2011. 128.  Cf. James Tully, “A Just Relationship between Aboriginal and Non-​Aboriginal Peoples of Canada,” in Aboriginal Rights and Self-​Government. The Canadian and Mexican Experience

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in North American Perspective, ed. Curtis Cook and Juan D. Lindau (Kingston: McGill-​Queen’s University Press, 2000); Colin H. Scott, “Co-​Management and the Politics of Aboriginal Consent to Resource Development: The Agreement Concerning a New Relationship between Le Gouvernement Du Québec and the Crees of Québec (2002),” in Reconfiguring Aboriginal-​State Relations, ed. Michael Murphy (Kingston: McGill-​Queen’s University Press, 2005). 129. “Co-​Management and the Politics of Aboriginal Consent to Resource Development: The Agreement Concerning a New Relationship between Le Gouvernement Du Québec and the Crees of Québec (2002).” 130. Interview with Nanibush, May 30, 2014. See also Flowers, “Refusal to Forgive,” 35. 131. Interview, July 11, 2014. 132. Bernard Williams, “Integrity,” in Utilitarianism: For and Against, ed. J. J. C. Smart and Bernard Williams (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1973). 133. Elizabeth Ashford, “Utilitarianism, Integrity and Partiality,” Journal of Philosophy 97, no. 8 (2000); Mark Halfon, Integrity:  A Philosophical Inquiry (Philadelphia:  Temple University Press, 1989). 134. Cheshire Calhoun, “Standing for Something,” Journal of Philosophy 92, no. 5 (1995). 135.  Cf. Patricia Monture Angus, “To Break with the Past:  Searching for the Meaning of Self-​Determination,” in Journeying Forward:  Dreaming First Nations’ Independence (Halifax, NS:  Fernwood Publishing, 1998); Margarita Gutiérrez and Nellys Palomo, “A Woman’s Eye View of Autonomy,” in Indigenous Autonomy in Mexico, ed. Aracely Burguete Cal Mayor (Copenhagen: International Working Group of Indigenous Affairs, 2000); Sharon McIvor, “Self-​ Government and Aboriginal Women,” in Scratching the Surface. Canadian Anti-​R acist Feminist Thought, ed. Enakshi Dua and A. Robertson (Toronto: Women’s Educational Press, 1999). 136. Elisa Buenadventura-​Posso and Susan E. Brown, “Forced Transition from Egalitarianism to Male Domination:  The Bari of Colombia,” in Women and Colonization:  Anthropological Perspectives, ed. Mona Etienne and Eleanor Leacock (New York: Praeger, 1980); Cindy L. Holder and Jeff J. Corntassel, “Indigenous Peoples and Multicultural Citizenship: Bridging Collective and Individual Rights,” Human Rights Quarterly 24, no. 1 (2002); Alice Kehoe, “Blackfoot Persons,” in Two-​Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Spirituality, ed. Sue-​Ellen Jacobs, Wesley Thomas, and Sabine Lang (Urbana:  University of Illinois Press, 1997); Emma LaRocque, “Re-​Examining Culturally Appropriate Models in Criminal Justice Applications,” in Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in Canada: Essays on Law, Equity and Respect for Difference, ed. Michael Asch (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1997); Eleanor Leacock, “Montagnais Women and the Jesuit Programme for Colonization,” in Women and Colonization: Anthropological Perspectives, ed. Mona Etienne and Eleanor Leacock (New  York:  Praeger, 1980); Daniel Malz and JoAllyn Archambault, “Gender and Power in Native North America. Concluding Remarks,” in Women and Power in Native North America, ed. Laura F. Klein and Lillian A. Ackerman (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995); Nicholas, “Colonialism and the Struggle for Liberation”; Robin Ridington, “Documenting the Normal, Perverting the Real. Contrasting Images of Native Indian Experience,” in Little Bit Know Something, ed. Robin Ridington (Vancouver, BC and Iowa City: Douglas & McIntyre and University of Iowa Press, 1990); Elizabeth Woody, “Voice of the Land: Giving the Good Word,” in Speaking for the Generations. Native Writers on Writing, ed. Simon J. Ortiz (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1998). 137. Nedelsky, Law’s Relations, 124.

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138. Ibid. 139. Interview, September 11, 2014. 140. Nicholas, “Colonialism and the Struggle for Liberation”; Barker, “Gender, Sovereignty, and the Discourse of Rights in Native Women’s Activism.” 141.  A  number of Indigenous feminists have critically assessed the concept of “traditions” and its functions in their communities. See, for example, Barker, “Gender, Sovereignty, and the Discourse of Rights in Native Women’s Activism”; Ramirez, “Race, Tribal Nation and Gender”; Denetdale, “Chairmen, Presidents, and Princesses”; LaRocque, “Re-​ Examining Culturally Appropriate Models in Criminal Justice Applications”; Castillo, “Comparative Perspectives Symposium”; Green, “Constitutionalising the Patriarchy”; Nicholas, “Colonialism and the Struggle for Liberation.” 142. Cf. Maracle, “Decolonizing Native Women”; Joyce Green, “Taking Account of Aboriginal Feminism,” in Making Space for Indigenous Feminism, ed. Joyce Green (Halifax, NS: Fernwood Publishing, 2007); Napoleon, “Aboriginal Discourse.” For examples, see discussion in c­ hapter 4, section “Gender Equality Policies of the Sámi Parliaments.” 143. Alex Wilson, “Our Coming in Stories: Cree Identity, Body Sovereignty and Gender Self-​ Determination,” Journal of Global Indigeneity 1, no. 1 (2015), 3. 144. Simpson, As We Have Always Done, 141. 145. See Rauna Kuokkanen, Reshaping the University: Responsibility, Indigenous Epistemes and the Logic of the Gift (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2007). 146. Monture Angus, Journeying Forward, 8. 147. Ridington, “Documenting the Normal, Perverting the Real,” 241. 148. Cf. Simpson, As We Have Always Done. 149. Interview with Sylvia Plain, July 28, 2014. 150. Interview, July 4, 2014. Leanne Simpson discusses the process and significance of “coming to know” from an Anishinaabe perspective in ­chapter  9, “Land as Pedagogy,” in As We Have Always Done. 151. Cf. Kundoqk ( Jacquie Green), “Transforming Our Nuuyum: Contemporary Indigenous Leadership and Governance: Stories Told by Glastowk Askw and Bakk Jus Moojillth, Ray and Mary Green,” Indigenous Law Journal 33, no. 1 (2014). 152. Val Napoleon, “Aboriginal Self-​Determination: Individual and Collective Selves,” Atlantis 29, no. 2 (2005). 153. Interview with Val Napoleon, May 23, 2014. 154. Ramirez, “Race, Tribal Nation and Gender.” 155. Simpson, As We Have Always Done, 123. 156. Nedelsky, Law’s Relations, 123. 157.  D. Memee Lavell-​Harvard and Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, “Aboriginal Women Vs. Canada: The Struggle for Our Mothers to Remain Aboriginal,” in Until Our Hearts Are on the Ground: Aboriginal Mothering, Oppression, Resistance and Rebirth, ed. Jeannette Corbiere Lavell and D. Memee Lavell-​Harvard (Toronto: Demeter Press, 2006). 158. Kathleen Jamieson, Indian Women and the Law in Canada: Citizens Minus (Ottawa: Advisory Council on the Status of Women, 1978); Joan Holmes, “Bill C-​31: Equality or Disparity? The Effects of the New Indian Act on Native Women” (Ottawa: Canadian Advisory Council on the Status on Women, 1987); Nicholas, “Colonialism and the Struggle for Liberation”; Wendy Moss, “Indigenous

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Self-​Government in Canada and Sexual Equality under the Indian Act:  Resolving Conflicts between Collective and Individual Rights,” Queen’s Law Journal 15, no. 2 (1990). 159.  Interview, April 9, 2014. See also Lavell-​Harvard and Lavell, “Aboriginal Women Vs. Canada.” 160. Mary Eberts, “Victoria’s Secret: How to Make a Population of Prey,” in Invisible: Indigenous Human Rights, ed. Joyce Green (Halifax; NS: Fernwood Publishing, 2014). 161. Patrick Wolfe, “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native,” Journal of Genocide Research 8, no. 4 (2006). 162. Interview with Cree-​Métis woman, May 24, 2014. 163. I consider the need for new norms of nonviolence in the final chapter. 164. Woody, “Voice of the Land,” 155. 165. Simpson, As We Have Always Done, 92. 166. Interview, May 26, 2014. 167. Interview, May 23, 2014. 168. Deloria and Lytle, The Nations Within, 251. 169.  Tove Skutnabb-​Kangas, “Language and Self-​Determination,” in Self-​Determination. International Perspectives, ed. Donald Clark and Robert Williamson (London:  Palgrave Macmillan, 1996), 124. 170. Interview, May 22, 2014. 171. Nedelsky, Law’s Relations, 233. 172. Interview, May 23, 2014. Chapter 2 1.  Will Kymlicka, “American Multiculturalism and the ‘Nations Within,’” in Political Theory and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ed. Duncan Ivison, Paul Patton, and Will Sanders (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 222. 2. Iris Marion Young, “Hybrid Democracy: Iroquois Federalism and the Postcolonial Project,” in Political Theory and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ed. Duncan Ivison, Paul Patton, and Will Sanders (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 252. 3. Ibid.; Melissa S. Williams, “Sharing the River. Aboriginal Representation in Canadian Political Institutions,” in Representation and Democratic Theory, ed. David Layroth (Vancouver:  UBC Press, 2004); Anaya, Indigenous Peoples in International Law; Else Grete Broderstad, “Political Autonomy and Integration of Authority:  The Understanding of Saami Self-​Determination,” International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 8, no. 2 (2001). 4.  John B. Henriksen, “Case Studies:  Different Forms of Indigenous Self-​Government and Autonomy,” in TPPRC/​KREDDHA Seminar on Autonomy (New Delhi 2004). 5.  According to Henriksen, the Torres Strait Islander Commission in Australia and the Waitangi Tribunal in Aotearoa/​New Zealand are also examples of self-​government models practiced through contemporary institutions. Others however maintain that to suggest that the Waitangi Tribunal is a form of self-​government is a stretch if not an outright misrepresentation. As a claims tribunal related to the Treaty of Waitangi, it is a mechanism to bring forward claims of detrimental Crown action or inaction related to the Treaty. Notably, it lacks the power of enforcement and the treaty claims can be extinguished by a settlement or Parliamentary legislation. See Sheryl Lightfoot, Global Indigenous Politics: A Subtle Revolution (New York: Routledge, 2016).

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6.  Reservation systems can also be found in some other Latin American countries such as Costa Rica. 7. Henriksen, “Case Studies.” 8. Greenland Home Rule, “Greenland Home Rule Government,” 2004, http://​www.nanoq. gl/​English/​About_​Greenland/​Factsheet.asp. 9. For a comparative analysis of the United States and Canada reserve/​reservation system, see, for example, Jill St. Germain, Indian Treaty Policy Making in the United States and Canada, 1867–​ 1877 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005). 10. Frederik Harhoff, “Greenland’s Withdrawal from the European Communities,” Common Market Law Review 20, no. 1 (1983). 11.  Greenland-​ Danish Self-​ Government Commission, “The Greenland-​ Danish Self-​ Government Commission’s Report on Self-​Government in Greenland:  Executive Summary” (Nuuk 2008). 12. Jens Dahl, “Greenland: Political Structure of Self-​Government,” Arctic Anthropology 23, no. 1 (1986), 317. 13. Ibid. 14. Harhoff, “Greenland’s Withdrawal from the European Communities,” 15. 15. Robert Petersen, “Colonialism as Seen from a Former Colonized Area,” Arctic Anthropology 32, no. 2 (1995), 121. 16. Aviaaja Egede Lynge, “The Best Colony in the World” (paper presented at the Rethinking Nordic Colonialism, Nuuk, April 21–​May 14 2006), 3. 17. Harhoff, “Greenland’s Withdrawal from the European Communities.” 18. Interview with teacher, April 6, 2013. 19. Cited in Dahl, “Greenland,” 320. 20. Ibid. 21.  Greenland-​ Danish Self-​ Government Commission, “The Greenland-​ Danish Self-​ Government Commission’s Report on Self-​Government in Greenland: Executive Summary.” 22. Dahl, “Greenland.” 23. Harhoff, “Greenland’s Withdrawal from the European Communities.” 24. Jens Dahl, “Identity, Urbanization and Political Demography in Greenland,” Acta Borealia 27, no. 2 (2010). 25. Aqqaluk Lynge, Inuit. The Story of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (Viborg: Nørhaven A/​ S, 1993), 98. 26. Isi Foighel, “Home Rule in Greenland 1979,” Nordic Journal of International Law 48, no 1 (1979). 27.  Dahl, “Greenland.” Others have argued that the Inuit adoption of the Danish administrative and political systems (including political parties and their core ideologies) is not merely uncritical imitation but rather accepting “a vehicle in the modern world that is in accordance with some key principles” of Inuit culture and world view. See Jens Kaalhauge Nielsen, “Government, Culture and Sustainability in Greenland: A Microstate with a Hinterland,” Public Organization Review 1, no. 2 (2001), 234. 28. Interview with civil servant, April 3, 2013. 29.  Greenland-​ Danish Self-​ Government Commission, “The Greenland-​ Danish Self-​ Government Commission’s Report on Self-​Government in Greenland: Executive Summary.”

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30. Natalia Loukacheva, The Arctic Promise: Legal and Political Autonomy of Greenland and Nunavut (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007), 56. 31. The other main parties include the liberal conservative Atassut (Solidarity) emphasizing interdependence with Denmark and centre-​right Democrats. More recently Greenland’s political party system has seen the phenomenon of splinter groups forming new parties; the left-​wing separatist Partii Inuit, split from Inuit Ataqatigiit in 2013, and centrist Partii Naleraq, split from Siumut in 2014. 32. Nielsen, “Government, Culture and Sustainability in Greenland,” 232. 33. Interview with civil servant, April 3, 2013. 34. Cited in Marianne Lykke Thomsen, “Inuit Women in Greenland and Canada: Awareness and Involvement in Political Development,” in Gossip: A Spoken History of Women in the North, ed. Mary Crnkovich (Ottawa: Canadian Arctic Resources Committee, 1990), 252. 35. Interview with ICC Greenland representative, March 25, 2013. 36. Interview, March 21, 2013. 37.  Interview with educator, April 10, 2013. My own casual observation corroborates these views. While waiting at the lobby of the government building at 5  p.m. for the meeting with the newly elected premier Hammond, government employees were leaving work at the end of their workday. I noticed how only a small percentage of them indeed were Greenlanders or spoke Greenlandic with their colleagues as they were heading out the door. 38. Ivar Jonsson, “Greenland—​from Home Rule to Independence: New Opportunities for a New Generation in Greenland,” in NARF-​Symposium: Dependency, Autonomy and Conditions for Sustainability in the Arctic (Nuuk: Institute of Economics and Management, 1997). 39. Interview with civil servant, April 3, 2013. 40. Emma Wilson, “Energy and Minerals in Greenland: Governance, Corporate Responsibility and Social Resilience” (London:  International Institute for Environment and Development, 2015), 13. 41. Interview, March 19, 2013. 42. Interview, April 11, 2013. 43. Interview, March 22, 2013. 44. Interview, April 11, 2013. 45.  Cf. Graham White, “Traditional Aboriginal Values in a Westminster Parliament:  The Legislative Assembly of Nunavut,” Journal of Legislative Studies 12, no. 1 (2006). 46. Frances Abele and Michael J. Prince, “Four Pathways to Aboriginal Self-​Government in Canada,” American Review of Canadian Studies 36, no. 4 (2006). 47. Yale D. Belanger and David R. Newhouse, “Reconciling Solitudes: A Critical Analysis of the Self-​Government Ideal,” in Aboriginal Self-​Government in Canada: Current Trends and Issues (Saskatoon: Purich, 2008), 1. 48. The term “citizen minus” took cue from the term “citizen plus.” See note 51. 49.  Harold Cardinal, The Unjust Society:  The Tragedy of Canada’s Indians (Edmonton:  M. G. Hurtig, 1969). 50. Peter McFarlane, Brotherhood to Nationhood: George Manuel and the Making of the Modern Indian Movement (Toronto:  Between the Lines, 1993). On the political context for the emergence of Aboriginal self-​government, see for example, Alan C. Cairns, Citizens Plus: Aboriginal Peoples and the Canadian State (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2001). The underlying assimilatory spirit

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of the White Paper is considered to continue to present-​day policies of termination of treaty rights and subtle assimilation. 51.  Harry B. Hawthorn, “A Survey of the Contemporary Indians of Canada:  Economic, Political, Educational Needs and Policies:  Part  1” (Ottawa:  Ministry of Indian Affairs, 1966); “A Survey of the Contemporary Indians of Canada:  Economic, Political, Educational Needs and Policies:  Part  2” (Ottawa:  Ministry of Indian Affairs, 1967). The term “citizens plus” was coined by Hawthorn to refer to idea of a differentiated citizenship status for Aboriginal people. According to the term, Aboriginal people should be able to hold all ordinary rights associated with Canadian citizenship as well as distinct rights stemming from and recognized in the historic treaties, legislation, and other agreements. 52. Thomas Berger, Northern Frontier, Northern Homeland: The Report of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry (Ottawa: Minister of Supply and Services, 1977); Mel Watkins, Dene Nation, the Colony Within (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1977). 53. Yale D. Belanger and David R. Newhouse, “Reconciling Solitudes: A Critical Analysis of the Self-​Government Ideal,” in Aboriginal Self-​Government in Canada: Current Trends and Issues, 1–​19 (Saskatoon: Purich, 2008). 54.  Anne F. Bayefsky, “The Human Rights Committee and the Case of Sandra Lovelace,” Canadian Yearbook of International Law 20 (March 1982); Knop, Diversity and Self-​Determination in International Law. 55.  See Mary Eberts, “Case Comment:  Mcivor:  Justice Delayed—​Again,” Indigenous Law Journal 9, no. 1 (2010); Janet Silman, ed., Enough Is Enough:  Aboriginal Women Speak Out (Toronto: Women’s Press, 1987); Sally Weaver, “First Nations Women and Government Policy, 1970–​92:  Discrimination and Conflict,” in Changing Patterns:  Women in Canada, ed. Sandra Burth, Lorraine Dody, and Kindsay Dorney (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1993); NWAC, “Aboriginal Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” (Ottawa:  Native Women’s Association of Canada, 1999); Sharon McIvor, “Aboriginal Women Unmasked:  Using Equality Litigation to Advance Women’s Rights,” Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 16, no. 1 (2004); Monture, “The Right of Inclusion. Aboriginal Rights and/​or Aboriginal Women?” 56. The full title of Bill S-​3 is Act to amend the Indian Act in response to the Superior Court of Quebec decision in Descheneaux c. Canada (Procureur général) (2017). 57. Shelagh Day, Equal Status for Indigenous Women—​Sometime, Not Now: The Indian Act and Bill S-​3. Ottawa: Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action, 2017.. 58. Jo-​Anne Fiske, “The Womb Is to the Nation as the Heart Is to the Body: Ethnopolitical Discourses of the Canadian Indigenous Women’s Movement,” Studies in Political Economy 51, no. 1 (1996); Teressa Nahanee, “Dancing with a Gorilla: Aboriginal Women and the Charter,” in Aboriginal Peoples and the Justice System: Report of the National Round Table on Aboriginal Justice Issues Canada (Ottawa:  Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1993); Patricia Monture-​ Okanee, “Reclaiming Justice: Aboriginal Women and Justice Initiatives in the 1990s,” in Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Aboriginal Peoples and the Justice System: Report of the National Round Table on Aboriginal Justice Issues (Ottawa: Minister of Supply and Services Canada, 1993); Green, “Constitutionalising the Patriarchy.” 59. McIvor, “Aboriginal Women Unmasked,” 128. For differing views, see Margaret Jackson, “Aboriginal Women and Self-​Government,” in Aboriginal Self-​Government in Canada: Current Trends and Issues, ed. John H. Hylton (Saskatoon: Purich, 1994).

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60. Nicholas, “Colonialism and the Struggle for Liberation,” 237. 61.  NWAC has its origins in the first national Native women’s conferences held in 1971 in Edmonton and 1972 in Saskatoon, where the gender discrimination in the Indian Act was one of the main issues. NWAC held its first assembly in 1974 and in 1981 became the umbrella organ­ ization for Indigenous women in Canada. More recently, NWAC has worked on the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women. In its work, including the creation of database of missing and murdered Indigenous women, it became a threat to the state. Robyn Bourgeois maintains that NWAC “attempted to disrupt all those dominant stories that the State tells itself and the accounts that it gives about benevolent settlement, and that colonialism is part of the past through reconciliation.” As a result, in 2010 the government “had no other option but to silence them” by cutting NWAC’s funding to the Sisters in Spirit initiative (interview with Bourgeois, May 22, 2014). 62. Cindy Polchies, “Aboriginal Self-​Government in Canada -​the Native Women’s View,” in Becoming Visible -​Indigenous Politics and Self-​Government, ed. Terje Brantenberg, Janne Hansen, and Henry Minde (Tromsø: University of Tromsø, Sámi dutkamiid guovddás -​Centre for Sámi Studies, 1995), 159–​60. 63. David Schneiderman, “Human Rights, Fundamental Differences? Multiple Charters in a Partnership Frame,” in Beyond the Impasse: Toward Reconciliation, ed. Roger Gibbins and Guy Laforest (Montréal: Institute for Research on Public Policy, 1998), 159. Polchies contends that if it is agreed that the Charter does not apply to Aboriginal governments and that Aboriginal governments may use Section 33 of the Constitution Act, 1982, there were a number of rights that could be suspended from Aboriginal people, such as “freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression . . . freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association.” Polchies, “Aboriginal Self-​Government in Canada,” 161. 64. Nellie Carlson, Linda Goyette, and Kathleen Steinhauer, Disinherited Generations: Our Struggle to Reclaim Treaty Rights for First Nations Women and Their Descendants (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2013), xxxvi. 65. Interview, September 11, 2014. 66. Interview, May 30, 2014. 67. Napoleon, “Aboriginal Self-​Determination,” 36. 68.  Notwithstanding the federal government’s interpretation of section 35 recognizing self-​ government as part of existing Aboriginal rights, Canadian courts have not yet explicitly confirmed the constitutional protection of the right to self-​government. The Supreme Court of Canada has left the question open while some lower courts maintain the right does not exist. See Shin Imai, Aboriginal Law Handbook (Scarborough, ON:  Carswell Thomson, 1999); Gordon Christie, “Aboriginal Nationhood and the Inherent Right to Self-​Government,” Research Paper for the National Centre for First Nations Governance (West Vancouver: National Centre for First Nations Governance, 2007). There are exceptions such as Campbell v. British Columbia (2000) that provides that Aboriginal self-​government rights are constitutionally protected and have not been extinguished (Maria Morellato, “The Crown’s Constitutional Duty to Consult and Accommodate Aboriginal and Treaty Rights,” Research Paper for the National Centre for First Nations Governance (West Vancouver: National Centre for First Nations Governance (2008)). Canadian courts have also recognized the pre-​existing sovereignty of Indigenous peoples (Supreme Court of Canada decision of Haida Nation, 2004).

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69. Bradford W. Morse, “The Inherent Right of Aboriginal Governance,” in Aboriginal Self-​ Government in Canada: Current Trends and Issues, ed. John H. Hylton (Saskatoon: Purich, 1999). 70.  Kent McNeil, “The Jurisdiction of Inherent Right Aboriginal Governments,” Research Paper for the National Centre for First Nations Governance (Vancouver: National Centre for First Nations Governance, 2007); Manuel, Unsettling Canada. 71. Irlbacher-​Fox, Finding Dahshaa, 160. 72. Ibid., 161. 73. Russell Diabo, “Justin Trudeau Continuing Proud Liberal Tradition of Betraying Indigenous Peoples,” Rabble.ca, October 28, 2016, http://​rabble.ca/​blogs/​bloggers/​views-​expressed/​2016/​ 10/​justin-​trudeau-​continuing-​proud-​liberal-​tradition-​betraying-​i. 74.  Department of Justice Canada, “Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples” (Ottawa: Department of Justice Canada, 2017). 75. Ibid. 76. Cairns, Citizens Plus, 111. 77.  RCAP, “The Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples” (Ottawa:  Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996). 78. Abele and Prince, “Four Pathways to Aboriginal Self-​Government in Canada.” 79. Ibid., 576. 80. Ibid., 578. 81. INAC, “The Government of Canada’s Approach to Implementation of the Inherent Right and the Negotiation of Aboriginal Self-​Government,” Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, March 11, 2010, http://​www.aadnc-​aandc.gc.ca/​eng/​1100100031843/​1100100031844. 82. Abele and Prince, “Four Pathways to Aboriginal Self-​Government in Canada,” 579. 83. Ibid., 580. 84.  Susana Mas, “Trudeau Lays out Plan for New Relationship with Indigenous People,” CBC.ca, December 8, 2015, http://​www.cbc.ca/​news/​politics/​justin-​trudeau-​afn-​ indigenous-​aboriginal-​people-​1.3354747. 85.  See, for example, Nisga’a Nation, “Understanding the Nisga’a Treaty” (New Aiyansh, BC: Nisga’a Tribal Council, 1998). 86.  James Tully, “The Struggles of Indigenous Peoples for and of Freedom,” in Political Theory and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ed. Duncan Ivison, Paul Patton, and Will Sanders (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000); Manuel, Unsettling Canada. 87.  UN Human Rights Committee, “UN Human Rights Committee:  Concluding Observations: Canada” (Geneva: UN Human Rights Committee, 1999). Unlike the Nisga’a, the Tsilhqot’in Nation, also in British Columbia, chose the court system over the modern treaty process. In a historic decision in July 2014, the Tsilhqot’in established Aboriginal title over 40 percent (approximately 1,900 square kilometres) of their traditional territory and became a first Indigenous people in Canada to win title to their land in courts. 88. Referred to as the Sámi Magna Charta by some, the codicil obliged reindeer herding Sámi to choose citizenship in either Sweden or Denmark-​Norway, and established the states’ right to regulate trans-​border reindeer husbandry. It also fell short on recognizing Sámi rights to land and applied only to reindeer herding Sámi, thus creating internal divisions among the Sámi people. 89. The Draft Nordic Sámi Convention is an exception, mentioning it briefly.

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90.  Lauri Hannikainen, “The Status of Minorities, Indigenous Peoples and Immigrant and Refugee Groups in Four Nordic States,” Nordic Journal of International Law 1, no.1 (1996); Gudmundur Alfredsson, “The Rights of Indigenous Peoples with a Focus on the National Performance and Foreign Policies of the Nordic Countries,” Heidelberg Journal of International Law 59, no. 2 (1999). 91. The status of the Sámi as an Indigenous people is constitutionally entrenched in Norway and Finland. Owing to expectations to be in step with the neighboring Norway and Finland, the Sámi in Sweden have only recently been recognized as an Indigenous people, albeit not in the Constitution. 92. See Ulf Mörkenstam, Eva Josefsen, and Ragnhild Nilsson, “The Nordic Sámediggis and the Limits of Indigenous Self-​Determination,” Gáldu Čála 1 (2016). 93.  Eva Josefsen, Ulf Mörkenstam, and Jo Saglie, “Different Institutions within Similar States: The Norwegian and Swedish Sámediggis,” Ethnopolitics 14, no. 1 (2015), 44. 94. Jukka Nyyssönen, “Principles and Practice in Finnish National Policies toward the Sámi People,” in First World, First Nations. Internal Colonialism and Indigenous Self-​Determination in Northern Europe and Australia, ed. Günter Minnerup and Pia Solberg (Brighton:  Sussex Academic Press, 2011). 95. Carsten Smith, “The Development of Sámi Rights in Norway from 1980 to 2007,” in First World, First Nations: Internal Colonialism and Indigenous Self-​Determination in Northern Europe and Australia, ed. Günter Minnerup and Pia Solberg (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2011), 26. 96.  Josefsen, Mörkenstam, and Saglie, “Different Institutions within Similar States”; Jukka Nyyssönen, “Between the Global Movement and National Politics:  Sami Identity Politics in Finland from the 1970s to the Early 1990s,” in Indigenous Peoples. Self-​Determination, Knowledge, Indigeneity, ed. Henry Minde, et al. (CW Delft: Eburon, 2008). 97. Josefsen, Mörkenstam, and Saglie, “Different Institutions within Similar States.” 98.  Rebecca Lawrence and Ulf Mörkenstam, “Självbestämmande Genom Myndighet­ sutövning?,” Statsvetenskaplig tidskrift 2, no. 114 (2012). 99. Audhild Schanche, Graver I Ur Og Berg. Samisk Gravskikk Og Religion Fra Förhistorisk Til Nyere Tid (Karasjok: Davvi Girji, 2000); Eva Silvén, Mats Landin, and Christina Westergren, eds., Sápmi—​Om Att Vara Same I  Sverige. Sápmi—​Makkár Lea Leahkit Sápmelaš Ruoŧas. Sápmi—​on Being Sami in Sweden (Stockholm: Nordiska Museet, 2007); Pekka Isaksson, Kumma Kuvajainen. Rasismi Rotututkimuksessa, Rotuteorioiden Saamelaiset ja Suomalainen Fyysinen Antropologia (Inari: Kustannus Puntsi, 2001). 100. Oystein Steinlien, “The Sami Law: A Change of Norwegian Government Policy toward the Sami Minority?,” Canadian Journal of Native Studies 9, no. 1–​14 (1989). 101. Regnor Jernsletten, “The Land Sales Act of 1902 as a Means of Norwegianization,” Acta Borealia 1, no. 1 (1986). 102. Steinlien, “The Sami Law.” 103.  See, for example, Terje Brantenberg, “The Alta-​Kautokeino Conflict:  Saami Reindeer Herding and Ethnopolitics,” in Native Power:  The Quest for Autonomy and Nationhood of Indigenous Peoples, ed. Jens Brosted, et al. (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1985); Robert Paine, Dam a River, Damn a People? (Copenhagen:  International Working Group on Indigenous Affairs, 1982); Georg Parmann, Kampen Om Alta—​En Trusel Mot Vårt Demokrati? (Oslo: Dreyer, 1980); Ed Sanders, “Urbefolkningens Rettiheterer Og Alta-​Kautokeino-​Utbyggningen,” in Samene—​ Urbefolkning Og Minoritet, ed. Trond Thuen (Tromsø: Universitetsforlaget, 1980).

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104. Josefsen, Mörkenstam, and Saglie, “Different Institutions within Similar States,” 44. 105.  Anne Julie Semb, “How Norms Affect Policy—​the Case of Sami Policy in Norway,” International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 8, no. 2–​3 (2001). 106. Smith, “The Development of Sámi Rights in Norway from 1980 to 2007,” 23. 107. Cited in John B. Henriksen, Saami Parliamentary Co-​Operation: An Analysis, trans. Marie Bille (Guovdageaidnu: Nordic Sámi Institute, 1999), 37. 108. Eva Josefsen, “The Saami and the National Parliaments—​Channels for Political Influence,” Gáldu Čála 2 (2007); Torvald Falch, Per Selle, and Kristin Strømsnes, “The Sámi: 25 Years of Indigenous Authority in Norway,” Ethnopolitics 15, no. 1 (2016). 109. This is the same with all three Sámi Parliaments. Although there are some considerable differences, all the criteria focus, on varying degree, on the Sámi language either as a mother tongue or language spoken at home. 110. Falch, Selle, and Strømsnes, “The Sámi,” 136. 111. Smith, “The Development of Sámi Rights in Norway from 1980 to 2007.” 112.  John B. Henriksen, “Key Principles in Implementing ILO Convention No. 169. The Finnmark Act (Norway), a Case Study,” in Research on Best Practices for the Implementation of the Principles of ILO Convention No. 169. Programme to Promote ILO Convention No. 169 (Geneva: International Labor Organization, 2008), 80. 113. Josefsen, Mörkenstam, and Saglie, “Different Institutions within Similar States,” 45; For details, see Henriksen, “Key Principles in Implementing ILO Convention No. 169,” 15–​19. 114.  Láilá Susanne Vars, “The Sámi People’s Right to Self-​Determination” (PhD diss., University of Tromsø, 2009), 393. 115. Sámediggi, “Protokoll Fra Det Halvårlige Konsultasjonmøte 30.06.06 Mellom Arbeids-​ of Inkluderingsministeren Og Sametingspresidenten” (Karasjok: Sámediggi, 2006); Smith, “The Development of Sámi Rights in Norway from 1980 to 2007”; Falch, Selle, and Strømsnes, “The Sámi”; Vars, “The Sámi People’s Right to Self-​Determination.” 116. Limited because the act excludes, for example, traditional fishing rights of the coastal Sámi and because it only applies to the northernmost county. Yet notably, “state authorities have acknowledged that parts of Inner-​Finnmark consist of land which the Sámi people ‘traditionally occupy’ in the meaning of article 14 (1) of the ILO Convention” (Henriksen, “Key Principles in Implementing ILO Convention No. 169. The Finnmark Act (Norway), a Case Study,” 92). 117. Ibid. 118. Ibid. 119. Email message to author, March 21, 2016. 120.  Martin Scheinin, “What Are Indigenous Peoples,” in Minorities, Peoples and Self-​ Determination, ed. N. Ghanea and Alexandra Xanthaki (Leiden:  Martinus Nijhoff, 2005); Øyvind Ravna, “The Process of Identifying Land Rights in Parts of Northern Norway: Does the Finnmark Act Prescribe an Adequate Procedure within the National Law,” Yearbook of Polar Law 3 (2011); Malgosia Fitzmaurice, “The New Developments Regarding the Saami Peoples of the North,” International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 16, no. 1 (2009); Øyvind Ravna, “Links between Lands, Territories, Environment and Cultural Heritage—​the Recognition of Sámi Lands in Norway,” in Indigenous Peoples’ Cultural Heritage. Rights, Debates, Challenges, ed. Alexandra Xanthaki, et al. (Leiden: Brill Nijhoff, 2017). As of writing this, there is a precedent-​ setting case before the Norwegian Supreme Court in which the Finnmark Estate appealed a lower court decision to grant a Sámi community of Unjárga local governance rights to their lands and

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resources. The case is widely seen as the Finnmark Estate opposing local Sámi governance of their territories and resources (see, for example, interview with Inger Eline Eriksen Fjellgren, member of the Sámi Parliament in Norway, in NRK Sápmi, January 18, 2018). 121. Tully, “The Struggles of Indigenous Peoples for and of Freedom,” 57. 122. Ibid., 57. 123. Part of the Swedish Sámi policy was the system known as the Lapp Administration headed by a Lapp bailiff and later, assisted by regional supervisors. The Lapp Administration operated from 1885 to 1971 in the three northernmost counties with the purpose of supervising that the Sámi observed the reindeer herding legislation and informing the Sámi and the settlers of their respective rights and obligations. Patrik Lantto, “Raising Their Voices: The Sami Movement in Sweden and the Swedish Sami Policy, 1900–​1962,” in The Northern Peoples and States: Changing Relationships, ed. Art Leete (Tartu: Tartu University Press, 2005). 124.  Cited in Patrik Lantto and Ulf Mörkenstam, “Sami Rights and Sami Challenges:  The Modernization Process and the Swedish Sami Movement, 1886—​2006,” Scandinavian Journal of History 33, no. 1 (2008), 30–​31. 125. Maria Kråik, “Sámi Women’s Equal Rights—​Yesterday and Tomorrow,” in Taking Wing Conference Report, ed. Laura Tohka (Helsinki: Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, 2001). 126. Lantto and Mörkenstam, “Sami Rights and Sami Challenges.” 127.  Hugh Beach, “The New Swedish Sámi Policy -​a Dismal Failure:  Concerning the Swedish Government’s Proposition 1992/​93:32, Samerna och Samisk Kultur M.M. (Bill),” in Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Rights—​1993 and After, ed. Eyassu Gayim and Kristian Myntti (Rovaniemi:  Northern Institute for Environment and Minority Law, University of Lapland, 1995). 128. The Supreme Court decision also established new, liberal standards to test Sámi rights claims to land. 129. Beach, “The New Swedish Sámi Policy—​a Dismal Failure.” 130. Ibid., 111. 131. Ibid. 132.  Kristian Myntti, Suomen Saamelaisten Yhteiskunnallinen Osallistuminen ja Kulttuuri-​ Itsehallinto (Helsinki: Oikeusministeriö, 1997). 133. Vars, “The Sámi People’s Right to Self-​Determination,” 395. 134. Myntti, Suomen Saamelaisten Yhteiskunnallinen Osallistuminen ja Kulttuuri-​Itsehallinto. 135. Vars, “The Sámi People’s Right to Self-​Determination,” 398. 136.  Johan Eriksson, “Patrition and Redemption:  A Macchiavellian Analysis of Sami and Basque Patriotism” (PhD diss., Umeå university, 1997), 162. 137. Vars, “The Sámi People’s Right to Self-​Determination,” 397; Lawrence and Mörkenstam, “Självbestämmande Genom Myndighetsutövning?” 207. 138. Lantto and Mörkenstam, “Sami Rights and Sami Challenges.” 139.  Sweden, “Regeringens Proposition 2005/​ 06:86. Ett Ökat Samiskt Inflytande” (Stockholm: Regeringskansliet, 2006), 38. 140. Sweden, Lag Om Ändring I Regeringsformen: Svensk Författningssamling 1408 (2010), Ch. 1, Article 2. 141. In Sweden, Sameby (translated as “Sámi village”) is a legal unit of reindeer herding Sámi with a status that allows members limited rights over the reindeer herding territories.

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142. Elin Hofverberg, “Sweden: Court Recognizes Exclusive Fishing Rights of Sami Village,” Global Legal Monitor, Library of Congress, February 9, 2016, http://​www.loc.gov/​law/​foreign-​ news/​article/​sweden-​court-​recognizes-​exclusive-​fishing-​rights-​of-​sami-​village/​. 143. Laila Susanne Vars, Radio Interview, Buorre iđit Sápmi, NRK Sápmi, January 24, 2018. 144. Lantto and Mörkenstam, “Sami Rights and Sami Challenges,” 27. 145.  Nyyssönen, “Principles and Practice in Finnish National Policies toward the Sámi People,” 87. 146. Veli-​Pekka Lehtola, Saamelaisten Parlamentti. Suomen Saamelaisvaltuuskunta 1973–​1995 ja Saamelaiskäräjät (Inari: Sámediggi, 2005). 147. Ibid. 148. The basis of the electoral roll was the registry of Sámi individuals created in 1962. This practice continues in the Sámi Parliament elections, held every four years. 149.  Kristian Myntti, “The Nordic Sami Parliaments,” in Operationalizing the Right of Indigenous Peoples to Self-​Determination, ed. Pekka Aikio and Martin Scheinin (Turku: Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University, 2000). 150.  Lehtola, Saamelaisten Parlamentti. Suomen Saamelaisvaltuuskunta 1973–​ 1995 ja Saamelaiskäräjät. Under the Act on the Use of the Sámi Language before the Authorities 516/​ 1991, the Sámi have the right to use their own language before certain authorities and agencies. The act does not, however, place the Sámi language on an equal footing with the two official languages of Finland, Finnish and Swedish (see, for example, Pekka Aikio and Heikki J. Hyvärinen, “Review of Finnish Legislation on the Sámi in 1993,” in Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Rights -​1993 and After, ed. Eyassu Gayim and Kristian Myntti (Rovaniemi: Northern Institute for Environment and Minority Law, University of Lapland, 1995)). 151.  Saamelaisasiain komitea, “Saamelaisasiain Komitean Mietintö” (Helsinki 1952); Saamelaiskomitea, “Saamelaiskomitean Mietintö” (Helsinki: Opetusministeriö, 1973). 152. Aikio and Hyvärinen, “Review of Finnish Legislation on the Sámi in 1993.” 153. Historically, the Sámi territory was organized into siidas, Sámi villages that held political and legal authority over its members and territory. 154. Currently enshrined in Section 121.4 of the amended Constitution Act of 2000. Section 17 of the Constitution states: “The Sámi, as an indigenous people, as well as the Roma and other groups have the right to maintain and develop their language and culture. Provisions on the right of the Sámi to use the Sámi language before the authorities are laid down by an Act,” The Constitution of Finland (Unofficial Translation), 731/​1999. 155. The Sámi region refers to a geographical and legal demarcation recognized in the Finnish Constitution and the Sámi Act of 1995. It covers approximately 35,000 square kilometers and consists of the northernmost municipalities in Finland. 156. The Constitution of Finland, Unofficial Translation. 157. See, for example, Kaisa Korpijaakko-​Labba, Saamelaisten Oikeusasemasta Ruotsi-​Suomessa. Oikeushistoriallinen Tutkimus Länsi-​Pohjan Lapin Maankäyttöoloista ja -​Oikeuksista Ennen 170–​ Luvun Puoltaväliä (Helsinki: Lakimiesliiton Kustannus, 1989); Roger Kvist, “The Racist Legacy in Modern Swedish Saami Policy,” Canadian Journal of Native Studies 14, no. 2 (1994). As a result of this expanded definition, several hundred non-​Sámi individuals have applied for and enrolled in the Sámi Parliament electoral roll. Although a specific expert committee of the Sámi Parliament handles the applications, an individual whose application is rejected can appeal the

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decision to the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland. This occurred most recently in the fall of 2015, when the Supreme Administrative Court approved 93 of the rejected applicants just days before the closing of the polls of the Sámi Parliament elections. This has meant that members of the Sámi Parliament consist of individuals who have previously actively opposed any advancement of Sámi rights, including language and culture. As a Sámi woman in her eighties aptly put it, the institution is no longer a Sámi Parliament but a Finn Parliament (“láttediggi”) (personal communication, July 6, 2016). 158. Myntti, Suomen Saamelaisten Yhteiskunnallinen Osallistuminen ja Kulttuuri-​Itsehallinto, 124. 159. Unlike in Norway and Sweden, reindeer herding is not exclusively a Sámi right in Finland. Anyone living in the defined reindeer herding region can own and herd reindeer regardless of land ownership. The officially designated Sámi region is only 27% of the entire reindeer herding district in Finland and the Sámi own approximately one-​third of all reindeer in Finland. 160.  OHCHR, “Finland /​Indigenous Peoples:  New Bill Threatens Sami’s Rights to Their Traditional Lands and Livelihood,” United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, December 17, 2015, http://​www.ohchr.org/​EN/​NewsEvents/​Pages/​ DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16897&LangID=E#sthash.uWhjggw5.dpuf. 161. Cf. Vars, “The Sámi People’s Right to Self-​Determination.” 162.  Ad hoc development of political solutions to address especially the question of the right of the Sámi to their territories has also taken place in Norway. See Per Selle, Sametingets Organisatoriske Utfordringer. En Vurdering (2011). 163. Pekka Aikio, “Experiences Drawn from the Finnish Sámi Parliament,” in Self-​Determination and Indigenous Peoples: Sámi Rights and Northern Perspectives, ed. International Working Group of Indigenous Affairs (Copenhagen:  International Working Group of Indigenous Affairs, 1987), 97. 164.  Lehtola, Saamelaisten Parlamentti:  Suomen Saamelaisvaltuuskunta 1973–​ 1995 ja Saamelaiskäräjät. Interestingly, the Constitution of Finland defines the state’s role as the international guardian of peace and human rights. 165.  See, for example, Leena Heinämäki et  al., “Saamelaisten Oikeuksien Toteutuminen: Kansainvälinen Oikeusvertaileva Tutkimus” (Helsinki: Valtioneuvosto, 2017). 166. Eriksson, “Patrition and Redemption.” 167.  Nyyssönen, “Principles and Practice in Finnish National Policies toward the Sámi People”; Seija Tuulentie, Meidän Vähemmistömme:  Valtaväestön Retoriikat Saamelaisten Oikeuksista Käydyissä Keskusteluissa (Helsinki:  Suomen kirjallisuuden seura, 2001); Rauna Kuokkanen, “Saamelaiset ja Jälkikoloniaali Analyysi: Kolonialismin Vaikutukset Nykypäivänä,” in Kolonialismin Jäljet: Keskustat, Perifeeriat ja Suomi, ed. Joel Kuortti, Mikko Lehtinen, and Olli Löytty (Helsinki:  Gaudeamus, 2007); “Self-​Determination and Indigenous Women—​’Whose Voice Is It We Hear in the Sámi Parliament?,’” International Journal of Minority and Group Rights 18, no. 1 (2011); Veli-​Pekka Lehtola, Saamelaiskiista. Sortaako Suomi Alkuperäiskansaansa? (Helsinki: Into, 2016). 168. Kaisa Aikio and Martta Alajärvi, “Suomen Saamelaiskäräjät Täyttää Tänään 20 Vuotta—​ ‘Silloin Oli Suuret Odotukset Maaoikeuksien Suhteen,’ ” Yle Sápmi, March 2, 2016, http://​yle.fi/​ uutiset/​suomen_​saamelaiskarajat_​tayttaa_​tanaan_​20_​vuotta_​_​silloin_​oli_​suuret_​odotukset_​ maaoikeuksien_​suhteen/​8712983.

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169.  Rainer Bauböck, “Territorial or Cultural Autonomy for National Minorities?,” in The Politics of Belonging:  Nationalism, Liberalism and Pluralism, ed. A. Dieckhoff (Lanham, MD:  Lexington Books, 2004); John Coakley, “Conclusion:  Patterns of Non-​ Territorial Autonomy,” Ethnopoliti/​cs 15, no. 1 (2016). 170.  Douglas Sanders, “Is Autonomy a Principle of International Law?,” Nordic Journal of International Law 55, no. 1–​2 (1986), 20. Some scholars have sought to decouple Indigenous self-​ government from territoriality, for instance, by referring to the model of urban reserves. It has been suggested that the control over a specific territory “should not be viewed as a normative precondition for self-​government, self-​determination or nationhood” ( Janique Dubois, “Beyond Territory:  Revisiting the Normative Justification of Self-​Government in Theory and Practice,” The International Indigenous Policy Journal 2, no. 2 (2011), 1). Yet the relationship with the land is the founding feature even in such models: “It is not the reserve, as a place, that characterizes the nation, but rather their sense of belonging towards the land as well as towards the members of a group who are both on and off the reserve, that characterizes them as a nation and that legitimizes their claim to self-​determination” (ibid., 4). 171. Isabelle Schulte-​Tenckhoff, “Treaties, Peoplehood, and Self-​Determination: Understanding the Language of Indigenous Rights,” in Indigenous Rights in the Age of the UN Declaration, ed. Elvira Pulitano and Mililani Trask (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). 172. Mattias Åhrén, “The Saami Convention,” Gáldu Čála 3 (2007). The proposal of having the Sámi as a formal party to the convention was rejected due to the prevailing legal opinion, according to which the Sámi as a formal party to the convention would have deprived it its legally binding status under international law. 173. The draft Convention is a “rights convention” rather than a framework convention. Åhren distinguishes between the two types of conventions in the following way: “A framework convention essentially spells out general principles and aspirations and contains few concrete obligations on the state and correspondingly equally few concrete rights for the beneficiaries of the instrument. A rights convention, on the other hand, focuses on expressing concrete rights that are directly implementable” (ibid., 12). 174. “Annex. Text of the Draft Nordic Saami Convention in English (Unofficial Translation).” 175. Ibid., Article 15. 176. John B. Henriksen, Martin Scheinin, and Mattias Åhrén, “The Saami People’s Right to Self-​Determination. Background Material for the Nordic Saami Convention,” 96. 177. Peter Jull, “Through a Glass Darkly: Scandinavian Sami Policy in Foreign Perspective,” in Becoming Visible: Indigenous Politics and Self-​Government, ed. Terje Brantenberg, Janne Hansen, and Henry Minde (Tromsø: Centre for Sami Studies, University of Tromsø, 1995). 178. Kuokkanen, “Self-​Determination and Indigenous Women.” 179. Henriksen, Scheinin, and Åhrén, “The Saami People’s Right to Self-​Determination,” 96. 180. Vars, “The Sámi People’s Right to Self-​Determination,” 418. 181. Åhrén, “The Saami Convention.” 182. “Annex. Text of the Draft Nordic Saami Convention in English (Unofficial Translation),”  98. 183. Ibid., Article 30. 184. Åhrén, “The Saami Convention.” 185. It should be noted that several legal scholars considered the previous draft a groundbreaking instrument in international law as well as a global example of good practice of Indigenous rights

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(Åhrén, 36; Martin Scheinin, “The Rights of an Individual and a People”; Timo Koivurova, “The Draft Nordic Saami Convention:  Nations Working Together,” International Community Law Review 10, no. 3 (2008), 292; Fitzmaurice, “The New Developments Regarding the Saami Peoples of the North,” 126; Bankes, “The Forms of Recognition of Indigenous Property Rights in Settler States”). 186. According to a UN study, a minority is a group numerically inferior to the rest of the population of a state, in a nondominant position, whose members—​being nationals of the state—​ possess ethnic, religious, or linguistic characteristics differing from those of the rest of the population and show, if only implicitly, a sense of solidarity, directed toward preserving their culture, traditions, religion, or language (United Nations, “Study on the Rights of Persons Belonging to Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities” (Geneva:  Sub-​Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, 1979)). 187.  See James (Sa’ke’j) Youngblood Henderson, “Empowering Treaty Federalism,” Saskatchewan Law Review 58, no. 2 (1994); Kiera Ladner, “Treaty Federalism: An Indigenous Vision of Canadian Federalisms,” in New Trends in Canadian Federalism, ed. M. Smith and F. Rocher (Peterborough, ON:  Broadview Press, 2003); Frances Abele and Michael J. Prince, “Aboriginal Governance and Canadian Federalism:  A to-​Do List for Canada,” in New Trends in Canadian Federalism, ed. François Rocher and Miriam Smith (Peterborough, ON:  Broadview Press, 2003); “The Future of Fiscal Federalism:  Funding Regimes for Aboriginal Self-​ Government,” in Aboriginal Self-​ Government in Canada:  Current Trends and Issues, ed. Yale Belanger (Saskatoon:  Purich, 2008); Gordon Christie, “Some Thoughts About Federalism, Section 35 and Rights to Self-​Determination,” Indigenous Bar Association’s 15th Annual Conference:  “Indigenous Rights, Globalization and Federalism” (Vancouver, BC, 2003); Joyce Green, “Self-​ Determination, Citizenship, and Federalism:  Indigenous and Canadian Palimpsest,” in Reconfiguring Aboriginal-​State Relations, ed. Michael Murphy (Kingston:  Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, 2005); Martin Papillon, “Adapting Federalism: Indigenous Multilevel Governance in Canada and the United States,” Publius:  The Journal of Federalism 42, no. 2 (2012); Erich Steinman, “Indigenous Nationhood Claims and Contemporary Federalism in Canada and the United States,” Policy and Society 24, no. 1 (2005); Alan C. Cairns, “Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples:  Aboriginal Nationalism, Canadian Federalism, and Canadian Democracy,” Saskatchewan Law Review 70, no. 1 (2007). 188.  Bankes, “Land Claim Agreements in Arctic Canada in Light of International Human Rights Norms,” 177. Emphasis in the original. 189. In Norway, the Sámi Parliament is involved in land and natural resources comanagement of the northernmost county through representation in the Finnmark Estate. In Sweden, as a result of the recent court decision, one Sámi community (Girjas sameby) has exclusive resource use rights and thus jurisdiction over hunting and fishing. 190. Vars notes: “This notion of ‘delegation of authority’ from the government and its ministry . . . is problematic. . . . [it] can be interpreted as presupposing that the Sámi Parliament is a subordinate body in relation to Government ministries. This, however, has not been decisive when determining the role of the Sámi Parliament in Norway. Hence, the Legal Department of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice has stated [in  1995] that ‘The Sámi Parliament as a political body of the Sámi people cannot be categorized as a subordinate body in relation to the Government ministries’ ” (“The Sámi People’s Right to Self-​Determination,” 392).

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191. There are notable exceptions such as the Government of Nunavut which from the onset, embarked on a unique approach of decentralization. (see Jack Hicks and Graham White, Made in Nunavut: An Experiment in Decentralized Government (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2015)). 192.  This tendency continues today. Most recently, the leaders of the Sámi Parliament in Norway embarked on a study tour to the national Parliament of Norway with the objective of learning about the parliamentary procedures (News at samediggi.no on January 18, 2018). 193. Nadasdy, Sovereignty’s Entailments, 7. 194. Ibid., 16. 195. Ibid., 8. 196. Jane Robbins, “Indigenous Political Representation in Liberal-​Democratic Countries,” in Indigenous Politics: Institutions, Representation, Mobilization, ed. Mikkel Berg-​Nordlie, Jo Saglie, and Ann Sullivan (Colchester: ECPR Press, 2015), 85. 197. Nadasdy, Sovereignty’s Entailments, 85. 198. Paul Nadasdy, Hunters and Bureaucrats: Power, Knowledge, and Aboriginal-​State Relations in the Southwest Yukon (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2003), 9. 199. Cf. White, “Traditional Aboriginal Values in a Westminster Parliament”; “Governance in Nunavut: Capacity Vs. Culture?” Journal of Canadian Studies 43, no. 2 (2009). Chapter 3 1. Interview with Bourgeois, May 22, 2014. 2. Also Joyce Green, “Towards a Detente with History: Confronting Canada’s Colonial Legacy,” International Journal of Canadian Studies 12 (Fall 1995); Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks. 3. Interview with Robyn Bourgeois, May 22, 2014. 4. Interview with Anishinaabe woman, May 15, 2014. 5. Interview, April 9, 2014. 6.  Ibid. See also Kiera L. Ladner, “Understanding the Impact of Self-​Determination on Communities in Crisis,” Journal of Aboriginal Health 5, no. 2 (2009). 7. Interview with Kundoqk, July 7, 2014. 8. Interview with Plain, July 28, 2014. 9. Interview with Nanibush, May 30, 2014. 10. Interview, June 16, 2011. 11. Menno Boldt, Surviving as Indians: The Challenge of Self-​Government (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993); Nadasdy, Hunters and Bureaucrats. 12. Cf. Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks, 68. 13. Ibid. 14. Nadasdy, Hunters and Bureaucrats. 15. These are not directly land claim bodies but established under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act of 1998 which arose from the several land claims that had been concluded in the region. 16. Interview with Tulít’a resident, June 17, 2014. 17. Interview with Tulít’a resident, June 23, 2014. 18. Nadasdy, Hunters and Bureaucrats,  2–​3. 19. Davis, “A Reflection on the Limitations of the Right to Self-​Determination and Aboriginal Women,” 7.

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20. My fieldwork in 2008 consisted of sixteen interviews with Sámi women, consisting both elected leaders and grassroots activists in the neighboring municipalities of Ohcejohka/​Utsjoki (Finland) and Kárášjohka/​Karasjok (Norway), published in Kuokkanen, “Self-​Determination and Indigenous Women.” 21. See also Torvald Falch, Per Selle, and Kristin Strømsnes, “The Sámi: 25 Years of Indigenous Authority in Norway,” Ethnopolitics 15, no. 1 (2016):  125–​43; Mikkel Berg-​Nordlie, “Who Shall Represent the Sámi? Indigenous Governance in Murmansk Region and the Nordic Sámi Parliament Model,” in Indigenous Politics. Institutions, Representation, Mobilization, ed. Mikkel Berg-​Nordlie, Jo Saglie, and Ann Sullivan (Colchester:  ECPR Press, 2015), 213–​52; Pirita Näkkäläjärvi, “Sápmelaš Jienasteddjiin Unnán Luohttámuš Sámediggái,” Yle Sápmi, June 13, 2016, https://​yle.fi/​uutiset/​osasto/​sapmi/​svt_​sapmelas_​jienasteddjiin_​unnan_​luohttamus_​ samediggai/​8952912. 22. Interview, July 14, 2011. 23. Interview with journalist, July 15, 2011. 24. Interview with journalist, June 29, 2011. 25. Interview with Tulít’a resident, July 3, 2014. 26. Interview with Tulít’a resident, July 4, 2014. 27. Interview with Tulít’a resident, June 17, 2014. 28. Interview with Tulít’a resident, July 3, 2014. 29. These discussions took place at the two youth meetings I facilitated as part of my fieldwork in the community in June and July 2014. 30. Interview with Tulít’a resident, June 26, 2014. 31.  There are several Indigenous communities in Canada that have been reporting an increased number of youth suicides or suicide attempts. In the past few years, several Indigenous communities have declared a state of emergency after suicide rashes especially by youth in their communities (Neskantaga First Nation, “Neskantaga First Nation Declares a State-​of-​Emergency Following Recent Suicides,” news release, April 17, 2013, http://​www.nan.on.ca/​upload/​ documents/​nr-​neskantaga-​-​-​april2013.pdf; Tim Fontaine, “Poverty, Inequality Fuelling Suicide Crisis, First Nations Leader Says,” CBC.ca, March 21, 2016, http://​www.cbc.ca/​news/​aboriginal/​poverty-​inequality-​fueling-​suicide-​crisis-​1.3487028; CBC News, “Aboriginal Suicide Rate Rising in Ontario, New Report Says,” CBC.ca, July 9, 2015, http://​www.cbc.ca/​news/​canada/​ thunder-​bay/​aboriginal-​suicide-​rate-​rising-​in-​ontario-​new-​report-​says-​1.3141939; “Premier Peter Taptuna Declares Suicide a Crisis in Nunavut,” CBC.ca, October 22, 2015, http://​www.cbc. ca/​news/​canada/​north/​premier-​peter-​taptuna-​declares-​suicide-​a-​crisis-​in-​nunavut-​1.3284189). Indigenous youth and suicide was one of the two main themes of the 14th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in April 2015. A concept note released by the UNPFII states, “The available data suggests that indigenous peoples experience disproportionately high rates of youth suicide. Although the reasons for youth suicide are complex and difficult to define, interference with, and destruction of, cultural structures has caused stress throughout subsequent generations and is a major contributor to suicidal behaviour. Indigenous youth today face the challenge of striking a balance between their place within their indigenous community, and within the mainstream society of the country in which they live. They may feel marginalized from both, resulting in a sense of socio-​cultural isolation” (UNPFII, “Youth, Self-​Harm and Suicide,” in Concept Note for Discussion (UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 2015)).

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32. Interview with Robyn Bourgeois, May 22, 2014. 33. Ibid. 34. Interview, July 13, 2011. 35. Interview with reindeer herder/​teacher, June 16, 2011. 36. A major conference, “International Conference on Sámi Self-​Determination: Scope and Implementation,” held in Alta on the Sámi National Day, February 6, 2008, was organized by Gáldu, Sámi-​run resource center for the rights of Indigenous peoples located in Guovdageaidnu, Norway, as part of a larger a project on Sámi self-​determination. In addition to the conference, three workshops were held to consider various topics related to Sámi self-​determination, including land and resource rights, media, education, research, culture, health, and social services. For the most part, the considerations focused on circumstances of Sámi self-​determination in Norway and international norms of self-​determination. For reports, see John B. Henriksen, Sami Self-​ Determination:  Scope and Implementation; Sami Self-​ Determination:  Autonomy and Self-​ Government:  Education, Research and Culture (Guovdageaidnu:  Gáldu, 2009); Sami Self-​ Determination:  Autonomy and Economy—​ the Authority and Autonomy of the Sámediggi in the Health and Social Services Sector (Kautokeino:  Gáldu, 2010); Sami Self-​ Determination: Land, Resources and Traditional Livelihoods Self-​Determination and the Media (Kautokeino: Gáldu, 2011); 37. Interview with teacher, July 13, 2011. 38. Interview, July 1, 2011. 39. Interview, June 13, 2011. 40. Interview, July 1, 2011. 41. Interview, June 14, 2011. 42. Interview with healthcare professional, July 19, 2011. 43.  The Sámi Parliaments adopted a joint declaration on common objectives of Sámi self-​ determination soon after their founding. According to the document, the core of the Sámi right to self-​determination includes the right to their traditional territories and decision-​making powers on their own affairs (Sami Parliaments of Finland, Norway and Sweden. “The UN International Decade of Indigenous People: Common Objectives and Joint Measures of the Sami Parliaments” (1997)). Rather thin on specifics, the joint document mentions the granting of full membership in the Nordic Council to the Sámi as an example of a concrete measure of self-​determination. 44. Sámi in general and Sámi leadership in particular are jittery when it comes to any talk that could be interpreted as secession or proposing a “Sámi state” due to the internalized fears of agitating and unsettling fellow non-​Sámi population as well as Nordic lawmakers. See Kuokkanen, “Self-​ Determination and Indigenous Women”; Astrid Helander, “Guođđit ‘Sámi Stáhta’ Digaštallama,” Ávvir, February 6, 2008; Ámmun Johnskareng, “Matti Aikio Gáibidii Sierra Sámi Stáhta,” Min Áigi, November 5, 2004; Aage Solbakk, “Sámi Njunnošiid Vákšugohte—​Áigu Ásahit ‘Sámi Stáhta,’” Sámis 10 (December 2011); John B. Henriksen, ed., Sami Self-​Determination. Scope and Implementation, Gáldu Čála (Kautokeino: Gáldu, 2008); Semb, “How Norms Affect Policy.” 45. Interview, July 1, 2011. Prime examples of the conciliatory political rhetoric by Sámi leadership include statements by former president of the Norwegian Sámi Parliament Egil Olli and the former State Secretary of the Sámi Affairs Raimo Valle (both of the Norwegian Labor Party) at the 2008 conference on the implementation of Sámi self-​determination. In Olli’s view, “the specific content of the right to self-​determination must be defined and rendered concrete

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through national legislation in our various states” (Egil Olli, “Opening Address, Conference on Sami Self-​Determination:  Scope and Implementation,” in Sami Self-​Determination:  Scope and Implementation, ed. John B. Henriksen (Guovdageaidnu: Gáldu, 2008) ). According to Valle, “The Norwegian government and the Norwegian Parliament has made it clear, repeatedly, that self-​ determination for the Sámi will have to be exercised within the framework of an existing, democratic state” (Raimo Valle, “Opening Statement, Conference on Sami Self-​Determination: Scope and Implementation,” in Sami Self-​Determination. Scope and Implementation, ed. John B. Henriksen (Guovdageaidnu: Gáldu, 2008) ). 46. Interview, March 18, 2013. See also Tim Boersma and Kevin Foley, “The Greenland Gold Rush: Promise and Pitfalls of Greenland’s Energy and Mineral Resources” (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 2014), 45. 47. Interview with educator, April 10, 2013. 48. Interview with Tine Pars, former rector of the University of Greenland, March 18, 2013. 49. Interview with municipal civil servant, March 16, 2013. 50. Interview with preeminent municipal politician, April 8, 2013. 51.  Loukacheva, The Arctic Promise; Nordic Consulting Group, “Integritetsstudie af den Offentlige Sektor i Grønland” (Nuuk: Transparency Greenland, 2012). 52. Wilson, “Energy and Minerals in Greenland.” 53. With the Self-​Government Act in 2009, the block grant was agreed at an annual level of DKK 3.4 billion from Denmark, or about 30% of Greenland’s GDP. 54. Interview with civil servant, April 3, 2013. 55.  ICC, “A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Resource Development Principles in Inuit Nunaat” (Nuuk: Inuit Circumpolar Council, 2011), Articles 2.1, 2.3. 56.  Freia Lund Sørensen, “Sub-​Surface and Self-​Government,” Journal of Nordregio 3, no. 8 (2008); Juaaka Lyberth, “At Gøre Op Med Fortiden—​Eller Hvorhen Grønland,” [To settle with the past—​or where to Greenland.] Tidskiftet Grønland 2, no. 3 (2008); Mark Nuttall, “Self-​Rule in Greenland: Towards the World’s First Independent Inuit State?,” Indigenous Affairs 3/​4 (2008); Anne Merrild Hansen, “Community Impacts: Public Participation, Culture and Democracy,” in Background paper for the Committee for Greenlandic Mineral Resources to the Benefit of Society (Aalborg: University of Copenhagen and University of Greenland, 2013); Wilson, “Energy and Minerals in Greenland.” 57.  The Committee for Greenlandic Mineral Resources to the Benefit of Society, “To the Benefit of Greenland.” 58. Interview, April 5, 2013. 59. Interview with preeminent municipal politician, April 8, 2013. 60. Jim Bell, “Greenland’s Mine School: Quality Learning, in English,” Nunatsiaq Online, April 4, 2011, http://​www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/​stories/​article/​004067_​greenlands_​mine_​ school_​quality_​learning_​in_​english/​. In order to meet a national goal of training at least 1,500 Greenlanders for the mining industry, the Government of Greenland decided in 2007 to establish the Greenland School of Minerals and Petroleum. The school opened its doors in 2008 in Sisimiut. The threshold to enter is relatively high: the language of instruction is in English and according to the school’s manager, “the school is not interested in applicants with long histories of unemployment.” 61. MarieKathrine Poppel and Janus Kleist, “Køn Og Magt I Politik Og Erhvervsliv I Grønland,” in Kön och Makt i Norden, ed. Kirsti Niskanen and Anita Nyberg, Temanord 2009:569 (København: Nordisk Ministerråd and Nordisk institutt for kunnskap om kjønn, 2009).

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62. Interview, March 18, 2013. See also Grønlands statistik, “Ledighet og Arbejdsstyrke 2012” (Nuuk: Grønlands statistik, 2014). 63. Interview with municipal civil servant, March 16, 2013. 64.  Also Boersma and Foley, “The Greenland Gold Rush,” 47–​48; Wilson, “Energy and Minerals in Greenland,” 53; Maria Ackrén, “Public Consultation Processes in Greenland Regarding the Mining Industry,” Arctic Review on Law and Politics 7, no. 1 (2016). 65. Cf., The Committee for Greenlandic Mineral Resources to the Benefit of Society, “To the Benefit of Greenland” (Nuuk and Copenhagen: Ilisimatusarfik (University of Greenland) and University of Copenhagen, 2014), 23. 66. Interview with Tulít’a resident, July 3, 2014. 67.  Joyce Green, “Decolonizing in the Era of Globalization,” Canadian Dimension 3, no. 1 (2002); Monture Angus, “To Break with the Past”; Stephen Cornell, Catherine Curtis, and Miriam Jorgensen, “The Concept of Governance and Its Implications for First Nations. A Report to the British Columbia Regional Vice-​Chief, Assembly of First Nations” (Tucson, AZ: Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management and Policy, 2003); Ken S. Coates, “Administered Peoples: Indigenous Nations and Regulated Societies,” in A Global History of Indigenous Peoples. Struggle and Survival (New  York:  Palgrave Macmillan, 2004); Coates and Morrison, “From Panacea to Reality”; Tully, “The Struggles of Indigenous Peoples for and of Freedom”; Martin Papillon, “Aboriginal Quality of Life under a Modern Treaty: Lessons from the Experience of the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee and the Inuit of Nunavik” (Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy, 2008); Aileen Moreton-​Robinson, “Introduction,” in Sovereign Subjects: Indigenous Sovereignty Matters, ed. Aileen Moreton-​Robinson (Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2007). 68. Interview, July 14, 2011. 69. Interview Sámi journalist in Finland, June 29, 2011. 70. Interview with Sámi journalist in Norway, July 15, 2011. 71.  Stephen Cornell, “Remaking the Tools of Governance:  Colonial Legacies, Indigenous Solutions,” in Rebuilding Native Nations: Strategies for Governance and Development, ed. Miriam Jorgensen (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2007), 74. 72. Ibid., 75. 73. Ibid. 74. Rune S. Fjellheim, “Iešmearrideapmi ja Ekonomiija,” in Sámi Iešmearrideapmi: Sisdoallu ja Čađaheapmi. Konferánsa Álttas 4.-​6.2. 2008, ed. John B. Henriksen (Guovdageaidnu: Gáldu,  2008). 75. Falch, Selle, and Strømsnes, “The Sámi.” 76. Lantto and Mörkenstam, “Sami Rights and Sami Challenges,” 39. 77.  Nyyssönen, “Principles and Practice in Finnish National Policies toward the Sámi People,” 86. 78. Interview with healthcare professional, July 19, 2011. 79. Interview with journalist, July 15, 2011. 80.  See Sven E. Olsson and Dave Lewis, “Welfare Rules and Indigenous Rights:  The Sami People and the Nordic Welfare States,” in Social Welfare with Indigenous Peoples, ed. John Dixon and Robert P. Scheurell (London: Routledge, 1995), 178. 81. Seija Tuulentie, “For and against the Rights of the Sami People: The Argumentation of the Finnish Majority in the Debate on the Sami Rights,” in Indigenous Peoples: Resource Management and Global Rights, ed. Svein Jentoft, Ragnar Nilsen, and Henry Minde (Delft:  Eburon, 2003); Meidän Vähemmistömme. Valtaväestön Retoriikat Saamelaisten Oikeuksista Käydyissä Keskusteluissa; Marianne Gullestad, “Imagined Sameness:  Shifting Notions of ‘Us’ and ‘Them’

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in Norway,” in Forestillinger Om ‘Den Andre,’ ed. L. A. Ytrebus (Kristiansand: HøyskoleForlage t, 2001); Agust Thor Arnason, “The Good State of the Constitutional Innocents of the Nordic Societies,” in Constitutionalism: New Challenges—​European Law from a Nordic Perspective, ed. Joakim Nergelius (Martinus Nijhoff, 2007); Nyyssönen, “Principles and Practice in Finnish National Policies toward the Sámi People.” 82. Tully, “The Struggles of Indigenous Peoples for and of Freedom,” 57. 83. Per Selle et al., Den Samiske Medborgeren (Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk, 2015); Selle and Strømsnes, “Sami Citizenship”; Kristian Myntti, “The Right to Political Participation of Indigenous Peoples. The Case of Finnish Sámi,” in Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Rights—​1993 and After, ed. Eyassu Gayim and Kristian Myntti (Rovaniemi: Northern Institute for Environment and Minority Law, University of Lapland, 1995); Broderstad, “Political Autonomy and Integration of Authority”; Asbjørn Eide, “Indigenous Self-​Government in the Arctic, and Their Right to Land and Natural Resources,” Yearbook of Polar Law 1 (2009). 84. Else Grete Broderstad, “Implementing Indigenous Self-​Determination: The Case of the Sámi in Norway,” in Restoring Indigenous Self-​Determination. Theoretical and Practical Approaches, ed. Marc Woons (Bristol, UK: E-​International Relations, 2014), 85. 85. Most recent examples of failing to consult the Sámi Parliaments include the Deatnu Fishing Agreement between Norway and Finland in 2017 (see Sara Wesslin, “Oikeuskansleri Moittii Suomen Hallitusta Tenojoen Sopimuksen Menettelyssä—​Saamelaisia Koskevaa Neuvotteluvelvoitetta Laiminlyöty Tietyiltä Osin,” Yle Sápmi, March 27, 2017, https://​yle.fi/​uutiset/​3-​9532594) and the Arctic Railway plan in 2018 (see Leisti, Tapani, “Saamelaiskäräjät: Jäämeren Ratalinjaus Valittiin Kuulematta Saamelaisia,” Yle Uutiset, March 16, 2018, https://​yle.fi/​uutiset/​3-​10118870). 86.  Statens Offentliga Utredningar (Sweden) 2002, no.  77, p.  91, cited in Vars, “The Sámi People’s Right to Self-​Determination,” 398. 87. Vars, “The Sámi People’s Right to Self-​Determination,” 394. 88. Ibid. 89. See Harald Gaski, “Introduction: Sami Culture in a New Era,” in Sami Culture in a New Era. The Norwegian Sami Experience, ed. Harald Gaski (Kárásjohka: Davvi Girji, 1997); Vigdis Stordahl, “How to Be a Real Sámi? Ethnic Identity in a Context of (Inter)National Integration,” Etudes/​Inuit/​Studies 17, no. 1 (1993); Veli-​Pekka Lehtola, Saamelainen Evakko. Rauhan Kansa Sodan Jaloissa (Vaasa: City Sámit, 1994). 90.  This is a common view in other mainstream Indigenous political organizations. See Simpson, As We Have Always Done, 234–​25. 91. Interview, June 15, 2011. 92.  Denetdale, “Chairmen, Presidents, and Princesses”; Marie Anna Jaimes Guerrero, “Civil Rights Versus Sovereignty: Native American Women in Life and Land Struggles,” in Feminist Genealogies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures, ed. M. Jacqui Alexander and Chandra Talpade Mohanty (New  York:  Routledge, 1997); Green, “Constitutionalising the Patriarchy”; Brendan Hokowhitu, “Producing Elite Indigenous Masculinities,” Settler Colonial Studies 2, no. 2 (2012); Holmes, “Bill C-​31: Equality or Disparity?”; Lilliane E. Krosenbrink-​ Gelissen, Sexual Equality as an Aboriginal Right: The Native Women’s Association of Canada and the Constitutional Process on Aboriginal Matters, 1982–​1987 (Fort Lauderdale: Verlagen Breitenbach, 1991); Denise K. Lajimodiere, “Ogimah Ikwe:  Native Women and Their Path to Leadership,” Wicazo Sa Review 26, no. 2 (2011); Lawrence and Anderson, “Introduction

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to ‘Indigenous Women’ ”; Maracle, “Decolonizing Native Women”; Beatrice Medicine, “The Professionalization of Native American (Indian) Women:  Towards a Research Agenda,” Wicazo Sa Review 4, no. 2 (1988); Ani Mikaere, “Maori Women: Caught in the Contradictions of a Colonised Reality,” Waikato Law Review 2 (1994); Nicholas, “Colonialism and the Struggle for Liberation”; Sayers and MacDonald, “A Strong and Meaningful Role for First Nations Women in Governance”; Mary Two-​Axe Early, “Indian Rights for Indian Women,” in Women, Feminism and Development /​Femmes, Féminisme Et Développement, ed. Huguette Dagenais and Denise Piché (Montreal: McGill-​Queen’s University Press, 1994); Anderson, A Recognition of Being; Kuokkanen, “Self-​Determination and Indigenous Women”; Voyageur, Firekeepers of the Twenty-​First Century. 93. Passed in 2012, the federal government’s omnibus bill C-​45 or Jobs and Growth Act, made considerable changes to the Indian Act, Fisheries Act, Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and the Navigable Water Protection Act; changes which also had impact on First Nations rights. 94. See Adam J. Barker, “‘A Direct Act of Resurgence, a Direct Act of Sovereignty’: Reflections on Idle No More, Indigenous Activism, and Canadian Settler Colonialism,” Globalizations 12, no. 1 (2014); A. Morris, “Twenty-​First-​Century Debt Collectors: Idle No More Combats a Five-​ Hundred-​Year-​Old Debt,” Women’s Studies Quarterly 42, no. 1/​2 (2014); Marc Woons, “The ‘Idle No More’ Movement and Global Indifference to Indigenous Nationalism,” AlterNative 9, no. 2 (2013). 95. Manuel, Unsettling Canada, 213. 96. Interview, May 30, 2014. 97. Tanya Kappo, “Grassroots Leadership and Indigenous Women,” Berkshire Conference on Women’s Histories (Toronto, May 22–​25, 2014). 98.  Cf. Leanne Simpson, Islands of Decolonial Love (Winnipeg:  Arbeiter Ring, 2013); Nanibush, “Idle No More”; Dory Nason, “We Hold Our Hands Up”; Alex Wilson, “Afterword: A Steadily Beating Heart:  Persistence, Resistance and Resurgence,” in More Will Sing Their Way to Freedom:  Indigenous Resistance and Resurgence, ed. Elaine Coburn (Halifax, NS:  Fernwood Publishing, 2015). 99. Interview with Sylvia Plain, July 24, 2014. 100. Ibid. 101. Ibid. 102.  Monture-​Angus, Thunder in My Soul:  A Mohawk Woman Speaks; Victoria Katherine Burbank, Fighting Women: Anger and Aggression in Aboriginal Australia (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994). 103. Flowers, “Refusal to Forgive,” 47. 104. Ibid., 40. 105.  Simpson, As We Have Always Done, 219. The key difference between state-​driven self-​ government approach and treaty rights approach is captured by Alicia Elliott in her tweet that suggests:  “Self-​determination does not look like ‘self-​government agreements’ with Canada. It looks like treaties between nations. There is a vast difference, as one requires Canada to paternalistically approve of our ability to govern ourselves, and the other doesn’t” (Alicia Elliott on Twitter, @wordsandguitar, January 18, 2018). 106.  Political status and roles held by Indigenous women in North America historically is well documented and commonly addressed (see Cora J. Voyageur, “Contemporary Indian

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Women,” in Visions of the Heart: Canadian Aboriginal Issues, ed. David Alan Long and Olive Patricia Dickason (Toronto:  Harcourt Brace, 1996); Porter, “Decolonizing Indigenous Governance”; Sharon McIvor, “Aboriginal Self-​Government: The Civil and Political Rights of Women” (Master in Law thesis, Queen’s University, 1995); Jo-​Anne Fiske, Melonie Newell, and Evelyn George, “First Nations Women and Governance: A Study of Custom and Innovation among Lake Babine Nation Women,” in First Nations Women, Governance and the Indian Act: A Collection of Policy Research Reports, ed. Judith F. Sayers, et al. (Ottawa: Status of Women Canada, 2001); Sayers and MacDonald, “A Strong and Meaningful Role for First Nations Women in Governance”; Donna Hightower Langston, “American Indian Women’s Activism in the 1960s and 1970s,” Hypatia 18, no. 2 (2003); Ellen Gabriel, “Aboriginal Women’s Movement; a Quest for Self-​Determination,” Aboriginal Policy Studies 1, no. 1 (2011); Marilou Awiakta, Selu:  Seeking the Corn-​Mother’s Wisdom (Golden, CO:  Fulcrum, 1993); Kim Anderson, “Women’s Role in Politics,” in Recognition of Being. Reconstructing Native Womanhood (Toronto: Second Story Press, 2000); Barbara Mann, “‘They Are the Soul of the Councils’: The Iroquoian Model of Woman-​Power,” in Societies of Peace: Past, Present, and Future, ed. Heide Goettner-​Abendroth (Toronto: Inanna, 2009); Mann, Iroquoian Women; Lillian A. Ackerman and Laura F. Klein, Women and Power in Native North America (Norman:  University of Oklahoma Press, 1995); Maracle, “Decolonizing Native Women”; Cyndy Baskin, “Women in Iroquois Society,” Canadian Woman Studies 4, no. 2 (1982); Winona Stevenson, “Colonialism and First Nations Women in Canada,” in Scratching the Surface. Canadian Anti-​R acist Feminist Thought, ed. Enakshi Dua and Angela Robertson (Toronto: Women’s Press, 1999); Leacock, “Montagnais Women and the Jesuit Programme for Colonization”; Two-​Axe Early, “Indian Rights for Indian Women”; Rothenberg, “The Mothers of the Nation”; NWAC, “Matriarchy and the Canadian Charter:  A Discussion Paper” (Ottawa:  Native Women’s Association of Canada, 1991)). 107. Maracle, “Decolonizing Native Women,” 30. 108. Nadasdy, Sovereignty’s Entailments, 315. 109. Ramirez, “Race, Tribal Nation and Gender”; Denetdale, “Securing the Navajo National Boundaries.” 110. Maracle, “Decolonizing Native Women,” 38. 111. Interview, March 30, 2016. 112. Interview with Kundoqk, July 7, 2014. 113. Joyce Green and Val Napoleon, “Seeking Measures of Justice: Aboriginal Women’s Rights Claims, Legal Orders, and Politics,” Annual Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association (Saskatoon, Sask.2007), 13. According to the Native Women’s Association, the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women may well be as many as 4,000 ( John Paul Tasker, “Confusion Reigns over Number of Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women,” CBC.ca, April 4, 2016, http://​ www.cbc.ca/​news/​politics/​mmiw-​4000-​hajdu-​1.3450237). 114. Interview with Kundoqk, July 7, 2014. 115. Interview with Corbiere Lavell, April 9, 2014. 116. Interview with Kundoqk, July 4, 2014. 117. Interview with Cree-​Métis woman, May 25, 2014. 118. Interview, June 25, 2012. 119. Interview with Maracle, June 25, 2012.

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120.  Anishinabek Nation, “Restoration of Jurisdiction,” 2012, http://​www.anishinabek.ca/​ governance/​governanceactivities/​overview/​. 121. Interview with Wanda Nanibush, May 30, 2014. 122. Interview with Robyn Bourgeois, May 22, 2014. 123. Sara Roque, “Six Miles Deep” (National Film Board of Canada, 2009); Theresa McCarthy, In Divided Unity: Haudenosaunee Reclamation at Grand River (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2016). 124. Cited in Roque, “Six Miles Deep.” 125. Roque, “Six Miles Deep.” 126. Porter, “Decolonizing Indigenous Governance.” 127. Ibid., 103. 128. Ibid., 105. 129. Ibid., 110. 130. Joy Bilharz, “First among Equals? The Changing Status of Seneca Women,” in Women and Power in Native North America, ed. Laura F. Klein and Lillian A. Ackerman (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995). 131. Porter, “Decolonizing Indigenous Governance.” 132. Ibid., 131. 133. Ibid., 135. 134. Malz and Archambault, “Gender and Power in Native North America,” 243. 135. Simpson, As We Have Always Done, 128. 136. Heide Goettner-​Abendroth, ed., Societies of Peace: Matriarchies Past, Present and Future (Toronto: Inanna Press, 2009); Goettner-​Abendroth, Matriarchal Societies: Studies on Indigenous Cultures across the Globe (New York: Peter Lang, 2012). 137.  Indigenous Sex Sovereignty Collective, “Centering the Voices of People Who Trade or Sell Sex in Indigenous Anti-​Violence Organizing:  Statement from the Indigenous Sex Sovereignty Collective,” 2015, http://​indigenoussexsovereignty.tumblr.com/​post/​112162474275/​ centering-​the-​voices-​of-​people-​who-​trade-​or-​sell.,  n.p. 138. Simpson, As We Have Always Done, 107. 139. Claude Denis, We Are Not You: First Nations and Canadian Modernity (Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 1997), 107. 140. Simpson, As We Have Always Done. 141. Dana L. Wesley, “Reimagining Two-​Spirit Community: Critically Centering Narratives of Urban Two-​Spirit Youth” (MA thesis, Queen’s University, 2015), 102. 142. Simpson, As We Have Always Done, 140. 143.  Ellen Gabriel, “Reconciliation Cannot Happen without Gender Equality:  Interview with Rosanna Deerchild,” podcast, Unreserved, CBC, May 14, 2016, https://​www. cbc.ca/​ r adio/​ unreserved/​ r esisting-​ r eclaiming-​ a nd- ​ r econnecting-​ t o-​ c ulture-​ 1.3577136/​ reconciliation-​cannot-​happen-​without-​gender-​equality-​mohawk-​leader-​says-​1.3579688. 144.  See Strakosh, Elizabeth, and Alissa Macoun. “The Vanishing Endpoint of Settler Colonialism,” Arena Journal 37/​38 (2012): 40–​62. 145. See Theresa McCarthy, In Divided Unity, 287. 146. Wilson, “Energy and Minerals in Greenland.” 147. Cf. Porter, “Decolonizing Indigenous Governance” (See Tailfeathers in ­chapter 1).

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148. Act on Greenland Self-​Government. 149. Kleist, “Celebration Speech by Premier Kuupik Kleist on Inauguration of Greenland Self-​ Government 21st of June 2009,” 1. 150.  “Statement by Mr. Kuupik Kleist, Premier of Greenland, 2nd Session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Genera, 10–​14 August, 2009,” 249. 151.  See, for example, Duane Smith, “Letter to the Premier Hans Enoksen Re. Greenland’s Path Towards Self-​ Government,” 2008, http://​naalakkersuisut.gl/​~/​media/​Nanoq/​Files/​ Attached%20Files/ ​ Naalakkersuisut/ ​ D K/ ​ S elvstyre/ ​ Lykønskning%20fra%20ICCs%20 præsident.pdf. 152. There are other states such as Bolivia where Indigenous peoples form a majority. Bolivia, however, became independent when it was still ruled by a small non-​Indigenous elite. 153. Interview, April 8, 2013. 154. Interview, April 11, 2013. 155. Interview, April 11, 2013. 156. Dahl, “Identity, Urbanization and Political Demography in Greenland,” 126; see also “Self-​ Government, Land Claims and Imagined Inuit Communities,” Folk 30 (1988). 157.  Chris Andersen, “Indigenous Nationhood,” in Native Studies Keywords, ed. Stephanie Nohelani Teves, Andrea Smith, and Michelle H. Raheja (Tucson:  University of Arizona Press, 2015). 158.  Audra Simpson, “Paths toward a Mohawk Nation:  Narratives of Citizenship and Nationhood in Kahnawake,” in Political Theory and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ed. Duncan Ivison, Paul Patton, and Will Sanders (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000); Sunseri, Being Again of One Mind; Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark, “Marked by Fire:  Anishinaabe Articulations of Nationhood in Treaty Making with the United States and Canada,” American Indian Quarterly 36, no. 2 (2012). 159. Scott Richard Lyons, X-​Marks. Native Signatures of Assent (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010). 160. Dahl, “Self-​Government, Land Claims and Imagined Inuit Communities,” 74. 161. Simpson, As We Have Always Done, 116–​17. The Inuit did not have a clan-​based society but as for a point of comparison for family-​based social and governing structures, Simpson explains how the Anishnaabek clan system functions as a system of governance: “The clan system is a way of organizing society into different responsibilities and of intimately connecting people to animal nations. To me, the clan system is actually a series of systems or networks of relationships that was also, when intact, territorial,” meaning that certain clans were based on a certain area (ibid., 116). Each clan was responsible “for governance and for relationships to the animal nation they were akin to” (ibid.). Certain clans had specific leadership responsibilities that were evoked when a need arose. It was a diffused political system premised on networks and relationships with no single leaders or centralized decision-​making authorities. 162. Dahl, “Self-​Government, Land Claims and Imagined Inuit Communities,” 75. 163.  Helge Kleivan, “Greenland Eskimo:  Introduction,” in Handbook of North American Indians Vol. 5: Arctic, ed. David Damas (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984); Inge Kleivan, “West Greenland before 1950,” in Handbook of North American Indians Vol. 5: Arctic, ed. David Damas (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984). 164. Regitze Margrethe Søby, “Language and Identity in Thule,” in Eskimo Languages, ed. B. Basse and K. Jensen (Aarhus: Artona, 1979).

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165. Dahl, “Self-​Government, Land Claims and Imagined Inuit Communities,” 75, 76. 166. Dahl, “Greenland,” 321. 167. Nuttall, “Self-​Rule in Greenland,” 65. 168.  Tom Nairn, “The Modern Janus,” New Left Review 1, no. 94 (1975); Margaret Canovan, Nationhood and Political Theory (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 1996); Partha Chatterjee, Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World (London: Zed Books, 1986); Chatterjee, “Colonialism, Nationalism, and Colonialized Women: The Contest in India,” American Ethnologist 16, no. 4 (1989). 169. Nairn, “The Modern Janus,” 18. 170. Ibid. 171. Interview with preeminent municipal politician, April 8, 2013. 172. Ibid. 173. Interview, April 11, 2013. 174. Lyons, X-​Marks. 175. Ibid., 135. 176. Denetdale, “Chairmen, Presidents, and Princesses.” 177. Sami Zubaida, “Islam, Cultural Nationalism and the Left,” Review of Middle East Studies 4 (1988). 178. Chatterjee, Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World. 179. Cf. Petersen, “Colonialism as Seen from a Former Colonized Area.” 180. Interview, March 16, 2013. 181. Interview, March 18, 2013. 182. Ibid. 183.  Arctic Journal, “Life in a Northern Settlement,” August 22, 2016, arcticjournal.com, http://​arcticjournal.com/​culture/​2525/​life-​northern-​settlement. 184. Petersen, “Colonialism as Seen from a Former Colonized Area.” 185. Ibid., 122. 186. Nielsen, “Government, Culture and Sustainability in Greenland,” 234. 187. Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks, 156; also Alfred, Peace, Power, Righteousness; Leanne Simpson, Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back: Stories of Nishnaabek Re-​Creation, Resurgence and a New Emergence (Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring, 2011). 188.  See Gabrielle Slowey, Navigating Neoliberalism:  Self-​Determination and the Mikisew Cree First Nation (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2008); Kuokkanen, “From Indigenous Economies to Market-​Based Self-​Governance”; Irlbacher-​Fox, Finding Dahshaa. 189. Gorm Winther, “Democracy and Power in Greenland: The Appearance of a New Class,” in Development, Innovation and International Political Economy Research (DIIPER) Working Papers (Aalborg: Development, Innovation and International Political Economy Research and Department of History, International and Social Studies, 2007), 23. 190. Hansen, “Community Impacts.” 191.  David A. Rezvani, “Partial Independence Beats Full Independence,” Territory, Politics, Governance 4, no. 3 (2016), 270. 192.  Ibid.; also Brendan O’Leary, “Power Sharing, Pluralist Federation, and Federacy,” ed. Brendan O’Leary, John McGarry, and Khaled Salih (Philadelphia:  University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005). 193. Rezvani, “Partial Independence Beats Full Independence,” 277. Yet PITs are not a silver bullet, as Rezvani notes: “In spite of the emphasis here on their advantages, PITs are certainly

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not panaceas for the problems of poverty, insecurity, and nationalism faced by the world’s population” (291). 194. Interview, April 11, 2013. 195. Nadasdy, Sovereignty’s Entailments, 8. 196. Rezvani, 270. 197. See Nadasdy, Sovereignty’s Entailments. 198.  There is similar development in Bolivia, another jurisdiction where Indigenous people form the majority of the population with Indigenous leaders, out of necessity, are pushing for more extensive development of the resource sector. 199. Anne McClintock, “Family Feuds: Gender, Nationalism and Family,” Feminist Review 44 (Summer 1993). 200. Cf. Clint Carroll, “Articulating Indigenous Statehood: Cherokee State Formation and Implications for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” in Indigenous Rights in the Age of the UN Declaration, ed. Elvira Pulitano and Mililani Trask (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). 201. Green and Napoleon, “Seeking Measures of Justice.” Chapter 4 1. For a discussion of the meaning and importance of gender analysis in Indigenous scholarship and politics, see Jorunn Eikjok, “Gender in Sápmi. Socio-​Cultural Transformations and New Challenges,” Indigenous Affairs 1–​2 (2004); Green, “Taking Account of Aboriginal Feminism”; Kuokkanen, “Myths and Realities of Sami Women:  A Postcolonial Feminist Analysis for the Decolonization and Transformation of Sami Society,” in Making Space for Aboriginal Feminism, ed. Joyce Green (Halifax, NS:  Fernwood Publishing, 2007); NWAC, “Culturally Relevant Gender Based Analysis. A  Policy Paper” (Ottawa:  Native Women’s Association of Canada, 2008); Angela Cameron, “R.V. Gladue: Sentencing and the Gendered Impacts of Colonialism,” in Moving toward Justice. Legal Traditions and Aboriginal Justice, ed. John D. Whyte (Saskatoon and Regina: Purich and Saskatchewan Institute of Public Policy, 2008); Napoleon, “Aboriginal Discourse,” 237–​ 41; Chaw-​ win-​ is, “Remaking Balance:  Decolonizing Gender Relations in Indigenous Communities,” in For Indigenous Minds Only:  A Decolonization Handbook, ed. Waziyatawin and Michael Yellow Bird (Santa Fe, NM:  School for Advanced Research Press, 2012). On the complexity of gender roles in North American Indigenous societies, see Karen Anderson, “A Gendered World:  Women, Men and the Political Economy of the Seventeenth Century Huron,” in Feminism and Political Economy:  Women’s Work, Women’s Struggles, ed. Heather Jon Maroney and Meg Luxton (Toronto: Methuen, 1987); Laura F. Klein and Lillian A. Ackerman, eds., Women and Power in Native North America (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995); Frink, Shepard, and Reinhardt, Many Faces of Gender; Barker, “Gender”; Kahente Horn-​Miller, “Otiyaner:  The ‘Women’s Path’ through Colonialism,” Atlantis 29, no. 2 (2005); Roscoe, “Biobliography of Berdache and Alternative Gender Roles among North American Indians”; Qwo-​Li Driskell et al., eds., Queer Indigenous Studies. Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2011); Slater and Yarbrough, Gender and Sexuality in Indigenous North America, 1400–​1850; Fur, A Nation of Women. 2. Napoleon, “Aboriginal Discourse,” 234. For a similar account in the Sámi context, see Jorunn Eikjok, “Gender in Sápmi” and Kuokkanen, “Gendered Violence and Politics in Indigenous

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Communities:  The Cases of Aboriginal People in Canada and the Sami in Scandinavia,” International Feminist Journal of Politics 17, no. 2 (2015). 3. Napoleon, “Aboriginal Discourse,” 234. 4.  Key texts of feminist institutional analysis include Acker, “From Sex Roles to Gendered Institutions”; Sally J. Kenney, “New Research on Gendered Political Institutions,” Political Research Quarterly 49, no. 2 (1996); Meryl Kenny, “Gender, Institutions and Power: A Critical Review,” Politics 27, no. 2 (2007). 5.  Jill Vickers, “Gendering the Hyphen:  Gender Dimensions of Modern Nation-​ State Formation in Euro-​American and Anti-​and Post-​Colonial Contexts,” in Gendering the Nation-​ State: Canadian and Comparative Perspectives, ed. Yasmeen Abu-​Laban (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2008), 25. Drawing on Paul Pierson (“Increasing Returns, Path Dependence and the Study of Politics,” American Political Science Review 94, no. 2 (2000) and Politics in Time:  History, Institutions and Social Analysis, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004), Vickers explains that the path dependency “occurs because the collective action required to create institutions entails high set up costs, and that the longer people do things in a particular way, the greater the effort needed to change them” (“Gendering the Hyphen,” 25). 6. See, for example, Smith, “Native American Feminism, Sovereignty, and Social Change.” 7. Wendy Cornet, “First Nations Governance, the Indian Act and Women’s Equality Rights,” in First Nations Women, Governance and the Indian Act: A Collection of Policy Research Reports, ed. Judith F. Sayers, et al. (Ottawa: Status of Women Canada, 2001), 138. 8. Cited in Judith F. Sayers and Kelly A. MacDonald, “A Strong and Meaningful Role for First Nations Women in Governance,” in First Nations Women, Governance and the Indian Act:  A Collection of Policy Research Reports, ed. Judith F. Sayers, et al. (Ottawa: Status of Women Canada, 2001), 18; see also Kathleen E. Absolon, E. Herbert, and K.A. MacDonald, “Aboriginal Women and Treaties Project” (Vancouver: British Columbia Ministry of Women’s Equality, 1996). 9. Wendy Lockhart cited in Sayers and MacDonald, “A Strong and Meaningful Role for First Nations Women in Governance,” 18. 10. Mercy Thomas, cited in ibid. 11. Million, Therapeutic Nations, 136. 12.  Kenney, “New Research on Gendered Political Institutions.” Yet there is some value at looking at numbers too. Linda Trimble, for example, who has studied women’s presence in legislatures and impact on policymaking, departs from the conventional “critical mass” theories according to which certain percentage of women will alter a policymaking conditions. Instead, she has examined whether there is a correlation between numerical representation and substantive representation (Linda Trimble, “Assembling Women, Gendering Assemblies” in Gendering the Nation-​State:  Canadian and Comparative Perspectives, ed. Yasmeen Abu-​Laban (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2008)). 13. C. West and D. H. Zimmerman, “Doing Gender,” Gender and Society 1, no. 2 (1987). 14. Joan Acker, “Hierarchies, Jobs, Bodies: A Theory of Gendered Organizations,” Gender and Society 4, no. 3 (1990), 146. 15. Sylvia Walby, Theorizing Patriarchy (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990), 20. 16. Acker, “Hierarchies, Jobs, Bodies”; “From Sex Roles to Gendered Institutions.” 17. Connell, Gender and Power. 18. Acker, “From Sex Roles to Gendered Institutions.”

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19. Cf. Catharine MacKinnon, “Feminism, Marxism, Method and the State: Toward Feminist Jurisprudence,” Signs 8, no. 4 (1983). 20. Acker, “From Sex Roles to Gendered Institutions,” 567. 21. Kenney, “New Research on Gendered Political Institutions,” 455. 22. Ibid. Some of Kenney’s theoretical insights may not necessarily hold true in Indigenous contexts, such as “gender is oppositional and hierarchical” and that constructed masculinity is “fiercely defended” (ibid.). In the mainstream Indigenous political institutions examined here, however, Kenney’s insights remain valid (see, Hokowhitu, “Producing Elite Indigenous Masculinities”; Green, “Constitutionalising the Patriarchy”; Maracle, “Decolonizing Native Women”; Mikaere, “Maori Women”; Vinding, Indigenous Women; Kim Anderson and Bonita Lawrence, “Concluding Dialogue,” in A Recognition of Being. Reconstructing Native Womanhood, ed. Kim Anderson (Toronto:  Second Story Press, 2000); Ramirez, “Race, Tribal Nation and Gender”). 23. Cynthia Cockburn, In the Way of Women: Men’s Resistance to Sex Equality in Organizations (Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, 1991), 158. 24. For example, at missions and residential schools much of the teaching was done by white women. Instilling the Victorian-​era strict gender binary and disciplining and policing any gender variance or fluidity, they radically undermined and erased the knowledge and skills of Indigenous women pertaining to activities on the land, medicine, kinship, spirituality, and political influence. Simpson, As We Have Always Done. 25. Ibid., 100. 26.  Mary Hawkesworth, “Congressional Enactments of Race–​Gender:  Toward a Theory of Raced–​Gendered Institutions,” American Political Science Review 97, no. 4 (2003), 546. 27. R. W. Connell, “The State, Gender, and Sexual Politics: Theory and Appraisal,” Theory and Society 19, no. 5 (1990), 519–​20. 28. Interview with Napoleon, May 23, 2014. 29. Connell, Gender and Power; Connell, Gender in World Perspective. 30. Connell, “The State, Gender, and Sexual Politics,” 523. 31. Vickers, “Gendering the Hyphen,” 23. 32. Connell, “The State, Gender, and Sexual Politics.” 33. K. E. Ferguson, The Feminist Case against Bureaucracy (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1984); J. Grant and P. Tancred-​Sheriff, “State Bureaucracy,” ed. P. Patton and R. Poole (Sydney: Intervention, 1985). 34. Connell, “The State, Gender, and Sexual Politics,” 526. 35. Thomsen, “Inuit Women in Greenland and Canada,” 241. 36.  Henriette Rasmussen, “Greenland’s Women Want to Take the Lead,” in Indigenous Women: The Right to a Voice, ed. Diana Vinding (Copenhagen: International Working Group of Indigenous Affairs, 1988); also Thomsen, “Women and Politics.” 37. Thomsen, “Inuit Women in Greenland and Canada,” 250. 38. Ibid., 242. 39. Ibid. 40. Ibid.; also Thomsen, “Women and Politics”; “Statement on Indigenous Women. Greenland Home Rule Government on Behalf of Denmark and Greenland” (New York: The Third Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, May 10–​21, 2004).

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41. Thomsen, “Statement on Indigenous Women.” 42. Interview with educator, April 10, 2013. 43. Danish Institute for Human Rights, “Selected List of Issues on the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women” (Copenhagen: Danish Institute for Human Rights, 2014), 20. 44. Interview, April 8, 2013. Simonsen who lived in a smaller town in the north for several years, recounted how she together with few young local women organized a Women’s Day rally. They were told by fishers and other older men to “go back home” because “we don’t do that here; you can’t even sew hammocks” (interview, April 8, 2013). 45. Interview with educator, April 10, 2013. 46. Male suicide is a very serious problem in Greenland and has been steadily growing since the 1970s (Peter Bjerregaard and Christina Viskum Lytken Larsen, “Time Trend by Region of Suicides and Suicidal Thoughts among Greenland Inuit,” International Journal of Circumpolar Health 74, no. 1 (2015); Peter Bjerregaard and Inge Lynge, “Suicide:  A Challenge in Modern Greenland,” Archives of Suicide Research 10, no. 2 (2006)). 47. Interview, April 11, 2013. 48. Interview with preeminent municipal politician, April 8, 2013. 49. According to the Statistics Greenland 2014 report, women earn on average a third less than men (Grønlands statistik, “Ledighet Og Arbejdsstyrke 2012”). 50. Naalakkersuisut, “Bryd Tavsheten! Stop Volden. Naalakkersuisut Handlingsplan mod Vold 2014–​2017” (Nuuk:  Naalakkersuisut (Government of Greenland), 2013); Kirsten Bransholm Pedersen and Najaaraq Paniula, “De Grønlandske Kvindeorganisationers Rolle i den Politiske Udviklingsproces—​Set i et Postkolonialt Perspektiv,” Dansk Sociologi 25, no. 4 (2014); Regine Enoksen, “Arbejdet på Krisecentre og Klientellet,” in Køn og Vold i Grønland, ed. Mariekatrine Poppel (Nuuk: Forlaget Atuagkat, 2005). 51. See also Pedersen and Paniula, “De Grønlandske Kvindeorganisationers Rolle i den Politiske Udviklingsproces,” 94–​121. 52. Danish Institute for Human Rights, “Selected List of Issues on the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,” 19. 53. Interview with Nathanielsen, March 19, 2013. 54. Nedelsky, Law’s Relations, 308. 55. Williamson, Inherit My Heaven, 1. 56. Interview with municipal civil servant, March 16, 2013. See also Bransholm Pedersen and Paniula, “De Grønlandske Kvindeorganisationers Rolle I Den Politiske Udviklingsproces.” 57.  Vibeke Larsen, “Det Farligste for Likestillingen Er Myten Om at Vi Har Likestilling,” Sámediggi, July 26, 2012, http://​www.sametinget.no/​Om-​Sametinget/​Organisasjonsstruktur/​ Sametingsraadet/​Det-​farligste-​for-​likestillingen-​er-​myten-​om-​at-​vi-​har-​likestilling. 58. At the time, Larsen was a member of the Executive Council of the Sámi Parliament. For the period of 2009–​2013, women formed a majority in the plenary as well as and in the Executive Council of the Sámi Parliament. 59. Larsen, “Det Farligste for Likestillingen Er Myten om at Vi Har Likestilling.” 60. Linda K. Storjord, “«Det Farligste for Likestillingen er Myten om at Vi Har Likestilling!» En Analyse av Sametingets Handlingsplan for Likestilling 2009–​ 2013” (Universitetet i Nordland, 2013).

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61.  Eva Josefsen, Sametinget som Likestillingspolitisk Arena (Alta:  Norut NIBR Finnmark, 2004); Vigdis Stordahl, “Sametinget—​Kvinner Begrenset Adgang? Reflesjoner over Debatten om Kvinnerepresentasjonen på Sametinget,” in Samer, Makt og Demokrati:  Sametinget og den Nye Samiske Offentligheten, ed. Bjørn Bjerkli and Per Selle (Oslo: Gyldendal Akademisk, 2003); Bjørn Bjerkli and Per Selle, “Sametinget—​Kjerneinstitusjonen Innenfor den Nye Samiske Offentligheten,” in Samer, Makt og Demokrati. Sametinget og den Nye Samiske Offentligheten, ed. Bjørn Bjerkli and Per Selle (Oslo: Gyldendal Akademisk, 2003); Torunn Pettersen, “Hvorfor Er Kvinneandelen på Sametinget i Norge Blitt Så Liten?,” in Ett Folk, Ett Land—​Sápmi i Historia och Nutid, ed. Per Axelsson and Peter Sköld (Umeå:  Centrum för samisk forskning, Umeå Universitet, 2005). 62. Storjord, “«Det Farligste for Likestillingen Er Myten om at Vi Har Likestilling!»” 63. Interview with healthcare professional, July 19, 2011. 64.  Dorothy W. Cantor and Tony Bernay, Women in Power:  The Secrets of Leadership (Boston:  Houghton Mifflin, 1992); Frank P. LeVeness and Jane P. Sweeney, eds. 1987. Women Leaders in Contemporary U.S. Politics (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1987). 65. Interview with healthcare professional, July 19, 2011. 66.  In the early years of contemporary Sámi political movement (1970s and 1980s), one of the main efforts to distinguish the Sámi people from the Nordic mainstream and the non-​Sámi people was through gender (see Eikjok, “Gender in Sápmi”). 67. Interview with member of Swedish Sámi National Association, June 13, 2011. 68. Interview with journalist in Norway, July 15, 2011. See also Stordahl, “Sametinget—​Kvinner Begrenset Adgang? Reflesjoner over Debatten om Kvinnerepresentasjonen på Sametinget.” 69. Stordahl, “The Sami Parliament in Norway: Limited Access for Women?” in Taking Wing Conference Report (Helsinki: Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, 2002), 130. 70. Josefsen, Sametinget Som Likestillingspolitisk Arena. 71. UNPFII, “Gender and Indigenous Peoples,” in Briefing Note 1 (New York: Secretariat of the Permanent Forum of Indigenous People, 2007). 72.  See, for example, Richard Heywood Daly, Our Box Was Full:  An Ethnography for the Delgamuukw Plaintiffs (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2005); Diane Sainsbury and Christina Bergqvist, “The Promise and Pitfalls of Gender Mainstreaming,” International Feminist Journal of Politics 11, no. 2 (2009); Sylvia Walby, “Gender Mainstreaming:  Productive Tensions in Theory and Practice,” Social Politics 12, no. 3 (2005). 73. Stordahl, “The Sami Parliament in Norway.” 74.  Stordahl, “Sametinget—​ Kvinner Begrenset Adgang?”; Josefsen, Sametinget Som Likestillingspolitisk Arena. 75.  Sámediggi, “Sámedikki Dásseárvodoaibmaplána 2009–​2013” (Kárášjohka:  Sámediggi Sametinget, 2008). 76.  Sámediggeráđđi, “Sámediggeráđi Čilgehus Sohkabealdásseárvvu Birra 2015” (Kárášjohka: Sámediggi, 2015). 77.  Stordahl, “Sametinget—​Kvinner Begrenset Adgang?”; Gudrun Eriksen Lindi, personal communication, 2015. 78. Sametinget, “Jämställdhetsprogram” (Kiruna: Sametinget, 2004); “Jämställdhetsprogram” (Giron/​Kiruna: Sametinget,  2016). 79. Sametinget, “Rapport. Regeringsuppdraget “En Särskild Satsning för att Stärka Samiska Kvinnors Delaktighet i Samhällslivet” (Kiruna:  Sametinget, 2011). “The strong emphasis on

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gender equality—​although understood in very mainstream terms of equal participation—​of the Sámi Parliament in Sweden compared to that of Norway and Finland might be explained by the strong national focus on gender equality in Sweden” see Shauna Wilton, “Projecting Gender and Nation: Literature for Immigrants in Canada and Sweden,” in Gendering the Nation-​State. Canadian and Comparative Perspectives, ed. Yasmeen Abu-​Laban (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2008). 80. Sametinget, “Jämställdhetsprogram.” 81.  Sámediggi, “Lausunto YK:n Naisten Syrjinnän Poistamista Käsittelevän Komitean Antamista Loppupäätelmistä” (Inari: Sámediggi, 2009). 82. Interview, June 13, 2011. 83. Åhrén, “The Saami Convention.” 84. McClintock, “Family Feuds,” 77. 85. Valentine M. Moghadam, ed., Gender and National Identity: Women and Politics in Muslim Societies (London:  Zed Books, 1994); Vickers, “Gendering the Hyphen”; Cynthia Enloe, The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004); Kerensa Johnston, “Maori Women Confront Discrimination: Using International Human Rights Law to Challenge Discriminatory Practices,” Indigenous Law Journal 4, no. 1 (2005); Irma Otzoy, “Indigenous Law and Gender Dialogues,” in Human Rights in the Mayan Region. Global Politics, Cultural Contentions, and Moral Engagements, ed. Pedro Pitarch, Shannon Speed, and Xochitl Leyva Solano (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008); Liesbeth van der Hoogte and Koos Kingma, “Promoting Cultural Diversity and the Rights of Women: The Dilemmas of ‘Intersectionality’ for Development Organisations,” Gender and Development 12, no. 1 (2004). 86. Rasmussen, “Greenland’s Women Want to Take the Lead”; Thomsen, “Women and Politics”; Kirsten Bransholm Pedersen and Najaaraq Paniula, “De Grønlandske Kvindeorganisationers Rolle I Den Politiske Udviklingsproces—​Set I Et Postkolonialt Perspektiv,” Dansk Sociologi 25, no. 4 (2014). 87. Interview with educator, April 10, 2013. 88. Interview, April 4, 2013. 89. Ibid. 90.  Linda Archibald and Mary Crnkovich, “If Gender Mattered:  A Case Study of Inuit Women, Land Claims and the Voisey’s Bay Nickel Project” (Ottawa: Status of Women Canada, 1999); Kathryn M. Campbell, “‘What Was It They Lost?’ the Impact of Resource Development on Family Violence in a Northern Aboriginal Community,” Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice 5, no. 1 (2007); Victoria Tauli-​Corpuz, Globalization and Its Impacts on Indigenous Women: The Philippine Experience (Penang: Third World Network, 2001). 91. Archibald and Crnkovich, “If Gender Mattered,” 16. 92. See Anne Merrild Hansen et al., “Managing the Social Impacts of the Rapidly-​Expanding Extractive Industries in Greenland,” The Extractive Industries and Society 3, no. 1 (2016); Thomas Trier Hansen and Bent Ole Gram Mortensen, “Social Impact Assessment, Including Impact Assessments in Relation to Mineral Extraction in Greenland,” Yearbook of Polar Law 5 (2013); Kåre Hendriksen, Birgitte Hoffmann, and Ulrik Jørgensen, “Mineral Exploitation and Development in Greenland: Engaging Local Workforce and Planning Flexible Settlements,” in The Arctic Yearbook 2014: Human Capital in the North, ed. Lassi Heininen, Heather Exner-​Pirot, and Joel Plouffe (Akureyri:  Northern Research Forum, 2014); Sandra Cassotta and Mauro Mazza, “Balancing De Jure and De Facto Arctic Environmental Law Applied to the Oil and Gas Industry: Linking

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Indigenous Rights, Social Impact Assessment and Business in Greenland,” Yearbook of Polar Law 6 (2014); Hansen, “Community Impacts”; The Committee for Greenlandic Mineral Resources to the Benefit of Society, “To the Benefit of Greenland.” 93.  Green, “Constitutionalising the Patriarchy”; Sayers and MacDonald, “A Strong and Meaningful Role for First Nations Women in Governance.” 94. Interview with Cree-​Métis woman, May 25, 2014. 95. Interview, May 23, 2014. 96. Interview, June 13, 2011. 97. Interview with healthcare professional, July 19, 2011. 98.  Cf. Jorunn Eikjok, Torunn Pettersen, and Aili Keskitalo, “Vil De Ikke—​Eller Slipper De Ikke til? En Undersökelse av den Lave Kvinnerepresentasjonen på Sametinget i Norge” (Kárášjohka: Sámediggi, 2002); Eikjok, “Gender in Sápmi.” 99. Interview with reindeer herder/​teacher, June 16, 2011. 100.  “Annex. Text of the Draft Nordic Saami Convention in English (Unofficial Translation),” 98. 101. Vickers, “Gendering the Hyphen,” 41. 102. cf. Anne McClintock, “‘No Longer in a Future Heaven’: Gender, Race and Nationalism,” in Dangerous Liaisons:  Gender, Nation, and Postcolonial Perspectives, ed. Anne McClintock, Aamir Mufti, and Ella Shohat (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997). 103. Connell, “The State, Gender, and Sexual Politics,” 512. 104.  Brendan Hokowhitu, ed., Indigenous Identity and Resistance:  Researching the Diversity of Knowledge (Otago:  Otago University Press, 2010); Regnor Jernsletten, “The Development of a Saami Elite in Norden,” in Conflict and Cooperation in the North, ed. Kristiina Karppi and Johan Eriksson (Umeå:  Norlands universitetsförlag, 2002); Howard Adams, “The Failure of Native Leadership,” in Prison of Grass:  Canada from a Native Point of View (Saskatoon:  Fifth House, 1975). 105. On privatization of Indigenous women, see Emma LaRocque, “Métis and Feminist: Ethical Reflections on Feminism, Human Rights and Decolonization,” in Making Space for Indigenous Feminism, ed. Joyce Green (Halifax, NS: Fernwood Publishing, 2007); Hokowhitu, Indigenous Identity and Resistance; Barker, “Gender, Sovereignty, and the Discourse of Rights in Native Women’s Activism”; Kuokkanen, “Indigenous Women’s Rights and International Law.” 106.  Nancy Fraser, “Feminist Politics in the Age of Recognition:  A Two-​Dimensional Approach to Gender Justice,” Studies in Social Justice 1, no. 1 (2007), 25–​26. 107. See, for example, Paivi H. Hoikkala, “Mothers and Community Builders: Salt River Pima and Maricopa Women in Community Action,” in Negotiators of Change: Historical Perspectives on Native American Women, ed. Nancy Shoemaker (New York: Routledge, 1995); Bruce Miller, “Women and Politics: Comparative Evidence from the Northwest Coast,” Ethnology 31, no. 4 (1992). 108.  Barker, “Gender, Sovereignty, and the Discourse of Rights in Native Women’s Activism,” 142. 109. Lawrence and Anderson, “Introduction to ‘Indigenous Women,’ ” 2. 110. McClintock, “Family Feuds,” 77. 111. Interview, May 23, 2014. 112. Cf. Lawrence and Anderson, “Introduction to ‘Indigenous Women.’ ”

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113. Barker, “Gender, Sovereignty, and the Discourse of Rights in Native Women’s Activism.” 114. Cf. Stordahl, “Sametinget—​Kvinner Begrenset Adgang?” 115. See McClintock, “Family Feuds”; Joane Nagel, “Masculinity and Nationalism: Gender and Sexuality in the Making of Nations,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 21, no. 2 (1998). 116. Interview, July 28, 2014. 117. Interview, May 15, 2014. 118. Porter, “Decolonizing Indigenous Governance”; Maracle, “Decolonizing Native Women.” See the discussion on the traditional gender-​ based political roles of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (and specifically, Seneca Nation) political system in c­ hapter 3. 119.  Eikjok, Pettersen, and Keskitalo, “Vil De Ikke—​Eller Slipper De Ikke til?”; Miller, “Women and Politics.” 120. Jill Vickers, Re-​Inventing Political Science: A Feminist Approach (Halifax, NS: Fernwood Publishing, 1997), 48. 121.  Stephanie Irlbacher-​Fox, “Women’s Participation in Self-​Government Negotiation in Northwest Territories, Canada,” in Taking Wing Conference Report (Helsinki: Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, 2002). 122. Cited in ibid., 148. 123. Ibid., 149. 124. Ibid. 125.  Simpson, “Queering Resurgence:  Taking on Heteropatriarchy in Indigenous Nation-​ Building.” (2012) leannesimpson.ca. 126. Selle and Strømsnes, “Sami Citizenship,” 81. 127. Ibid., 71. 128. Simpson, “Queering Resurgence.” 129. Interview with Tailfeathers, September 11, 2014. See also CBC News, “Alberta First Nation School Finds Success with Fresh Approach,” CBC.ca, November 6, 2013, http: www.cbc.ca/​news/​ canada/​calgary/​alberta-​first-​nation-​school-​finds-​success-​with-​fresh-​approach-​1.2417102. 130. Million, Therapeutic Nations, 139. 131. Interview with Maureen Chapman, September 12, 2014. 132. Interview, September 11, 2014. 133. Interview, May 21, 2014. 134. Interview with Bourgeois, May 22, 2014. 135. Interview with Bourgeois, May 22, 2014. 136. Interview, July 28, 2014. 137. Interview, September 12, 2014. 138. Ibid. 139. Ibid. 140. Interview, July 4, 2014. 141.  Andrew Kurjata, “Here’s How the All-​Woman Chief and Council of the Saik’uz First Nation Is Changing the Way Leadership Works,” CBC.ca, November 24, 2017, http://​www.cbc. ca/​news/​canada/​british-​columbia/​saikuz-​chief-​council-​1.4419169. 142. Interview with Nanibush, May 30, 2014. 143. Interview, May 26, 2014. 144. Interview, July 4, 2014.

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145.  Interview with Cree-​Métis woman, May 25, 2014. See also Simpson, As We Have Always Done. 146. Interview with Bourgeois, May 22, 2014. 147. Thomsen, “Women and Politics.” 148. Interview with Nathanielsen, March 19, 2013. 149.  Gitte Tróndheim, “The Flexibility of Greenlandic Women,” Indigenous Affairs 1–​2 (2004); Bransholm Pedersen and Paniula, “De Grønlandske Kvindeorganisationers Rolle i den Politiske Udviklingsproces.” 150. Lennert in Thomsen, “Women and Politics.” 151. Interview with educator, April 10, 2013. 152. Interview, April 4, 2013. 153. Interview with municipal civil servant, March 16, 2013. 154. Both Abelsen and Nathanielsen, many of whom would consider “strong” and highly qualified, have since left the politics. 155.  See Caren Kaplan, Norma Alarcón, and Minoo Moallem, eds., Between Woman and Nation: Nationalisms, Transnational Feminisms, and the State (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000); V. Spike Peterson, “Gendered Nationalisms,” Peace Review 6, no. 1 (1994); “Sexing Political Identities/​Nationalism as Heterosexism,” International Feminist Journal of Politics 1, no. 1 (1999); Nira Yuval-​Davis, Gender and Nation (London: Sage, 1997); Moghadam, Gender and National Identity; McClintock, “Family Feuds”; “ ‘No Longer in a Future Heaven’ ”; Lois West, ed., Feminist Nationalism (London: Routledge, 1997). 156. Vickers, “Gendering the Hyphen,” 27–​28. 157. Ibid., 41. 158. Ibid.,  29–​30. 159. Interview with educator, April 10, 2013. 160. Fiske, “The Womb Is to the Nation as the Heart Is to the Body,” 66. 161. See Sunseri, Being Again of One Mind; Sylvia Maracle, “The Eagle Has Landed: Native Women, Leadership and Community Development,” in Strong Women Stories: Native Women and Community Survival, ed. Kim Anderson and Bonita Lawrence (Toronto:  Sumach Press, 2003); Dawn Memee Lavell-​Harvard and Kim Anderson, eds., Mothers of the Nations. Indigenous Mothering as Global Resistance, Reclaiming and Recovery (Bradford, ON: Demeter Press, 2014); Lavell-​Harvard and Lavell, “Aboriginal Women Vs. Canada”; Betty Bastien, “Voices through Time,” in Women of the First Nations:  Power, Wisdom, and Strength, ed. Christine Miller and Patricia Chuchryk (Winnipeg:  University of Manitoba Press, 1996); Dolores Figueroa Romero, “Interview with Mirna Cunningham Kain,” International Feminist Journal of Politics 8, no. 4 (2006); Jo-​Anne Fiske, “Carrier Women and the Politics of Mothering,” in B.C. Reconsidered: Essays on Women, ed. Gillian Creese and Veronica Strong-​Boag (Vancouver: Press Gang, 1992); “Child of the State/​Mother of the Nation”; Hoikkala, “Mothers and Community Builders”; “Mothers of Our Nations: Indigenous Women Address the World: Our Future—​Our Responsibility. UN Fourth World Conference on Women” (Beijing, 1995); “Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women,” United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, NGO Forum (Beijing, China 1995); Anderson, A Recognition of Being; Kim Anderson and Bonita Lawrence, eds., Strong Women Stories:  Native Vision and Community Survival (Toronto:  Sumach Press, 2003); NWAC, “Aboriginal Women and Self-​Determination. An Issue Paper” (Ottawa: Native

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Women’s Association of Canada, 2007); Vinding, Indigenous Women. Denetdale, “Chairmen, Presidents, and Princesses”; Lisa J. Udel, “Revision and Resistance: The Politics of Native Women’s Motherwork,” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 22, no. 2 (2001); Makokis, “Learning Self Determination through the Sacred.” 162.  Kim Anderson, “Leading by Action:  Female Chiefs and the Political Landscape,” in Restoring the Balance:  First Nations Women, Community, and Culture, ed. Gail Guthrie Valaskakis, Madeleine Dion Stout, and Eric Guimond (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2009), 113; also Jo-​Anne Fiske, “Child of the State/​Mother of the Nation: Aboriginal Women and the Ideology of Motherhood,” Culture XIII, no. 1 (1993); Udel, “Revision and Resistance.” 163. Cited in Anderson, “Leading by Action,” 113. 164. Fiske, “The Womb Is to the Nation as the Heart Is to the Body,” 80. 165. Ibid. 166.  Emily Snyder, Val Napoleon, and John Borrows, “Gender and Violence:  Drawing on Indigenous Legal Resources,” UBC Law Review 48, no. 2 (2015), 613; also Lawrence in Anderson and Lawrence, “Concluding Dialogue,” 270. 167. Snyder, Napoleon, and Borrows, “Gender and Violence.” 168. LaRocque, “Métis and Feminist,” 63. 169. Interview, May 23, 2014. 170. Nedelsky, Law’s Relations, 316. 171. See, for example, Hoikkala, “Mothers and Community Builders.” 172. Sunseri, Being Again of One Mind; Simpson, Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back. 173. Maracle, “The Eagle Has Landed.” 174. Fiske, “Child of the State/​Mother of the Nation.” 175.  Krosenbrink-​Gelissen, Sexual Equality as an Aboriginal Right; Udel, “Revision and Resistance.” 176. Deer, “Decolonizing Rape Law,” 152. 177.  See also Kino-​nda-​niimi Collective, The Winter We Danced; Simpson, As We Have Always Done. 178.  Berit Ås, “Master Suppression Techniques,” Kilden, Information Center for Gender Research, 2004, www.kilden.forskningsradet.no/​c16881/​artikkel/​vis.html?tid=35123. 179.  See Josef Isak Utsi, “Nissonolbmot Dahkkojit Bogostahkan,” Min Áigi, September 19, 2005; Ragnhild Nystad, “Urfolkskvinner Mellom Etnisitet Og Kjønn,” in Becoming Visible—​ Indigenous Politics and Self-​Government, ed. Terje Brantenberg, Janne Hansen, and Henry Minde (Tromsø:  University of Tromsø, Sámi dutkamiid guovddás—​Centre for Sámi Studies, 1995); Josefsen, Sametinget Som Likestillingspolitisk Arena; Storjord, “«Det Farligste for Likestillingen Er Myten mm at Vi Har Likestilling!»”; Stordahl, “Sametinget—​Kvinner Begrenset Adgang?” 180. Interview with journalist, June 29, 2011. 181. Interview, June 13, 2011. 182. Stordahl, “The Sami Parliament in Norway,” 131. 183. Interview with journalist, July 15, 2011. 184. Ibid. 185. Interview with reindeer herder/​teacher, June 16, 2011. 186. Ávvir, “Sámi Nissoniid Árvvut Oaidnemeahttumat,” Ávvir, April 18, 2009. 187. Interview with member of Swedish Sámi National Association, June 13, 2011.

288

Notes

188. In 2008, I interviewed 16 Sámi women in the neighboring municipalities of Ohcejohka/​ Utsjoki (Finland) and Kárášjohka/​Karasjok (Norway). See Kuokkanen, “Self-​Determination and Indigenous Women.” 189. Also Utsi, “Nissonolbmot Dahkkojit Bogostahkan”; Kari Lisbeth Hermansen, “Mii Fertet Oahppat Geahččat Dásseárvočalbmeglásiiguin. Aili Keskitalo Jearahallan,” Gába 1–​2 (2007). 190. Cited in Kuokkanen, “Self-​Determination and Indigenous Women,” 54. 191. Interview with Sámi journalist, June 29, 2011. 192. Interview with Sara Larsson, June 14, 2011. 193. Interview with preeminent municipal politician, April 8, 2013. 194. Interview with municipal civil servant, March 16, 2013. 195. Interview, March 21, 2013. 196. Interview, March 21, 2013. 197. Thomsen, “Inuit Women in Greenland and Canada.” To address these and other obstacles, Women’s Party was established to promote and support female candidates for the parliamentary elections. However, the party failed to win any seats in its first elections in 2002 and it disbanded in 2004 (see Loukacheva, The Arctic Promise, 62). 198. Thomsen, “Inuit Women in Greenland and Canada.” 199. Rasmussen in Thomsen, “Women and Politics,” 222. 200. Lennert, in ibid. 201. Petersen cited in ibid., 229, 227. 202. Thomsen, “Inuit Women in Greenland and Canada,” 251. 203. Poppel and Kleist, “Køn og Magt i Politik og Erhvervsliv i Grønland”; Naalakkersuisut, “Bryd Tavsheten! Stop Volden. Naalakkersuisut Handlingsplan mod Vold 2014–​2017.” 204. Danish Institute for Human Rights, “Selected List of Issues on the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.” 205. UN Human Rights Council, “Universal Periodic Review: Denmark,” May 2011, http://​ www.ohchr.org/​EN/​HRBodies/​UPR/​Pages/​Highlights2May2011pm.aspx. 206. Interview with activist, July 8, 2011. 207. Interview, April 8, 2013. 208. Interview with member of the Swedish Sámi National Association, June 13, 2011. 209. Interview, April 11, 2013. 210. Interview, June 16, 2011. 211. Interview, June 16, 2011. 212. Interview, June 13, 2011. 213.  Eikjok, “Gender in Sápmi. Socio-​Cultural Transformations and New Challenges,” 57; also Andrea Amft, Sápmi i Förändringens Tid. En Studie av Svenska Samers Levnadsvillkor under 1900–​Talet Ur Ett Genus-​och Etnicitetsperspektiv (Umeå University, 2000). 214. Kuokkanen, “Myths and Realities of Sami Women.” 215. Indigenous male negotiator in the NWT cited in Irlbacher-​Fox, “Women’s Participation in Self-​Government Negotiation in Northwest Territories, Canada,” 148. 216. Roland Barthes, Mythologies, trans. Annette Lavers (New York: Noonday Press, 1972). 217. Interview, April 11, 2013. 218. Interview, March 19, 2013. 219. Interview, April 4, 2013.

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220. Interview with Abelsen, April 4, 2013. 221. Connell, “The State, Gender, and Sexual Politics.” 222. Williamson, Inherit My Heaven, 1; Simpson, As We Have Always Done, 137. 223. Interview with Napoleon, May 23, 2014. 224. Nagel, “Masculinity and Nationalism,” 244. 225. Waziyatawin, “Colonialism on the Ground.” Chapter 5 1. Cf. UNPFII, “Report of the International Expert Group Meeting on Combating Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls: Article 22 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” (New York: Economic and Social Council, 2012). 2. Sharlene Frank, Family Violence in Aboriginal Communities: A First Nations Report. Parallel Report to the Report from the British Columbia Task Force on Family Violence (Victoria: Ministry of Women’s Equality, 1992), 18; Green, “Constitutionalising the Patriarchy”; Nahanee, “Dancing with a Gorilla”; Katherine Beaty Chiste, “Aboriginal Women and Self-​Government: Challenging Leviathan,” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 18, no. 3 (1994). 3. NWAC, “Matriarchy and the Canadian Charter”; “Aboriginal Women, Self-​Government and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms” (Ottawa: Native Women’s Association of Canada, 1991); “Aboriginal Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A Discussion Paper” (Ottawa: Native Women’s Association of Canada, 1992); “Aboriginal Women and the Constitutional Debates: Continuing Discrimination,” Canadian Woman Studies 12, no. 3 (1992); Mary Eberts, Sharon McIvor, and Teressa Nahanee, “Native Women’s Association of Canada V.  Canada,” Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 18, no. 1 (2006). 4. Polchies, “Aboriginal Self-​Government in Canada,” 162. 5. Ibid. 6. Marilyn Fontaine-​Brightstar, “Breaking the Silence,” Canadian Dimension 26, no. 2 (1992), 6. 7. Luna, “Indigenous Women, Domestic Violence and Self-​Determination,” 8, 9. 8.  Pauktuutit, “National Strategy to Prevent Abuse in Inuit Communities, and Sharing Knowledge, Sharing Wisdom:  Guide to the National Strategy” (Ottawa:  Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, 2006), 1. 9.  UNPFII, “Report of the International Expert Group Meeting on Combating Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls,” 46. 10. FIMI, “Mairin Iwanka Raya: Indigenous Women Stand against Violence. A Companion Report to the United Nations Secretary-​ General’s Study on Violence against Women” (New York: International Indigenous Women’s Forum, 2006), 27–​32. 11.  Kuokkanen, “Self-​Determination and Indigenous Women’s Rights at the Intersection of International Human Rights.” 12.  Especially in Canada, it is no exaggeration to discuss crisis conditions with regard to violence against Indigenous women. As observed by Connie Walker, Cree journalist and the lead reporter for CBC Aboriginal:  “Dealing with these issues is not just a matter of violence prevention, it’s crisis intervention. We can’t ignore the patterns that are being repeated again and again in the lives of these women” ( Walker, “Missing, Murdered Aboriginal Women Crisis Demands a Look at Root Causes,” 2015, http://​www.cbc.ca/​news/​aboriginal/​ missing-​murdered-​aboriginal-​women-​crisis-​demands-​a-​look-​at-​root-​causes-​1.3027023)

290

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13. Interview with Cree-​Métis woman, May 25, 2014. 14.  Cf. Jo-​ Ann Della Giustina, “Violence against Women in Intimate Partner Relationships: Community Responsibility, Community Justice,” Contemporary Justice Review 11, no. 4 (2008); John F. Helliwell, Globalization and Well-​Being (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2002). 15. Nedelsky, Law’s Relations, 313 16. In 2015, there was a public outcry when the Canadian Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Bernard Valcourt, drawing on an RCMP report, blamed Indigenous men for the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women (Gloria Galloway, “70 Per Cent of Murdered Aboriginal Women Killed by Indigenous Men: RCMP,” Globe and Mail, April 9, 2015, https://​www.theglobeandmail. com/​news/​politics/​70-​per-​cent-​of-​murdered-​aboriginal-​women-​killed-​by-​indigenous-​men-​ rcmp-​confirms/​article23868927/​; Jorge Barrera, “Valcourt Used Unreleased RCMP Data to Claim Aboriginal Men Responsible for Majority of Murders of Aboriginal Women:  Chiefs,” APTN, March 25, 2015, http://​aptnnews.ca/​2015/​03/​25/​chiefs-​say-​valcourt-​used-​unreleased-​ rcmp-​data-​claim-​indigenous-​men-​responsible-​majority-​indigenous-​women-​murders/​). 17. Kuokkanen, “Gendered Violence and Politics in Indigenous Communities.” 18.  Fay Blaney, CBC Current Special Live “MMIW Public Forum,” February 1 (Vancouver: CBC, 2017). 19. Bo Wagner Sorensen, “‘Men in Transition’: The Representation of Men’s Violence against Women in Greenland,” Violence Against Women 7, no. 7 (2001); Megan Davis, “A Reflection on the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and Its Consideration of Aboriginal Women’s Issues,” Australian Indigenous Law Review 15, no. 1 (2011). 20. Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks, 96. 21. Snyder, Napoleon, and Borrows, “Gender and Violence,” 617–​18. 22.  AHDR, “Arctic Human Development Report” (Akureyri:  Stefansson Arctic Institute, 2004), 201. 23.  Lawrence cited in Anderson and Lawrence, “Concluding Dialogue,” 276; see also Carol LaPrairie, “Native Women and Crime in Canada:  A Theoretical Model,” in Too Few to Count:  Canadian Women in Conflict with the Law, ed. Ellen Adelberg and Claudia Currie (Vancouver: Press Gang, 1987). 24. Sørensen, “Explanations for Wife Beating in Greenland,” 81. 25. Ibid., 82. 26. Ibid., 90. 27. Lyons, X-​Marks, 163. 28. Yllö and Bograd, Feminist Perspectives on Wife Abuse; L. K. Hamberger and C. E. Guse, “Men’s and Women’s Use of Intimate Partner Violence in Clinical Samples,” Violence Against Women 8, no. 11 (2002); Michael P. Johnson, “Patriarchal Terrorism and Common Couple Violence: Two Forms of Violence against Women,” Journal of Marriage and the Family 57 (Fall 1995). Michael S. Kimmel, “‘Gender Symmetry’ in Domestic Violence,” Violence Against Women 8, no. 11 (2002); R.K. Bergen, ed. Issues in Intimate Violence (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1998); D. G. Saunders, “Are Physical Assaults by Wives and Girlfriends a Major Social Problem?,” Violence Against Women 8, no. 12 (2002). 29. Donileen R. Loseke and Demie Kurz, “Men’s Violence toward Women Is the Serious Social Problem,” in Current Controversies on Family Violence, ed. Donileen R. Loseke, Richard J. Gelles, and Mary M. Cavanaugh (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2005), 84.

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30. Ibid.; Yllö and Bograd, Feminist Perspectives on Wife Abuse. 31.  Laurie Naranch, “Naming and Framing the Issues:  Demanding Full Citizenship for Women,” in Feminists Negotiate the State:  The Politics of Domestic Violence, ed. C. R. Daniels (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1997), 24. 32. Kersti Yllö and Michele Bograd, eds., Feminist Perspectives on Wife Abuse (Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage, 1988); Nancy Worcester, “Women’s Use of Force:  Complexities and Challenges of Taking the Issue Seriously,” Violence Against Women 8, no. 11 (2002). 33.  Floya Anthias, “The Intersections of Class, Gender, Sexuality and ‘Race’:  The Political Economy of Gendered Violence,” International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society 27, no. 2 (2014). 34. FIMI, “Mairin Iwanka Raya.” 35.  UNPFII, “Report of the International Expert Group Meeting on Combating Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls.” 36. Michele Bograd, “Strengthening Domestic Violence Theories: Intersections of Race, Class, Sexual Orientation and Gender,” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy 25, no. 3 (1999), 279. 37. For studies on violence against Sámi women, see Astrid M. A. Eriksen et al., “Emotional, Physical and Sexual Violence among Sami and Non-​ Sami Populations in Norway:  The SAMINOR 2 Questionnaire Study,” Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 43, no. 6 (2015); Ebba Krumlinde, “Våld mot Samekvinnor. Samekvinnors Dubbla Utsatthet Sett i utifrån et Intersektionellt Perspektiv Exempliferat Genom en Studie av Våldet mot Samekvinnor i Hemmets Sfär och Bristen på Hjälp för att Ta Sig ur ett Osunt Förhållande” (MA thesis, Malmö Högskola, 2009); Rauna Kuokkanen, “Sámenissonat, ‘Árbevierru’ ja Veahkaválddi Hámit,” Sámi dieđalaš áigečála 1, no. 1 (2008); “Violence against Women, Indigenous Self-​Determination and Autonomy in Sami Society,” in L’image Du Sápmi 2, ed. Kajsa Anderson (Örebro: Örebro University Press, 2013). For studies on violence against Greenlandic women, see Tine Curtis et al., “Violence, Sexual Abuse and Health in Greenland,” International Journal of Circumpolar Health 61, no. 2 (2002); MarieKathrine Poppel, ed., Køn Og Vold I Grønland (Nuuk: Forlaget Atuagkat, 2005); Sorensen, “ ‘Men in Transition.’ ” 38.  Penelope Andrews, “Violence against Aboriginal Women in Australia:  Possibilities for Redress within International Human Rights Framework,” Albany Law Review 60, no. 3 (1997); Amnesty International, “Stolen Sisters:  A Human Rights Response to Discrimination and Violence against Indigenous Women in Canada” (Ottawa:  Amnesty International, 2004); “Maze of Injustice:  The Failure to Protect Indigenous Women from Sexual Violence in the USA” (New York 2007); A. C. Hamilton and C. M. Sinclair, “Report of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba” (Winnipeg:  Aboriginal justice inquiry of Manitoba, 1991); Emma LaRocque, “Violence in Aboriginal Communities,” in National Round Table on Aboriginal Health and Social Issues (Ottawa: Public Health Agency of Canada, 1994); Melissa Lucashenko, “Violence against Indigenous Women:  Public and Private Dimensions,” Violence Against Women 2, no. 4 (1996). FIMI, “Mairin Iwanka Raya”; Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, “Shattered Hearts: The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of American Indian Women and Girl in Minnesota” (Minneapolis:  The Minnesota American Indian Women’s Resource Center, 2009); Quebec Native Women, “Indigenous Women and Violence. Report Presented to Dr. Yakin Ertürk, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women” (Montreal: Quebec Native Women, 2008).

292

Notes

39.  See, for example, Shannon Brennan, Violent Victimization of Aboriginal Women in the Canadian Provinces, 2009 (Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2011); Amnesty International, “No More Stolen Sisters. The Need for a Comprehensive Response to Discrimination and Violence against Indigenous Women in Canada” (Ottawa: Amnesty International, 2009). 40. J. Brzozowski, A. Taylor-​Butts, and S. Johnson, “Victimization and Offending among the Aboriginal Population in Canada,” Juristat 26, no. 3 (2006). 41. Amnesty International, “Stolen Sisters”; “USA: Stop Sexual Violence against Indigenous Women,” web.amnesty.org/​actforwomen/​usaindigenous-​240407-​editorial-​eng; “Maze of Injustice”; “No More Stolen Sisters.” 42. Naalakkersuisut, “Bryd Tavsheten! Stop Volden,” 26. 43. Curtis et al., “Violence, Sexual Abuse and Health in Greenland,” 113. 44. Ibid., 118. 45.  Birger Poppel et  al., “Survey of Living Conditions in the Arctic:  Results” (Anchorage: Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2007). 46.  Eriksen et  al., “Emotional, Physical and Sexual Violence among Sami and Non-​Sami Populations in Norway.” 47. Ibid., 5. 48. Ibid., 7. 49. Interview, June 17, 2011. 50. Currently, there are more Indigenous children in care than ever before, including the height of the residential school era (TRC, “Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future:  Final Report” (Ottawa: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015)). 51. TRC, “Calls to Action” (Ottawa: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015); Beverley Jacobs and Andrea Williams, “Legacy of Residential Schools: Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women,” in From Truth to Reconciliation. Transforming the Legacy of Residential Schools, ed. Marlene Brant Castellano, Linda Archibald, and Mike DeGagné (Ottawa: Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 2008). 52. Interview, May 26, 2014. 53. Interview, May 30, 2014. 54. Naalakkersuisut, “Bryd Tavsheten! Stop Volden.” 55. Ibid., 37–​38. The idea first argued by Fanon that gender violence was a central means of colonialism has been further theorized in the North American context in relation to Indigenous women see, for example, Andrea Smith, Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide (Boston: South End Press, 2005). 56. Fanon, “Algeria Unveiled,” 39. 57.  Adele Perry, On the Edge of Empire:  Gender, Race and the Making of British Columbia, 1849–​1871 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001), 49. 58. Eberts, “Victoria’s Secret,” 150. 59. Carol Devens, “‘If We Get the Girls, We Get the Race’: Missionary Education of Native American Girls,” Journal of World History 3, no. 2 (1992), 225. 60.  Ibid., 228; Mary-​Ellen Kelm, “A Scandalous Procession:  Residential Schooling and the Reformation of Aboriginal Bodies,” in Colonizing Bodies:  Aboriginal Health and Healing in British Columbia (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1998). 61. Eberts, “Victoria’s Secret,” 145.

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62. Jean Barman, “Taming Aboriginal Sexuality: Gender, Power, and Race in British Columbia, 1850–​1900,” in In the Days of Our Grandmothers:  A Reader in Aboriginal Women’s History in Canada, ed. Mary-​Ellen Kelm and Lorna Townsend (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006). 63. Colleen Hele, Naomi Sayers, and Jessica Wood, “What’s Missing from the Conversation on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,” Toast.net, September 14, 2015, http://​ the-​toast.net/​2015/​09/​14/​whats-​missing-​from-​the-​conversation-​on-​missing-​and-​murdered-​ indigenous-​women/​. 64. Ibid. 65. Iris Marion Young, “The Gendered Cycle of Vulnerability in the Less Developed World,” in Toward a Humanist Justice: The Philosophy of Susan Moller Okin, ed. Rob Reich and Debra Satz (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). 66. Nedelsky, Law’s Relations, 358. 67. Alison M. Jaggar, “Transnational Cycles of Gendered Vulnerability: A Prologue to a Theory of Global Gender Injustice,” Philosophical Topics 37, no. 2 (2009), 44. 68. Ibid., 45. 69. WEA and NYSHM, “The Violence on the Land, Violence on Our Bodies.” 70. Ibid., 17. 71. Audra Simpson, “The State Is a Man: Theresa Spence, Loretta Saunders and the Gender of Settler Sovereignty,” Theory & Event 19, no. 4 (2016). 72.  Eberts, “Victoria’s Secret”; Larissa Behrendt, “Consent in a (Neo)Colonial Society: Aboriginal Women as Sexual and Legal ‘Other,’” Australian Feminist Studies 15, no. 33 (2000). 73. Interview with Tailfeathers, September 11, 2014. 74. John Borrows, “Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and Violence against Women,” Osgoode Hall Law Journal 50, no. 3 (2013). 75.  Deer, “Decolonizing Rape Law”; Sarah Deer et  al., eds., Sharing Our Stories of Survival:  Native Women Surviving Violence (Lanham, MD:  Altamira Press, 2008); Hart and Lowther, “Honoring Sovereignty.” 76. Hamilton and Sinclair, “Report of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba,” n.p. 77. The Assembly of First Nations (formerly National Indian Brotherhood) is a national advocacy organization representing approximately 600 bands (First Nations) through their chiefs. Although in some regards the mandate of AFN corresponds that of the Sámi Parliaments (i.e., advocacy and communication with the government), the research participants did not consider AFN as a representative body or self-​government institution in charge of negotiating, implementing, or exercising Indigenous self-​determination. 78. Assembly of First Nations, “AFN Women’s Council,” Ottawa, 2012, http://​www.afn.ca/​ index.php/​en/​policy-​areas/​afn-​womens-​council. 79.  AFN, “Achieving Justice for First Nations:  Assembly of First Nations National Justice Forum Summary Proceedings Report” (Ottawa: Assembly of First Nations, 2012), 5. 80. “Framework for Action to Prevent and Address Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls,”(Ottawa: Assembly of First Nations, 2015), http://​www.afn.ca/​framework-​for-​action-​to-​ prevent-​and-​address-​violence-​against-​indigenou/​. 81. One example is the ongoing dispute over Indigenous women reinstated through Bill C-​ 31 (1985), which was passed to address the Indian Act’s (1876) discriminatory removal of status

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through “marrying out.” See the discussion gender discrimination in the Indian Act and Bill C-​31 in ­chapter 2. 82. Hele, Sayers, and Wood, “What’s Missing from the Conversation on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.” The term Sixties Scoop refers to the extensive apprehension of Indigenous children from their families into the child welfare system and adoption, in most cases without the consent of their families or bands during the period from 1960s to the 1980s (see Patrick Johnston, Native Children and the Child Welfare System (Toronto:  James Lorimer & Company, 1983)). Although the child welfare policies were amended in the 1980s, the problem of removal of Indigenous children into the state care continues today (see, Cindy Blackstock et al., “Keeping the Promise: The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Lived Experiences of First Nations Children and Youth” (Vancouver: First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, 2004); Raven Sinclair, “Identity Lost and Found: Lessons from the Sixties Scoop,” First Peoples Child and Family Review 3, no. 1 (2007); TRC, “Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future:  Final Report.” Reflecting the systemic flaws with child welfare, some call the ongoing problem the Millennium Scoop as a continuation of the Sixties Scoop CBC Current, “The Millennium Scoop: Indigenous Youth Say Care System Repeats Horrors of the Past,” CBC Radio, January 25, 2018, http://​cbc.ca/​radio/​thecurrent/​a-​special-​edition-​of-​the-​current-​for-​ january-​25-​2018-​1.4503172/​the-​millennium-​scoop-​indigenous-​youth-​say-​care-​system-​repeats-​ horrors-​of-​the-​past-​1.4503179). 83. Hele, Sayers, and Wood, “What’s Missing from the Conversation on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.” 84. Ibid. 85. Naalakkersuisut, “Bryd Tavsheten! Stop Volden,” 17. 86. Ibid. 87. Ibid., 3; See also Ernst Peilmann, “Vold som Kommukationsform,” in Køn og Vold i Grønland, ed. Mariekatrine Poppel (Nuuk: Forlaget Atuagkat, 2005); Bo Wagner Sørensen, “Explanations for Wife Beating in Greenland,” in Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Family Violence, ed. Renate C.A. Klein (New York: Routledge, 1998); Curtis et al., “Violence, Sexual Abuse and Health in Greenland.” 88. Interview with preeminent municipal politician, April 8, 2013. 89. Interview with municipal civil servant, March 16, 2013. 90. Interview, March 19, 2013. 91. Naalakkersuisut, “Bryd Tavsheten! Stop Volden,” 22. 92.  See Roger Bland and Helene Orn, “Family Violence and Psychiatric Disorder,” Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 31, no. 2 (1986); Martin S. Fiebert and Denise M. Gonzalez, “College Women Who Initiate Assaults on Their Male Partners and the Reasons Offered for Such Behavior,” Psychological Reports 80, no. 2 (1997); Reena Sommer, “Beyond a One-​ Dimensional View: The Politics of Family Violence in Canada,” in Unsettling Truths: Battered Women, Policy, Politics, and Contemporary Research in Canada, ed. K. D. Bonnycastle and G. S. Rigakos (Vancouver:  Collective Press, 1998); Donald G. Dutton, The Abusive Personality:  Violence and Control in Intimate Relationships, 2nd ed. (New  York:  Guilford Press, 2002); D. G. Dutton and T. L. Nicholls, “The Gender Paradigm in Domestic Violence Research and Theory:  Part  1—​the Conflict of Theory and Data,” Aggression and Violent Behavior 10, no. 6 (2005).

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93. L. Wardell, D. L. Gillespie, and A. Leffler, “Science and Violence against Wives,” in The Dark Side of Families: Current Family Violence Research, ed. D. Finkelhor, et al. (Beverly Hills, 1983). 94. Walter S. DeKeseredy and Martin D. Schwartz, “Theoretical and Definitional Issues in Violence against Women,” in Sourcebook on Violence against Women, ed. Claire M. Renzetti, Jeffrey L. Edleson, and Raquel Kennedy Bergen (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2010), 16. 95. Ibid. 96. Million, Therapeutic Nations, 149–​50. 97. Sámediggi, “Sámedikki Dásseárvodoaibmaplána 2009–​2013.” 98. Ingvil Thallaug Øverli, Solveig Bergman, and Ann-​Kristin Finstad, “‘Om Du Tør å Spørre, Tør Folk å Svare.’ Hjelpeapparatets og Politiets Erfaringer med Vold i Nære Relasjoner i Samiske Samfunn” (Oslo: Nasjonalt kunnskapssenter om vold og traumatisk stress, 2017), 23. 99. Ibid. 100. Cited in Inga Marie Guttorm, “Sámediggi Kártegoahtá Veahkaválddi Lagas Gaskavuođain. ‘Mávssolaš ja Buorre’” Ávvir, June 22, 2013, 5. 101.  Aili Keskitalo, “ON Veahkaválddi Loahpahanbeaivi Nissonolbmuid Vuostá,” Sámediggi, November 27, 2017, https://​www.samediggi.no/​Odasarkiiva/​ON-​veahka​valddi​loahpahanbeaivi-​nissonolbmuid-​vuosta. 102. Sametinget, “Jämställdhetsprogram.” 103. “Projekt: Dorvu—​Dårvvo—​Dårvvuo—​Jearsoe—​Trygghet” (Kiruna: Sametinget,  2008). 104. Interview, June 14, 2011. 105.  Sámediggi, “Lausunto YK:n Naisten Syrjinnän Poistamista Käsittelevän Komitean Antamista Loppupäätelmistä,” n.p. 106. Interview with social worker, June 20, 2011. 107. Interview with a member of the Swedish Sámi Association, June 13, 2011. 108. Interview, June 13, 2011. 109. Cited in Bosse Parbring, “Major Problem of Male Violence against Women in the West Nordic Region,” September 10, 2010, NIKK, Nordic Gender Institute. 110. Ibid. 111. Cited in ibid. 112. Yllö and Bograd, Feminist Perspectives on Wife Abuse; Loseke and Kurz, “Men’s Violence toward Women Is the Serious Social Problem”; Naranch, “Naming and Framing the Issues”; Saunders, “Are Physical Assaults by Wives and Girlfriends a Major Social Problem?” 113. Cf. UNPFII, “Report of the International Expert Group Meeting on the Theme ‘Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights: Articles 21, 22(1), 23 and 24 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ ” (New York: UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 2014), para 37. 114. Interview, March 19, 2013. 115. Interview with municipal civil servant, March 16, 2013. 116. Interview with Anne Lene Turi, June 17, 2011. 117.  Inga Marie Guttorm and Maret Eli Buljo, “Guovllustivra Orohaga Sadjái,” Ávvir, July 6, 2011. 118. Interview with healthcare professional, June 17, 2011. 119. Anne Lene Turi, “Seksuála Illásteapmi—​Jurdagat Maŋŋel Guovdageain-​Áššiid. Seksuell Overgrep—​ Refleksjoner etter Overgrepene i Kautokeino,” in Voldens Mange Ansikter i

296

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Samiske Lokalmiljø, ed. Gunn-​Tove Minde and Berit Louise Utsi (Karasjok: Sáráhkká, 2011); Jan Erik Henriksen, “Lokalmiljøet—​Hemsko Eller Ressurs i Voldsaker? En Sammenligning av Seksuell Overgrepsproblematikk i Kautokeino På 1980–​ Tallet Og 2000–​ Tallet,” In Voldens Mange Ansikter i Samiske Lokalmiljø, ed. Gunn-​Tove Minde and Berit Louise Utsi (Karasjok: Sáráhkká, 2011). 120. Also Xia Torikka, “Seksuála Illásteapmi Tabu Maid Sámis—​’Dávjá Illásteaddji Soaitá Leat Fuolki,’” Yle Sápmi, October 27, 2017, https://​yle.fi/​uutiset/​osasto/​sapmi/​seksuala_​illasteapmi_​ tabu_​maid_​samis_​_​davja_​illasteaddji_​soaita_​leat_​fuolki/​9899387. 121. Interview with reindeer herder, June 15, 2011. 122. Interview with Laila Susanne Vars, July 1, 2011. 123. Interview with journalist, July 15, 2011. 124. Rauna Kuokkanen, “Indigenous Women in Traditional Economies—​the Case of Sami Reindeer Herding,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 34, no. 3 (2009); Amft, Sápmi i Förändringens Tid.; Solveig Joks, Boazosámi Nissonolbmot—​Guovddážis Báike-​ja Siidadoalus, Muhto Vajálduvvon Almmolaččat, vol. 5, Diedut (Guovdageaidnu: Sámi Instituhtta, 2001). 125. Interview with Vars, June 1, 2011. 126.  Lisa M. Poupart, “The Familiar Face of Genocide:  Internalized Oppression among American Indians,” Hypatia 18, no. 2 (2003); Anne McGillivray and Brenda Comaskey, Black Eyes All of the Time: Intimate Violence, Aboriginal Women, and the Justice System (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999); Pauktuutit, “National Strategy to Prevent Abuse in Inuit Communities, and Sharing Knowledge, Sharing Wisdom: Guide to the National Strategy”; LaRocque, “Violence in Aboriginal Communities”; Ramirez, “Race, Tribal Nation and Gender.” 127. Interview, May 26, 2014. 128. Interview with Anne Lene Turi, June 17, 2011. 129. Sørensen, “Explanations for Wife Beating in Greenland,” 87. 130. Interview, April 4, 2013. 131. Nedelsky, Law’s Relations, 358. 132. Interview, March 19, 2013. 133.  Sørensen, “Explanations for Wife Beating in Greenland,” 88; see also Thomsen, “Inuit Women in Greenland and Canada”; “Women and Politics”; Åse Pulk, “Boasttut Bajásgeassán Nieiddaid” (Min Áigi, June 24, 2005); Elle Merete Utsi, “Dásseárvu Maid Sivvan Rohčosemiide” (Min Áigi, March 3, 2006). 134. Åse Pulk, “Boasttut Bajásgeassán Nieiddaid”; Elle Merete Utsi, “Dásseárvu Maid Sivvan Rohčosemiide.” 135. Kuokkanen, “Sámenissonat, “Árbevierru” ja Veahkaválddi Hámit”; Paltto in Krumlinde, “Våld Mot Samekvinnor”; Turi, “Seksuála Illásteapmi.” 136.  The movement was named after its founder, Lars Levi Laestadius (1800–​1861) who was of South Sámi ancestry and who travelled across Sámiland preaching and delivering his healing sermons, which partly drew upon Sámi culture and oral traditions see Henry Minde, “Constructing ‘Læstadianism’: A Case for Sámi Survival?” Acta Borealia 15, no. 1 (1998). 137. Elle Merete Utsi, “Bearehaga Rinžžistit” (Min Áigi, March 29, 2006). By no means this is a problem limited to Sámi society but, for example, a prevalent and pervasive attitude in the mainstream justice system. Floya Anthias notes: “Rape has been seen by the courts in most European countries as a sexual crime rather than a crime of violence against women, and the sexuality of the

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female victim is often treated as a problem (with the exhortation to ‘dress properly’ or she may ‘have asked for it’)” (Anthias, “The Intersections of Class, Gender, Sexuality and ‘Race,’ ” 159). 138.  Sarah Hunt, “Violence, Law and the Everyday Politics of Recognition. Comments on Glen Coulthard’s Red Skin, White Masks,” in Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Annual Meeting (Washington, DC, 2015), n.p. 139. Maracle, “Decolonizing Native Women,” 38. 140. Million, Therapeutic Nations; Mark Kennedy, “Valcourt Urges First Nations, Provinces to Take Action on Murdered Aboriginal Women,” Ottawa Citizen, December 12, 2014, http://​ ottawacitizen.com/​news/​politics/​bernard-​valcourt-​rejects-​inquiry-​on-​murdered-​aboriginal-​ women; RCMP, “National Operational Overview on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women” (Ottawa: Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 2014). 141. Amnesty International, “No More Stolen Sisters,” 2. 142. MacKinnon, “Feminism, Marxism, Method and the State,” 645. 143. Joy James, Resisting State Violence (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996); Rey Chow, Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism (New  York:  Columbia University Press, 2002). 144. Turpel, “Patriarchy and Paternalism,” 181. 145. Ibid. 146.  Larsen and Petersen, “ ‘Rethinking Responses to ‘Domestic Violence’ in Australian Indigenous Communities”; Andrews, “Violence against Aboriginal Women in Australia”; Cyndy Baskin, “From Victims to Leaders:  Activism against Violence Towards Women,” in Strong Women Stories: Native Women and Community Survival, ed. Kim Anderson and Bonita Lawrence (Toronto: Sumach Press, 2003); Yifat Susskind, “Indigenous Women’s Anti-​Violence Strategies,” in Violence and Gender in the Globalized World:  The Intimate and the Extimate, ed. Sanja Bahun-​Radunoviâc and V. G.  Julie Rajan (Burlington:  Ashgate, 2008); Amnesty International, “Maze of Injustice,” 83; Rochelle Jones, “Engaging Men in the Eradication of Violence against Women,” Resource Net Friday File, The Association for Women’s Rights in Development, October 13, 2006; Frank, Family Violence in Aboriginal Communities; Pauktuutit, “National Strategy to Prevent Abuse in Inuit Communities, and Sharing Knowledge, Sharing Wisdom”; Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Centre, “Aboriginal Women Speaking out About Violence: Is Anyone Listening?,” Indigenous Law Bulletin 7, no. 23 (2011); Judy Atkinson, “‘Stinkin Thinkin’—​Alcohol, Violence and Government Responses,” Aboriginal Law Bulletin August (1991); ONWA, “Breaking Free: A Proposal for Change to Aboriginal Family Violence” (Ontario Native Women’s Association, 1989); Amnesty International, “Maze of Injustice”; Smith, “Native American Feminism, Sovereignty, and Social Change”; Deer et al., Sharing Our Stories of Survival; FIMI, “Mairin Iwanka Raya”; Eileen M. Luna-​Firebaugh, “Violence against American Indian Women and the Services-​Training-​Officers-​Prosecutors Violence against Indian Women (Stop VAIW) Program,” Violence Against Women 12, no. 2 (2006); Dennis McDermott et  al., “Indigenous Family Violence: An Attempt to Understand the Problems and Inform Appropriate and Effective Responses to Criminal Justice System Intervention,” Psychiatry, Psychology and Law 19, no. 1 (2012). 147. Monture-​Angus, Thunder in My Soul, 175. 148. Keskitalo, “ON Veahkaválddi Loahpahanbeaivi Nissonolbmuid Vuostá.” 149. Interview, May 22, 2014.

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150. Interview, July 11, 2014. 151.  CBC News, “Aboriginal Women Now Make up One-​ Third of Canadian Female Prison Population,” CBC.ca, May 28, 2015, http://​www.cbc.ca/​news/​canada/​thunder-​bay/​ aboriginal-​women-​now-​make-​up-​one-​third-​of-​canadian-​female-​prison-​population-​1.3089050. 152.  Cited in Harsha Walia, “A Roundtable on Gendered Colonial Violence:  Part Two,” Rabble.ca, February 13, 2015, http://​rabble.ca/​columnists/​2015/​02/​ roundtable-​on-​gendered-​colonial-​violence-​part-​two. 153. Interview with Bourgeois, May 22, 2014. 154.  Catharine MacKinnon asserts:  “When [law] is most ruthlessly neutral, it will be most male; when it is most sex blind, it will be most blind to the sex of the standard being applied. When it most closely conforms to precedent, to ‘facts,’ to legislative intent, it will most closely enforce socially male norms and most thoroughly preclude questioning their content as having a point of view at all. Abstract rights will authoritize the male experience of the world” (MacKinnon, “Feminism, Marxism, Method and the State,” 658). 155. Hadley Friedland, “Navigating through Narratives of Despair: Making Space for the Cree Reasonable Person in the Canadian Justice System,” University of New Brunswick Law Journal 67, no. 1 (2016), 302; see also Amnesty International, “Stolen Sisters”; Amnesty International, “Maze of Injustice”; LaRocque, “Violence in Aboriginal Communities”; The Honourable Wally T. Oppal, “Forsaken: The Report of the Missing Women Commission Inquiry” (Vancouver: The Missing Women Commission, 2012); Vancouver Police Department and Women’s Memorial March Committee, “The Tragedy of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada: We Can Do Better. A  Position Paper by the Sisterwatch Project” (Vancouver:  Vancouver Police Department, 2011). 156.  Elizabeth Comack, “Colonialism Past and Present:  Indigenous Human Rights and Canadian Policing,” in Invisible:  Indigenous Human Rights, ed. Joyce Green (Halifax, NS: Fernwood Publishing, 2014); Andrews, “Violence against Aboriginal Women in Australia”; Judy Atkinson, “Violence against Aboriginal Women: Reconstitution of Community Law: The Way Forward,” Indigenous Law Bulletin 6, no. 27 (2001), http://​www.austlii.edu.au/​cgi-​bin/​ viewdoc/​au/​journals/​IndigLawB/​2001/​62.html; CBC News, “RCMP Accused of Rape in Report on B.C. Aboriginal Women,” 2013, http://​www.cbc.ca/​news/​canada/​british-​columbia/​ rcmp-​accused-​of-​rape-​in-​report-​on-​b -​c-​aboriginal-​women-​1.1305824; CBC News, “Police Have Failed Missing, Murdered Manitoba Women, Families Say,” 2015, http://​www.cbc.ca/​ news/​canada/​manitoba/​police-​have-​failed-​missing-​murdered-​manitoba-​women-​families-​say-​ 1.3023734; Hamilton and Sinclair, “Report of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba”; FAFIA, “No Action, No Progress: Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action Report on Canada’s Progress in Implementing Priority Recommendations Made by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in 2008” (Ottawa: Feminist Alliance for International Action, 2010); HRW, “Those Who Take Us Away. Abusive Policing and Failures in Protection of Indigenous Women and Girls in Northern British Columbia, Canada” (Human Rights Watch, 2013); Ann-​Claire Larsen and Alan Petersen, “‘Rethinking Responses to ‘Domestic Violence’ in Australian Indigenous Communities,” Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 23, no. 2 (2001); Helen Roos, “Phase I—​Service and Capacity Review for Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking in Nunavut” (Gatineau: Roos-​Remillard Consulting Services, 2013).

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157. Interview, May 23, 2014. 158. WEA and NYSHM, “The Violence on the Land, Violence on Our Bodies,” 6. 159. Walia, “A Roundtable on Gendered Colonial Violence: Part Two.” 160. Atkinson, “Violence against Aboriginal Women.” 161. ItStartsWithUs, “Why a Community-​Led Database?,” http://​www.itstartswithus-​mmiw. com/​partners. 162. Paula Newton, “Canada’s Stolen Daughters: Sex Traffickers Target Indigenous Canadians,” CNN.com, August 23, 2016, http://​www.cnn.com/​2016/​08/​23/​world/​canada-​indigenous-​sex-​ trafficking/​. As Catharine Iorns and Allison Jaggar remind us, women are not inherently vulnerable but as a result of patriarchy and that vulnerability is always socially constructed (Catherine Iorns, “The Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law 1, no. 1 (1993); Jaggar, “Transnational Cycles of Gendered Vulnerability”). 163. Sarah Hunt, “In Her Name—​Relationships as Law (Addressing Violence through Indigenous Teachings and Tradition),” Media Indigena, January 18, 2014, http://​www.mediaindigena.com/​ poobah/​issues-​and-​politics/​addressing-​violence-​through-​indigenous-​teachings-​and-​tradition. 164.  CBC News, “Bear Clan Patrol Makes Official Return to Winnipeg Streets,” July 14, 2015, http://​www.cbc.ca/​news/​canada/​manitoba/​bear-​clan-​patrol-​makes-​official-​return-​to​winnipeg-​streets-​1.3150630. 165.  Chaw-​ win-​ is, “Remaking Balance:  Decolonizing Gender Relations in Indigenous Communities,” Talk at the University of Toronto, March 30, 2016. 166. Moose Hide Campaign, http://​moosehidecampaign.ca. 167. MarieKathrine Poppel, “Citizenship of Indigenous Greenlanders in a European Nation State: The Inclusionary Practices of Iverneq,” in Reconfiguring Citizenship: Social Exclusion and Diversity within Inclusive Citizenship Practices, ed. Lena Dominelli and Mehmoona Moosa-​Mitha (Burlington: Ashgate, 2014). 168. Fiske, “The Womb Is to the Nation as the Heart Is to the Body,” 69. 169. Hokowhitu, “Producing Elite Indigenous Masculinities,” 44, 45. 170. Hunt, “Violence, Law and the Everyday Politics of Recognition.” 171.  Donna Coker, “Restorative Justice, Navajo Peacemaking and Domestic Violence,” Theoretical Criminology 10, no. 1 (2006), 67. 172.  Jane Dickson-​Gilmore and Carol La Prairie, Will the Circle Be Unbroken? Aboriginal Communities, Restorative Justice, and the Challenges of Conflict and Change (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005); Val Napoleon et al., “Where Is the Law in Restorative Justice,” in Aboriginal Self-​Government in Canada:  Current Trends and Issues, ed. Yale Belanger (Saskatoon:  Purich, 2008); Julie Stubbs, “Restorative Justice, Gendered Violence and Indigenous Women,” Legal Studies Research Papers (University of Sydney Law School) 9, no. 27 (2009); Million, Therapeutic Nations. 173.  LaRocque, “Re-​ Examining Culturally Appropriate Models in Criminal Justice Applications”; Deer, “Decolonizing Rape Law.” 174. Lytwyn, “A Dish with One Spoon”; Leanne Simpson, “The Place Where We All Live and Work Together: A Gendered Analysis of ‘Sovereignty,’” in Native Studies Keywords, ed. Stephanie Nohelani Teves, Andrea Smith, and Michelle H. Raheja (Tucson:  University of Arizona Press, 2015). 175. Interview with Chaw-​win-​is, March 30, 2016.

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176.  Chaw-​ win-​ is, “Remaking Balance:  Decolonizing Gender Relations in Indigenous Communities.” 177. Deer, “Decolonizing Rape Law.” That said, it is clear that the predominant policy of arresting, prosecution, and imprisonment of the perpetrator is rejected by many Indigenous women who “do not want to see their sons, husbands or fathers go to jail. They just want the violence to stop and be secure in the knowledge that mechanisms are being developed to protect them and their children” (Atkinson, “Violence against Aboriginal Women,” n.p.). 178.  Wendy Brown, States of Injury:  Power and Freedom in Late Modernity (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995), 177. 179. Nedelsky, Law’s Relations, 360. 180. Ibid., 344. 181. Ibid., 323. 182. Interview, May 22, 2014. 183. Cf. Carroll, “Articulating Indigenous Statehood,” 157. 184. Brown, States of Injury, 179. 185. Nedelsky, Law’s Relations, 361. 186. Ibid. 187. Interview with Anishinaabe woman, May 15, 2014. 188. Val Napoleon, “Aboriginal Discourse,” 255. 189. Interview, June 15, 2011. 190. Interview with reindeer herder, June 15, 2011. 191. Interview with journalist, June 29, 2011. 192. Interview, July 1, 2011. 193. Interview, June 14, 2011. 194. Interview with member of Swedish Sámi Association, June 13, 2011. 195. Hamilton and Sinclair, “Report of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba,” n.p. 196. Ramirez, “Race, Tribal Nation and Gender.” 197. Nedelsky, Law’s Relations, 326. 198. Naalakkersuisut, “Bryd Tavsheten! Stop Volden,” 8. 199. Interview with municipal civil servant, March 16, 2013. See also Sørensen, “Explanations for Wife Beating in Greenland.” 200. Interview, April 11, 2013. 201. Interview, March 19, 2013. 202. Interview with pre-​eminent municipal politician, April 8, 2013. 203. Interview, March 19, 2013. 204. Interview, March 19, 2013. 205. A small town in the heart of the Sámi region, Guovdageaidnu is considered one of the most traditional Sámi communities. Eighty-​five to 90 percent of the town’s population of 2000 is Sámi who speak the language. Most people in the town are either actively involved or connected through their families to the highly regarded traditional livelihood, reindeer herding. 206. Henriksen, “Lokalmiljøet—​Hemsko Eller Ressurs i Voldsaker?” 207.  Anne Lene Turi and Margrethe Bals, “Kautokeinoprosjektet. Fra Krisetiltak til Forebyggende Arbeid 2006–​ 2007” (Kautokeino:  Helse Finnmark and Samisk nasjonalt kompetansesenter, 2008).

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208. Elena Marchetti, “Intersectional Race and Gender Analyses: Why Legal Processes Just Don’t Get It,” Social & Legal Studies 17, no. 2 (2008), 170. 209. Cf. Crenshaw, “Mapping the Margins.” 210. Fiske, “The Womb Is to the Nation as the Heart Is to the Body,” 84. 211. Interview, July 11, 2014. 212. Interview, July 11, 2014. 213. See, for example, Maracle, “Decolonizing Native Women”; Judie Bopp, Michael Bopp, and Phil Lane, “Aboriginal Domestic Violence in Canada” (Ottawa: Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 2006); Sørensen, “Explanations for Wife Beating in Greenland”; Emma LaRocque, “Violence in Aboriginal Communities,” in The Path to Healing:  Report of the National Round Table of Aboriginal Health and Social Issues (Ottawa: Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1993); Ramirez, “Race, Tribal Nation and Gender.” 214. Maracle, “Decolonizing Native Women,” 31. While there are leaders who are not ready to tackle gender violence in their communities, there are others who have. As an example, Robina Thomas mentions the chief of the Malahat First Nation on Vancouver Island who has taken a stance against violence against children and women in his community and who wants “to be seen as a face of non-​violence” (interview, May 26, 2014). 215. Hokowhitu, “Producing Elite Indigenous Masculinities.” 216. Behrendt, “Consent in a (Neo)Colonial Society”; Ramirez, “Race, Tribal Nation and Gender.” 217.  Leanne Simpson, “Anger, Resentment and Love:  Fuelling Resurgent Struggle,” Native American and Indigenous Studies Annual Meeting (Washington, DC, 2015). 218. Nedelsky, Law’s Relations, 337. 219. Ibid. 220. Hunt, “Violence, Law and the Everyday Politics of Recognition,” n.p. 221. Ibid. 222. Ibid. 223. Interview, May 23, 2014. 224. Interview, July 28, 2014. 225. Interview, May 23, 2014. 226. Interview, May 23, 2014. 227. Cf. UNPFII, “Report of the International Expert Group Meeting on Combating Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls.” 228.  Cf. LaRocque, “Violence in Aboriginal Communities”; Marit Elin Kemi, “Sámi Hehtteguovddáš Ráhkkanan,” Ávvir, December 24, 2013. 229. Interview, September 11, 2014. 230. Simpson, As We Have Always Done, 227. Chapter 6 1. Napoleon, “Aboriginal Discourse,” 235–​36. 2. Hunt, “Violence, Law and the Everyday Politics of Recognition.” 3.  The argument takes cue from and expands the early 1990s slogan “No self-​government without sexual equality” by the Native Women’s Association of Canada which was rallying against sex discrimination in Canadian law and concerned of neocolonial forms of Aboriginal self-​government “born and bred in patriarchy” (McIvor, “Aboriginal Women Unmasked,” 128).

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4. While the third question was not explicitly discussed by Sámi women in Scandinavia or Inuit women in Greenland, it is a question that is gaining prominence in Sápmi in discussions of restoring the local Sámi siida governance. In Canada, Indigenous governance, traditional political systems, and in particular, women’s roles in them was a key question for most participants and it has been increasingly considered in both Indigenous scholarship, activist circles and social media. 5.  A. M. Goetz, “Gender Justice, Citizenship and Entitlements:  Core Concepts, Central Debates and New Directions for Research,” in Gender Justice, Citizenship and Development, ed. Maitrayee Mukhopadyay and Navsharan Singh (New Delhi and Ottawa:  Zubaan and the International Development Research Centre, 2007). 6.  Rachel Sieder and John-​Andrew McNeish, “Introduction,” in Gender Justice and Legal Pluralities. Latin American and African Perspectives, ed. Rachel Sieder and John-​Andrew McNeish (New York: Routledge, 2013). 7. Onora O’Neill, Bounds of Justice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 97. 8. Ibid., 98. 9. See, for example, Cunningham, “Indigenous Women’s Visions of an Inclusive Feminism”; Hart and Lowther, “Honoring Sovereignty”; Michelle Tirado, “Reclaiming Their Status,” American Indian Report 21, no. 12 (2005). 10.  Hernandez Castillo, “National Law and Indigenous Customary Law”; Fay Blaney, “Aboriginal Women’s Action Network,” in Strong Women Stories. Native Vision and Community Survival, ed. Kim Anderson and Bonita Lawrence (Toronto:  Sumach Press, 2003); Gutiérrez and Palomo, “A Woman’s Eye View of Autonomy”; Denetdale, “Securing the Navajo National Boundaries”; Dawn Martin-​Hill, “She No Speaks and Other Colonial Constructs of ‘the Traditional Woman,’” in Strong Women Stories:  Native Vision and Community Survival, ed. Kim Anderson and Bonita Lawrence (Toronto: Sumach Press, 2003); Monture, “The Right of Inclusion”; Shannon Speed, R. Aida Hernandez Castillo, and Lynn M. Stephen, eds., Dissident Women: Gender and Cultural Politics in Chiapas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006); Green, “Constitutionalising the Patriarchy.” 11. Emma LaRocque, “The Colonization of a Native Woman Scholar,” in Women of the First Nations:  Power, Wisdom, and Strength, ed. Christine Miller, et  al. (Winnipeg:  University of Manitoba Press, 1996), 14. 12.  Leanne Simpson, “Indigenous Resurgence and Co-​Resistance,” Journal of the Critical Ethnic Studies Association 2, no. 2 (2016), 20. 13.  Charles R. Hale, “Dangerous Discourses:  Human Rights and Multiculturalism in Neo-​ Liberal Mexico,” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 28, no. 1 (2005); Williams, The Divided World; Ratna Kapur, “Human Rights in the 21st Century: Take a Walk on the Dark Side,” Sydney Law Review 28, no. 4 (2006). 14. Monture-​Angus, Thunder in My Soul, 228. 15. Simpson, “Indigenous Resurgence and Co-​Resistance,” 21. 16. Nancy Fraser. “Feminist Politics in the Age of Recognition: A Two-​Dimensional Approach to Gender Justice,” Studies in Social Justice 1, no. 1 (2007): 23–​35. 17.  Nancy Fraser, Scales of Justice:  Reimagining Political Space in a Globalizing World (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009), 114. 18. Ibi