Indigeneity, Language and Authenticity

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Settler definitions of pan-indigeneity has made us easier to control; by creating a term with a meaning that the global community to this day cannot agree upon, the common goal of controlling the socialisation, reproduction and indeed cross-cultural movement of native bodies has become infinitely easier. What is more, when we allow ourselves to use a definition of our very own beings as sanctioned by the state, the erasure of us becomes both internal and external.

Similarly, settler definitions of indigeneity are restrictive and silencing. This is made particularly clear by the fact that what I would refer to as the colonial understanding of indigeneity is blind to hybridity. As such it does not allow for an Indigenous voice that is truly Indigenous AND something else. On the other hand a colonial understanding of indigeneity allows for a simplified stereotypical uniformity to become the norm when discussing us. In other words, to be colonially indigenous is to be a silent part of a silent, uniform mass. The pan-indigenous is rendered voiceless.

This approach to the term refuses to acknowledge the cultural, linguistic and historical differences between different Indigenous communities and it simultaneously furthers the belief that you cannot be Indigenous and mixed.



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