Indigenous internationalism in CANZUS countries: Paul R. McKenzie-Jones, ‘Indigenous Activism, Community Sustainability, and the Constraints of CANZUS Settler Nationhood’, Transmotion, 5, 1, 2019, pp. 104-131


Excerpt: Settler nationhood, by necessity, positions Indigenous Peoples as oppositional—to both settlement and nationhood. Historically, this opposition was viewed, from the settler perspective of process, as something to be overcome, either through eradication or assimilation. Contemporarily, settlerism is often framed as the process having been completed, under which the eradication and erasure of Indigenous Peoples is a foregone, or assumed, conclusion. Indigenous sovereignties and communities are deemed obsolete, or temporary nuisance situations that will ultimately disappear through assimilation. This is true even in those settler states that declare allegiance to nation-to-nation relationships with the Indigenous Peoples within their borders. This essay explores ongoing and contemporary methods of Indigenous opposition to settler nationhood and the settler-colonial processes of upholding that nationhood. Through activism and community sustainability, Indigenous Peoples successfully, albeit painfully and often with great sacrifice, constrain the process of absolute settlement in the four CANZUS nations—Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States—that initially rejected the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Despite historic and continuing expressions of colonial violence from these states, each has since partially accepted UNDRIP as an “aspirational document,” although they maintain that the document is irreconcilable with settler-national legal systems (Canada, Statement of Support).

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