EASA, 2010: EASA2010: Crisis and imagination

Maynooth, 24/08/2010 – 27/08/2010


Native Americans in North America: between resistance and adjustment to mainstream society

Location John Hume Boardroom
Date and Start Time 25 Aug, 2010 at 16:30


Sophie Gergaud (Université Paris Ouest La Défense) email
Celine Planchou (University Paris 7 - Diderot) email
Mail All Convenors

Long Abstract

Colonists viewed the "New World" as a virgin land and Natives were obstacles to civilization. Violent conflicts occured but by the end of the 19th century, the "Vanishing Indians" were still there and institutions needed to be created to deal with the "Indian problem". Laws have been framed according to the American model of democracy regardless of tribal traditional ways. Crisis of representation emerged: how have tribes reacted? How do Indians deal with political bodies they do not consider as legitimate?

While most reservations are poverty stricken, it will be interesting to consider the reasons of such an economic disaster. Even more rarely studied are the answers Native peoples bring to the economic crisis on their reservations.

The artistic domain shall not be forgotten. Generations of Native filmmakers have been offering a rich and diverse imaginative world of Indian characters far from the noble savage or the lazy drunkard.

This workshop is closed to new paper proposals.


Bringing back the children: Native American communities and child welfare since the 1970s

Author: Celine Planchou (University Paris 7 - Diderot)  email
Mail All Authors

Long Abstract

Studies showed in the mid 1970s that, in some states, between 25% and 35% of Indian children had been removed from their families by social servcies and placed in non-Indian foster or adoptive families. This paper proposes to examine the different ways - whether cultural, political, or legal - Indian communities have imagined and used to try and reverse the destructive effects of these massive removals since the 1970s.

Film, video and TV as assimilation and resistance among the Canadian Inuit

Author: Nelson Graburn (University of California, Berkeley)  email
Mail All Authors

Long Abstract

The Canadian Inuit have countered threats to their language and culture - due to massive assimilation by Canadian bureaucratic, educational and economic systems, and via the media by North American popular culture - by developing their own radio and television programmes e.g. the government-run IBC (Inuit Broadcasting Corporation).

This led to a boom in independent films by Isuma Productions (Igloolik) showing their mythology Atarnarjuat/the Fast Runner, their recent history The Journals of Knud Rasmussen and demonstrating traditional skills, e.g. Kamik [making skin boots]; Saputi [fishing at the weir].

Others films directly attack the colonial condition: Starting Fire with Gunpowder [Inuit taking control of TV], Kakalakuvik 2009 [boarding schools] and Ullumi 2008 [Inuit world view today]. Qallunaanik Piusiqsiuriniq [Why Whitemen are Funny] (2006) presents the Inuit as anthropologists studying white people, running tests on specimens [including Graburn] brought back from the South, and presenting papers on their research at a conference!

Lakota land: imagining a new sustainable way of living

Author: Sophie Gergaud (Université Paris Ouest La Défense)  email
Mail All Authors

Long Abstract

In 1887, the US government implemented the Dawes Act, fractionating tribal lands into individual parcels, aiming at transforming Indians into farmers and cash producers. Though officially canceled in 1934, the Dawes Act has had tremendous effects over the life of the Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation throughout the century. Indeed, the lack of an economic perspectives, among other things, is directly linked to the land management of the past century.

After generations of unemployment, despair and hopelessness, extended families (tiyospaye) on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation today are imagining new sustainable ways of living. By getting their land back through a complex administrative maze, extended families reinvent collectiveness and bring the buffalo back to Indian land.

The paper will be illustrated with clips from a documentary film shot in 2005 and 2006 on the field.

Human conflicts since the reintroduction of the wolf in Idaho

Author: Nicolas Barbier (University of Bourgogne (France))  email
Mail All Authors

Long Abstract

In 1996, 35 gray wolves were reintroduced in the public lands of Idaho and the Nez Perce aboriginal territory as part of a partnership between the United States government, Idaho, and the Nez Perce Tribe. Since then the wolf population has increased to reach about 850 animals in 2008. The State of Idaho was opposed to the reintroduction, but the federal government compelled it to partake in the recovery program. Most elk hunters and livestock producers want the wolf population to be reduced even though wolves do not threaten their activities. In 2006, the wolf population exceeded the minimum estimated to be necessary for recovery. The State of Idaho was allowed to take over most of the wolf management activities while the role of the Nez Perce Tribe was diminished. Idaho hastened to implement a plan to kill 220 wolves in 2009, which maintains a climate of conflict.

e-paper Unwanted seductions: dealing with the wrong type of tourist at Hopiland

Author: Nick McCaffery (Queen's University Belfast)  email
Mail All Authors

Long Abstract

For nearly 100 years a variety of tourists have visited the small homeland of Hopi Indians in the desert region of northeastern Arizona, USA. As with many other small, secluded populations there are a number of positive as well as negative discourses surrounding the development of tourism - economic benefits being just one. However, one of the most recognisable of tourist types at Hopi, and one of the most heavily debated, is the New Age tourist, or spiritual pilgrim. This paper explores the conflicting attitudes amongst Hopis towards these New Age visitors (who many see as the 'wrong type' of tourist), and shows how a reactive, indigenous approach to tourism is linked to global discourses of 'authentic' representation. How do Hopis identify and attract the right type of tourist? And to what extent should anthropological approaches to tourism include any elements of advocacy for indigenous groups?

Download PDF of paper

This workshop is closed to new paper proposals.