Excerpt: Gary Clayton Anderson has boldly instigated a conversation on the nature of Indian-white conflict in the American West—in a nutshell he asks, was it genocide or ethnic cleansing? Anderson answers this emphatically: ethnic cleansing, which he defines as “forced dislocation with the intent to take away lands of a particular ethnic, religious, or cultural group.” He argues that we should not label what happened in the West in the late nineteenth century as genocide because relatively low numbers of Indians were killed and there was no official intent to eliminate Indians. His most intriguing argument is that government officials engaged in one crime against humanity—ethnic cleansing through forced deportation and confinement to reservations—to actually prevent the more heinous crime of genocide.

Anderson’s formulation of Indian-white conflict in the West as an either/or choice strikes me as an oversimplification of what is actually a both/and phenomenon. Scholars such as Brendan C. Lindsay and Benjamin Madley have shown—pretty incontrovertibly—that it is entirely appropriate to use the term genocide to represent what happened in California in the late nineteenth century.1 Anderson has shown that ethnic cleansing may be a more accurate term for what transpired in other instances.2 In this brief commentary, I intend to critique both genocide and ethnic cleansing as limiting concepts and discuss alternative means of understanding a broader history of Indian-white conflict that puts women and children at the center rather than at the periphery of our historical inquiry.

Abstract: The paper examines the nature of indigenous identity among Bedouin Arabs in Negev/Naqab, Israel, against a background of conceptual, legal and political controversy. It traces theoretically and comparatively the rise of indigeneity as a relational concept, deriving from colonial and postcolonial settings. The concept is shown to be part of the globalization of human rights struggle, with a potential of the indigeneity discourse to empower colonized and exploited minorities, as well as provide a platform for transitional justice. The heart of the paper provides a rebuttal of several arguments made by a group of scholars associated with the Israeli state, named here “the deniers”, who have worked to reject Bedouin (and general Palestinian) claims for indigenous status, thereby denying their entitlement to a range of human and communal rights. The paper offers a systematic examination of historical and geographic evidence and reveals that “the deniers” have raised several relevant questions and dilemmas. However, these do not undermine the typical indigenous characteristics of the Naqab Bedouin Arabs. Research shows clearly that Bedouins belong within the group of indigenous societies according to accepted international definitions and norms. This understanding obliges the Israeli state to protect Bedouin Arabs from further removals, dispossession and marginalization, as well as correct, where possible, the profound damage caused by their past dispossession, eviction and marginalization.

Abstract: Arising from and sustained within the context of colonialism, the outstanding indigenous land issue in British Columbia has long been a source of significant conflict between indigenous people and settler governments. Due to its significantly complex political and legal background, it is difficult to reach a clear and comprehensive understanding about this matter, and gaining insight into the indigenous perspective about it is even more challenging. Explicitly considering the broader framework of colonialism in exploring the outstanding indigenous land issue in British Columbia, this dissertation places its focus upon detailing the indigenous perspective in relation to opposing political and legal government positions. Such a study is important in order to adequately understand the perpetuation of the conflicts between indigenous peoples and governments over the outstanding land issue. The research approach relies upon the examination of archival data, along with representations of indigenous oral history narratives, and attendance at indigenous political gatherings. In particular, this research project relies upon information gathered from both indigenous elders and political representatives through interviews and political meetings to form the basis of indigenous perspectives on the outstanding land issue. The findings from this research provide evidence that a discernible pattern of denial and disregard has been established and maintained by successive settler governments and that these patterns are purposefully perpetuated. The political, legal, and regulatory systems devised for power and control over indigenous peoples have effectively shaped the ‘taken for granted assumptions’ of the outstanding land issue. Indigenous perspectives on the ownership of their territories have been consistently maintained through oral history narratives over several generations. The central contribution that can be drawn from this research rests upon the revelation of how indigenous perspectives on the outstanding land issue were actively and continuously suppressed as part of the dispossession process. The significant findings include an in-depth disclosure of how purposeful political and legal procedures accompanied by expansive regulatory mechanisms have served to control how the outstanding indigenous land issue in British Columbia has been actively shaped, understood, and maintained over time through deliberate processes and procedures of colonialism.

Abstract: Throughout the Second World War, the National Socialist regime enacted a wide-ranging campaign to enhance the German nation by assimilating conquered populations into its demographic structure. At the axis of this multifaceted enterprise stood the Re-Germanization Procedure, or WED – a special program designed to absorb “racially valuable” foreigners into the German body politic by sending them to live with host families in the very heart of the Third Reich. The following dissertation provides the first ever study of the Re-Germanization Procedure and examines the momentous influence this initiative exerted over Nazi policy-making in occupied Europe. It is a story of the nexus between popular opinion on the home front and imperialism abroad, a fresh inquiry into the dynamics of German rule and their basis in the experiences of ordinary human beings, a kaleidoscopic portrait detailing a signature aspect of the National Socialist era that has largely eluded the scrutiny of historical analysis. The WED created a space where German and non-German civilians could articulate their understandings of race, community, and national belonging from within the settings of everyday life. Drawing on methodological tools from the fields of critical race studies and postcolonial theory, my research probes the extraordinary degree to which their interactions with state actors, and with each other, helped shape the classification of indigenous peoples across the length and breadth of Hitler’s empire – a place where identity politics often meant the difference between life and death. By situating this process within a global context of nation-building and colonialism, my project reveals an unfamiliar side of an infamous epoch in order to show how, under the wartime Third Reich, discourses of race came to function not just as an impetus for genocidal violence, but as a transformative framework of inclusion.

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