On playing indigene: Maile Arvin, ‘Acting Like a White Person Acting Like a Native: Ghostly Performances of Global Indigeneity’, Critical Ethnic Studies, 1, 1, 2015, pp. 103-116
Abstract: This essay analyzes multiple, diverse performances of indigeneity, by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people globally, in order to understand how various forms of playing “Indian” persist today and how Indigenous peoples must innovate ways to counter settler appropriations of Indigenous identities. It argues that extending the privilege of “acting like a white person acting like a native” unfortunately often describes the ethos of mainstream liberal projects that celebrate multiculturalism. Juxtaposing such settler performances of indigeneity against more disruptive and radical performances by Indigenous peoples, the essay aims to provoke critical understandings of global indigeneity that do not fall into Western universalisms. Overall, the essay suggests that Indigenous peoples globally have creative responses to settler colonial performances that reveal the violence of mainstream liberal projects that pretend concern for Indigenous inclusion.
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