It’s about the future: Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, ‘Protectors of the Future, Not Protestors of the Past: Indigenous Pacific Activism and Mauna a Wākea’, South Atlantic Quarterly, 116, 1, 2017, pp. 184-194
Abstract: This essay explores ways Native Pacific activists enact Indigenous futurities and broaden the conditions of possibility for unmaking settler colonial relations. When settler colonial relations are built on the enclosure of land as property that can then be alienated from Indigenous peoples, as well as demarcated to privilege certain racialized, classed, and gendered groups of settlers, then such unmaking requires different ways of relating to land. I highlight two instances of “blockades”—the Pacific Climate Warriors at Newcastle Harbor in Australia and the protectors on Mauna a Wākea in Hawai‘i. While colonial discourses frame such direct actions as obstructions on a march toward a narrowly imagined and singular “future,” I argue that this activism works to open space for multiple futures in which Indigenous epistemologies and practices renew intergenerational connections and in which the possessive, jurisdictional borders of private property can be reimagined as zones of compassionate engagement. This kind of futures-creation is not only in the interest of Indigenous people. Indigenous resistance against industrial projects that destroy or pollute our territories concerns the health of multiple communities of humans and nonhumans.
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