Indigenising in a Globalised World: The Re-Seeding of Belonging to Lands

Harvey, Graham (2016). Indigenising in a Globalised World: The Re-Seeding of Belonging to Lands. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology, 20(3) pp. 300–310.



Being Indigenous seems, by definition, to be about belonging to a place. Sometimes it is even defined as belonging in specific places. Near synonyms like “native” and “aboriginal” can be used to locate people in relation to ancestral, pre-invasion / pre-colonial places. However, Indigenous peoples are no more enclosed by geography than other-than-indigenous peoples. Complex and extensive trade routes and migration patterns are important features of the pasts of many Indigenous nations. Tangible and intangible goods were gifted or exchanged to ferment and cement inter-national relations. In the present era, Indigenous peoples have a significant presence in global forums such as the United Nations (UN), in environmental discussions, in cultural festivals and in diasporic communities. This text uses Indigenous performances at the annual (Sámi organised) Riddu Riddu festival in arctic Norway and the biennial Origins Festival of First Nations hosted in London, U.K., to exemplify explicit and taken-for-granted knowledge of place-as-community. The entailment of animistic insistence, that places are multi-species communities requiring respectful and mutualistic interaction, points to the transformative potential of Indigenous spatiality.

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