Most people take for granted that it is relatively easy to determine who is indigenous and who is not. Indeed, in the Americas and Oceania, Indigenous peoples are generally considered to be the descendants of those who inhabited these spaces prior to white settler colonization. In Southeast Asia, however, there was plenty of European colonialism, but much less white settler colonization. This has made the question of “who is indigenous” much more difficult to answer, as both ethnic minority and majority populations are able to credibly claim that they are “indigenous” to where they live. Indigenous peoples are now increasingly being conceptualized as “colonized peoples” rather than simply “first peoples”, thus partially uncoupling indigeneity from space. In this presentation, I consider the identity politics, activism and geographies of indigeneity in Southeast Asia, and their implications for nature-society relations and struggles over land and other natural resources.
Friday, Febrauary 6th at 3:30pm in Science Hall - Rm 180