April 24 – 27, 2019, Poznań, Poland
The title of the 2019 American Indian Workshop “Indigenous economies: sustenance, sustainability and sovereignty” is based on the assumption that Indigenous economic practices should be seen as part of a holistic approach to life, well-being, culture and the environment. At the same time, with the gradual undermining of tribal sovereignty by European settlers, these practices have been reshaped by colonial and capitalist forces, and the subsequent resistance to them. Thus, the organizers of the 2019 AIW wish to provide a platform to explore the broadly-defined issue of Indigenous economies, and particularly to look at how the relationship between sustenance, sustainability and sovereignty was reflected in economic practices and lifeways of the past, and how it is perceived and practiced today.
Indigenous populations in North America are often quoted as some of the poorest and unhealthiest groups in their respective countries. These statistics can be attributed to colonial history and decades of hegemonic policy toward them – removal from and eventual loss of their traditional lands, relocation to reservations, forced assimilation, intense agricultural production, the resulting inability to practice subsistence farming, cultivate traditional foodways, reliance on nutrient-poor governmental food subsidies, and the continuing pollution of reservation lands and waters by oil and mining companies. Poverty is at the same time an effect of the misguided policies, and a major cause of many health problems. Although subjected to different rules and regulations, the Métis and Inuit populations in Canada too face some of the same challenges as First Nations communities in Canada. The organizers would like to analyze how Indigenous communities and individuals are countering the negative effects of political and economic oppression by both resorting to tribal knowledges and practices, and taking advantage of modern economic instruments.
Submission deadline: Dec. 15, 2018.