Today we celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, to remember and celebrate the heritage of indigenous people everywhere. There is a lot to say about IDP: is it too American? Does it elide the particularity of the American Indian experience? Is Dora The Conquistadora, perhaps, a bridge too far? And of course, there’s always this frequently-retweeted little morsel:
I assume that a Columbus Day sale means I can just walk into a store and take whatever I want.
— Julian Kiani (@JulianKiani) October 14, 2013
I don’t have a lot of insight at the moment into what IDP means of should mean. Since I feel that SM should mark this day, I will punt the ball with a random list of Indigenous Anthropologists (you’ll notice I’m biased towards the Pacific) who I’ve learned from over the years, and suggest you celebrate IDP today by making it a point to read something by them this week. So without further ado:
Native Men Remade, by Ty Kawika Tengan
Ty’s office is next door to mine, so I should probably start with him. I’ve learned so much from him I don’t even know where to start… so why don’t you learn something from him too?
Consuming Ocean Island: Stories of People and Phosphate from Banaba, by Katerina Teaiwa
Katerina is beyond anthropology now and I’m not sure she’d appreciate being labeled an ‘anthropologist’, but her work is amazing and her Ph.D. is in anthro so I will continue to insist that our discipline, in some way, gets part of the credit for her amazing work.
Waterlilly, by Ella Deloria
An ethnographic novel by a woman who pursued anthropology even when she was so poor she ended up having to live out of her car (iirc). This handsome new edition is a great way to learn about Deloria’s life.
Learning to Be an Anthropologist and Remaining Native: Selected Writings, by Beatrice Medicine
Beatrice Medicine’s life spanned literally the entire course of anthropology — and SM blogged her passing in 2006.
We Are The Ocean: Selected Works, by Epeli Hau‘ofa
Another scholar who started in anthropology and went totally beyond it, Hau‘ofa is one of the key influences on Pacific Studies today.
I could go on listing names, but I will call it quits here because, frankly, I need to get back to work. I am sure that there are many many additional people who should be listed here… perhaps you could list them in the comments? Who am I missing? I’m sure there are many other authors that I still have left to discover on this Indigenous Peoples Day.