Sinclair (2017). Indigenous nationhood can save the world. Here’s how.

Sinclair, N. J. (2017, September 13). Indigenous nationhood can save the world. Here’s how. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from

[European political structure at odds with Indigenous societal and governance models …]

“For centuries, the Westphalian nation-state has fuelled a cycle of greed, protectionism and violence — and Indigenous people are still resisting that legacy today.” (¶1)

[Foundations of the nation-state favour notions of development and progress …]

“Neo-liberalism and capitalist political movements — often called ‘development’ — always come at the cost of Indigenous nations and citizens.” (¶2)

[Nations are organized around notions of sameness …]

“… what drives European-based nation-states is a delusional sense of racial, cultural, and social uniformity and sameness that always ends in violence and genocide. Humans simply aren’t meant to be so reduced.” (¶4)

[There are other boundaries besides the artificial ones of nation-state …]

“The borderlands between ourselves and the water, earth, and animals must also be under constant negotiation as needs and conflicts arise.” (¶10)

[Building and understanding relationships …]

“In political events we take time as Anishinaabeg to greet everyone and make sure we know where everyone is from, who they represent and how, and how their responsibilities have brought them to this place.” (¶17)

[Political tools accepted in nation-state structures don’t allow for critical examination nor dismantling of those structures …]

“While these incarnations of the nation-state are intriguing, it is more likely that Indigenous activists, intellectuals, and citizens adopt Audre Lorde’s principle that ‘the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.’ In other words, the inherent structure, institutional violence, and values embedded in the Westphalian nationstate likely make it untenable for Indigenous notions of kinship.” (¶19)

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