Indigenous Resurgence

An excerpt from Noura Erakat’s recent piece (“Designing the Future in Palestine”) in Boston Review. Read the full article. It’s so worth it.

…[Palestinians] are moving in tandem with other Indigenous communities increasingly engaged in Indigenous resurgence. This is a phenomenon, explains Cherokee political scientist Jeff Corntasssel, that reframes decolonization by turning away from the state to “focus more fully on the complex interrelationships between Indigenous nationhood, place-based relationships, and community centered practices that reinvigorate everyday acts of renewal and regeneration.” This shift does not reject state-centric diplomacy or abandon the struggle against the settler sovereign. A full pivot away from such engagement would be short-sighted and counterproductive, especially for Palestinians who remain forcibly exiled from their lands and barricaded within militarized ghettoes. Rather, Indigenous resurgence centers Indigenous life and governance alongside other approaches. It seeks to undo the alienating force of colonization by reconnecting “homelands, cultures, and communities.” In particular regard to Palestinians, scholars Nour Joudah, Tareq Radi, Dina Omar, and Randa Wahbe explain, resurgence facilitates a “self-recognition” that transforms “fragmentation into a strength” and “variegated experiences of loss” into “a politics of care.”

If decolonization typically pits native against settler in a struggle for the land, Indigenous resurgence focuses on how to belong most ethically in relationship to one another and to the land.