Critical Indigenous Studies: From Difference to Density

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Chris Andersen


Proponents of the discipline of Native Studies (in its various guises) have attempted to produce a methodologically and theoretically distinctive body of scholarship to justify its existence in the field of academia. Critiquing Duane Champagne’s recent article published in a flagship journal for North American Native Studies, I argue that while establishing Native Studies as a discipline has little or nothing to do with securing Native Studies departments on university campuses, a place nonetheless exists for these departments. Marrying Native Studies literature on the importance of producing tribally specific knowledge with Australian-based Whiteness Studies literature focusing on the utility of indigeneity for denaturalising white privilege, I argue that the discipline of Native Studies should justify itself departmentally by teaching about the complex forms of local indigeneity upon which white privilege is reproduced.  

Article Details

Critical Indigenous Theory (Peer Reviewed)
Author Biography

Chris Andersen, University of Alberta

Chris Andersen is Michif (Métis) from western Canada. He is an associate professor in the Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta. His work revolves around the (il)logics of race buttressing state/administrative constructions of the category ‘Métis’, particularly in the juridical and census fields.