Instructor: Paul Nadasdy
The relationship between North American Indian peoples and the states of Canada and the US is in many ways unique, a product of centuries of trade compacts, treaties, legislation, warfare, land claim negotiations, and Supreme Court decisions. Apparently straightforward concepts such as “land,” “property,” and “sovereignty,” based as they are on European cultural assumptions, often seem inadequate for making sense of the cross-cultural terrain of Indian-State relations, where they tend to take on new – and often ambiguous – meanings. In this course we will explore some of these ambiguous meanings, attending to the cultural realities they reflect and the social relationships they shape. Then we will examine the complex interplay of legal, political, and cultural forces by taking an in-depth look at several selected case studies.