Anishinaabekwewag Teachings of Self-Determination
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Martin, Jessica. Anishinaabekwewag Teachings of Self-Determination; A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Arts degree, Department of Indigenous Studies, Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance, The University of Winnipeg. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: University of Winnipeg, 2020. DOI: 10.36939/ir.202008311102.
Since being excluded from decolonization efforts in the mid-twentieth century on the grounds that they were not colonized peoples but minorities living within sovereign states, Indigenous peoples have called for a broader understanding of self-determination. The Indigenous self-determination debate has become characterized by a spurious dichotomy between its collective and individual aspects, with the argument from leaders often being grounded in trickle-down logic that collective self-determination is a prerequisite for individual, so the former must be addressed first. As a result of such arguments and the heteropatriarchal ideologies implemented through the Indian Act, Anishinaabekwewag have been largely excluded from self-determination discourse. However, in order for self-determination to be realized in a meaningful way, a more holistic and inclusive understanding is necessary. Anishinaabekwewag occupy a unique space from which to contribute to the development of such an understanding. In this thesis I will explore and apply a framework informed by ikweism, a concept derived from Anishinaabekwe thought and conceptualizations within the context of Anishinaabe cosmologies, ontologies, epistemologies, and axiologies regarding the strength of femininity and its inherent connections with ideas regarding Anishinaabe sovereignty and self-determination. In doing so, I will demonstrate that Anishinaabe philosophies have long worked to empower Anishinaabekwewag and provide a strong foundation on which Anishinaabe self-determination discourse can find meaning going forward.