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By Audra Simpson

Mohawk Interruptus is a daring problem to dominant pondering within the fields of local reports and anthropology. Combining political idea with ethnographic study one of the Mohawks of Kahnawà:ke, a reserve group in what's now southwestern Quebec, Audra Simpson examines their struggles to articulate and keep political sovereignty via centuries of settler colonialism. The Kahnawà:ke Mohawks are a part of the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy. Like many Iroquois peoples, they insist at the integrity of Haudenosaunee governance and refuse American or Canadian citizenship. Audra Simpson thinks via this politics of refusal, which stands in stark distinction to the politics of cultural reputation. Tracing the results of refusal, Simpson argues that one sovereign political order can exist nested inside of a sovereign kingdom, albeit with huge, immense stress round problems with jurisdiction and legitimacy. eventually, Simpson evaluations anthropologists and political scientists, whom, she argues, have too with ease approved the belief that the colonial undertaking is entire. Belying that thought, Mohawk Interruptus demands and demonstrates extra powerful and evenhanded types of inquiry into indigenous politics within the tooth of settler governance.

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Extra info for Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States

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This issue INDIGENOUS INTERRUPTIONS 25 of disappearance—and more particularly, not disappearing—has presented Kahnawa'kehr6:non with a central problem: how to imagine themselves outside of the interstices of Empire while operating within it. They have to, because Empire is both everywhere and nowhere, ahistorical and endlessly performing a fast past; it is a place with a state, with imperatives, and with administrative power on top of Kahnaw&ike land. A turn to one of their own thinkers, the late Louis Karoniaktajeh Hall,38 on just this question may help us to understand how Kahnawa'kehr6:non approach questions of governance and the state.

In this there is acceptance of the dispossession of your lands, of internalizing and believing the things that have been taught about you to you: that you are a savage, that your language is incoherent, that you are less than white people, not quite up to par, that you are then “different,” with a different culture that is defined by others and will be accorded a pro­ tected space of legal recognition i f your group evidences that “difference” in terms that are sufficient to the settlers' legal eye.

As soon as they joined the captives, one of the In­ dians came up to Etienne. “My brother,” said he, "your end has come. ” “It is true,” answered Etienne, “that I am a Christian, but it is no less true that I glory in being one. Inflict on me what you please, for I fear neither your outrages nor torments. ” (Kip 1846,121) Contemporary Kahnawake requires an accounting that stretches back to its inception as an emergent community in the political geography of the eastern woodlands of what is now understood to be the United States (and parts of Canada).

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