By Audra Simpson
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Extra info for Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States
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).