Unsettling America

Understanding Indigenous Anti-Colonialism

By Glen Coulthard[i], Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture, and Action, Vol 4, No 2 (2010)


This article examines the role that “place” plays in radical Indigenous activism from the perspective of my community, the Dene Nation. I argue that, although Indigenous peoples’ senses of place have been worn by centuries of colonial capitalist displacement, they still serve as an orienting framework that guides radical Indigenous activism today and offers a way of thinking about relations within and between peoples and the natural world built on principles of reciprocity and freedom.

In his groundbreaking 1972 text, God is Red, the late Lakota philosopher Vine Deloria Jr. argues that one of the most significant differences that exist between Indigenous and Western metaphysics revolves around the central importance of land to Indigenous modes of being, thought, and ethics. When ideology is divided according to American…

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