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4: Indigeneities

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    Learning Objectives


    🧿 Content Warning: Physical Violence and Sexual Violence. Please note that this chapter includes discussions of physical and sexual violence.

    This chapter explores the themes of Indigeneity and migration as they affect social, cultural, and political intra-and-inter group dynamics among Chicanx and Indigenous Latinx communities native to the Americas and Indigenous to this hemisphere. By intra-and-inter-group dynamics, we mean between and across groups, which considers global political economies and social dynamics. This complexity requires the use of a transnational framework to look beyond rigid historical narratives of nation and Indigenous identity.

    Chicanx and Indigenous Latinx peoples are affected by the legacy and ongoing violence of colonialism, attempted genocide against Native Americans by Europeans, contemporary issues of land displacement (especially in Central America and Mexico), harsh immigration policies, and militarized enforcement strategies. These systems intersect, and by examining them in-depth, we observe the tradition of people’s movement across land and water, establishing contact between groups and navigating power relationships.

    Each section in this chapter provides a closer look at the concepts, histories, intersections, and complexity of Chicanx and Latinx Indigeneities. In the first section, you will learn more about the conceptual frameworks, terms, and definitions that inform our understanding of Indigeneity, migration, and racialized ethnic identity. This foundation guides our next section, which more closely examines the historical and political background facing Chicanx and Indigenous Latinx peoples today. These perspectives cut across human experiences and intersect with gender, sexuality, and race. This topic is the subject of the third section. In the fourth section, you will learn more about how Chicanx and Latinx Indigenous experiences intersect with sexuality, gender, and migration, including the gendered treatment of Indigenous women and social norms facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, Two-Spirit, and similarly identified LGBTQ2S+ people.

    This chapter provides a window into the social struggles that motivate activism among Chicanxs and Indigenous Latinxs for cultural sovereignty, racial justice, decolonization of knowledge, and the production of cultural affirmation, resilience, and strong communities in the face of external threats and systemic oppression. Understanding these lessons can help us realize more opportunities to stand up against injustice in our diverse communities.

    Decolonization refers to the multiple processes of resistance that work to end the dynamics of colonialism and establish, restore, and defend Indigenous sovereignty. It is important to note that decolonization is a political process that refers specifically to Indigenous sovereignty. It is not a general term that captures all forms of social justice.

    Poetry Spotlight: In Lak'ech

    This poem, “In Lak’ech,” is a philosophy rooted in Indigenous worldviews emphasizing interconnectedness, love, and respect, acknowledging life and community in the Anahuac (Mesoamerica) region in the oral tradition of Mayan culture, which was written by Chicano playwright and activist Luis Valdez. It is sometimes used in teaching Chicanx and Latinx studies courses.

    Tú eres mi otro yo.
    (You are my other me.)
    Si te hago daño a ti,
    (If I do harm to you,)
    Me hago daño a mi mismo.
    (I do harm to myself.)
    Si te amo y respeto,
    (If I love and respect you,)
    Me amo y respeto yo.
    (I love and respect myself.)

    • 4.1: Concepts for Understanding Chicanx and Latinx Indigeneities
      The section discusses Chicanx and Latinx Indigeneities, emphasizing the importance of understanding their distinct identities. It introduces concepts like Indigenous Chicanx, Xicanx, and Latinx Indigeneities, and explores Critical Latinx Indigeneities as an analytical framework. The section also highlights the presence and contributions of Indigenous peoples in Latin America, their diverse identities, and the need to respect their rights.
    • 4.2: Indigenous Histories, Wars, Imperialism, and Migration
      This section explores the impact of imperialism, war, and Latinx migrations. It discusses the history of Indigenous resistance in Mexico, including the Aztec empire and Spanish colonization. The Mexican War of Independence and the resistance against the Mexican government are highlighted. The section then delves into the U.S.-Mexico War, driven by colonialism, political ideologies, and the desire for territorial expansion.
    • 4.3: Narratives, Representation, Epistemic Violence, and Healing
      This section explores contested narratives of Native Americans and Indigenous peoples, highlighting their resilience, cultural heritage, and struggles for recognition. It discusses the importance of creation stories, solidarity movements, and the ongoing fight for truth and accountability. A timeline showcases milestones in solidarity between Chicanxs and Native Americans, emphasizing education, cultural revitalization, and activism.
    • 4.4: Gender, Sexuality, Migration, and Indigeneity
      The section explores the complex relationship between Indigenous peoples, migration, and gender. It discusses how Indigenous migrants navigate colonial structures, experience xenophobia, and seek solidarity across borders. Gender and family dynamics influence immigration policies and the experiences of migrant communities, with labor demands often shaped by binary gender roles. Indigenous Latinx communities challenge constricting gender and sexuality narratives.
    • 4.5: Conclusion

    This page titled 4: Indigeneities is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Mario Alberto Viveros Espinoza-Kulick & Melissa Moreno (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative (OERI)) .