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4.5: Conclusion

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    In this chapter, we applied theories and knowledge produced by Chicanx and Indigenous Latinx communities to describe the critical events, histories, intellectual traditions, contributions, lived experiences and social struggles of groups with a particular emphasis on agency and group affirmation. We learned more deeply about how settler colonialism, mestizaje (or mixed-race identity), and the complex dynamics of Indigeneity and migration affect politics, social movements, and cultural productions.

    We explained and assessed how struggle, resistance, racial and social justice, solidarity, and liberation, as experienced, enacted, and studied by Chicanx and Indigenous Latinx people of the Americas, are relevant to current and structural issues such as communal, national, international, and transnational politics as, for example, in immigration, settler-colonialism, multiculturalism, and language policies. Indigenous peoples have been leaders in various movements for social change, equity, justice, and inclusion that benefit all sectors of society.

    Also, in this chapter, we described and learned skills to actively engage with anti-racist and anti-colonial issues and the practices and movements in Chicanx and Indigenous Latinx communities to build a just and equitable society. This includes a clear awareness of the intersecting dynamics of race, gender, and sexuality that impact both migrants and Indigenous peoples in distinct ways.

    Ancillary materials for this chapter are located in Section 11.4: Chapter 4 Resource Guide, which includes slides, media, writing and discussion prompts, and suggested assignments and activities. 

    Key Terms

    Genocide: As defined by the United Nations, “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: 

    Native American: A member of any of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, often used to refer to those from the continental United States, Alaska, and Canada. Native Americans are the original inhabitants of these regions and have diverse cultures, languages, and traditions that vary among different tribes and nations. They have a unique historical and cultural connection to the land and have faced a history of colonization, displacement, and ongoing struggles for recognition, rights, and self-determination.

    Decolonization: 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, and it is not a general term that captures all forms of social justice.

    Anahuac: The Nahua word for Mesoamerica. Also called Abya Yala.

    Indigeneity: A broad term used to refer to a sense of belonging and ties prior to colonization among people from a shared homeland. It is important to understand the distinctions between Chicanx, Indigenous Latinx, and Latinx Indigenites.

    Indigenous Chicanx: A term that signifies being Indigenous to Anahuac (Mesoamerica), It is a self-identity category used by people, unlike Hispanic or Latinx which emerged from western institutions.

    Xicanx: A preferred identity term for Chicanx involved in Indigenous movements there is often a preference to use the term Xicanx and not Chicanx. The Chi is the same sound as Xi, but Chi is the Spanish pronunciation and the Xi is the Indigenous one.

    Indigenous Latinx: An umbrella term used to refer to Indigenous migrants to the United States from South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico (for example, Maya, Mixteco, Purépecha, Taino, Zapoteco, etc.).

    Critical Latinx Indigeneity: A term defined by Maylei Blackwell and colleagues as a lens to “critique enduring colonial logics and practices that operate from different localities of power as well as the physical, social, cultural, economic, and psychological violence that often targets Indigenous Latinx peoples, including forms of state and police violence, cultural appropriation, economic exploitation, gender violence, social exclusion, and psychological abuse.”

    Indigenismo: A term that emphasizes a celebration of Indigenous cultures and that Indigenous peoples are the foundation of contemporary Mexican culture, politics, and society. This is often deployed as an Aztec-centric celebration of the Indigenous past of the nation, which often serves to erase the present and future of the sixty-three Indigenous pueblos of Mexico and the millions of Indigenous peoples living around the world.

    Indigenous: A label used to describe peoples who existed before colonization, and can be used to describe the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Always use the capital I: “Indigenous” to designate the term as a proper noun.

    Mestizas/os/xs: A diverse population that has a combination of mixed heritage, often including Indigenous lineage, along with a combination of African and/or European backgrounds.

    Mestizaje (mixed-race identity): A term that emphasizes the multiple lineages that not only shape individual identity, but also the communities, cultures, languages, and traditions that we practice.

    Post-racial society: The idea that all ethnic differences have fused, and it erases the realities of inequity and the importance of advocates calling for justice. For Indigenous peoples, reductive deployments of ethnic categorization can disrupt attempts for collective liberation.

    Afro-Latinx: A term that describes people from Latin America of African descent.

    Settler-colonialism: Instances of colonization where the colonizing groups seek to eradicate the people living in the territory they are colonizing and replace the Indigenous population with the settler population.

    Colonization: The action of overtaking control of another group’s territory by force.

    Attempted genocide: A project of trying to eradicate an entire population. This is accompanied by an ideologically rooted practice of dehumanization to justify and legitimize such actions.

    De-Indianization: The processes that disrupt the livelihood of Indigenous peoples, through assaults on foodways, herbal medical resources, and cultural sensibilities.

    Master narratives: Culturally sanctioned stories that benefit the status quo and members of privileged groups.

    Sovereignty: Not a metaphor but rather the capacity and ability to exercise collective self-determination to govern one's people and land. North American Indians are the only group in the United States whose sovereignty is recognized in the Constitution of the United States. In the context of Indigenous people, sovereignty has often been undermined and determined by settler-colonial constructs.

    Survivance: A term coined by Anishinaabe scholar and writer, Gerald Vizenor, refers to the collective process of survival, which carries forward the culture, peoples, and land beyond the individual.

    Indigenization: Efforts supporting revitalization of Native languages, ancestral foodways, medical use, cultural burnings, midwifery traditions, dances, coming-of-age ceremonies, land acknowledgment, and more

    Gendercide: The systematic violence that targets non-binary individuals in the pursuit of settler-colonial goals. Chumash scholar Deborah Miranda coined this term in the context of Spanish assaults on the aqi.

    Two-Spirit: A term that was developed by Indigenous peoples to describe the shared experience of third gender people. Two-Spirit should only be used in reference to Indigenous peoples, and whenever possible, in conjunction with a more tribally specific term.

    Sexiles: Queer migrants leaving their home/nation as a result of their sexuality.

    This page titled 4.5: Conclusion is shared under a CC BY-NC license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Mario Alberto Viveros Espinoza-Kulick & Melissa Moreno (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative (OERI)) .