Paper pub. date
November 2017
ISBN 9780870719028 (paperback)
ISBN 9780870719035 (ebook)
6 x 9, 232 pages. 8-page color insert. 30 images. 2 tables. Bibliography. Index.

Native Space

Geographic Strategies to Unsettle Settler Colonialism

Natchee Blu Barnd

Native Space explores how Indigenous communities and individuals sustain and create geographies through place-naming, everyday cultural practices, and artistic activism, within the boundaries of the settler colonial nation of the United States. Diverging from scholarship that tends to treat indigenous geography as an analytical concept, Natchee Blu Barnd instead draws attention to the subtle manifestations of everyday cultural practices—the concrete and often mundane activities involved in the creation of Indigenous space.

What are the limits and potentials of Indigenous acts of spatial production? Native Space argues that control over the notion of “Indianness” still sits at the center of how space is produced in a neocolonial nation, and shows how non-Indigenous communities uniquely deploy Native identities in the direct construction of colonial geographies. In short, “the Indian” serves to create White space in concrete ways. Yet, Native geographies effectively reclaim Indigenous identities, assert ongoing relations to the land, and refuse the claims of settler colonialism. 

Barnd creatively and persuasively uses original cartographic research and demographic data, a series of interrelated stories set in the Midwestern Plains states of Kansas and Oklahoma, an examination of visual art by contemporary indigenous artists, and discussions of several forms of indigenous activism to support his argument. With its highly original, interdisciplinary approach, Native Space makes a significant contribution to the literature in cultural and critical geography, comparative ethnic studies, Indigenous studies, cultural studies, American Studies, and related fields.

About the author

Natchee Blu Barnd is an assistant professor of ethnic studies and Native American studies at Oregon State University.  He is a comparative and critical ethnic studies scholar interested in the intersections between ethnic studies, cultural geography, and indigenous studies. Before joining Oregon State University he taught at a number of schools, including San Francisco State University, California College of the Arts, and UC San Diego.

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