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The Rediscovered Self Indigenous Identity and Cultural Justice by Ronald Niezen

The Rediscovered Self Indigenous Identity and Cultural Justice

Part of the McGill-Queen's Native and Northern Series Series


The Rediscovered Self Indigenous Identity and Cultural Justice by Ronald Niezen

In a series of thematically linked essays, Ronald Niezen discusses the ways new rights standards and networks of activist collaboration facilitate indigenous claims about culture, adding coherence to their histories, institutions, and group qualities. Drawing on historical, legal, and ethnographic material on aboriginal communities in northern Canada, Niezen illustrates the ways indigenous peoples worldwide are identifying and acting upon new opportunities to further their rights and identities. He shows how - within the constraints of state and international legal systems, activist lobbying strategies, and public ideas and expectations - indigenous leaders are working to overcome the injuries of imposed change, political exclusion, and loss of identity. Taken together, the essays provide a critical understanding of the ways in which people are seeking cultural justice while rearticulating and, at times, re-dignifying the collective self. The Rediscovered Self shows how, through the processes and aims of justice, distinct ways of life begin to be expressed through new media, formal procedures, and transnational collaborations.


The Rediscovered Self cuts across a number of different perspectives, both those of activists and academics, and Niezen is well positioned to bring these often opposing positions together with a significant degree of empathy for both - a poignant and welcome addition to the literature on Indigenous studies. H. Glen Penny, University of Iowa Niezen undertakes considerable challenges in presenting oftentimes difficult theoretical positions regarding the way in which peoples and nations constitute their collective selves/identity in light of challenges to those rights of autonomy. The Rediscovered Self is tremendously insightful and extremely well-written. Naomi Adelson, York University

About the Author

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Book Info

Publication date

18th May 2009


Ronald Niezen

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McGill-Queen's University Press


240 pages




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