Fiduciary Gridlock in the Last Frontier: An Indigenous Futurist Approach to Land Dispossession and the Colonial “Benevolence”
Recent approaches to the growing field of Indigenous futurism maintain that Indigenous Peoples have already survived the colonial cataclysm and are living in a post-Apocalyptic world. Thus, Sci Fi allows for Indigenous authors to make sense of their experience in their own terms, and to question the present status quo and explore prospective futures in an speculative manner. Stemming from a sociology of space approach and the work of Indigenous scholars like Bonita Lawrence and David Coulthard, this presentation will analyse the effects and continuity of Indigenous-Canadian settler state relationship, and politics such as the Indian Act and the dislocation caused by the territorial dispossession and cultural genocide on “reservation” and urban Indigenous Peoples. Celu Amberstone’s “Refugees” presents the power dynamic between the descendants of First Nations settlers who had been rescued by an alien race they called the Benefactors, and have resettled in an alien planet in order to escape from extinction in Earth, and the last group of urban Indigenous Peoples that join them. Conflicts between land, the Benefactors and the different generations of reservation and urban Indigenous Peoples address the internal multiplicity of Indigenous experience as well as the impact of colonial fiduciary gridlock and cultural genocide, destabilizing simplistic colonial separations of “Self/Other”. “Refugees” explores the problem of land dispossession, the breaking of a cosmology and ways of knowing deeply rooted and interrelated with the territory, and the attempts to mitigate the effects from a normative structure that maintains the source of oppression. Amberstone allows not only to imagine the existence of Indigenous communities and their relations in a future of ecological collapse, but also to comment on the current situation and the clash of land-based Indigenous epistemologies with capitalist accumulation by dispossession and exploitation in the Canadian context.
Fernando Pérez García is a PhD candidate in Gender and Cultural Diversity, and a research fellow in the research group “Intersections: Contemporary Literatures, Cultures & Theories” at the University of Oviedo. He has carried out teaching and research stays at Simon Fraser University in Canada and the University of Kent in the UK. He is currently a lecturer in the Department of English, French and German Philology at the University of Oviedo. His research interests include contemporary Indigenous and Black Canadian literature and its intersections with the sociology of urban space. He is currently exploring the tensions between transculturality, communitarism, and normative forms of state multiculturalism through Afrodiasporic an Indigenous speculative fiction.