In Divided Unity: Haudenosaunee Reclamation at Grand River by Theresa McCarthyIn Divided Unity: Haudenosaunee Reclamation at Grand River by Theresa McCarthy

In Divided Unity: Haudenosaunee Reclamation at Grand River

byTheresa McCarthy

Hardcover | May 19, 2016

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Winner of the Best First Book in Native American and Indigenous Studies Prize

In February 2006, the Six Nations occupation of a 132-acre construction site in Caledonia, Ontario, reignited a 200-year-long struggle to reclaim land and rights in the Grand River region. Framed by this ongoing reclamation, In Divided Unity explores community-based initiatives that promote Haudenosaunee traditionalism and languages at Six Nations of the Grand River as crucial enactments of sovereignty both historically and in the present.

Drawing from Haudenosaunee oral traditions, languages, and community-based theorists, In Divided Unity engages the intersecting themes of knowledge production and resistance against the backdrop of the complicated dynamics of the Six Nations community, which has the largest population of all First Nations in Canada. Comprising the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora nations, citizens of the Six Nations Confederacy collectively refer to themselves as Haudenosaunee, which means "we build the house."

Theresa McCarthy critiques settler colonial narratives of Haudenosaunee decline used to rationalize land theft and political subjugation. In particular, McCarthy illustrates that current efforts to discredit the reclamation continue to draw on the flawed characterizations of Haudenosaunee tradition, factionalism, and "failed" self-government popularized by conventional scholarship about the Iroquois. Countering these narratives of decline and failure, McCarthy argues that the 2006 reclamation ushered in an era of profound intellectual and political resurgence at Six Nations, propelled by the contributions of Haudenosaunee women.

Centering Haudenosaunee intellectual traditions, In Divided Unity provides an important new model for community-based activism and scholarship. Through the active practice and adaptation of ancient teachings and philosophies, McCarthy shows that the Grand River Haudenosaunee are continuing to successfully meet the challenges of reclaiming their land, political autonomy, and control of their future.
Theresa McCarthy (Six Nations Onondaga, Beaver clan) is an assistant professor of Native American studies in the department of transnational studies at the University of Buffalo. McCarthy co-produced a documentary about Haudenosaunee land reclamation titled Sewatokwa’tshera’t: The Dish with One Spoon.
Title:In Divided Unity: Haudenosaunee Reclamation at Grand RiverFormat:HardcoverDimensions:432 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:May 19, 2016Publisher:University of Arizona PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0816532591

ISBN - 13:9780816532599


Rated 5 out of 5 by from A look behind the barricades A look behind the barricades to understand the Grand River community and land reclamation.
Date published: 2017-02-23

Editorial Reviews

"The story that is being told here is of political vitality rather than foretold death, accession, declension. The story is of profound adaptability and dignified and insistent pushback on deeply asymmetrical relations of power and of deep commitment to each other, to clan relations at the end of the day (or this story), to knowledge, and to the future itself."-Audra Simpson, author of Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Border of Settler States