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Absence Does Not Make the Indigenous Political Heart Grow Fonder

  • David E. Wilkins
Abstract

Native Americans have been structurally excluded from the discipline of political science in the continental United States, as has Native epistemology and political issues. I analyze the reasons for these erasures and elisions, noting the combined effects of rejecting Native scholars, political issues, analysis, and texts. I describe how these arise from presumptions inherent to the disciplinary practices of U.S. political science, and suggest a set of alternative formulations that could expand our understanding of politics, including attention to other forms of law, constitutions, relationships to the environment, sovereignty, collective decision-making, U.S. history, and majoritarianism.

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Note

1 In 1979 Deloria secured a tenured appointment in the political science department at the University of Arizona. He proceeded to develop an M.A. degree program that focused on federal Indian policy in the department, the first graduate-level degree in the nation focused on native issues. I was in the second cohort of native students he recruited to the program.

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Perspectives on Politics
  • ISSN: 1537-5927
  • EISSN: 1541-0986
  • URL: /core/journals/perspectives-on-politics
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