The first issue for 2013 of AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples is now available online and in print. Papers in Volume 9(1) come from the Arctic Circle, to Africa, Japan, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Two of the articles centre on indigenous education. Ylva Jannok Nutti considers Sámi teachers’ experiences in Sweden in teaching of mathematics and the necessity for lessons to be taught from the perspective of the local culture – despite the fact that culturally based teaching is not specifically defined. Teachers must adapt as to how and what they teach. The second article by Lone Elizabeth Ketsitlile, Philip Bulawa and Onalenna Tiny Kgathi seeks to understand why appropriate and relevant research methods are crucial when undertaking literary research among Southern Africa’s first indigenous peoples – the San of Botswana. The authors consider and develop an argument articulating the need to include a specific Southern African philosophy (Botho, also known as Ubuntu) as a theoretical framework.
Olivia Guntarik’s article “Dangerous Historiographies: Minoru Hokari’s observations and lived Aboriginal practices of history” considers Australian Aboriginal notions of historiography (the methodology and development of history) which challenge existing and accepted understandings and interpretations of societies’ and cultures’ histories. Alternative interpretations (and solutions) to conventional history are often binarized as minority or oppositional groups and simply accommodated in what continues to be the dominant story.
Rāpata Wiri adds to the growing body of academic work considering New Zealand’s Treaty of Waitangi settlement through the lens of the controversial “Treelords Deal” and the application of mana whenua or Māori custom law. The article looks at the claims made for Central North Island forestry and how certain large iwi misinterpret mana whenua for their own commercial gain at the expense of smaller but significant land-owning iwi in the region.
Canada’s federal and provincial systems of government have been strongly influenced by the nation’s Aboriginal peoples. Or have they? David MacDonald argues any such influences have been largely accidental, and a concerted critique of some conventional study highlights a glossing over of Aboriginal-settler history rather that a detailed engagement with it. Among other things, he advocates the incorporation of Aboriginal notions and concepts of power, justice and decision-making into existing institutions and potential new institutions.
Hiroshi Maruyama examines an ambitious dam project on the Japanese island of Hokkaido and the impact on the local indigenous people, the Ainu. Legislation gives priority to river development yet existing indigenous legislation and policy has yet to take firm steps towards the protection of Ainu indigenous rights. Maruyama’s paper considers the legal system surrounding river development in light of the conservation of Ainu culture and the environment.
The final article “Songlines and touchstones: A study of perinatal health and culture in Greenland” by Ruth Montgomery-Andersen and Ina K. Borup explores how family and community perceive support-giving during the perinatal period. In particular, it focuses on story-telling as a health promotion tool through an ethnographic approach. Content analysis, interviews and dialogues are used to set the stories into a cultural perspective.
Please visit www.alternative.ac.nz to access the content.