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In many movements, this chapter argues, the ethos of possession continues to pervade strategies for resisting the Western nomos. The very notion of occupation overlooks the rights of indigenous peoples and the process of dispossession that subtends the movement to reclaim common spaces. Byrd writes, “within the context of the Americas, freedom, equality, and liberty were hewn in a crucible of violence, subjugation, enslavement, extermination, and expropriation that made such promissory ideals intelligible, desirable, and enforceable. Savage, animal, and female were differentiated in order to cohere civilized, human, and male into the normative structures through which power, politics, and livability could be structured. Indigenous peoples and lands became recognizable as they were conscripted into Western law and territoriality and then disavowed from the space of actor into that space which is acted upon within the systems of colonial governmentality that continue to underwrite settler empires.” By opening up a dialogue with the theories of savage anthropology and the legacy of Carl Schmitt developed in other chapters, Byrd questions the presuppositions at work in a politics that privileges indigeneity and decoloniality without locating such political practices in much broader power geometries. Given the coterminous rise of sovereignty as a political concept and the advent of settler colonialism in the New World, Byrd asks what it means to delineate something as potentially dangerous as indigenous sovereignty.

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