Infrastructure has long been central to the destruction of Indigenous life and the making of settler colonial futurity. Infrastructure constitutes the body of the Wiindigo—the beast of Anishinaabe legend. Roads and rails, pipelines and dams, prisons and borders have all worked to carve up Turtle Island into preserves of settler jurisdiction, while entrenching and hardening the very means of settler economy and sociality into tangible material structures. Yet infrastructure is not inherently violent—it is also essential for transformation; a pipe can carry fresh water as well as toxic sludge. In this paper we suggest that effective initiatives for justice, decolonization, and planetary survival must center infrastructure in their efforts, and we explore how Indigenous stories can help us envision and walk a different path. Drawing on our distinct work in communities, classrooms, court houses and city streets, we insist that our collective futures hinge on remaking socio-technical systems—on building beyond Wiindigo infrastructure.
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Research Article| April 01 2020
Beyond Wiindigo Infrastructure
South Atlantic Quarterly (2020) 119 (2): 243–268.
Winona LaDuke, Deborah Cowen; Beyond Wiindigo Infrastructure. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 April 2020; 119 (2): 243–268. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-8177747
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