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Imagined Geographies: Sovereignty, Indigenous Space, and American Indian Struggle

Thomas Biolsi

2005 United States

In this article, I seek to complicate scholars’ understanding of the “modular” form of the nation-state by examining four kinds of indigenous political space that figure in contemporary American Indian struggle in the United States: (1) “tribal” or indigenous-nation sovereignty on reservation homelands; (2) comanagement of off-reservation resources and sites shared between tribal, federal, and state governments; (3) national indigenous space in which Indian people exercise portable rights beyond reservations; and (4) hybrid political space in which Indian people exercise dual citizenship and assert rights as tribal citizens under treaty and other federal Indian law, as U.S. citizens under the Constitution, and as social or cultural citizens within a multicultural U.S. society.