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Indigenous Métissage: a decolonizing research sensibility

Dwayne Donald

2012 Canada

This paper is a report on the theoretical origins of a decolonizing research sensibility called Indigenous Métissage. This research praxis emerged parallel to personal and ongoing inquiries into historic and current relations connecting Aboriginal peoples and Canadians in the place now called Canada. I frame the colonial frontier origins of these relations – and the logics that tend to inform them – as conceptual problems that require rethinking on more ethically relational terms. Although a postcolonial cultural theory called métissage offers helpful insights towards this challenge, I argue that the postcolonial emphasis on hybridity fails to acknowledge Indigenous subjectivity in ethical ways. Instead, I present an indigenized form of métissage focused on rereading and reframing Aboriginal and Canadian relations and informed by Indigenous notions of place. Doing Indigenous Métissage requires hermeneutic imagination directed towards the telling of a story that belies colonial frontier logics and fosters decolonizing.

métissage; colonial frontier logics; ethical relationality; braiding; Indigenous; decolonizing