Indigenous place-thought & agency amongst humans and non-humans (First Woman and Sky Woman go on a European world tour!)

Vanessa Watts


This article will examine how agency is circulated through human and non-human worlds in the creation and maintenance of society from an Indigenous point of view. Through processes of colonization, the corruption of essential categories of Indigenous conceptions of the world (the feminine and land) has led to a disconnect between how this agency is manifested in Indigenous societies. Through a comparison between the epistemological-ontological divide and an Indigenous conception of Place-Thought, this article will argue that agency has erroneously become exclusive to humans, thereby removing non-human agency from what constitutes a society. This is accomplished in part by mythologizing Indigenous origin stories and separating out communication, treaty-making, and historical agreements that human beings held with the animal world, the sky world, the spirit world, etc. In order for colonialism to operationalize itself, it must attempt to make Indigenous peoples stand in disbelief of themselves and their histories. This article attempts to reaffirm this sacred connection between place, non-human and human in an effort to access the “pre-colonial mind”.

Palabras clave

agency; epistemology; ontology; land; Indigenous women

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Re-visiones - ISSN 2143-0040
HAR2013-43016-P I+D Visualidades críticas, reescritura de las narrativas a través de las imágenes