Thursday, June 10, 2010

NAISA conference: Native Americans and(or) Indigenous Scholars...

I traveled back to Tucson last month for the NAISA meeting. 800 of us ensconced in the luxurious Westin La Paloma Resort (for all that I neglected to take any photos until I was loading up Big Kevin's rental for a run to the Roadrunner Hostel, downtown on 12th St. We'd spent most of the previous day in Nogales...short story but not for global digital regurgitation...).

Some of the 5 pools at the Westin. What ecological footprint?!

What to report? Well I presented on the history of Te Ahuwhenua, some work that has come out of my current research on Technology Users' Innovation (TUI). I really just chatted away about it, having honed my (not always appropriate) style in presenting to stroppy Maori's who don't mind pulling you down a peg or three (actually, some of them relish the prospect!). Anyways, I owe Nga Pae a journal in thanks for providing some ($1500) or the funding another $2,000 for flights from MANU AO.

With 11 parallel sessions, it was hard work catching what was relevant, let alone what was interesting! Standout for me was the film 'Crossing Arizona' on the risks taken by Indigenous peoples crossing into the US (and painfully for me the prevalence of death by dehydration on tribal lands, an moral issue highlighted by Mike Wilson of Tohono O'odham).

Tohono O'odham territory

I met some great Saskatchewans, who introduced themselves to me as I stood in the lobby. Once I saw beers on their table, I knew everything was gonna be alright...(okay, except for the cost but Tom Allen drove us down to the nearest supermarket where yours truly burdened himself with a dozen cold Sierra Nevada Pale Ales). Our session line-up was as follows:
  • Organizer: Robert Alexander Innes, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Chair: Joe Hiller, University of Arizona
  • Found Harvests: First Nations Reserve Agriculture in the Early Twentieth Century: Robert Alexander Innes, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Impact of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease) on First Nation Cattle Producers in Saskatchewan: David Natcher, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • A New Paradigm in Indigenous Agriculture: Tom Allen, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Creating a Sustainable Forestry Plantation in Saskatchewan: Jennifer Campeau, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • ‘Sons’ of the Soil’: A History of Social and Cultural Capital through Maori Farming: Simon J. Lambert, Lincoln University, New Zealand.

Big nights were spent in the company of, among others, Adam from Georgia and Mario from Texas.(I've always enjoyed drinking in American bars,something about the quick service...)

My own research focus will perhaps within economic geography, perhaps looking at inter-Indigenous trade in preparation for a session Jennifer Campeau is keen to put together on Indigenous entrepreneurship for the next NAISA conference (Sacremento, 2011).

From the my overall feelings on the conference, I'm more convinced than ever of the need and worth of collaboration between Maori and other Indigenous groups. We are going through similar processes with enough staggered temporality and spatial variability as to be able to learn and teach each other. It'll happen, I'd just like to see it happen quicker...

Brendon Hokowhitu,Alice Te Punga Sommerville and moir

Hotel Enrique, blurily shot on the way back to the border...

Anyways, its hard work being away from Bridge, the boys, and Willa. Always think how much fun the boys would have ('longest waterslide in Tucson') and Bridge would love the shopping.

Trailers on the way to the Tucson airport...

No comments:

Simon Lambert

Create Your Badge