Following from another discussion
in this network, I have long been wondering what, if any, are the broader philosophical and political implications of asserting or reclaiming one's identity as indigenous
. Articulating an indigenous identity does not seem to automatically imply any one particular position -- there are some indigenous groups aligned with states, private businesses, political party bosses, churches, etc. There are other indigenous groups that stand aside as other sectors of a society protest environmental destruction. This had me wondering if the identity issue is a superficial one, or a transformative one, and if it is not transformative, then why not? If it is to be transformative, then is speaking of autonomy, self-sufficiency, simple lifestyles, and living in harmony with the environment just a mere reenactment of a stereotyped indigenous culture? You see how confusing this can become, which is why for very long I have avoided writing anything like this.
Let me try to narrow it down a little. Being Taino in the U.S.A.: does it change how one looks at government, at consumerism, at environmental destruction, at military intervention abroad? Or is it simply a case of, "I am an American, but with this particular ancestry" and there are no implications of any kind beyond matters of personal pedigree.
This is very sensitive so please feel free to blast me for even having broached these issues. However, don't let this discussion create any antagonisms among members of the network, I would not want to know that I helped to foment any divisiveness or bad feelings when the spirit is so great in here.