Re: Factionalism/native politics

Mon, 16 May 1994 13:18:37 EST5EDT

Hello all-
In the course of my research on the use of historical rhetoric in
politics at the Mohawk reserve of Kahnawake, I've become interested
in the phenomenon of factionalism, as the term is used when applied
to native politics. It seems to me that the term factionalism, to a
large extent, misrepresents native politics. On one level, the
description of factions holds true; if one goes looking for political
factions who radically disagree with one another, often to the point
of violence, and make the accomplishment of political goals all but
impossible, on most reserves or reservations. On another level,
however, I fail to see how this is really much different from the
politics that other, larger groups engage in; native political
systems are under far more external pressure on a far smaller land
and community base than say the United States or Canada. Does
anybody out there have any suggestions for reading materials on this
issue? I have read the work of Loretta Fowler, which is what got me
started thinking about this as I observed Kahnawake politics.
Suggestions need not be limited to North American ethnographic
materials; most of my inspiration seems to come from Oceania anyway.
Thanks in advance.
* *
* Regina Harrison `A thing can be true and *
* Dept. of Anthropology still be desparate *
* McGill University folly, Hazel.' *
* Montreal, Quebec, Canada --Fiver *
* *
* *