40th American Indian Workshop

Indigenous economies:

sustenance, sustainability and sovereignty


40th American Indian Workshop, Poznań, Poland

Date: April 24-27, 2019

Institution: Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań.

CfP Deadline: 15th, December 2018.

Conference website: http://wa.amu.edu.pl/aiw2019/callforpapers.html

Call for papers

The title of the 2019 American Indian Workshop “Indigenous economies: sustenance, sustainability and sovereignty” is based on the assumption that Indigenous economic practices should be seen as part of a holistic approach to life, well-being, culture and the environment. At the same time, with the gradual undermining of tribal sovereignty by European settlers, these practices have been reshaped by colonial and capitalist forces, and the subsequent resistance to them.

Thus, the organizers of the 2019 AIW wish to provide a platform to explore the broadly-defined issue of Indigenous economies, and particularly to look at how the relationship between sustenance, sustainability and sovereignty was reflected in economic practices and lifeways of the past, and how it is perceived and practiced today.

Indigenous populations in North America are often quoted as some of the poorest and unhealthiest groups in their respective countries. These statistics can be attributed to colonial history and decades of hegemonic policy toward them – removal from and eventual loss of their traditional lands, relocation to reservations, forced assimilation, intense agricultural production, the resulting inability to practice subsistence farming, cultivate traditional foodways, reliance on nutrient-poor governmental food subsidies, and the continuing pollution of reservation lands and waters by oil and mining companies. Poverty is at the same time an effect of the misguided policies, and a major cause of many health problems. Although subjected to different rules and regulations, the Métis and Inuit populations in Canada too face some of the same challenges as First Nations communities in Canada. The organizers would like to analyze how Indigenous communities and individuals are countering the negative effects of political and economic oppression by both resorting to tribal knowledges and practices, and taking advantage of modern economic instruments.

Duane Champagne claims that living in a 21st century capitalist society is very difficult for contemporary Native Americans, as the values of mainstream society stand almost in direct opposition to those of Indigenous communities, and that it is impossible to apply the same measures of economic successes to both groups. Simultaneously, there are a number of Indigenous individuals and tribes who have been extremely successful in business, with casinos being the most widely discussed tribal enterprise

The organizers particularly wish to invite submissions for paper, panels, and poster presentations on – but not limited to – the following subjects:

  • Economic activities – health care, social services, construction, trade, public administration
  • Separate rights and regulations (hunting and fishing rights, subsistence rights to oil and minerals)
  • Cooperation with state and federal governments
  • Tourism industry
  • The business of indigenous art
  • Gender in employment and power structures
  • Treaty rights and land claim agreements
  • Political, economic and environmental sovereignty
  • Tribal governments and tribal economic development
  • Gambling, casinos and the IGRA 1988
  • Patterns of distribution: past and present
  • North American Indians and markets: historical perspectives
  • Traditional values vs. economic incentive
  • Federal recognition and its consequences
  • Subsistence rights
  • Economic downsides (unemployment, welfare recipient, health related issues and wellbeing)
  • Exploitation of resources on tribal lands
  • Economic issues and wellness and wellbeing
  • Food sovereignty and security
  • Tribal education vs. economic perspectives and qualifications
  • Ecology and ecological balance
  • Environmentalism
  • Education and identity
  • Capitalizing on/selling Native North American culture
  • Cultural appropriation in marketing
  • Employment opportunities in the entertainment industry
  • Indigenous economies and indigenous art (“selling indigeneity”, marketing Indigenous art, etc.)
  • Representations of aspects of indigenous economies in art (including literature and visual arts)


We also welcome proposals on the three titular ‘SSSs’ with reference to Indigenous economies outside of North America as a workshop, round table discussion, paper session, poster session.

Important dates:

Abstract submission deadline (paper/panel and poster proposals): December 15th 2018. Please email abstracts of max. 300 words and a brief biography note (max. 250 words) to aiw2019@wa.amu.edu.pl

Notification of acceptance: January 15th 2019

Early bird registration: 100 Euro, February 28th 2019

Regular registration: April 15th 2019

Conference fee: 125 Euro

For further Information or inquiries, contact Elżbieta Wiczyńska (elzbietw@wa.uam.edu.pl) or Zuzanna Buchowska (zuzana@wa.uam.edu.pl)