Author: Etrew, Aicha Araba
Essay 1: Development is the interrelationship between and balance of three pillars namely – Economic Development, Social Development, and Environmental Development to meet the needs of present and future generations. Using the Haudenosaunee Confederacy as a case study, I examined the development philosophies of Indigenous Nations in Canada. I observed that, endogenous development is an intrinsic value of Indigenous growth. However, due to colonization and neo-colonial policies of assimilation, cultural condemnation and land dispossession in contemporary Canada, such growth and development is only possible in sovereign Indigenous Nations. I therefore explored the concept of Indigenous sovereignty in Canada using discourses analysis. By this, I identified key principles of Indigenous sovereignty – liberty, freedom, accountability, collective responsibility, and collective security. This set the framework of analysis of international (the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)) as well as domestic policies (Constitution Act 1867, Societies Act of BC) that supports Indigenous sovereignty. Although, there are legal constraints with these legislations in the attainment of sovereignty, the Societies Act offers good grounds to achieve economic sovereignty and sustainable development in the short run. Essay 2: Games facilitate the transfer of knowledge and serve as a medium for knowledge production, memory development and, to some extent, ideology construction. In Indigenous societies, games are played to enhance one’s abilities, stimulate active learning, and reinforce knowledge. Within the digital spheres, games have been designed with algorithms that reinforce these characteristics and, at the same time, foreground dominant ideologies of liberalism, capitalism, and neocolonialism. To counter this tradition and centre minority interests, minoritized game developers re-engineer games to better represent their concerns. This is an interest of Indigenous game design in order to represent Indigenous epistemologies, and tell Indigenous stories using digital technologies, thereby asserting their cultural sovereignty in the digital world. By playing and analyzing the game Invaders developed by Anishinaabe game developer Elizabeth LaPensée in relation to with literature in Indigenous digital studies and gaming, this paper examines how gaming technologies are used to assert Indigenous sovereignty and epistemologies.
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