Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Gibson, C. (2013). Indigenous geopolitics. In K. Dodds, M. Kuus & J. Sharp (Eds.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics (pp. 421-437). Farnham, United Kingdom: Ashgate Publishing Limited.


This chapter discusses indigenous peoples as agents of geopolitical change.It reviews strands of work in geography that discuss indigenous peoples andgeopolitical issues of territory, identity and subject-formation. As I hope toshow here, indigenous people are more than merely agents of a parochial formof geopolitics - this is no 'niche' form of 'minority studies' within the politicalgeographical tradition. Rather, manifold engagements with indigenous peoples- in colonial encounters, in government policy, in the spaces of contemporaryeveryday life- have deeply shaped the world we now know. Examinations ofindigenous peoples and geopolitics bring into sharp relief questions of land andcontrol, resources and livelihoods, agency and cultural identity- processes that asGlassman argued, affect literally billions of people (2006: 609). In more subtle ways,too, the manner in which indigenous people have been conceptualized historicallyhas shaped both geopolitical relations globally and the broader handling of humancultural and geographical difference.