Understanding Geographies of Responsibility in (Re)working the Landscape

Authors: Katrina Mcclure*, Univ. of KS
Topics: food systems, Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights
Keywords: food sovereignty, food systems,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Cabinet Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


I seek to understand the underlying interactions that play out on the landscape when Native peoples enact an Indigenous food sovereignty framework. For over a decade, food sovereignty initiatives have materialized across Indian Country. What do we understand today about the role of Indigenous food sovereignty initiatives to decolonize, historicize, and problematize popular notions of what food sovereignty is and what potential role it plays in transforming food systems? As a community garden organizer and Indigenous geographer I ask questions that focus our attention on limitations and potentials of a food sovereignty framework for transforming food systems in Native communities. First, I will discuss the limitations of using a rights-based framework and discourse highlighting the need for an ethics of responsibility to balance our claim to "rights". Second, I will discuss the often unnoticed interplay between scale and responsibility. When we reconfigure space to match our level of responsibility we fundamentally change the way we interact with the landscape, non-humans, and each other. My goal is to highlight the iterative process between spatial configurations and responsibilities. With this approach we might gain a deeper appreciation for how we interact on the landscape and for how the landscape responds. This appreciation helps to solidify our relationship to place. My questions are informed by my own experiences as a community garden organizer and by my desire to understand how frameworks can both help and hinder our desire for transformation.

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