Indigenous to the Universe : a discourse of indigeneity, citizenship and ecological relationships [article]

Kerry-Ann Arabena, University, The Australian National, University, The Australian National
This thesis explores complementary discourses of indigeneity, citizenship and ecological relationships with the Universe. The genesis of this work lies in the experience of being Indigenous to a colonised country, continually enmeshed in colonial discourses, the western imperialist science that upholds these discourses and the imbalanced power relationships from which they emerge. In wanting to live life outside of colonialism and from a concern about emergent issues such as climate change,
more » ... thesis seeks to re-engage ideas displaced by the morality,politics, legal agency and customs inherent in colonialist societies. In this thesis Indigenous peoples' and ecologists' knowledge traditions converge with the largest political, environmental and social context available to humans: the Universe. This discussion commences with the cosmologies of human relationship with the Universe as learned from the Torres Strait Islander community, then looks to other Australian examples of human affairs being shaped in and by the Universe. International literature from northern America and New Zealand is reviewed, as Indigenous peoples in those countries have similar cosmologies and experiences of colonisation. From this exploration five features of a relationship between humans and the Universe that could be used in an alternative discourse to colonialism, are defined. These features are: the Universe is moral; the Universe is alive; everything is related; space determines the nature of relationships and time determines the meaning of relationships. These features are pursued through relevant scientific, cultural and ecological literature sourcing concepts and paradigms that emphasise interconnected, dynamic relationships among all entities in the Universe. With this understanding, the Universe can be described as a singular community, capable of life. Humans as members of this Universe community have responsibilities to our species and others to develop and live by principles, ethics, values, legal agency and traditions deriv [...]
doi:10.25911/5d78db8dd9523 fatcat:uqungrpf6zaope37fabeykajze