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What is Land Dispossession

Indigenous Research of Land, Self, and Spirit
Land dispossession involves legal and nonlegal means for removal of a person(s) from the possession of land. This often involves displacement and/or penury.
Published in Chapter:
Land as Agency: A Critical Autoethnography of Scandinavian Acquisition of Dispossessed Land in the Iowa Territory
Robin Throne (University of the Cumberlands, USA)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3729-9.ch008
This chapter presents findings from a critical arts-based autoethnographic study of Iowa digital maps and historical archival data of the Iowa territory (1838-1846) for Indigenous Nations with previous land tenure. Researchers have noted land and voice dispossession for these Indigenous Nations resulting from forced removal followed by decades of intentional cultural erosion, forced assimilation, loss of language, and religious discrimination and persecution into the latter 20th century. Current research highlights the resultant damage of these historical losses on living descendants of Indigenous land-based cultures. Agency of self was explored from a socialized perspective of a descendant of Scandinavian immigrants who acquired dispossessed land within the Iowa territory. This was contrasted with a cultural perspective of land as capital wealth vs. the principles and tenets of land-based culture whereby agency may be strengthened via Indigenous knowledge rooted in land-based connections and environmental sensitivities. Data representation involved poetic excerpts of land as agency.
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