Accepted Paper:

Following deer: treaty ecologies, pipelines, protection  


Brian Noble (Dalhousie University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper presents stories shared by Piikani and Ktunaxa people on “Following Deer", establishing treaty-ecologies across territories. I then discuss how treaty ecologies re-emerge and have decolonial purchase in current land protection efforts against massively invasive pipeline projects.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper I will present stories shared with me by Piikani and Ktunaxa people, stories of "Following Deer" as effective treaty-ecology within a territory. These are explicit stories of movement and encounter, and they are wholly non-colonial, indeed they are the opposite of colonial. As I will discuss, the stories are based on restoring the continuity of "living-with" and "living-together" relational practices, together constituting what may be referred to as "treaty ecologies" After contouring the political dimensions treaty ecologies, I discuss how similar ideas and praxes are emerging and propagating across multiple land-defender, water-protection resistance sites, mostly associated with massive scale pipeline projects. Two examples of this are the Standing Rock camps heading off the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the multiple camps in or near the west coast of Canada, established to halt mining and pipeline development, and in particular those protecting the land from advancement of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline. The approach is based in decolonial commitment - which is to say that we first acknowledge conditions of ongoing coloniality but then seek to act in ways that interrupt, replace, and dissolve those conditions - by enacting their pragmatic opposite. In other words, we displace an ecology of coloniality by enacting an ecology of treaty, which requires humans, animals, all things working and living well together, inter-personally and inter-politically.

Panel WIM-AIM06
Indigenous movement and anthropologists