Framing Borders: Principle and Practicality in the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory
Framing Borders addresses a fundamental disjuncture between scholastic portrayals of settler colonialism and what actually takes place in Akwesasne Territory, the largest Indigenous cross-border community in Canada. Whereas most existing portrayals of Indigenous nationalism emphasize border crossing as a site of conflict between officers and Indigenous nationalists, in this book Ian Kalman observes a much more diverse range of interactions, from conflict to banality to joking and camaraderie.
Framing Borders explores how border crossing represents a conversation where different actors "frame" themselves, the law, and the space that they occupy in diverse ways. Written in accessible, lively prose, Kalman addresses what goes on when border officers and Akwesasne residents meet, and what these exchanges tell us about the relationship between Indigenous actors and public servants in Canada. This book provides an ethnographic examination of the experiences of the border by Mohawk community members, the history of local border enforcement, and the paradoxes, self-contradictions, and confusions that underlie the border and its enforcement.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 250 pages
- Illustrations: 11
- Dimensions: 6.2in x 0.9in x 9.2in
"Settler colonialism is often understood in grand terms through structures, identities, and ideologies of power. Ian Kalman, in his granular study of borders and border crossing, offers a thoughtful reappraisal of Indigenous peoples’ justice claims and contests, one based on ‘ordinary’ interaction and improvisation. As the account unfolds, his realism takes on another quality: a rich, nuanced account of power and resistance, with ambitious themes drawn out by close attention to the everyday."
Ronald Niezen, Professor of Anthropology, McGill University
"Ian Kalman has done an admirable job of capturing the complexities of the local situation at the Akwesasne border with an emphasis on flexibility, framing, and one-mindedness. Framing Borders makes a convincing case for its fundamental claim that border scholarship needs to interrogate more closely the ways in which various border actors organize their activities and interactions around their respective conceptual constructions of what constitutes a border."
Jon W. Parmenter, Associate Professor of History, Cornell University
Author InformationIan Kalman is a founding faculty member at Fulbright University Vietnam.
Table of contentsPrologue
2. Welcome to Akwesasne
3. Doing History in Akwesasne
4. The Changing Face of the Cornwall/Akwesasne Border
5. Reporting-in to/from Akwesasne
7. Talking Borders
Subjects and Courses