Writing the Ecocide-Genocide Knot: Indigenous Knowledge and Critical Theory in the Endgame

Here is a lesson: what happens to people and what happens to the land is the same thing.
—Linda Hogan

Climate chaos, globalized toxicity, mass extinction. A global social process has altered the earth’s biophysical systems, destabilizing the climate and shifting the course of evolution. Ironically, knowledge of planetary meltdown emerged from the science projects of Cold War weapons development.1 “There is a direct relationship,” writes Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) scholar and activist Winona LaDuke, “between the loss of cultural diversity and the loss of biodiversity. Wherever Indigenous peoples still remain, there is a corresponding enclave of biodiversity.”2 The converse also holds, in Amazonia and everywhere else: “Since 1900,” notes Chickasaw poet and novelist Linda Hogan, “more than half of the tribal people of Brazil have become extinct.”3 A decade ago, Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, was already warning that up to 55,000 species are lost every year, a rate of extinction that is as much as 1,000 times that of the natural background extinction rate.4 Biologists now routinely speak of the Sixth Mass Extinction in the planet’s history. The last one was the Cretaceous–Tertiary (K–T) event that wiped out the dinosaurs sixty-six million years ago.5 If Auschwitz and Hiroshima were demonstrations of genocidal tendencies unfolding within the logic of modernity, then the ecocidal character of the global social process is now also beyond doubt. Critical theory is just beginning to think about the relation between ecocide and genocide.6 But Indigenous voices are telling us, perhaps have always told us, that these processes are inseparable. Evidently, Indigenous peoples have understood the problem more clearly, and felt it more deeply, than the critical theorists. Speaking out, addressing us moderns directly, struggling massively to defend the biosphere, Indigenous peoples see the emergency and are resurgent, from Idle No More and the Indigenous Environmental Network to La Via Campesina.7 Few political developments anywhere today are as inspiring as this.

Climate chaos, globalized toxicity, mass extinction. It’s necessary to name what we are living through today—this new situation. The names we choose shape the frame, imply what is possible, favor some pathways over others. Yet in naming the situation, every name invokes struggles and antagonists. Anthropocene? Who is the anthropos in “anthropogenic” change?8 This story line is still being edited. Different stories, different lessons: rebuke to hubris and the dogmas of growth, or call for new feats of geo-technology and global policing? Isn’t the Anthropocene, after all, simply a new handle, radiant with the aura of science, for the period critical theory calls “capitalist modernity”? That phrase named the problem, the stakes, the enemy. To swallow, elide or censor that qualifier, “capitalist,” was mere avoidance or denial. But I’m forced to rethink that now. Capital dominates the planet. This has not changed today. But would a noncapitalist or even anticapitalist modernity offer rescue or refuge? No, I think not. The fevered dreams of progress and techno-science, of forward leaning and qualitative leaping, are too implicated in the damage and loss. Capital cannot slip out: modernity is the world that capital and science, nation-states and transnational corporations, have brought into being. Yet, I can imagine a modernity and a modernism that could survive the suicide, collapse, or defeat of capital—and have learned nothing. There is a danger the modernist disposition that underwrites modernity may be detachable from capitalist social relations. 

Healer Susie Jim Billie collecting fern leaves for medicinal use, Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, Florida, 1985

So, not forgetting capital, I will go with this name: modernity.9 Modernity, as such: this gripping addiction to energy, consumption, novelty, speed; this blind adoration of technology and blind trust in science; this internalized allegiance to the dogmas of growth, development, and progress. All these, lived as unrelieved pressure, as headlock, as material force of terror. Enforced enjoyment under the social selection of globalized precarity, ecological as well as social. Modernity is our predicament—the urban-industrial knotting of ecocide and genocide. Alarmingly, this is the thing we need to stop, disarm, and leave behind. What would this mean, then, to be opposed to modernity, to locate oneself within it but against it, to be oriented beyond it? Two things are new about our situation: ecocide has progressed to the point that the whole biosphere has been thrown into meltdown and weirdness, and, second, evidence of modernity’s unsustainability is becoming general public knowledge. Now anyone can draw the conclusion. What would have been extreme, as words flowing from any mouth in any conversation, will soon be banal. Modernity: a permanent, dirty war on life. We have entered the endgame.

Modernity’s legacy will be, already is, a deeply damaged biosphere and diminished community of life, a planet in ecological ruins. In order to survive in those ruins, to hold places for the continued existence of people and as many other living beings as possible, other social forms, other logics and relations, will have to be nurtured to replace modernity.10 This postmodernity, however, is not the one that was prematurely announced in 1979.11 If it is beginning to show itself, it does so in local reaches for things old as well as new. It can be seen in practical grassroots re-inflections of disputed terms like sustainability and resilience, in emerging DIY cultures of reskilling and transition, in movements for Earth law and radical democracy, in permaculture and agroecology, and in Indigenous struggles for land, dignity, food sovereignty, and “good living” (sumak kawsay or buen vivir). Now, in the meltdown, in the endgame of modernity, I’m astonished by the power and generosity of Indigenous voices. And I’m wondering about critical theory—and its limits. Asking myself: Can it open itself, can it learn from Indigenous knowledge without absorbing it, trying to dominate it? Could art be a third place where critical theory and Indigenous knowledge might meet and become allies?12 Even to approach these questions, I will have to risk leaving the conventions of critical theory, my comfort zone, and try to write differently.

The Limits of Critical Theory

For two decades, I’ve made my living practicing and teaching critical theory—a radical, struggle-oriented form of Western rationalism. Such theory has been a powerful tool for exposing domination, for mapping the violence of social relations. But as I’ve slowly been coming to understand, it has its limits. Critical theory, I’m learning at this very moment, remains too unconsciously modern to access the full trauma and obscenity of modernity. It grasps these things without feeling them, without grieving, without keening. That refusal or incapacity, that very withholding, is precisely what is modern.

Critical theory fights for justice with a rigor that is half-blind: while it sees the pain in the world, its deployments of reason rarely express or acknowledge its own feelings of pain about it. But full understanding requires, and cannot avoid, the ache and grief of what learning uncovers. This pain is integral to the pressure for change. Exposing the social reasons, critical theory has aimed to be the rational moment of mourning—and has left the emotions to others, or to the discretions of silence. But I doubt now that such a division of labor is justified. If mourning is to be a passage to political action, reason and feeling have to be engaged together. Even within critique, pain and grief need to flow and be shared. The fear of releases of feeling can lead to repressions of feeling that are equally blind. The models of critical theory developed in the wake of World War II are understandable in context, but were perhaps even then too emotionally restrictive. Today, the desolation of extinction, the full disaster of knotted ecocide and genocide, calls for more-than-rational modes of mourning. 

If I once accepted the biases and internal censors that training in critical theory installed in me, the work of Indigenous scholars Sandy Grande, Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Winona LaDuke, and Robin Wall Kimmerer, and of Indigenous poets and novelists Linda Hogan, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Louise Erdrich, have helped me immensely to move beyond such self-censoring.13 And I’m grateful to them. I could not, alone, have reached much clarity about the limits of my practice of critical theory. Quechua scholar Sandy Grande’s Red Pedagogy was especially challenging.14 I’m aware of the risks when the non-Indigenous go seeking Indigenous knowledge: misreading, misrepresentation, misappropriation. Yet the stakes are high, and I feel the need to try. This is a reach, an attempt to find out what a critical theory opened to Indigenous knowledge might begin to look like, at this decisive moment.

Critical theory is a self-reflexive practice. In theory, it should be able to acknowledge and address its own shortcomings. And it has done so with some: with its implicatedness in the cultural and intellectual marketplace, and, to a lesser extent, in its complicity with structures of race, gender, and class privilege. But the problems I now recognize in my own practice will not be easy to work through. As I see them, these problems are fourfold: first, the taboo on the expression of emotion; second, a secret, persistent progressivism; third, an emphatic suspicion of place-based bonding; and, fourth, the remnant anthropocentrism of a humanism that is still insufficiently self-critical. Together, these biases make it hard for critical theory to approach Indigenous knowledge with openness.

Taboo on Feeling

Healer Susie Jim Billie collecting fern leaves for medicinal use, Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, Florida, 1985

A child of the Enlightenment and its reasoning, critical theory has nevertheless been radical enough to expose the untruth in both Western science and the Enlightenment humanist tradition. It remains, though, a form of rationalism, with all of rationalism’s biases and reflexes against feeling and emotion. There are historical reasons for this. Looking back at Europe’s bloody religious wars, Voltaire famously took aim at religious enthusiasm. More recently, the Frankfurt critical theorists were deeply traumatized by the rise of Nazism, which they saw as a cynical and genocidal channeling of mass emotion, namely fear and resentment over actual conditions of individual powerlessness. As a result, they asserted a strong critical taboo against rituals and expressions of public feeling. Subsequent generations of critical theorists have tended to internalize this taboo as a reflex. I certainly did, for many years.

To be fair, some critical theorists have also acknowledged that the repression of feeling, especially by reason, is a form of the “domination of inner nature.” Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, in their classic Dialectic of Enlightenment, distinguish between three forms of domination that become knotted together in modernity: the domination of inner nature, as in self-repression; the domination of “outer nature,” which leads to ecocide; and the domination of man by man, which, Adorno will later argue, tends increasingly toward genocide.15 Together, these propositions would seem to offer everything needed for critical theory to reflect both on the entanglement of ecocide and genocide, and on its own troubles with Indigenous knowledge. That hasn’t happened yet, not very strongly. But it could still happen. 

Writing in 1925–26, Walter Benjamin condemned the domination of nature by the ruling classes and added the liberation of nature to the revolutionary program.16 His remarkable allegorical fragment “To the Planetarium” is, along with his Trauerspiel study, the closest Benjamin could come to textually grieving the bloodshed and loss of World War I. The rise of fascism and the next global war would raise the stakes radically, as his famous last text, “Theses on the Philosophy of History” from 1940, suggests. Today, in the “real emergency” of modernity’s endgame, even these texts begin to appear quaint. I mention them, and Dialectic of Enlightenment, only to show that the problem is not that critical theory cannot grasp or speak of the linkage between ecocide and genocide. It has done so. The problem, rather, is that the performance of analytic rigor has not been accompanied by a skillful abiding with the pain of loss. As the mind is guided to insight, so pain has to go through grief to find courage. If critical theory is a needed moment in working through the destruction wrought by modernity, then there are more needed moments after that moment. Or better: within that moment. If we were awake today, wouldn’t our tears keep pace with the runoff from melting ice?

By way of contrast with critical theory’s reserve, consider this paragraph by Chickasaw poet and novelist Linda Hogan:

At the far edge of copper-colored water, a white egret steps through the shallows, an eye sharp for fish. On the other side of water’s edge stands a solitary blue heron. Herons are fragile birds, and it is not unusual for them to die from stress. I think of them when hearing that Hmong men, forced to leave their country and rootless in America, die of no apparent cause while they are sleeping. I understand the loss that leads to despair and to death. It has happened to us and is happening to the land, the breaking of the heart of creation.17

In one paragraph that deftly opens the reader to the linking of ecocide and genocide without lapsing into excessive sentimentality, Hogan shows us the paucity of critical theory at this moment. Blocked and addicted, we moderns need to be confronted with the damage modernity is wreaking in the world. The merely rational approach to that damage fails—fails to let the desolation loosen and open us, move and resolve us. In the very next paragraph, without ever needing critical theory, Hogan picks up the knot. Discussing the poet Gertrud Kolmar, the pseudonym of Gertrud Käthe Chodziesner, murdered in Auschwitz, Hogan comments: “But the holocaust began before her time. It began on this continent, with the genocide of tribal people, and with the ongoing war against the natural world. Here is a lesson: what happens to people and what happens to the land is the same thing.”18

The mistake, in critical theory, was to indict feeling—as such, in general—on the basis of one historical experience. But the feeling that made the crowd roar at the rally in Nuremberg, or in any football stadium today, is not the sole measure of public or private emotion. The trauma of genocide and ecocide extends to all of us. We are exposed to it asymmetrically, we experience it differently from our multiple positions and histories—sure, that is true. But still, in the long view: the loss of any is a loss to all. That can be seen as the conclusion of a rational proof. But, I feel, it is not really understood until it is acknowledged as real pain. The indirection, the coded discretion, the negative presentation of trauma favored by classical critical theory was perhaps a needed moment in the processing of genocide.19 Today, in the Sixth Great Extinction, more is required. I believe the pain of this trauma needs to flow and circulate by every means.20 If critical theory cannot bring itself to participate in the sharing of this pain, then it should at least distinguish precisely between contexts of opening and awakening to the actuality of the knot, on the one hand, and manipulative public rituals aiming to mobilize support for more genocide and ecocide, on the other. It should save its condemnations for the latter, and for the hijacking of the former from above. Palpating the knot, exploring the borders between transformative emotion and the exploitation of feeling, a critical and decolonizing art may offer points of access to a more-than-rational understanding.

Secret Progressivism

Although I have been a critic of the modernist myths of automatic progress, I see now, with the help of Sandy Grande’s writing, that I have, as a critical theorist, remained a secret progressive.21 I criticized the dogmas of infinite growth and economic development but blindly held on to a faith in constant intellectual and cultural change by qualitative leaping. Why else, I ask myself, would I have accepted the constant privileging of the new and a corollary bias against traditional knowledge? Why, as a scholar, have I accepted for so long the routine demand for novel contributions to knowledge? Why would I prefer the arguments of other critical theorists to the fundamental and living critique of modernity set out long ago within Indigenous knowledge? The issue is not how old or new an idea is, but how relevant, helpful, and effective it is in the present context. I can see, now, that critical theory’s break with modernity was not strong or clear enough. The critique of modernity to be found in Indigenous thinking seems to me more decisive; overall, it has more heart, more reciprocity, and more respect for life. The diverse visions it offers of “good living” and inhabitation, based on more-than-human community and relations of mutual flourishing, are robust alternatives to modernity’s dominant vision of solitary happiness pursued through restless and addicted consumption.

Over the course of my theoretical practice, I accepted a critical reflex against anything remotely suspected of regressing or going backward. I can see now that this reflex, this internalized anxiety, requires and reinforces negatively the very ideology of progress that I aimed to reject. It also enforces the academic and curatorial marketplace, always hungry for the next new thing. The refusal of modernity entails that dominant power structures be radically changed. That is one “qualitative change” that cannot be escaped and, for me, is not negotiable. But the cultural ideas and sources that inspire and support this change may very well be far older than modernity itself, even ancient, so long as they are true. “True” here means: contributing to pathways beyond domination and perennial ecocide and genocide. This is not at all about going “back to the Stone Age.” It is about moving on from social forms and logics that are unsustainable and based on terror and inappropriate technologies toward social forms and logics that are sustainable, resilient, and supported by appropriate technologies. The value systems of Indigenous knowledge show us how such forms and logics have been grounded and rooted, and show us that we can gain more, substantively, in relationships, balance, and happiness, than we will lose by refusing the stresses of modernity. Here, perhaps, is where contemporary art comes in strongly: In the cultural re-articulation of old and new in urgency, what Benjamin famously called the “dialectical image.”

Suspicions about Place

A mountain of bison skulls to be used as fertilizer, Rougeville, Michigan, ca. 1890

“Imperialism frames the indigenous experience,” writes Māori (Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Porou) scholar Linda Tuhiwai Smith. “It is part of our story, our version of modernity.”22 Every Indigenous people has its own places and histories, its own culture, traditions, and knowledge. It is too generalizing to speak of Indigenous knowledge as if it were a single, codified body. As Smith points out, even “the term ‘indigenous’ is problematic, in that it appears to collectivize many distinct populations whose experiences under imperialism have been vastly different.”23 And yet, Indigenous scholars do speak of Indigenous knowledge, just as I speak of critical theory, which can be practiced in diverse ways. Is there then a common disposition or orientation that would be shared and recognized as such by most Indigenous peoples, beyond all local cultural differences? Not necessarily by every Indigenous culture everywhere, or by every Indigenous person; it is not a racial, biological, or categorical endowment that is claimed, but rather learned and transmitted cultural traditions that survive, that have been kept alive, despite being long under attack. To me, as a reader, it seems that something like a shared disposition emerges from diverse survival strategies, from deep contextual and relational knowledge of diverse landscapes and ecosystems. Older than contact with colonialism, Indigenous knowledge has endured experiences of colonization, and has pulled through those continuing traumas. It seems to be a shared understanding, or similar kinds of understanding, about the meaning and centrality of land and place. This emphatic respect for the life and power of place is what impresses me most.

In Braiding Sweetgrass, Potawatomi poet and botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer expresses this relation to place and puts it in the historical context of settler-colonialism:

Children, language, lands: almost everything was stripped away, stolen when you weren’t looking because you were trying to stay alive. In the face of such loss, one thing our people could not surrender was the meaning of land. In the settler mind, land was property, real estate, capital, or natural resources. But to our people, it was everything: identity, the connection to our ancestors, the home of our nonhuman kinfolk, our pharmacy, our library, the source of all that sustained us. Our lands were where our responsibility to the world was enacted, sacred ground. It belonged to itself; it was a gift, not a commodity, so it could never be bought or sold. These are the meanings people took with them when they were forced from their ancient homelands to new places. Whether it was their homeland or the new land forced upon them, land held in common gave people strength; it gave them something to fight for. And so—in the eyes of the federal government—that belief was a threat.24

Similarly, Kombumerri scholar Mary Graham, writing about the philosophical underpinnings of the Aboriginal worldview far across the Pacific, noted two basic precepts: “The Land is the Law” and “You are not alone in the world.”25 Grande and Smith both warn against mystifying this relation to place; if it transmits a local genius for sustainability and resilience, it is due to the distillation of long history and hard-earned experience.26 But therein lies the difference, the striking contrast with modernity: the land in this larger sense of sacred place and expanded community is the ultimate source of values, ethics, justice, and spirituality in Indigenous knowledge. In a land-centered and land-bonded ethic, what contributes to mutual flourishing finds support, whereas what damages or threatens the ecosystem is unacceptable. This ethical basis seems to me obviously superior to the value-system of modernity, which is sanctioning the unchecked ruination of the biosphere. Capitalist accumulation would seem to be, from the frame of Indigenous knowledge and ethics, nothing less than an atrocity. This feels right to me, profoundly right.

So what is critical theory’s trouble with place? Again, it has to be seen in the context of the reflection on Nazism and Auschwitz. As is well known, the Nazis promoted a racial fantasy of “blood and soil.” Accordingly, in Nazi ideology, the Germans were a master race endowed with a special mystical bond with the German land. To keep the Fatherland pure, it was necessary to make all the Jews, Sinti, and Roma, and other undesired communities disappear, eventually into gas chambers and crematoria. And many Germans evidently embraced this self-flattering fantasy. Subsequently, in encountering any claim of a special bond or relation between a people or culture and their place, the reflex of critical theory has been to attack it as a kind of protofascism hiding the seeds of genocide. But all bonds to the land are not to be understood or enacted in this racialized way. By all accounts, the Indigenous peoples of North America certainly did not understand or enact it in this way. The mere assertion that any form of land bond could possibly become racialized, and therefore genocidal, does not warrant the blanket rejection of all traditions and practices of land-bonded culture before any inquiry into context or actual fact. 

To defend the life of the land against state-sponsored ecocide and genocide is clearly very different from using the power of the modern state to promote a racialized land bond precisely for the purpose of perpetrating genocide. The irony and injustice of critical theory’s projection here is disturbing. Critical theorists, applying no more than their own strictly rational critical tools, should be able to see and correct this problem. And yet, I’ve encountered this reflex in numerous discussions in academic contexts, also with regard to contemporary non-Indigenous advocates of a land ethic, such as Aldo Leopold, Wendell Berry, and Gary Snyder. I believe some version of a land ethic must be a part of any viable resistance to the modernist knot of ecocide and genocide. Quite simply, you must know and love a place before you will live out a commitment to care for and defend it. There is no need at all to racialize this, or oppose it with worries about purported genocidal potentials. The genocide and ecocide are already going on. And it’s very clear that moderns, and not Indigenous peoples, are doing the perpetrating.


For modernists and evidently most moderns as well, only human life is granted intrinsic value. Ethical and political standing follow from intrinsic value. Animals and the natural environment have been merely means for human ends, the background for human activity. Anthropocentrism has been as central to modernity as the profit motive. Maybe it has been even more central, this fantasy of human exceptionalism, superiority, and control. The new discourses of “green capitalism” and “eco-modernism” continue it. Nature has value only for humans. The biological diversity of ecosystems is not valuable because each form of life is an end-in-itself embedded in communities of mutual support, but only valued as a source of “ecosystem services” for us.

Certainly these self-flattering and self-serving fantasies of superiority are hubristic. Worse, they are actively destructive: supporting and sanctioning modernity’s permanent war on the biosphere, they are murderous to human and nonhuman life alike. The real leap of awareness needed now, the leap of feeling as well as thinking and doing, is to a disposition to nature oriented toward mutual support. This entails a radical expansion of the ethical and political community to include the whole bio-community of life forms with which we have coevolved since the K–T event.27 As Kimmerer puts it, “All flourishing is mutual.”28 An ethic and politics of reciprocity would recognize the intrinsic value of life in all its diversity. It would recognize human obligations to what environmental phenomenologist David Abram calls the “more-than-human matrix.”29 Abram’s fine phrase implies a needed radical humility: humans are just one part of the web of life. It is the whole web that has to be defended now. 

Indigenous cultures already made this leap—thousands of years ago. More recently, critics of modernity have elaborated non-Indigenous paths to indigeneity, from the “land ethic” of Leopold, to the “bioregionalism” of Snyder, to the “deep ecology” of Arne Naess.30 Environmental humanities and animal studies scholars Val Plumwood, Donna Haraway, and Anna Tsing have all elaborated notions of “multispecies community.”31 It would even be possible to re-inflect Adorno and Horkheimer’s affirmation of “tendencies toward real humanity” in this direction; arguably, a sufficiently self-critical humanism would extend ethical and political standing to the nonhuman.32 Without needing to engage here with any particular version in detail, I contend that we’re now living through the confirmation of this movement of thought and feeling. The needs of the biosphere, not the manufactured social circuits of human desire, have to come first. In the end, in any case, there will be no escaping this fact. If ecosystems are abused to the point of collapse, then all life in the planetary community is diminished—in evolutionary terms, in ethical and political terms, and in emotional and aesthetic terms. To admit and embrace that ecocide entails an all-encompassing diminishment would already be a break with modernity. 

The more-than-human ethic of reciprocity is, of course, far older than modernity and its scientific discipline of ecology. It has been here all along, in the kinship traditions and teachings of Indigenous knowledge. And Indigenous voices have been reminding us moderns of this for some time now. Consider, for example, the Kari-Oca Declaration of 1992, at the time of the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit. Among many other important statements since then are the Cochabamba Declaration, responding to the failure of the 2009 COP 15 climate summit in Copenhagen, and Kari-Oca II, alongside Rio+20, in 2012.33 Indigenous leaders, teachers, and activists are addressing the world directly now because they understand the urgency. Having endured the genocidal and ecocidal violence of modernity for 500 years, Indigenous peoples know something about it. And the land-centered and land-bonded ethic of reciprocity they are expressing offers pathways for transformation in this time of meltdown and endgame.

The anthropocentrism of the Western modernist tradition has been strongly criticized by scholars of environmental humanities and animal studies. Some critical theorists have supported the leap to an expanded sense of community and commitment. But these are exceptions. As far as I can gauge, critical theory in general has been hostile to these propositions. Various arguments come to mind: fears about the undependability of empathy and empathic projection, fears about the erasure of individuality in a generalized identification with nature, fears that human beings are thereby devalued, fears of misanthropy, fears that such moves could sanction genocidal enforcements in defending the biosphere from ecocide, fears that the distinctions between antagonistic classes and interest groups within the human community would be elided. 

But I remain unconvinced. Rather than a careful reflection on actuality, these are expressions of critical theory’s standard reflexes and biases. To reduce an emerging old-new ethico-political paradigm to potential or projected dangers, exactly at a time when ongoing ecocide and genocide are being perpetrated by modernity’s ruling classes, seems to me intellectually dubious and symptomatic of critical theory’s own primal fears. I do acknowledge that the deepening destruction of the biosphere will feed some tendencies toward fascism and similar capitalist emergency state and para-state formations. (One person is displaced by climate change every second now, we are told; no one can guess the corresponding figure for nonhuman climate refugees. Certainly the politics of migration is haunting the present and will haunt the future.34) But the task for critical theorists, in my view, would be to clarify the differences between such relapses into violence and the actual emerging movement to contain and abolish ecocide and genocide. It certainly should not be to collapse the differences between these two radically different ethical and political projects in order to smear them with the same brush.

Reconnecting to Place

Map by Alonso de Santa Cruz of the gulf and coast of “New Spain” from Cape Fear River in North Carolina to the Pánuco River in Mexico, ca. 1572

This should not remain a merely abstract discussion about the knot of ecocide and genocide. It needs to come to ground. And it will have to be personal, in contact with experience, social facts, emotion, and testimony. So let me try again to introduce myself. Like all people, and animals too, I learned protocols of greeting and introduction. Seeing others do it differently helps me to notice my own customs and conventions. Because I’m struggling with my own relation to the place I come from, I’ve been thinking about place, indigeneity, and Indigenous knowledge. Critical theory could not help me understand my own deepest feelings about the place I come from, but my encounters with Indigenous knowledge gradually showed me what the meanings of my feelings are. How is that possible? 

Reading and listening to Indigenous scholars, I’ve been impressed not only by their powerful and generous messages, but also by the way they introduce themselves. Many offer their name, and tribal and clan affiliations. Almost all, I notice, say where they come from. This made me think. Although I’m not an Indigenous person and have no tribal or clan affiliations, why would I not also, in a similar context, mention where I come from? I would not feel a need or obligation to do that. Why is that? The presumption, in the protocols I learned, seems to be that where you are from is not very important. (Obviously, there are border regimes and rules in which your birthplace is the most important thing. I’m thinking of simpler situations: when strangers meet, or are introduced by mutual friends, or when speech is addressed to those we don’t know.) Other things are considered more important to help others situate you, relate to you, and be open to what you may say. Generally, you are expected to say what you do, how you earn your living. Possibly also, in some contexts, where you are working and living, now. But not where you come from. This is telling.

Is the devaluation of place (as distinct from nationality) in modernity part of the problem, part of the disconnection and indifference that makes it possible for places, landscapes, and ecosystems to be abused and destroyed before our eyes? If so, is the reconnection to place a necessary political step in defense of the biosphere? Can we non-Indigenous peoples learn from Indigenous knowledge more respectful and reciprocal ways of relating to and inhabiting our places? Without losing sight of differences in context, history, and position, can we find models here to reorient and rebalance our own practices? I would like to say that I am from a place, that I am rooted there, that I remain rooted. But modernity, with its training in restlessness, permanent hunger, and the shadows of terror, has uprooted me. Places, in modernity, are territories to be conquered, controlled, and plundered. Places are where moderns go to extract resources, to chase their addictions, to pursue so-called happiness. Indigeneity, that fierce bonding to the living land, the living air and waters of place, is an obstacle to modernist pursuits. Indigenous peoples, who have always been willing to defend the life of their places, are in the way. In order to be modern, no one is allowed to be Indigenous. In modernity Indigenous peoples are displaced, dispossessed, targeted for removal and elimination. Modernists call that progress.

I would like to say that I was rooted, once, at least. Everyone grows up somewhere. The place where I grew up is not the place I was born. It is not the place where my mother and ancestors are buried. It is not the place where I live now. Still, I find that I know that place like I will never know any other. My body remembers that place, the skies, the light, the storms, the smells. My body remembers the bird songs and cries, the trees and plants, the snakes and fish, the roar of surf crashing on coral sand. 

Mockingbird, mourning dove, pileated woodpecker. Fire ant, paper wasp, green anole. Coontie, hawk moth, blue porterweed. Slash pine, saw palmetto, diamondback rattler. Pink muhly grass, purple lovegrass, shiny blueberry. Passionflower, sandspur, black-eyed Susan. Scrub jay, coral snake, gopher tortoise. Buttonwood, cocoplum, red and black mangrove. Great blue heron, osprey, roseate spoonbill. Cormorant, anhinga, white ibis. Alligator, mullet, snook. Coconut palm, royal palm, gumbo-limbo. Turkey vulture, bald eagle, swallow-tailed kite. Key lime, strangler fig, cabbage palmetto. Sea grape, sea oats, bay bean. Least tern, common tern, black skimmer. Lightning whelk, lettered olive, coffee bean trivia. Manatee, manta ray, bottlenose dolphin. Stone crab, tarpon, brown pelican. Sailfish, flying fish, hammerhead shark. Dolphinfish, wahoo, great barracuda. Thunderhead, tropical storm, hurricane. For no other place on earth could I invoke a litany like this. All these names are also, for me, place names. Each one calls back exact memories, real experiences in specific landscapes, in familiar yards or lots, pine savannahs or saw grass wetlands, on stretches of shore known intimately to my feet, or out at the edges of the Gulf Stream, on swells felt and remembered by my inner ears. Every name, and the life it names, places me in a region of memory where body and place are more real and vivid than my sense of passing time. These memories, these imprints, and the stories that circle them are, I find, incredibly important to me. They continue to connect me. I cannot imagine them ceasing to connect me. Memories are said to be fluid and evasive, slippery and shifty. And yet these feel durable, outside of time and change and the necessity of death. They are my memories. When I die, they will die, surely, as memories. But they will live, surely, as the echoing life of those places. This “surely” is not modern. I am unrooted, but I carry, I find, a deep, more-than-rational refusal of modernity. These names, memories, experiences are more than mine. They have their own force of life, call it energy, or spirit. So, the land, the air, the waters are, I find, alive as some have always said. They seethe and vibrate with life and energy and emotion. Through that place, where I am from, I retain something, some hint or hit or touch of its pulse, of a life that is more than me and more than any human.

Which South Florida?

If I now say, in addition, that I am American, then you will guess: I am from South Florida. But this is still too fast, it does not yet say enough. There are many South Floridas. From which one do I actually hail? To which one, or ones, do I give allegiance, and how do I express that? These questions trouble me. They spur me to think more about what I feel; they compel me to write more. South Florida is a land deeply wounded by genocide and ecocide, past and ongoing. To begin with, I need to acknowledge this: the Indigenous people of South Florida were wiped out by waves of colonial invasion, slaving raids, and European diseases. The Calusa and Ais, the Jeaga, Jobe, Tequesta, and Matecumbe peoples were all culturally, if not biologically, extinct by the time the British took over the Spanish claim to Florida in 1763. 

By 1818, when Andrew Jackson invaded Florida, the peninsula was inhabited by new peoples, the Seminole and Miccosukee, who broke away from the Creek Nation and migrated into depopulated areas of the Florida Panhandle in the eighteenth century. These groups were augmented by ex-slaves of African descent who had escaped from plantations in the southern states of the U.S. and by another influx of Creek refugees from the American invasion of the Mississippi Territory. The deeper origins of those wars go back to the slave trade in Indigenous peoples established by British colonists in the seventeenth century. In addition to the Seminole, Miccosukee, and African-descended peoples, there were also families of Cuban fisherfolk who intermarried with members of various tribal peoples and lived in small ranchos on the South Florida coasts and Keys. The United States took control of Florida in 1821 and promptly initiated the most racialized project of removal and elimination that land had yet seen. The Seminole, Miccosukee, and African-descended peoples resisted strongly. By 1858, when the Americans declared the so-called Seminole Wars over, most of the surviving Seminole and Miccosukee and some “Black Seminoles” had been removed to present-day Oklahoma. But small groups remained, unconquered, in the Everglades and Big Cypress. These are the Florida Seminole and Miccosukee tribes now living on the northern edges of Everglades National Park and in six reservations scattered across South Florida.35

Ecologically, South Florida is fed by the warm sun and waters that fall from the skies nearly every afternoon from March to September. Historically, these waters used to flow across the land, down the southern peninsula to the sea, where they mixed with salt water in mangrove forests and tropical marine meadows protected by barrier islands. One of the main historic watersheds carried water from Lake Kissimmee south to Lake Okeechobee. As Okeechobee filled and overflowed in the summer rainy season, a sheet of shallow water would flow slowly south, through the sloughs of the Everglades, to Florida Bay. Hammocks of hardwood trees on small tear-shaped islands dot the saw grass wetlands. Between Shark River Slough and the Caloosahatchee River lies the Big Cypress Swamp, the most productive ecosystem on the peninsula. Pine Flatwoods forests and savannahs covered the coastal ridges and other dry areas. 

This mix fostered a diversity of wildlife, the abundance of which can hardly be imagined today. Under U.S. control, speculation-led development, industrial monoculture, and attempted manipulations of the water flow have been ecologically disastrous. On the East Coast, U.S. Highway 1 is a nonstop strip mall from Homestead to Jupiter. Most of the mangroves have been eliminated and replaced with concrete sea walls, and toxic runoff from streets, golf courses, and the grass lawns of residences has killed off most of the tropical marine meadows. Dredging and canal projects have mutilated the beautiful historic rivers and diverted the flow of water away from the Everglades. The Big Sugar corporations that control the land to the south of Lake Okeechobee suck up much of the water that is left, and what gets past the sugar fields is loaded with agricultural chemicals. The Everglades have been slowly dying for half a century. 

The bays and coastal seas, meanwhile, are vastly depleted. Like the Florida panther, the manatee hangs on by a thread, and now the coral reefs are dying as carbon dioxide emissions turn the oceans acidic. Two nuclear power plants sit on the shores of South Florida, waiting for their superstorm. The land is resilient but can only take so much abuse before the webs of relations that sustain life unravel. I never saw the precolonial abundance of the region, but growing up, the land, waters, and skies seemed astonishingly full of life. Yet even I can see the signs of loss and damage now, everywhere, on every visit.

Which of these South Floridas do I come from? Without question, I belong to the inflow of settlers that has ruined it. That is my culture, I have to admit, with shame and sadness. I grew up, was raised, as a modern. I cannot change that. But I can change, or try to, the way I live that background now.

Founding Crimes of Settler-Colonialism

The first, founding crimes of my overproud nation were the invasion, occupation, and settlement of this continent, through deliberate acts of genocide and ecocide. Lawyers can argue about the legal definitions of these terms, but I believe we know well enough what they mean: genocide is the destruction and elimination of human communities; ecocide is the destruction and elimination of ecological communities. The means and processes vary, but this is what they do. They are crimes against life, whether or not national or international law recognizes them as such. Human law and justice are not the last word here. That said, the law is one field where the struggle to defend the biosphere is being waged. The remarkable legal inscription of the rights of Mother Earth or Pachamama, in Ecuador and Bolivia, and the global campaigns for Earth law and ecocide law are inspiring and important.36 But the point here is that the foundations of the United States of America were and remain illegitimate; by the unconditional principle of law that grounds all actual laws, the U.S. occupation of stolen lands is emphatically illegal.37 Two hundred and forty years of “facts on the ground” cannot change this or absolve a nation from its history: the destruction of Indigenous communities through massacre, atrocity, enslavement, forced displacement, and dispossession by theft, fraud, and legal machination; the criminalization of Indigenous languages and culture, and child abduction; and economic coercion and corruption, goon squads, and a whole devil’s tool kit of terror, impoverishment, and demoralization. This has been said many times before, but it cannot be said enough.38

Even worse, these processes continue in North America and throughout the world. They can be described in terms of so-called original accumulation and the “New Enclosures.” We could speak of imperialism, colonization and neo-colonization, of globalization and neoliberalism. We would have to speak, today, of the international financial system, of “troikas” and national banks, of the global debtorsʼ prison run by the U.S.-dominated World Bank, IMF, and WTO. And then we might speak of the resistance to these institutions and processes: the Zapatistas, the alter-globalization movement, the World Social Forum, the Landless Workers Movement (MST), Occupy, los indignados, La Via Campesina, and Idle No More. 

Sandy Grande calls for shifting the frame away from abstract liberal notions of social justice and democracy, in order to activate a more interventionist project of decolonization. She makes a case for the term “settler-colonialism” to describe these processes. Settler-colonists come to stay, and the removal and elimination of Indigenous peoples is a necessary part of their project. I accept Grande’s case as well as the implication: growing up in Florida as a member of the dominant “whitestream” culture, I am a settler-colonist who has benefited in many ways from the forced removal—and in the case of Florida, actual extinction—of Indigenous people. I am further implicated by the fact that, in the time that I have been alive, the impoverishment, dispossession, and cultural genocide of Indigenous tribes across the United States has continued and still continues, officially, in my name, as a U.S. citizen. I have been shown the cutting edge of this in Hawai‘i, on the occupied island of Oʻahu, where U.S. military bases cover 23 percent of the landmass.39

As I consider where and what I am from, I begin to understand that land cannot be owned in the modernist way, not without crime and atrocity, not without a war on life. It is not impossible to return stolen lands to the Indigenous peoples who held them in common before our ancestors arrived to remove them. For various public projects far less worthy, the government has often invoked eminent domain to take over land held by private owners, in return for compensation. Even within the regime of private property, then, there is a mechanism. If it’s beyond imagination it is because our national imagination is impoverished and infantilized, not because it is impossible. Certainly much larger parts of native lands could and should be returned. Reparations, which are easier to perform, are also in order. A vigorous national debate about both, as well as about the restoration of full native self-determination, would be a start. I say this as a U.S. citizen who still has the right and duty to criticize my government; it is for Indigenous peoples themselves to say what they want and need, and what they expect from non-Indigenous supporters like me. What is clear is that modernity depends on bringing and keeping land under private property relations. But this is not the only way to inhabit places or grow food. The private holding of land is only a necessity so long as the logic of accumulation continues to dominate. Outside the headlock of modernity, the abundance of alternatives, many of them traditional, comes more vividly into view.

From which South Florida, then, do I claim to come? From the one I remember and the one I cannot. From the one critical theory can indict, and the one it cannot fathom. From the one my settler-colonial, modern culture repeatedly violated and continues to abuse: the one dominated by sugar barons, real-estate speculators, bankers, offshore leaseholders, and all the other progeny of Andrew Jackson. From the one insulted by high-rises, trophy homes, gated communities, and spring breakers. From the one haunted by the absence of Calusa, Ais, Jeaga, Jobe, Tequesta, and Matecumbe peoples, those who twice repelled Ponce de León and gave him the wound he died of. From the one that remains outraged by the past killing and removal of so many Seminole and Miccosukee by my government. From the one that is yet enriched today by the presence of those descended from the Seminole, Miccosukee, and Black Seminole bands who were never conquered and never left. From the South Florida enriched by the descendants of enslaved Africans from all over the Caribbean. From the one swept by rains, storms, and hurricanes, and the one waiting and watching for the coming climate chaos. From the one in which the cultural and biological diversity of life stubbornly persists, despite all damage, loss, and diminishment. From the sacred ruins, then, where the land, air, and waters surge and thrum with the life of the living and the life of the undead.

Athens, May 2016

Medicinal herbs and bark used by healer Susie Jim Billie for medicine, Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, Florida, 1984

This essay was written in dialogue with many people. A special thanks to Marina Fokidis, Brian Holmes, Kyle Kajihiro, Quinn Latimer, Anna Papaeti, Laura Preston, and Alfredo Triff.

1 Spencer R. Weart, The Discovery of Global Warming (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003).

2 Winona LaDuke, All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (1999; repr., Chicago: Haymarket, 2015), p. 1.

3 Linda Hogan, Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World (New York: Norton, 1995), p. 107.

4 Ahmed Djoghlaf, “Message on the Occasion of the International Day for Biological Diversity.” Paper presented by the Executive Secretary, for the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal, May 22, 2007.

5 Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (London: Bloomsbury, 2015). The most penetrating recent reflection on extinction that I am aware of is Thom van Dooren’s, Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014).

6 In 1972, in the context of a newly emerging discourse about “ecocide” spurred by the use of Agent Orange by U.S. military forces in Vietnam, Herbert Marcuse passingly articulated the concepts of genocide and ecocide. See Marcuse, “Ecology and Revolution,” Liberation 16 (September 1972), pp. 10–12. Although ecocide studies have become unavoidable in the Anthropocene, the genocide-ecocide knot of modernity remains largely unelaborated by critical theorists.

7 See Idle No More. Online:; the Indigenous Environmental Network. Online:; and La Via Campesina. Online: The notion of Indigenous “resurgence” has been developed by Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) scholar Gerald Taiaiake Alfred and Tsalagi (Cherokee) scholar Jeff Corntassel. See for example Alfred, “Being and Becoming Indigenous: Resurgence against Contemporary Colonialism,” 2013 Naarm Oration, University of Melbourne. Online:; and Corntassel, “Re-envisioning Resurgence: Indigenous Pathways to Decolonization and Sustainable Self-Determination,” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1, no. 1 (2012), pp. 86–101. 

8 See Andreas Malm and Alf Hornborg, “The Geology of Mankind? A Critique of the Anthropocene Narrative,” The Anthropocene Review 1, no. 1 (April 2014), pp. 62–69; Donna Haraway, “Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene: Making Kin,” Environmental Humanities 6 (2015), pp. 159–65; and Jason W. Moore, ed., Anthropocene or Capitalocene?: Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism (Oakland: PM Press, 2016).

9 “Modernity” I take to be the material world made and remade by the dominant (capitalist) global social process. “Modernism” is the culture and ideology that motivates and justifies modernity. “Moderns” are those of us who may not ardently identify with the modernist hype and may even come to dispute it, but nevertheless do not actively oppose modernity in the practices of everyday life. Cultural “postmodernisms” may be emerging, but “postmodernity,” I contend, does not yet exist, any more than a truly “postcolonial” world does.

10 Much that is being lost now will never be recovered; anthropologist Anna Tsing is right to emphasize that the task is survival in the ruins as opposed to “solutions” to the problems of the Anthropocene. See Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015).

11 Jean-François Lyotard, La Condition postmoderne: Rapport sur le savoir (Paris: Éditions de Minuit, 1979). Translated by Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi as The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984).

12 This essay seeks to work through some perceived theoretical obstacles to such an alliance. On the practical obstacles, see Clare Land, Decolonizing Solidarity: Dilemmas and Directions for Supporters of Indigenous Struggles (London: Zed, 2015). For a helpful range of case studies and reflections, see Lynne Davis, ed., Alliances: Re/Envisioning Indigenous-non-Indigenous Relationships (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010).

13 Particular works are cited in the places they are discussed. My understanding of Indigenous peoples and knowledge draws mainly from North and South American contexts. I acknowledge that the African, Oceanic, and Asian contexts are underrepresented here; this reflects no more than the limits of my own current knowledge. The question of what “Indigenous” may mean in European contexts is an important and politically stimulating one, but one that cannot be treated here.

14 Sandy Grande, Red Pedagogy: Native American Social and Political Thought (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004).

15 Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments, trans. Edmund Jephcott (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002).

16 Walter Benjamin, “To the Planetarium,” in One-Way Street and Other Writings, trans. Edmund Jephcott and Kingsley Shorter (London: Verso, 1979), pp. 103–4.

17 Hogan, Dwellings, p. 89. This is perhaps the place to say how profoundly impacted I have been by Linda Hogan’s novels, especially Solar Storms (New York: Scribner, 1995), Power (New York: Norton, 1998), and People of the Whale (New York: Norton, 2008). 

18 Ibid.

19 I refer here to Adorno, with whose work I have long been engaged. On the negative presentation of historical trauma, see my Terror and the Sublime in Art and Critical Theory (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

20 For a similar, and helpful, reflection on this need, see Shierry Weber Nicholsen, The Love of Nature and the End of the World: The Unspoken Dimensions of Environmental Concern (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002).

21 Grande, Red Pedagogy, esp. chap. 3.

22 Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (London: Zed, 1999), p. 19.

23 Ibid., p. 6.

24 Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2013), p. 17.

25 Mary Graham, “Some Thoughts about the Philosophical Underpinnings of Aboriginal Worldviews,” Australian Humanities Review 45 (November 2008), p. 181.

26 Grande, Red Pedagogy, p. 65: “[T]he voices of Indigenous and other non-Western peoples become increasingly vital, not because such peoples categorically possess any kind of magical, mystical power to fix countless generations of abuse and neglect, but because non-Western peoples and nations exist as living critiques of the dominant culture, providing critique-al knowledge and potentially transformative paradigms.” See also Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies, pp. 12–13: “I believe that our survival as peoples has come from our knowledge of our contexts, our environment, not from some active beneficence of our Earth Mother. We had to know to survive.”

27 This would be the ecological-scientific translation of Indigenous notions of more-than-human kinship relations. On the former, see van Dooren, Flight Ways, pp. 41–43.

28 Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass, p. 15.

29 David Abram, Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology (New York: Vintage, 2010), p. 7. See also Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous (New York: Vintage, 1996).

30 For a summary history of these cultural lineages, in relation to the emergence of deep ecology, see George Sessions, ed., Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (Boston: Shambhala, 1995).

31 Val Plumwood, Environment and Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason (New York: Routledge, 2002); Donna Haraway, When Species Meet (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008); and Anna Tsing, “Arts of Inclusion, or, How to Love a Mushroom,” Australian Humanities Review 50 (May 2011), pp. 5–21. See also Katherine Gibson, Deborah Bird Rose, and Ruth Fincher, eds., Manifesto for Living in the Anthropocene (Brooklyn: Punctum, 2015).

32 Horkheimer and Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment, p. xi.

33 For a discussion of these documents in context, see Sharon J. Ridgeway and Peter J. Jacques, The Power of the Talking Stick: Indigenous Politics and the World Ecological Crisis (Boulder: Paradigm, 2014).

34 This statistic comes from Walter Kälin of the Geneva-based Nansen Initiative. See the summary online:

35 The Indigenous peoples of Florida were wiped out before they could leave their own accounts of the trauma of colonial invasion and genocide. Historical work by non-Indigenous historians, anthropologists, and archaeologists, which is by no means a substitute, includes: John H. Hann, Indians of Central and South Florida, 15131763 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2003); Jerald T. Milanich and Samuel Proctor, eds., Tacachale: Essays on the Indians of Florida and Southeastern Georgia during the Historic Period (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994); Paul Kelton, Epidemics & Enslavement: Biological Catastrophe in the Native Southeast, 14921715 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2007); Alan Gallay, The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South, 16701717 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002); James W. Covington, The Seminoles of Florida (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1993); Kenneth W. Porter, The Black Seminoles: History of a Freedom-Seeking People, ed. Alcione M. Amos and Thomas. P. Senter (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1996); and Bruce Edward Twyman, The Black Seminole Legacy and North American Politics, 16931845 (Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1999).

36 For an introduction to Pachamama and the rights of nature, see online: On ecocide law, see online:; on Earth law, see online:

37 The distinction between unconditional law and actual, conditioned laws comes from Jacques Derrida, “Force of Law: The ‘Mystical Foundation of Authority,’” in Deconstruction and the Possibility of Justice, ed. Drucilla Cornell, Michael Rosenfeld, and David Gray Carlson (London: Routledge, 1992).

38 See Ward Churchill, A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present (San Francisco: City Lights, 1998) and Struggle for the Land: Native North American Resistance to Genocide, Ecocide, and Colonization (San Francisco: City Lights, 2002).

39 A warm mahalo to Terrilee Na-pua Keko´olani, Ikaika Hussey, Keli´i Collier, Kyle Kajihiro, and DMZ-Hawai´i / Aloha ´Aina for their generous hospitality and ko-kua, in showing me the realities of militarized settler-colonialism in the U.S. during 2005. Online: