Spaces Between Us: Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Decolonization

May 1st, 2014 | By | Category: 25-4: Nation Building, Media Reviews

Spaces Between Us: Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Decolonization By Scott Lauria MorgensenBy Scott Lauria Morgensen
University of Minnesota Press (2011)
293 pages

Review by Lori Lambert

In his book, Spaces Between Us, Scott Lauria Morgensen indicates that in many Native cultures the role of “queer,” or two-spirit individuals, was given an honored place in the society. Such individuals were accepted by their people more so than in settler societies.

The argument identifies queer whites as settlers who have found solace in Indigenous cultures. From the bio-politics of settler sexuality to the decolonization of gender in Indigenous communities, the book demonstrates how solidarity among Indigenous groups can reduce discrimination and return queer and two-spirit people to their pre-colonial status.

Spaces Between Us is filled with excellent information and is well-written to boot; Morgensen has done his homework. The book, however, is written for academics and graduate-level students, not undergraduates at tribal colleges or universities. Accordingly, the author makes excellent points throughout the text, but the language is unsuitable for most undergraduate level students. The book may work well for upper-level courses on gender and identity in Indian Country.

Lori Lambert, Ph.D., (Abenaki/Mi’kmaq) is a faculty member and the e-learning coordinator at Salish Kootenai College.

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