Call for contributions: Indigenous Governance and Development

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9 June 2020

The journal Ethnologies invites submissions for a special thematic issue on Indigenous Governance and Development: How Do Community Members Respond?

The current era of reconciliation and unprecedented challenges is epitomized by the 2015 landmark report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada; the Aborigines’ shared effort with Parks Australia to close Uluru to tourism in 2019; the current COVID-19 pandemic that has caused comparable crises in Indigenous communities, such as the Navajo in the U.S. and the Yanomami in Brazil, and non-Indigenous communities worldwide; and the decades-long threat that oil development has posed to Indigenous health and land rights in Ecuador. In this climate, Indigenous approaches to government, community social programs, and economic development have necessarily taken forms that blend cultural continuation and strategic or forced alteration. Notwithstanding common opportunities available to and challenges facing all Indigenous peoples globally, the idiosyncratic history of each Indigenous community and the particular social, political, and economic contexts in which these communities are set have allowed for the customization and periodic revising of governance and development practices. These dynamics, which have developed as reactions to and/or in collaboration with non-Indigenous international, national, regional, and local political bodies, have often affected or altered the social and cultural contexts and daily experiences of Indigenous community members. Keeping the political aspect of these processes as a backdrop, this special issue of Ethnologies aims at exploring how members of Indigenous communities worldwide have maintained and/or adjusted their social and cultural practices to tackle such developments in current times.

We are interested in submissions from a wide range of perspectives, and especially encourage proposals for contributions that are based on these areas:

- How community responses to Indigenous governance and development practices have affected current Indigenous identities

- Contemporary culture of governance and community relations

- The intersection of traditional ideas and practices with current social and political action

Proposals for articles (title, author’s name and short biographical statement, and a 150-word abstract) must be sent by September 7, 2020 to the issue editor Simone Poliandri at

Selections will be communicated by September 28, 2020. If selected, the full manuscript – in Word format, not exceeding 7,500 words in length (including figures, tables, references, and notes) – must be submitted to the issue editor by January 4, 2021.

For further information, please, contact the issue editor or the assistant editor of Ethnologies Van Troi Tran at