As participants in the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign, we explore our
experiences as allies and activist anthropologists in a collaborative venture that involved
participants from Native nations, academia and local communities. The campaign included
local, regional and international events aimed at re-enlivening a 400-year-old treaty espousing
mutual respect and balance between Europeans and the Haudenosaunee. The highlight
of the symbolic renewing of the treaty culminated in a journey down the Hudson River with
Native and non-Native paddlers embodying an ally relationship as they paddled side by side
and were followed by ground crews, the media and thousands of onlookers. The campaign,
challenged by some anthropologists as being based on a ‘fake’ treaty, demonstrated the successful
and dynamic components of a multicultural movement. It inspired us to refl ect on the
current state of activist anthropology and see the intersections with decolonisation theories,
indigenous anthropology and pedagogies of engagement.
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