Recently, the historical validity of concepts of aboriginality has been questioned. It is argued here that aboriginality has been and remains a significant feature of identity and a source of cultural renewal in a rapidly changing world. The nature of aboriginality must always be qualified and contextualized. In Canada, a specific notion of aboriginality is an administrative tool of government that at all times is partially accepted and partially opposed by those so defined and administrated. In the example described here, the missionary William Duncan denied the concept of aboriginality presented by his Tsimshian flock as well as that enunciated by the Canadian government. Today, the descendants of these mission communities have ontological identities linked not only to Christian modernity but also to Tsimshian aboriginality defined one way by the government and quite differently by each local community.
The Case of Metlakatla
Richard Daly and Val Napoleon
Both community activism and anthropological research affect local communities materially, whether this research is conducted by ‘ac- tivists’ or ‘objectivists’. It is ethically and methodologically important that these activisms be recognized and built into the subject of the research. Aboriginal rights litigation entails both explicit and implicit activism by all concerned, although few admit as much. In this light, some of the effects of such activism on a local community engaged in aboriginal rights litigation in Canada are discussed in the form of a dia- logue between an anthropologist and a community activist who is now working in aboriginal law.
Ananthakrishnan Aiyer, Janis Bailey, Sarah Baker, Gerry Bloustien, Richard Daly, John Gledhill, Bruce Kapferer, Diane Losche, Di McAtee, Barry Morris, Val Napoleon, Sarah Pink, Jane Schneider, Peter Schneider, Cris Shore, and Benjamith R. Smith
Notes on Contributors
Ferid Agani, Kalman Applbaum, Rohan Bastin, Daniel Breslau, Joshua Breslau, Ralph Cintron, Richard Daly, Andrew Davidson, Elissa Dresden, Andreas Glaeser, Van Griffith, Georg Henriksen, Michael Humphrey, Craig R. Janes, Ingrid Jordt, Roland Kapferer, Thomas M. Malaby, Barry Morris, June Nash, Alcida Rita Ramos, Steven Robins, Janine R. Wedel, and Stevan Weine
Notes on Contributors