Kimberly Tallbear


Dr. Kim TallBear is Associate Professor, Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta, and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience & Environment. She is the author of Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science.She co-produces the new Edmonton sexy storytelling show, Prairie Confessions, modeled on the popular Austin, Texas Bedpost Confessions. Building on lessons learned with geneticists about how race categories get settled, Dr. TallBear is working on a new book that interrogates colonial commitments to settlement in place, within disciplines, and within monogamous, state-sanctioned relationships. She is a citizen of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in South Dakota.


American Dreaming is White Possessiveness

Genocidal settlement conditions the emergence of the category of Indigeneity. Paradoxically, the category also conditions possibilities for survival of Peoples grouped under the Indigenous umbrella. My work traverses the politics of genomics; Indigenous governance, feminist, and queer theories; critical race theory, the so-called “new” materialisms; Indigenous materialisms; and critical animal studies. It moves toward (re)articulating Indigenous concepts of being in relation or relationality. My work opposes defining life, kin, identities, and bodies according to rigid Western binaries of life vs. not life, human vs. nature that inevitably turn hierarchical. Within that framework, this talk critiques the grand narrative of US American exceptionalism (and settler-colonial exceptionalism broadly) that de-animates other-than-human relatives below humans, and which de-animates many humans—including Indigenous peoples—below the Western (often male) subject. I take up the American dream and its role—whether explicitly White supremacist or more inclusive and multicultural in form—in Indigenous elimination and in the elimination of many of our human and other-than-human relatives. I propose a framework of people-to-people relations as an alternative to this temporally (and sometimes politically) progressive settler-colonial narrative.

Talk Date 1: April 27, 10:45 – 12:15 Panel II (closed): Reimagining Relations

Venue: University Senate Chamber

Talk Date 2: April 28, 3:00-4:45 Public Panel II Reimagining Relations

Venue: Education Centre North Room 2-115

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