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Exploring landscapes as sites of intercultural relations between indigenous peoples and immigrant settlers

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Item Summary

Title:Exploring landscapes as sites of intercultural relations between indigenous peoples and immigrant settlers
Authors:Harper, Joan Estelle
Keywords:intercultural relations
indigenous people
Native Hawaiians
Date Issued:Dec 2012
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2012]
Abstract:The United States is comprised of landscapes that have been utilized by Indigenous cultures for many centuries. Non-Indigenous people now occupy and use landscape areas that were previously accessed and managed solely by Indigenous peoples. Social and intercultural relations between these two groups have been marked by conflict over land and resources. In this study I explore how relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples have been framed, informed, and conveyed by ideas and practices related to landscapes.
I argue that contemporary relations between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of the continental United States and the islands of Hawaii continue to be informed by the ideas, traditions, and motivations of the past. Ethno-centric ideas and beliefs articulated by early immigrant settlers helped to firmly establish patterns of thought and practice that focused on severing traditional relationships between Indigenous peoples and landscapes. Many of those practices included methods of reorganizing and controlling land and other resources in ways that either limited or prevented Indigenous peoples from using or accessing landscapes. This study finds that ethnocentric ideas and beliefs concerning Indigenous peoples, non-Indigenous peoples, and American landscapes continue to persist in the form of established social and cultural traditions and practices as well as in non-fiction literature and other forms of contemporary discourse.
This dissertation provides a model of study that demonstrates how landscapes may be interpreted as an intercultural text that both reflects and conveys key elements of the social and cultural dialogue that occurs between Indigenous peoples and an immigrant settler nation. The methodology used interjects "landscape" as an intermediary element of analysis between Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups of people. Landscape related ideas, beliefs, traditions, and practices are then interrogated through the application of a culturally contextual framework of analysis before assessing social and intercultural motives and intent. While the examples considered herein are restricted to certain areas of the United States, this method of cross-cultural analysis may serve as a universal model for discerning how landscape related beliefs, motivations, and perspectives inform the nature of relations and interactions that occur between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - American Studies

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