Imagining American Indians and Community in Southeast Asia
Resistance, Experience, and History
Although geographically distant, the histories of Indigenous North America and Southeast Asia contain a series of parallels in colonial experience. This article traces these historical similarities between these two geographic regions in colonial and counter-colonial movements. It then focuses on American Indians and Indigenous communities in the Philippines and Indonesia perceptions of one another, recorded during fieldwork by the authors in Southeast Asia and the U.S. Additionally, it elaborates on the similarities between these two groups in expressions of solidarity and sympathy as parts of settler-societies. Beyond views of dispossession, these communities placed importance on one another’s environmental stewardship, retention of community in the context of a “modernising” settler society, and government-to-government relationships that are often eclipsed by settler societies who perceive Indigenous populations as racial minorities rather than self-determined polities. This analysis provides a greater understanding of how Indigenous groups in North America and Southeast Asia understand each other’s experiences.