Today! Daniel Heath Justice, “Being a Good Relative, Becoming a Good Ancestor: Other-than-Human Kinship and the Decolonial Imperative”

The Oecologies Speaker Series continues on Nov 27, 2013 with Daniel Heath Justice’s presentation, “Being a Good Relative, Becoming a Good Ancestor: Other-than-Human Kinship and the Decolonial Imperative.” The talk takes place from 5-6:30pm in the Coach House at Green College, University of British Columbia, 6201 Cecil Green Park Road, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z1.

Daniel Heath JusticeSummary: From the nineteenth-century decimation of prairie bison herds and imposition of patriarchal farming techniques to the contemporary decline of coastal fisheries and narrowed concerns of familial obligations, a consistent pattern in Eurowestern political and economic colonialism worldwide has been the targeted suppression of Indigenous kinship relations with the other-than-human. While variously dismissed by colonial agents as “pagan,” “primitive,” or illusory, such expansive familial relations are in fact substantive to and expressive of Indigenous political, ceremonial, and intellectual practices of self-determination and cultural and political distinctiveness. This presentation will consider a few illustrative examples of the other-than-human as a vital concern in Indigenous decolonization and resurgence politics today, while critically engaging the potential consequences of an absence of such considerations in contemporary activism and scholarship.

Speaker information: Daniel Heath Justice is a Colorado-born Canadian citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He is Chair of the First Nations Studies Program and Associate Professor of First Nations Studies and English at UBC on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Musqueam people. His work includes Our Fire Survives the Storm: A Cherokee Literary History, the Indigenous epic fantasy The Way of Thorn and Thunder: The Kynship Chronicles, and the co-edited anthologies Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature and, with James H. Cox, the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature. Current projects include a cultural history of badgers and a study of critical kinship in Indigenous literature.

Oecologies: Inhabiting Premodern Worlds is a new Speaker Series sponsored by Green College that gathers scholars from the humanities living and working along the North American Pacific coast to investigate the idea of “oecology,” an older spelling of the modern concept “ecology.” For event details, abstracts, and speaker information, please visit or view the event poster. Also follow us on Twitter (@Oecologies) and “Like” us on Facebook (! Oecologies also holds a reading group in advance of each talk in the Speaker Series. If you are interested in attending, please contact Dr. Robert Rouse. If you have other questions about Oecologies, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Vin Nardizzi or the project assistant, Carmel Ohman.

2 Replies to “Today! Daniel Heath Justice, “Being a Good Relative, Becoming a Good Ancestor: Other-than-Human Kinship and the Decolonial Imperative””

  1. Hi folks,

    This is also the first night of Channukah and I have a bunch of papers due. Do you have any videos of these talks or some other way to hear what is said?



    Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 16:41:22 +0000 To:

    1. Dear Celia,

      Thank you for your message! As you probably know, Daniel Heath Justice’s talk was cancelled at the last minute yesterday. It will be rescheduled, so hopefully it will fall on a date that is convenient for you.

      You make an excellent point about general access to the talks. Unfortunately, we have nothing in place to capture them at the moment, but I will communicate your question to my superiors and see whether they might be interested in recording these events.

      Thanks very much! Please do not hesitate to contact me with any further questions or concerns.


      Carmel Ohman
      Project Assistant – Oecologies

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