The Futures of Indigenous Peoples: 9-11 and the Trajectory of Indigenous Survival and Resistance

  • Thomas D. Hall Depauw University
  • James V. Fenelon California State Univesity, San Bernardino


This paper explores the past, present, and future resistance of indigenous peoples to capitalist expansion. The central argument is that the survival of indigenous peoples, their identities, and their cultures, constitutes strong antisystemic resistance against global capitalism and against the deepening and the broadening of modern world-systemic or globalization processes. Furthermore, we argue that recent events often touted as turning points in historythe collapse of the Soviet Union, the 9-11 attack on the twin towers, and even the war on Iraqare at most blips on the radar in a larger trajectory of change and resistance. Rather, the important features of indigenous survival are: (1) Indigenous peoples, despite an immense variety of forms of cultural and social organization, represent non-capitalist forms of organization. Their continued survival challenges the fundamental premises of capitalism and its increasingly global culture. (2) Indigenous peoples challenges to global domination succeed less on economic, political, or military force, and more as fundamental challenges to the underpinnings of the logic of capitalism and the interstate system. (3) In order to learn from these resistance models, it is necessary to ground our understanding in two seemingly antithetical forms of knowledge: (a) information arising from indigenous cultures and values and (b) research about how the longue duree of the world-system shapes the form and timing of such movements. (4) Indigenous successes may serve as models and/ or inspirations for other forms of resistance. An important task is to discover what is unique to indigenous resistance and to specify what indigenous resistance has in common with other forms of resistance.
How to Cite
Hall, T. D., & Fenelon, J. V. (2004). The Futures of Indigenous Peoples: 9-11 and the Trajectory of Indigenous Survival and Resistance. Journal of World-Systems Research, 10(1), 153-197.
Global Social Movements Before & After 9/11