In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the U.S. government forcibly broke up the collective land holdings of the tribal republics of Indian Territory — Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Muscogee (Creek), and Seminole — and dissolved their governments by legislative fiat. This dispossessive policy of allotment stands as one of the most destructive colonial policies imposed on the Five Tribes, one with continuing legacies of harm. Yet the fierce and ongoing resistance to allotment and its legacies remains under-examined in the creative and scholarly literature, especially for LGBTQ2S+ citizens of the Five Tribes impacted by the legislative regime’s particular heteropatriarchal biases. This presentation will consider how Indigiqueer writers have countered the relational shatterings of allotment through imaginative kinscapes that restore Indian Territory sovereignty, land, history, and family across time and space.
Daniel Heath Justice (he/him) is a Colorado-born Indigiqueer citizen of Cherokee Nation/ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ, a Spears, Foreman, Riley, and Shields citizen descendant through his father and of mixed Euro-American settler heritage through his mother. He is professor of critical Indigenous studies and English and a Distinguished University Scholar at the University of British Columbia, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Academy of the Arts and Humanities), and an Officer of the Order of Canada. Daniel's research focuses on Cherokee studies and Indigenous literary and intellectual production, with particular emphasis on issues of Indigenous literary nationalism, sexuality, allotment history, and other-than-human kinship. He is also a fantasy/wonderworks writer who explores the otherwise possibilities of Indigenous decolonization. His most recent book is Allotment Stories: Indigenous Land Relations Under Settler Siege, an anthology on Indigenous responses to land privatization, co-edited with White Earth Ojibwa historian Jean M. O'Brien (University of Minnesota Press, 2022).