Iati-Onkwenhonwe: Blood quantum, membership and the politics of exclusion in Kahnawake
The decades since the 1970s have seen an 'explosion of interest' in the concept of citizenship, both as means to elucidating the compromises over demands of justice and membership which underlie communities and feed into definitions of citizenship, and the increasing instability of those communities and ideals in the modern era. While there have been as many contexts of the negotiation of citizenship as there are nations (whether real or imagined), within Canada some of the most intriguing discourses around belonging have occurred within First Nations. This article is an attempt to elucidate the struggles over citizenship and membership within one Canadian Aboriginal community, the Mohawk Nation at Kahnawake. Here, intertwined with issues of blood, 'Indian status' and entitlement, Kahnawake has been riven by contests over the meaning of 'belonging' and who should belong in this First Nation.