Over the past decade, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Chile have been buffeted by intensive transformations. Political scientist Pascal Lupien here reveals how Indigenous political activists responded to these changes as part of their long, ongoing struggles for equal citizenship rights and economic and political power. Such activists are often thought to rely solely on disruptive, large-scale forms of collective action, but Lupien argues that twenty-first-century Indigenous activists have turned toward new modes of fostering Indigenous civil society. Drawing on four years of immersive, community-engaged fieldwork with more than ninety Indigenous organizations and groups within and across three countries, Lupien shows how Indigenous organizations today are newly pursuing, adapting, and sustaining local activism in a globalized, technology-centered world. He reveals that Indigenous groups have effectively built on older twentieth-century technologies—for example, radio, TV, and print media—by adapting social media technologies in ways that are unique to their political identities and day-to-day needs.
In the context of increasing recognition of global Indigeneity, Lupien's capacious, descriptive work contributes to understanding Indigenous peoples' contemporary struggles, the evolving and unique nature of Indigenous civil society, and the return to large-scale resistance in 2019 that resulted in the largest uprisings in a generation.