On Decolonising and Indigenising Scottish Gàidhlig Studies: a rejoinder to Armstrong et al.

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In their response to my Scottish Affairs article ‘Recovering and Reconstituting Gàidheal Ethnicity’, Armstrong et al. present misleading and misinformed beliefs about my views on identity and indigeneity. In doing so they distort and divert from my article’s focus. Armstrong et al.’s own views on identity and
indigeneity not only contain problematic claims relating to ancestry and race, but also disclose superficial essentialist thinking. Indigeneity is not decided by abstract theorising or legal fiat, as Armstrong et al. propose. Instead, the contemporary emergence of indigeneity in the Gàidhealtachd is happening in
community settings among many self-identifying and community recognised or affirmed Gàidheil, and with support from those working in allyship. It is developing, and apparently intensifying, in relation to real-world experiences, concerns and aspirations. This development has global resonance and offers the best hope for the resurgence of Gàidheil as a historically, culturally and
place-grounded people, including language revitalisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-121
Number of pages13
JournalScottish Affairs
Issue number1
Early online date10 Feb 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Feb 2022


  • Gàidheal
  • culture
  • identity
  • indigeneity
  • essentialism
  • extractivism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Anthropology
  • Cultural Studies


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