Place is central to Indigenous and disabled people, histories, and imagined futures. This section opens with "Inseparable: Lands and Peoples in Sacred Connection," in which authors Caroline Lieffers, In'aska (Dennis Hastings) and Margery Coffey (Mi'oⁿbathiⁿ) underscore deep connections between people and landscapes, kinships frayed by ableism and sustained by care. This theme threads through other contributions: Through origin stories in Abya Yala, Alexánder Yarza de los Ríos (Komuiyama), weaves specific qualities of place, ritual, varied bodymindedness, and languages to counter colonial harms and defend ancestral knowledge. In their review of the exhibit "Holding Up the Sky," Jess L. Cowing contends that its mapping of Wabanaki homelands is a care act that teaches visitors about interdependent space and the relationship between access, self-determination, and liberation. Climate change's disproportionate harm to disabled, and deaf Indigenous people (DDIP) motivates Jen Deerinwater's self-reflective essay and their insistence that efforts to solve climate crises must include the lived experience, wisdom, and creativity of Indigenous DDIP.
For other authors, places embody sites of particular attacks against Indigenous and disabled people. As Choctaw historian Sarah Whitt details in a history of people incarcerated at the US federal Canton Asylum for Insane Indians, weaponized Western biomedicine and provided a potent tool for settler land theft. Critiquing the circumstances and representation of Samoan Hans Dalton's death in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Juliann Anesi considers the long reach of colonialism through carceral institutions into postcolonial Sāmoa. Place fills small and large roles in Brandi Bushman's and Pasquale Toscano's critique of Tommy Orange's novel There There. The scholars write, " settler colonialism continues to find its 'specific, irreducible element' of territoriality not only on the geographical space of the Americas, but also on the individual bodymind, disability and Indigeneity."
These collective pieces invite us to consider:
- Place as nourishment for our work as relatives, scholars, and activists.
- Different approaches to place: as the location where things happen, as relational with beings, identities, and systems of power; as a cross-generational experience that impacts individuals, communities, and nations.
- The many meanings of occupation and accountability—living on other people's lands and how those lands have been used by colonial powers to disable.
- The disablement of land, water, and air alongside living beings.