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A pedagogy of water : restorying the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Muñoz, Marissa Isela 2018

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!A!PEDAGOGY!OF!WATER:!!RESTORYING!THE!RIO!GRANDE/RIO!BRAVO!by##Marissa#Isela#Muñoz#B.S.,#Texas#A&M#University,#1999#M.S.,#Texas#A&M#University,#2010###A#THESIS#SUBMITTED#IN#PARTIAL#FULFILLMENT#OF#THE#REQUIREMENTS#FOR#THE#DEGREE#OF##DOCTOR#OF#PHILOSOPHY#in#The#Faculty#of#Graduate#and#Postdoctoral#Studies#(Educational#Studies)##THE#UNIVERSITY#OF#BRITISH#COLUMBIA#(Vancouver)###September,#2018##©#Marissa#Isela#Muñoz,#2018##ii#The#following#individuals#certify#that#they#have#read,#and#recommend#to#the#Faculty#of#Graduate#and#Postdoctoral#Studies#for#acceptance,#the#dissertation#entitled:#!A!PEDAGOGY!OF!WATER:!RESTORYING!THE!RIO!GRANDE/RIO!BRAVO!!submitted#by### Marissa#Isela#Muñoz##in#partial#fulfillment#of#the#requirements#for#the#degree#of# Doctor#of#Philosophy###in### Educational#Studies.#!Examining!Committee:!Dr.#Jo]ann#Archibald#Co]supervisor#Dr.#Robert#VanWynsberghe#Co]supervisor##Dr.#Pilar#Riaño]Alcalá#Supervisory#Committee#Member#Dr.#Denise#Ferreira#da#Silva#University#Examiner#Dr.#Pierre#Walter#University#Examiner#!!#iii#Abstract!Water#is#life.#For#millennia,#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#has#nourished#many#Indigenous#peoples#along#its#1,255#mile#length,#from#its#source#in#the#San#Juan#Mountains#to#the#Gulf#of#Mexico.#The#river#is#a#lifeline,#read#as#a#map#between#the#interrelated#communities.#Colonization#turned#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#into#an#international#border#between#the#United#States#and#Mexico,#and#in#the#last#40#years,#our#river/border#has#become#heavily#militarized.##This#project#engages#a#practice#of#Indigenizing/decolonizing#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#as#ancestral#waters#to#various#local#Indigenous#peoples,#drawing#from#the#collective#memory#of#intergenerational#Indigenous#fronterizxs#(border#residents)#to#examine#the#relationships#between#people#of#the#Laredo/Nuevo#Laredo#community#and#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo.##To#do#this,#I#theorized#a#new#theoretical#framework#called#an#Indigenous#Fronterizx#Cosmography,#which#braids#Indigenous#epistemologies,#Xicanx#ontologies,#and#borderland#positionalities.#This#way,#first]hand#accounts#are#understood#as#intellectual#traditions#that#revitalize,#restore,#and#restory#the#holistic#ancestral#knowledges#of#the#land#and#river.##Next,#I#created#a#culturally]centric#research#methodology,#named#Fronterawork,#drawing#from#Indigenous#methodologies,#oral#history/testimonio#sharing,#and#witnessing#to#document#the#lived#experiences#of#25#community#elders#and#knowledge]keepers#in/of/with/near/over/across#the#river's#waters.##Participants#shared#their#knowledge#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo,#as#well#as#their#perspectives#of#how#the#river#has#changed#over#their#lifetimes.##Their#testimonios#were#examined#holistically,#and#in]context#as#embodied#and#emplaced#situated#knowledges##iv#of#the#river.#When#considered#in#conversation#with#each#other,#themes#and#subthemes#developed,#suggesting#two#major#approaches#to#understanding:#river]as]water#(Water#Thinking)#and#river]as]border#(Border#Thinking).###In#response,#I#created#a#Pedagogy#of#Water#that#emerged#from#the#collective#memory#of#community#elders#in#order#to#teach#the#next#generations#about#our#river.#This#pedagogy#interrupts#dominant#forms#of#displacement#and#violence#against#the#diverse#Indigenous#peoples#of#the#river/border#communities,#while#revitalizing#the#ancestral#relationships#between#the#Indigenous#peoples#and#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo.#Our#collective#memory#serves#as#foundation#from#which#to#honor#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#as#part#of#the#sacred#landscape#of#what#is#today#called#south#Texas.####v#Lay!Summary!The#purpose#of#this#research#project#is#to#facilitate#intergenerational#teaching#and#learning#of#Indigenous#knowledge#in#my#community#of#Laredo,#Texas.#Our#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#is#our#main#source#of#clean#water,#and#is#also#a#militarized,#international#border#between#Texas#and#Mexico.#I#created#an#Indigenous#Fronterizx#Cosmography#to#understand#what#life#is#like#there,#from#the#perspective#of#Laredo]area#locals#with#deep#ancestral#roots#connected#to#the#land.#Next,#I#created#a#respectful#research#process#called#Fronterawork,#that#invites#elders#to#share#their#stories#and#lived#experiences.##I#used#the#teachings#of#the#elders#to#create#a#Pedagogy#of#Water#that#focuses#on#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#as#part#of#the#sacred,#ancestral#landscape#of#south#Texas.##This#project#strengthens#the#community#by#connecting#multiple#generations#to#the#land#and#river#where#we#live,#and#demonstrates#the#perseverance#of#Indigenous#peoples#and#knowledges#through#time.###vi#Preface!All#research,#analysis,#and#writing#is#the#original,#independent#work#of#author#Marissa#Isela#Muñoz.##All#of#the#elements#required#by#the#Faculty#of#Graduate#and#Postdoctoral#Studies#and#the#Department#of#Educational#Studies#at#the#University#of#British#Columbia#have#been#included#in#this#dissertation.##The#UBC#Behavioral#Research#Ethics#Board#(BREB)#approved#the#project#according#to#the#Tri]Council#Policy#for#Ethical#Conduct#for#Research#Involving#Human#Subjects,#certificate###H13]02720.#An#early#draft#of#Chapter#2,#specifically#the#Historical#Background#section,#was#edited#and#published#as#part#of#a#chapter#in#an#edited#book:#Muñoz,#M.#(2018).#River#as#border,#river#as#lifeblood:#Troubling#the#irreconcilable#discrepancies#of#colonial#occupation#from/with/on/of#the#Frontera.#In#L.#T.#Smith,#E.#Tuck,#and#W.#K.#Yang’s#(Eds.)#Indigenous*and*decolonizing*studies*in*education*(pp.*62581).*New#York,#NY:#Routledge.#***#vii#Table!of!Contents!Abstract!..............................................................................................................!iii!Lay!Summary!......................................................................................................!v!Preface!................................................................................................................!vi!Table!of!Contents!..............................................................................................!vii!List!of!Figures!...................................................................................................!xii!Glossary!............................................................................................................!xv!Acknowledgements!.......................................................................................!xxiii!Dedication!.......................................................................................................!xxv!Prologue!..............................................................................................................!1!Chapter!1:!Introduction!to!the!Research!..........................................................!2!1.1! Ofrenda,#....................................................................................................#4!1.2! Problem#Statement#...................................................................................#5!1.3! Purpose#..................................................................................................#12!1.4! Research#Questions#...............................................................................#13!1.5! Significance#............................................................................................#13!1.6! Positionality.............................................................................................#24!1.7! Delimitations#...........................................................................................#28!1.8! Assumptions#...........................................................................................#29!1.9! Organization#of#the#Thesis#......................................................................#29!Chapter!2:!Introduction!to!the!Land,!River!and!Community!.........................!32!2.1! Shared#Ancestral#Territories#...................................................................#33!2.2! Colonial#Encounters#................................................................................#34!#viii#2.3! Surviving#the#Six#(Seven)#Flags#..............................................................#39!2.4! In#the#Time#of#my#Grandparents'#Grandparents#......................................#44!2.5! The#Border#that#Erased#Our#River#On#Maps#...........................................#48!2.6! Nuestro#Rio,#Sagrado#y#Olvidado#...........................................................#59!2.7! Creating#a#Living#Archive#of#Collective#Memories#...................................#63!2.8! Summary#................................................................................................#65!Chapter!3:!An!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Cosmography!as!Theoretical!Framework!.........................................................................................................!66!3.1! Indigenous#Epistemologies#–#Ways#of#Knowing#.....................................#67!3.2! Xicanx#Ontologies#–#Ways#of#Being#........................................................#73!3.3! Borderland#Positionalities#.......................................................................#79!3.4! Weaving#the#Soft#Basket#of#an#Indigenous#Fronterizx#Cosmography#.....#85!3.5! Unsettling#the#Borderlands......................................................................#90!3.6! Summary#................................................................................................#96!Chapter!4:!Fronterawork!Methodology!...........................................................!97!4.1! The#Elements#of#Fronterawork#................................................................#97!4.1.1! Preparing#My#Mind:#Thinking#with#Metaphors#..................................#98!4.1.2! The#Approach:##Practicing#Being#in]Relation#..................................#101!4.1.3! Embodied#and#Emplaced#Ecologies#...............................................#102!4.1.4! Showing#the#Unspeakable#..............................................................#106!4.1.4.1! Listening#for#Silences#...............................................................#107!4.1.4.2! Listening#Around#Trauma#........................................................#108!4.1.5! Remembrance#as#Healing#..............................................................#110!#ix#4.1.6! Ethics#of#Fronterawork#...................................................................#111!4.2! The#Original#Plan#..................................................................................#113!4.3! The#New#Plan#–#Oral#Histories#..............................................................#116!4.4! Community#Participants#........................................................................#117!4.5! Site#Selection#........................................................................................#120!4.6! Instrumentation#.....................................................................................#120!4.7! Field#Test#..............................................................................................#125!4.8! Oral#History/Testimonio#Collection#Procedures#....................................#126!4.9! Summary#..............................................................................................#128!Chapter!5:!Preparing!Our!Teachings!............................................................!129!5.1! Response]Ability:#Pedagogy]Making#as#Methodology#..........................#130!5.2! Learning#Phase:#Thinking#Through#a#Fronterawork#Practice#................#132!5.3! Learning#Phase:#Dando#Luz#to#a#Fronterawork#Method#.......................#135!5.4! Examining#the#Teachings#in#Our#Basket#...............................................#136!5.5! Teaching#Phase:##Laying#the#Groundwork#with#Maps#...........................#140!5.6! Teaching#Phase:##Discerning#the#Streams#of#Thought#..........................#146!5.7! Summary#..............................................................................................#147!Chapter!6:!Our!Teachings!as!Streams!of!Thought!......................................!148!6.1! Water#Thinking:#River]As]Water#...........................................................#151!6.1.1! River#as#Life#...................................................................................#151!6.1.2! River#as#Identity..............................................................................#153!6.1.3! River#as#Land/Place#.......................................................................#157!6.2! Border#Thinking:#River]As]Border#.........................................................#161!#x#6.2.1! Border#as#a#Thing#...........................................................................#164!6.2.2! Border#as#a#Space..........................................................................#165!6.2.3! Border#as#a#Marker#of#Power#.........................................................#168!6.2.4! Border#as#Arbitrary#.........................................................................#173!6.3! Summary#..............................................................................................#176!Chapter!7:!Our!Teachings!Informed!by!Changes!over!Time!.......................!178!7.1! What#has#Changed#in#Our#Thinking?#....................................................#178!7.1.1! River#as#Unknown#..............................................................................#180!7.1.2! River#as#Dangerous........................................................................#183!7.1.3! River#as#Commodity#.......................................................................#187!7.1.4! River#as#Dirty#..................................................................................#191!7.2! Summary#..............................................................................................#195!Chapter!8:!An!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!...........................!199!8.1! River]as]Water#Pedagogical#Elements#.................................................#201!8.1.1! Pedagogical#Element#1:##Identity#of#Learners#.................................#207!8.1.2! Pedagogical#Element#2:##Identity#of#Educators#...............................#208!8.1.3! Pedagogical#Element#3:##Land]#and#Water]based#Curricula#...........#209!8.1.4! Pedagogical#Element#4:##Life]based#Learning#Communities#..........#210!8.2! River]as]Water#Thinking:#Teaching#Themes.........................................#212!8.2.1! Teaching#Theme#1:##River#as#Known#.............................................#214!8.2.2! Teaching#Theme#2:##River#as#Respected#.......................................#216!8.2.3! Teaching#Theme#3:##River#(Water)#as#Spirit#...................................#218!8.2.4! Teaching#Theme#4:##River#(Water)#as#our#Response]ability#...........#219!#xi#8.3! Summary#..............................................................................................#220!Chapter!9:!Conclusion!....................................................................................!222!9.1! Overview#of#the#Problem.......................................................................#222!9.2! Purpose#Statement#...............................................................................#223!9.3! Review#of#Methodology#........................................................................#225!9.4! Fronterizx#Understandings#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#......................#227!9.5! Discussion#of#Findings#..........................................................................#233!9.5.1! On#collective#remembering#.............................................................#234!9.5.2! Language#considerations#...............................................................#236!9.5.3! Fraught#contexts#of#self]Identification#.............................................#238!9.6! Contributions.........................................................................................#240!9.6.1! Restorying#Histories/Cosmographies#.............................................#244!9.6.2! Restorying#Local#Place]Based#Knowledges#...................................#244!9.6.3! Restorying#Material#Realities#..........................................................#245!9.6.4! Restorying#Identity..........................................................................#246!9.6.5! Restorying#Water............................................................................#247!9.6.6! Restorying#Border#Politics#..............................................................#248!9.6.7! Restorying#Education#.....................................................................#249!9.7! Limitations.............................................................................................#250!9.8! Future#work#...........................................................................................#252!9.9! Concluding#remarks#..............................................................................#254!References!......................................................................................................!262!#xii#List!of!Figures!Figure#1:#Holism#(Archibald,#2008).....................................................................#xix!Figure#2:#Concept#Map#Guiding#the#Study#..........................................................#10!Figure#3:#Watershed#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo..............................................#11!Figure#4:#Ethnolinguistic#Distribution#of#Native#Texas#Indians#............................#35!Figure#5:#Spanish#Missions#in#the#17th#and#18th#Centuries#................................#40!Figure#6:#Mexico#at#the#Time#of#Laredo's#Founding#in#1755#...............................#43!Figure#7:#Laredo,#Texas,#1892#............................................................................#50!Figure#8:#Standing#in#Laredo,#Looking#toward#Nuevo#Laredo#.............................#51!Figure#9:#Looking#Out#Over#my#Grandfather's#Land#...........................................#58!Figure#10:#A#Barrilero#Collecting#Water#from#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#.............#61!Figure#11:#Sites#of#Fronterizx#Displacement#.......................................................#82!Figure#12:#Braided#Basket#Representing#an#Indigenous#Fronterizx#Cosmography##............................................................................................................................#86!Figure#13:#Codex#Azcatitlan,#Dated#1501]1600#................................................#115!Figure#14:#Summary#of#Community#Participant#Data#........................................#118!Figure#15:#Community#Participants#...................................................................#119!Figure#16:#Elements#of#the#Relational#Ecology#of#Laredo/Nuevo#Laredo#......#Error!!Bookmark!not!defined.!Figure#17:#Oral#History#Interview#Questions#.....................................................#123!Figure#18:#Intergenerational#Pedagogy#of#Indigenous#Knowledge#....................#132!Figure#19:#Codes#Created#During#the#Reading#Process#...................................#137!Figure#20:#Testimonio#Transcripts#According#to#the#Criteria#.............................#139!#xiii#Figure#21:#Geographical#Locations#Mentioned#in#the#Oral#Histories#.................#142!Figure#22:#Terrain#Versus#Satellite#Mapping##1:#US#Mexico#Border#.................#144!Figure#23:#Terrain#Versus#Satellite#Mapping##2:#South#Texas/Northeast#Mexico##..........................................................................................................................#145!Figure#24:#Metacognitive#Map#of#our#Understandings#.......................................#149!Figure#25:#Summary#of#Water#Thinking#............................................................#150!Figure#26:#Border#Thinking#...............................................................................#163!Figure#27:#Imazapyr#Test#Application#at#Zachary#Ranch,#2008#........................#171!Figure#28:#Major#Streams#and#Tributaries#of#Understanding#............................#176!Figure#29:#Understanding#the#Shift#from#Water#Thinking#to#Border#Thinking#....#180!Figure#30:#Metacognitive#Mapping#of#What#has#Changed#in#Fronterizx#Thinking##..........................................................................................................................#197!Figure#31:#Concept#Mapping#Changes#to#Fronterizx#Thinking#..........................#198!Figure#32:#Restorying#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#..............................................#200!Figure#33:#Finding#an#Alignment#between#Pedagogical#Elements#and#River##Teachings#.........................................................................................................#203!Figure#34:#Evolution#of#the#Concept#Map#Depicting#the#Pedagogy#of#Water#....#204!Figure#35:#Developing#a#Praxis#for#the#Pedagogy#of#Water#..............................#206!Figure#36:#Collective#Observations#Inform#Our#Teachings#................................#214!Figure#37:#Conceptual#Map#of#Findings#............................................................#229!Figure#38:#Two#Major#Areas#of#Thought#............................................................#231!Figure#39:#Changes#to#the#River,#Changes#to#our#Thinking#..............................#231!Figure#40:#Water#Teachings#..............................................................................#233!#xiv#Figure#41:#Frontera#Displacements#(Castillo#&#Tabuenca]Córdoba,#2002),##Reviewed#..........................................................................................................#242!Figure#42:#Interventions#Created#by#the#Indigenous#Fronterizx#Pedagogy#of##Water#................................................................................................................#243!##xv#Glossary!Below,#please#find#the#important#terms#and#concepts#used#in#the#development#of#the#research#project.##Each#definition#is#citation#rich,#yet#concise,#intended#to#inform#the#reader#of#the#academic#genealogies#that#nourished#and#informed#my#thinking.#While#I#am#most#familiar#with#the#academic#literature#of#education,#the#literatures#mentioned#here#are#transdisciplinary,#and#often#develop#through#curiosity,#intuition,#and#combing#the#reference#lists#of#scholars#whose#work#resonates#deeply,#all#of#which#are#entirely#informal#and#self]guided#learning#practices.#My#goal#was/is/will#always#be#to#think#thoroughly.#Concepts#may#appear#in#the#body#of#the#dissertation#with#additional,#different,#or#no#references,#but#this#glossary#serves#to#guide#us#to#a#common#vocabulary#so#that#we#may#make#space#for#the#voices#of#non]academic#teachers#in#the#body#of#the#dissertation.# #In#this#research#project,#it#is#necessary#to#recognize#the#influence#and#constraints#of#both#the#English#and#Spanish#languages#as#languages#of#colonization,#shaping#how#we#think,#understand,#and#relate#both#to#our#interests#and#to#each#other.##In#developing#a#vocabulary#that#allows#us#to#attend#to#decolonization#and#Indigenous#knowledge,#these#language#limitations#must#be#made#explicit,#so#that#they#may#be#challenged,#disrupted#and#used#differently,#so#that#we#may#think*differently.###In#my#own#languaging#of#the#text,#I#will#follow#the#precedent#of#other#Xicana#scholars#(Anzaldúa,#1999r#Castillo,#1995r#Moraga,#2011)#by#code]switching,#mixing#language#without#differentiating#through#the#use#of#italics,#but#will#offer#translations#in#the#footnotes.#In#doing#so,#I#write#the#way#I#think#without#privileging#or#othering#non]dominant#modes#of#communication.#Also#worth#noting,#I#often#play#with#language#conventions#such#as#grammar,#punctuation,#and#spellings#to#make#a#point.#Sometimes,#bending#the#language#allows#me#to#play#with#concepts#(greatful,#restor(y)ing,#restorying),#or#to#graphically#insert#reminders#and#or#visuals#into#the#words#themselves#(Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo).#Each#time#I#disrupt#conventions#or#linguistic#expectations#(Texas#Mexico#or#US#Mexico)#creates#tiny#interventions#in#using#the#colonial#languages#to#describe#my#personal#river]based,#Indigenous#fronteriza#ways#of#thinking.####being\in\relation!Being]in]relation#is#a#play#on#the#phrase#human#being,#which#is#commonly#considered#a#noun.#I#coined#this#phrase#as#the#reminder#that#humans#are#one#aspect#of#a#dynamic#living#system,#not#as#a#being#superior#to#and#apart#from#the#natural#world,#but#simply#as#a#being#in#relation#to#other#beings.#By#renaming#humans#as#beings]in]relation,#our#attention#is#shifted#from#a#noun#to#the#verb#of#being,#and#to#the#specific#ties#and#relationships#of#always#being5in5relation#to#other#beings.#This#phrase#seemed#a#necessary#intervention#to#destabilize#dominant,#normalized#concepts#of#individuality#and#independence#as#the#a#default#orientation#of#humans#(Jaggar,#1989)#in#conversations#about#ecology#and#pedagogy.####xvi#borderlands/fronteras!In#the#literal#sense,#borderlands#are#the#places#at#the#margins#of#a#state's#geopolitical#boundaries.#Anzaldúa's#seminal#work#Borderlands/La*Frontera:*The*New*Mestiza*(1999),*provided#a#foundation#and#language#for#understanding#the#cultural#overlap#specific#to#the#US#Mexican#border,#introducing#to#a#wide#audience#concepts#drawn#from#intellectual#traditions#of#pre]contact#Mesoamerica.#Border#studies#have#grown#out#of#the#interdisciplinary#attempt#to#understand#the#multiple,#layered#meanings#of#borders#by#examining#the#real,#imagined,#symbolic,#metaphorical,#and#embodied#understandings#of#such#spaces#and#ideas#(Murphy,#1993).#In#addition#to#the#study#of#border#places,#the#cognitive#processes#that#emerge#from#border#places#and#spaces#have#also#been#further#developed.##Borderland#rhetoric#is#intentionally#complex,#inviting#multiple#ideologies,#simultaneous#incongruous#perspectives,#different#constructions#of#identity,#and#various#forms#of#resistance#(Elenes,#2001).#Meaning#is#made#in/from/with#the#complexity.#In#the#literature,#there#is#no#single#definition#for#what#the#borderlands#include.#For#the#purpose#of#this#work,#I#use#the#term#borderlands#to#refer#to#the#territories#and#communities#on#both#sides#of#the#line.#In#Texas,#our#border#is#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo,#and#our#borderlands#are#the#territories#and#communities#sustained#by#the#water#of#the#river.###I#also#use#the#term#frontera,!which#is#the#Spanish#translation#of#the#term,#and#is#more#commonly#used#in#my#community.##Frontera#implies#that#when#someone#is#thinking#in#Spanish,#the#frontera/borderlands#is#not#understood#from#a#US]centric#perspective,#nor#necessarily#positioned#on#the#US#(English]thinking)#side#of#the#line.#Using#the#term#frontera#instead#of#borderland#makes#space#for#how#the#concepts,#theories,#and#actual#places#are#understood#from#both#sides#of#the#border.#When#the#term#is#adjusted#to#be#self]referential,#such#as#when#I#use#fronteriza/fronterizo/fronterizx,#it#functions#to#describe#the#conceptual#(ways#of#knowing),#relational#(context),#positional#(in/of/from#the#confluence#of#both#sides),#and#geographical#(in/of/from#the#river)#orientations#to#the#river.#When#we#compare#to#the#English#equivalent,#to#be#of/from#the#borderlands#may#suggest#a#geographical#or#conceptual#orientation#but#does#not#necessarily#include#any#of#the#other#orientations#to#the#river.##Specifically,#my#frame#of#reference#is#the#Texas#Mexico#interface,#living#on#the#U.S.#side#of#my#ancestral#waters,#in#a#community#that#spans#both#sides#of#the#river,#understanding#that#the#border#is#slowly#severing#the#two#sides#from#each#other.#My#goal#is#to#focus#on#revitalizing#the#Indigenous#knowledges#in/of/from/with/through#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo,#to#revitalize#the#Indigenous#Fronterizx#orientation#to#river,#to#the#land,#and#to#each#other.##collective!memory!To#best#understand#this#concept,#I#offer#the#following#progression:##History#is#the#study#of#the#past,#linking#events#in#a#chronological#order.#Historical*consciousness#is#the#metacognitive#study#of#how#people#relate#to#the#past,#paying#attention#to#contexts#of#space#and#time#during#which#events#happened#(Trofanenko,#2008).#Collective*memory,#seeks#to#understand#how#a#community#subjectively#constructs#meaning#from#historical#events,#which#often#include#interpretations,#emotions,#reflections#of#identity,#and#political#positions#(Hom#&#Yamamoto,#2000).#Stories#and#testimonies#are#interwoven#with#the#commentary,#and#are#framed#toward#particular#ends#that#serve#both#individuals#and#the##xvii#group.##Wertsch#&#Roediger#(2008)#explain#"collective#memory#is#more#like#a#space#of#contestation#than#a#body#of#knowledge]#a#space#in#which#local#groups#engage#in#an#ongoing#struggle#against#elites#and#state#authorities#to#control#the#understanding#of#the#past"#(p.#319).#I#expand#this#definition#to#include#the#contestations#of#imposed#categories#of#identity,#such#as#when#the#US#national#census#imposed#the#category#of#Hispanic#in#1970#(Rodríguez,#2014),#with#little#room#for#how#identity#was#understood#by#the#very#people#being#described.##Collective#memory#works#to#narrate#historical#events#with#multiple#voices#from#an#embodied#and#emplaced#perspective#(Riaño]Alcalá#&#Baines,#2011),#and#is#automatically#positioned#as#a#form#of#resistance#against#imposed#dominant#narratives#of#history#(Seixas,#2004),#which#some#would#argue#are#narratives#that#normalize#colonization,#and#therefore,#can#be#understood#as#intellectual#colonialism#(Castillo#&#Tabuenca]Córdoba,#2002r#Gaudry,#2011r#Rodríguez,#2014).#Identity#is#directly#shaped#by#our#histories.#Therefore,#the#danger#of#normalizing#singular,#dominant#white]supremacist,#colonial#narratives#of#history#is#the#frequency#with#which#marginalized,#Indigenous,#and/or#racialized#communities#are#narrated#as#passive,#supporting#characters#in#the#stories#of#their#own#oppression,#to#the#exclusion#of#all#other#stories.#In#contexts#of#ongoing#violence,#written#records#are#often#systematically#destroyed.#Oral#traditions#that#include#collective#memory#serve#as#living#archives#(Riaño]Alcalá#&#Baines,#2011)#to#give#accounts#the#histories,#contexts#and#meanings#of/with/in#communities#to#counter#the#dominant#narratives.#One#notable#example#of#the#power#of#collective#memory#is#the#record#of#the#fall#of#the#Mexica#(Aztec)#empire.#First#hand#accounts#of#the#violence#were#not#recorded#in#written#form,#but#were#instead#composed#as#canciones#de#luto,#songs#of#mourning,#and#shared#amongst#the#survivors#(León#Portilla,#Garibay,#Kemp&#Beltrán,#2006).#The#dominant#xenophobic#US]centric#politics#are#direct#threats#to#the#knowledge#and#survivance#of#Indigenous#frontera#communities,#and#I#am#interested#in#the#pedagogical#implications#of#our#oral#collective#memory#practices.#In#this#project,#I#use#collective#memory#to#document#the#traditional#knowledges#that#have#survived#in#the#everyday#cultural#practices#of#Indigenous#frontera#families.#decolonizing,!Indigenizing,!anticolonizing,!insurgent!research!Each#of#these#four#terms#describes#a#slightly#different#response#to#the#violence#of#colonization.##Decolonizing*methodologies#seek#to#interrupt#colonial#narratives#to#witness#and#revitalize#the#Indigenous#world#(Smith,#1999),#free#from#the#expectation#of#reacting#to#colonial#forces#(Monture]Angus,#1999),#for#the#purpose#of#repatriating#the#land#back#to#Indigenous#peoples#(Tuck#&#Yang,#2012).#The#concept#of#Indigenizing*prioritizes#the#political#power#of#Indigenous#identity#and#culture#(Smith,#1999),#and#seeks#to#divest#from#settler#colonial#authority,#approval,#and#systems#of#legitimacy#in#favor#of#Indigenous#intellectual#systems,#values,#and#ethics#(Simpson,#2014).##Anticolonization!(Serrano]Nåjera,#2014)#responds#to#the#overuse#and#rampant#evacuation#of#the#politics#of#the#term#decolonization#(Tuck#&#Yang,#2012)#to#examine#the#multiple#intersections#of#colonial#hegemony,#describe#the#new#forms#of#colonization,#and#also#to#critically#analyze#the#complexity#of#our#positionalities#in#anti]oppression#work#(Calderón,#2014).####Similarly,#insurgent*approaches#to#research#serve#the#needs#of#the#Indigenous#community#with#action#that#“targets#the#demise#of#colonial#interference#within#our#lives##xviii#and#communities.”#(Gaudry,#2011).##While#the#literature#indicates#an#ongoing#development#of#vocabulary#and#concepts#over#time,#all#four#terms#are#examples#of#oppositional#consciousness#(Sandoval,#2000),#which#seeks#to#transform#dominant#power#relations#in#support#of#Indigenous#knowledge,#people,#and#places.#embodied,!emplaced!knowledges!Embodied#and#emplaced#knowledges#refer#to#the#multisensory#ways#that#we#know#where#and#how#our#physical#bodies#move#and#relate#through#space#and#in#places,#working#from#the#assumption#that#we#are#connected#to#our#surroundings#in#a#relational#ecology.#Embodied*refers#to#the#critical#awareness#not#only#of#our#bodies#in#relation#to#other#bodies,#but#also#an#awareness#of#the#impact#of#our#surroundings#on#our#physical#being#(Irwin#&#Springgay,#2008r#Nayak,#2011).##Our#bodies#are#physical#receptors#and#transmitters#of#relationship#to#our#surroundings,#as#well#as#the#means#through#which#we#understand#relationships#in#space,#encoding#meaning#through#learning,#emotions,#and#understandings#(Cobos,#2012r#Lara,#2014).#Similarly,#the#term#emplaced#refers#to#the#knowledge#held#in#specific#locations,#as#well#as#how#our#bodies#find#and/or#make#meaning#in#particular#spaces#as#part#of#the#processes#of#witnessing,#remembering,#and#storying#(Riaño]Alcalá#&#Baines,#2011).#Though#distinct#concepts,#I#often#use#the#terms#together#as#I#consider#them#mutually#co]constructed.##holism,!holistic!Holism#is#an#Indigenous#concept#that#describes#four#interrelated#aspects#of#a#healthy#personal#well]beingr#the#intellectual,#spiritual,#emotional,#and#physical#realms#of#being#(Archibald,#2008).#Archibald#further#elaborates#how#individuals#are#supported#by#rings#of#context#that#include#family,#community#and#nation,#which#influence#each#other,#as#well#as#the#four#realms#of#self.#See#Figure#1:#Holism#(Archibald,#2008).###Holism#grows#out#of#Indigenous#epistemology,#and#similar#conceptions#are#shared#by#different#Indigenous#nations,#each#suggesting#a#relational#understanding#of#self.#The#term#holistic#shifts#the#concept#into#an#adjective#(grammatical)#form.#For#example,#a#holistic#education#describes#an#educational#approach#that#supports#intellectual,#spiritual,#emotional,#and#physical#development.#In#addition,#holistic#education#draws#from#the#support#and#knowledge#of#the#individual's#multiple#contexts#in#order#to#"nourish#the#learning#spirit"#(Battiste,#2010)#for#the#purpose#of#nurturing#learners#to#be#contributing#community#members.###This#project#specifically#seeks#to#create#an#intervention#in#the#recent#shift#toward#business#models#of#education#that#use#the#language#of#capitalist#metaphors,#such#as#customers#and#customer*satisfaction,#to*describe#learners#and#teaching*outcomes.#As#the#goal#of#the#project#is#to#restory#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#as#ancestral#waters,#it#is#necessary#to#specify#our#approach#as#holistic#and#relational.###xix#!Figure!1:!Holism!(Archibald,!2008)!(Used!by!permission!of!the!UBC!Press,!The!University!of!British!Columbia.)Indígena/Indigenous!I#use#the#terms#Indígena/Indigenous#to#denote#descendants#of#the#First#Peoples#of#the#land.#The#terms#mean#more#than#ethnic#heritage.#According#to#the#United#Nations#Permanent#Forum#on#Indigenous#Issues#(n.d.),#to#be#Indígena#or#Indigenous#implies#a#familiarity#with#a#specific#body#of#cultural,#traditional#and#intergenerational#knowledges,#firmly#rooted#in,#to,#and#of#land.##While#the#concept#includes#Indigenous#peoples#from#each#continent,#I#use#it#to#refer#primarily#to#people#of#the#Americas,#inclusive#of#both#the#North#and#South#American#continents.#Indigenous#includes#a#wide#diversity#of#positionalities,#including#both#federally]recognized#Indigenous#peoples,#who#may#self]identity#as#Native#American,#as#well#as#Indigenous#peoples#without#federal#recognition,#who#may#or#may#not#self]identify#as#Native#American.##While#indigenous,#written#with#a#lowercase#i,*is#an#adjective,#Indigenous,#capitalized,#is#a#proper#noun,#referring#to#a#particular#group#of#peoples,#distinguished#by#cultural#heterogeneity#and/or#political#sovereignty#(Yellow#Bird,#1999).#In#Spanish,#the#term#Indígena#has#also#become#a#powerful#form#of#self]identification#that#honors#the#significant#human#rights#and#social#movements#of#the#past#40#or#so#years#(Burman,#2014).##Recently,#scholars#have#also#adopted#the#term#Indígena#as#forms#of#reclamation#(Speed,#2006)#and#Chicana#solidarity#(Moraga,#2011).#The#term#Indígena#is#not#universally#used#in#South#American#contexts#due#to#their#widespread#use#by#anthropologists#(Boelens,#Getches#&#Guevara]Gil,#2010),#as#some#communities#prefer#an#ancestral#self]referential#name.##However,#Indigenous/Indígena#are#the#words#that#best#fit#my#understandings#as#a#bilingual#non]recognized#Indigenous#person#of#the#US#Mexican#frontera.###xx#The#tension#between#self]identification#and#the#names#we#are#attributed#by#institutions,#governments,#and#others#is#central#to#Native#and#Indigenous#studies.#My#purpose#in#choosing#Indígena/Indigenous#as#a#self]referential#term#is#to#find#a#common#vocabulary#that#is#sensitive#to#the#many#ways#that#people#are#allowed#to#and#not#allowed#to#identify#in#the#US#and#Mexico.##In#the#project,#Indigenous#heritage#was#approached#in#two#ways:#first,#as#a#direct#question#asking#participants#to#self]identify,#and#secondly,#as#a#series#of#questions#that#recalled#an#intergenerational,#familial#cultural#practice#of#land]#and#river]#based#traditional#knowledges.##Therefore,#in#this#project,#I#use#the#term#Indigenous#to#describe#the#diverse#peoples#who#share#land]#and#water]based#cultural,#traditional,#and#intergenerational#knowledges#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo,#inclusive#of#the#many#ways#that#community#members#do/do#not#self]identify#and#are/are#not#recognized#by#colonial#definitions#of#Indigeneity.#My#focus#is#less#on#the#politics#of#identity,#and#more#on#the#revitalization#of#Indigenous#river]#and#land]based#knowledge#that#has#survived#through#the#generations.#In#this#way,#Indigeneity#works#to#revitalize#ancestral#and#intergenerational#ways#of#knowing#and#being#in#relation#to#the#Rio#Grande/#Rio#Bravo.#relational!ecologies!This#phrase#appears#in#the#literature#to#describe#a#wide#variety#of#subjects,#such#as#urban#foraging#(Poe,#LeCompte,#McLain,#&#Hurley,#2014),#animal#agency#in#human/ecological#relationships#(Betts,#Herdenberg,#&#Stirling,#2015r#Putney,#2013),#and#local/global#culinary#culture#(VanWinkle,#2017).#In#each#of#these#studies,#the#author#uses#the#phrase#relational*ecology*to#expand#upon#concepts#of#ecology,#while#focused#primarily#on#human#beings.##In#this#research#project,#I#repurpose#the#phrase#to#focus#on#the#long]standing#conversation#between#scholars#of#environmental#education#(Bowers,#2002r#Gruenewald,#2003,#Bowers#2008r#Stevenson,#2008),#critical#pedagogy#(hooks,#2003r#Darder,#2011),#and#Indigenous#knowledges#(Battiste#&#Henderson,#2000r#Simpson,#2004).##I#define#a#relational*ecology#as#a#concept#embedded#in#Indigenous#epistemologies,#in#which#a#dynamic#and#responsive#network#of#intradependent#beings#share#places,#resources,#and#life#within#an#ecosystem.##Specifically,#I#seek#to#interrupt#the#anthropocentrism#and#constructed#separation#of#humans#from#the#non]human#world#of#environmental#education#(Barrett,#2012),#and#update#the#epistemological#foundations#of#critical#ecopedagogy#(Kahn,#2009r#McLaren,#2013)#and#move#toward#the#decolonizing/anticolonizing/indigenizing#priorities#of#land#repatriation#and#freedom#from#ongoing#occupation#(Smith,#1999r#Tuck#&#Yang,#2012).##storying,!restorying,!and!restor(y)ing!People#share#stories#to#create#meaningful#connections#between#the#self,#family,#community,#culture,#and#the#land#(Archibald,#2008).#Practices#of#storying,#which#includes#story]telling#and#story]listening#(Razack,#1993),#often#encode#worldviews,#ecological#knowledge,#cultural#norms,#ethics,#and#values#to#create#meaning#(Martinez,#1998r#Smith,#1999r#Beaucage,#2005).#Stories#offer#both#implicit#and#explicit#teachings,#offering#multiple#entry#points#for#meaning#to#be#made,#creating#collective#strength.#In#contexts#of#colonization,#in#which#the#goal#is#to#dehumanize#and#dominate#entire#communities#of##xxi#people,#storying#is#considered#dangerous.##Colonization#systematically#functions#to#eliminate#community#resistance#by#creating#one#singular#dominant#narrative,#crafted#by#those#in#power#and#normalized#as#truth.##Restorying,#by#contrast,#speaks#back#to#the#dominant#narratives#to#make#space#for#Indigenous#knowledges,#to#recover,#remember,#and/or#revitalize#the#cultural#knowledges#of#the#community.#Through#mutual#understanding,#relationships#between#a#community#and#the#land#(and#water)#can#be#strengthened#and#nurtured.#Corntassel,#Chaw]win]is#&#T'lakwadzi#(2009)#write#“A#restorying#process#for#Indigenous#peoples#entails#questioning#the#imposition#of#colonial#histories#on#our#communities….#Ultimately,#restorying#is#just#a#first#step#toward#remembering#and#revitalizing#our#collective#and#individual#consciousness"#(p.#155).#By#extension,#the#use#of#the#parenthesis#in#the#spelling#of#restor(y)ing#serves#as#a#grammatical#reminder#of#the#mutual#processes#of#restoring#Indigenous#knowledge#through#restorying.##When#considered#in#the#context#of#the#U.S.#Mexico#borderlands,#restorying#allows#Indigenous#peoples#to#connect#themselves#back#onto#their#ancestral#territories#through#collective#memory#and#traditional#knowledge#of#the#land#and#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo.#While#counter]narrative#(Romero,#Arce,#&#Cammarota,#2009r#Solorzano#&#Yosso,#2009)#has#been#used#across#the#southwest#to#explore#issues#of#intersectionality#and#critical#race#theory,#Indigenous#storying#and#restor(y)ing#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#will#be#a#new#intervention#in#this#particular#context.##traditional!knowledge(s)! !According#to#the#United#Nations#Environmental#Programme,#the#Convention#on#Biological#Diversity#(n.d)#states:#Traditional*knowledge*refers*to*the*knowledge,*innovations*and*practices*of*indigenous*and*local*communities*around*the*world.*Developed*from*experience*gained*over*the*centuries*and*adapted*to*the*local*culture*and*environment,*traditional*knowledge*is*transmitted*orally*from*generation*to*generation.*It*tends*to*be*collectively*owned*and*takes*the*form*of*stories,*songs,*folklore,*proverbs,*cultural*values,*beliefs,*rituals,*community*laws,*local*language,*and*agricultural*practices,*including*the*development*of*plant*species*and*animal*breeds.*Traditional*knowledge*is*mainly*of*a*practical*nature,*particularly*in*such*fields*as*agriculture,*fisheries,*health,*horticulture,*and*forestry.*Thus,#traditional*knowledge#is#a#term#that#includes#all#aspects#of#thinking#and#understanding#from#an#Indigenous#perspective,#focused#primarily#on#relationships#(LittleBear,#2009).#I#use#the#phrase#to#recognize#the#specific#land]#and#water]#based#systems#of#knowledge#that#deeply#embed#people#within#their#own#ancestral#territories,#as#living#beings#within#a#dynamic,#intradependent#living#system.#This#project#focuses#on#the#pedagogical#aspects#of#revitalizing#traditional#knowledge#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo,#and#fully#embraces#the#political#implications#of#such#practices.#Revitalization#of#traditional#knowledge#inherently#creates#a#direct#resistance#to#the#ongoing#settler#colonialism,#the#primary#purpose#of#which#is#to#sever#Indigenous#peoples,#knowledge,#and#claims#to#the#land#(Wildcat,#Simpson,#Irlbacher]Fox#&#Coulthard,#2014).#In#the#context#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo,#the#claim#is#not#made#by#a#singular#nation#of#Indigenous#peoples,#but#does#make#room#for#variously#positioned#and#diversely]#xxii#identifying#Indigenous#peoples#to#claim#belonging#based#on#the#continuous#relationships#of/with/through#traditional#knowledge#of#the#land#and#river.#Occasionally,#I#will#use#the#term#traditional#ecological#knowledge#to#specifically#focus#on#overlap#of#cultural#and#biological#factors#(Cajete,#2000),#or#Indigenous#intellectual#traditions#to#highlight#pedagogical#practices#(Simpson,#2004).###witness,!witnessing!For#Indigenous#communities#that#continue#to#practice#their#oral#traditions,#storying#creates#complementary#roles#for#both#story]tellers#and#story]listeners#or#witnesses.#For#the#Coast#Salish#communities,#and#for#many#Indigenous#communities,#these#roles#are#not#taken#lightly.##To#be#responsible#for#a#correct#telling#of#a#story#(Archibald,#2008)#or#to#agree#to#be#a#witness#is#to#accept#sacred#responsibilities,#formalized#with#a#series#of#ceremonial#protocols#and#community#expectations#(Gaudry,#2011r#Thompson,#2002).##As#a#witness,#one#is#expected#to#pay#close#attention#to#the#details,#and#serve#as#the#expert#or#archive#of#the#events#for#the#community#(Thomas,#2005).#The#witnesses#are#held#accountable#by#the#community,#and#the#formal#process#of#witnessing#legitimizes#their#accounts#as#true.####Witnessing#also#appears#in#memory#studies,#and#particularly,#in#work#around#genocide#and#complex#community#trauma.#Whereas#listening#implies#focusing#on#the#words#spoken,#witnessing#includes#noticing#the#emotional,#affective,#and#embodied#details#(Hirsch#&#Spitzer,#2009),#including#silences,#soundscapes,#processes#of#transmission,#and#how#memory#marks#the#landscape#(Riaño]Alcalá,#2000).#For#this#project,#I#understand#my#own#responsibilities#as#the#researcher]as]witness,#and#fine]tuned#my#approach#listening#to#the#many#layers#of#meaning#conveyed#in#the#participant#testimonios,#which#are#first]hand#accounts#of#their#lifetimes#in#relation#to#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo.#!#xxiii#Acknowledgements!In#Indigenous#communities,#when#a#young#person#is#sent#out#into#the#world#to#learn#about#life,#they#go#with#the#expectation#that#when#they#return,#they#will#be#better#prepared#to#take#up#responsibilities#at#home.#This#practice#goes#by#many#names,#but#in#my#family,#we#call#it#a#caminata.#Grad#school#has#been#my#caminata.##I#am#most#thankful#for#the#opportunity#to#fully#embrace#and#center#my#own#cultura#from#Coast#Salish#territory,#while#translating#two#vastly#different#international#borderlands.#Although#far#from#home,#I#was#surrounded#and#uplifted#by#a#local#community#amongst#whom#my#spirit#was#loved#and#nurtured.#Thank#you,#Vancouver#community,#for#such#a#rich#learning#experience#and#so#many#wonderful#connections.#And#thank#you,#friends#and#family#in#my#home#community#of#Laredo/Nuevo#Laredo,#for#sending#me#off#into#the#world#and#trusting#me#with#our#stories.###I#am#forever#greatful#to#Dr.#Jo]ann#Archibald#for#her#calm#guidance#and#gentle#encouragement#as#my#committee#co]chair#and#mentor.#Her#thoughtful#questions#helped#me#to#clarify#my#thoughts,#strengthen#my#voice,#and#examine#my#own#teaching#practices.##Thank#you,#Dr.#Archibald,#for#being#such#a#generous#and#patient#mentor.#Many#thanks#to#co]chair#Dr.#Rob#Van#Wynsberghe,#and#committee#member#Dr.#Pilar#Riaño]Alcalá,#for#pushing#me#to#consider#how#my#work#may#speak#to#other#academic#fields#and#other#audiences.#Thank#you,#committee.##Thank#you#to#the#colleagues#who#have#held#the#doors#open#along#the#way,#collaboration#through#co]authored#work,#conference#presentations,#journal#editing,#and#grant#work#have#helped#to#shape#me#into#the#academician#that#I#am#today.##Much##xxiv#appreciation#to#Dr.#Archibald#and#Dr.#Margo#Tamez#for#making#space#for#me#to#learn#by#doing.#Thank#you#to#dear#friends#who#have#travelled#with#me,#Manjeet#Birk,#Sarah#Jo,#Francine#Burning,#Dorothy#Christian,#and#Alannah#Young.#It#was#a#blessing#to#be#held#up#by#such#amazing#women.#Thank#you#to#my#UBC#SAGE#(Supporting#Aboriginal#Graduate#Enhancement)#friends,#my#Educational#Studies#cohort,#classmates#and#writing#groups#who#have#each#heard#the#evolution#of#my#project#for#many#years.##I#am#so#grateful#for#our#ongoing#conversations,#words#of#appreciation,#and#encouragement.#I#also#offer#deepest#appreciation#to#my#first#teachers,#my#parents#Norma#and#Oscar,#and#my#sister#Cristina.##Thank#you#for#your#patience,#unending#support,#and#flexibility#with#my#obsessive#writing#habits.##Thank#you,#Ben.##You#have#been#a#brilliant#adventure#companion.#I#am#most#appreciative#of#your#humor#and#spontaneity.##Our#Canadian#adventure#was#your#idea,#and#with#my#whole#heart,#thank#you.###And#thank#you#to#my#greatest,#tiniest#teacher,#Ofelia,#who#fills#me#with#wonder.###Mil#gracias,#queridxs.##Por#todas#mis#relaciones.1#############################################1#A#thousand#thanks,#loved#ones.##For#all#my#relations.###xxv#Dedication!For#those#who#came#before#me#and##For#those#who#will#make#their#way#after##All#I#have#are#my#Grampa#Toya's#words,##and#the#memory#of#his#voice:##"Everything#you#need#is#already#inside#of#you."##1#Prologue!!In#accordance#with#local#Indigenous#protocols,#I#am#a#visitor#to#the#unceded#ancestral#territories#of#the#xʷmzθkwzy̓zm#(Musqueam),#Sḵwx̱wú7mesh#(Squamish),#and#Szl̓ílwztaʔ#(Tsleil]Waututh)#nations,#where#I#completed#my#graduate#studies.#I#acknowledge#the#local#waterways#that#inspirit#this#territory,#and#the#relational#ecologies#that#connect#me#to#home.###My#name#is#Marissa#Isela#Muñoz,#daughter#of#Norma#Montoya#and#Oscar#Jesùs#Muñozr#granddaughter#of#Maria#Luisa#Ramirez,#Eustacio#Montoya,#Leonor#Valdez,#and#Oscar#Muñoz#Dena.#I#am#Xicana#Tejana,#Estok'#Gna,#thirteenth#generation#rooted#on#both#sides#of#my#family#to#what#is#now#called#the#city#of#Laredo,#Texas,#on#the#banks#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo.#On#my#mother’s#side,#we#trace#our#roots#to#the#Tlaxcalteca]#and#Coahuilteca]speaking#peoples#of#the#greater#region.#On#my#father’s#side,#my#roots#trace#to#the#Wixairika#communities#from#the#Real#de#Catorce#region#of#San#Luis#Potosi,#Mexico.#The#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#are#my#ancestral#waters,#understood#by#Indigenous#peoples#as#a#map#read#lengthwise,#guiding#the#journeys#of#our#relatives#across#the#territory.##This#project#prioritizes#Indigenous#knowledges#and#ways]of]being,#recognizing#and#honoring#the#distinct#relationships#that#grow#between#the#land,#waters,#and#peoples#of#particular#ecologies.##All#work#described#in#this#dissertation#is#an#Indigenous#methodology,#guided#by#a#practice#of#being#a#good#relation#to#and#with#Indigenous#communities,#understood#as#diverse,#dynamic,#and#polyvocal#communities#practicing#diverse,#dynamic,#and#land]based#bodies#of#knowledge.###2#Chapter!1:!Introduction!to!the!Research!!The#first#time#I#was#invited#to#ceremonia2,#in#Canada,#I#was#really#excited#to#join#the#Ladies,#my#Indigenous#Canadian#friends,#for#a#sweat#in#North#Vancouver.#It#was#a#familiar#ceremony,#which#I#have#participated#in#many#times,#yet,#I#was#still#a#little#bit#nervous.##We#parked#near#the#community#meeting#place#in#the#middle#of#town,#collected#our#ceremonial#items#and#stepped#into#the#tree#line.#As#I#slipped#off#my#city#shoes#and#slipped#into#my#huaraches,#every#cell#in#my#body#relaxed#into#a#relational#way#of#being.#Within#a#few#steps,#the#trees#folded#closed#around#us,#and#the#city#fell#away#from#my#awareness.#Out#of#habit,#I#carefully#stepped#in#my#friend#Alannah's#footprints,#vigilant#to#stay#on#the#cleared#path#that#twisted#around#the#Pacific#Northwest#rainforest.#Ceremony#always#requires#work.##There#are#teachings#in#the#work.#So,#after#a#few#introductions,#I#asked#Alannah#what#I#could#do#to#help.##She#handed#me#a#pair#of#snips,#and#said,#"Bring#me#two#big#handfuls#of#balsam#needles."##So#I#went,#walking#carefully#over#the#well]worn#paths#to#the#edge#of#the#clearing.#I#knew#what#she#wanted,#and#I#could#see#the#bluish#hue#of#the#balsam#tree#just#on#the#other#side#of#a#dense#patch#of#undergrowth.#I#stopped.#There#was#no#path.##I'd#have#to#fully#step#in#and#negotiate#this#land#that#was#not#my#own.#I#stood#on#the#edge#of#the#clearing,#looking,#thinking,#and#trying#to#solve#the#riddle#of#how#to#step#into#the#wild#understory#of#this#unfamiliar#forest.#My#feet#############################################2#Ceremony##3#would#not#step#into#the#dense#layer#of#mixed#foliage.#My#Texas#mind#wanted#to#be#careful#of#the#hidden#dangers#that#could#scratch,#bite,#sting,#or#tangle#me#as#I#came#through.#These#feet,#that#know#how#to#walk#across#the#arid,#scrubby#monte3#of#home,#were#paralyzed#in#the#lush#temperate#rainforest.##After#a#minute#of#tentatively#stepping#around#plants#and#trees#and#moving#branches#to#see#the#ground,#Alannah#came#over.##She#smiled#and#said,#"I'll#show#you,"#as#she#walked#through#the#wilderness#to#the#balsam#tree.#I#was#astonished#to#watch#her#move#with#such#ease#and#familiarity.##I#tried#explaining#my#racing#thoughts.##She#just#smiled#and#started#snipping.###Over#the#course#of#five#years,#there#were#many#moments#of#learning#from#the#local#Coast#Salish#communities,#specifically#xʷmzθkwzy̓zm#(Musqueam),#Sḵwx̱wú7mesh#(Squamish),#and#Szl̓ílwztaʔ#(Tsleil]Waututh)#nations#within#whose#unceded#ancestral#territory#I#was#living.#More#than#culture#shock,#I#was#witnessing#the#unspoken,#holistic#relationships#and#intergenerational#knowings#of#my#friends,#the#Ladies.#Each#practiced#the#traditional#knowledges#of#their#home#communities,#and#each#contributed#to#the#local#Coast#Salish#community#as#good#relations.#They#knew#the#songs#of#the#local#ancestors,#and#where#the#medicine#plants#lived.##They#knew#the#stories#of#the#beings#after#whom#mountains#were#named,#and#knew#how#to#mark#the#year#with#seasons#of#salmon,#blueberries,#elk,#dungeness#crab,#as#well#as#halibut,#oolichan#and#seaweed#from#relatives#up#the#coast.##To#them,#this#was#tacit#cultural#knowledge,#the#basics#of#living#in]relation#############################################3#Wild,#arid#landscape.##4#to#these#lands,#these#waters,#and#these#ancestors.#My#friends#were#fluent#in#the#relationships#between#landscape#and#culture#of#our#home.###For#the#first#few#months,#I#experienced#a#combination#of#culture#shock,#as#well#as#an#ecological#shock.#I#quickly#discovered#the#limitations#of#my#Wildlife#and#Fisheries#Biology#degree#as#being#specific#to#the#flora#and#fauna#of#Texas,#as#very#few#species#in#the#landscape#were#familiar.##I#would#sit#quietly#in#the#untended#areas#of#forest#around#Vancouver#and#intently#watch#the#velvety#black#squirrels#and#listen#to#the#birdsong#of#my#new#neighbors.#For#me,#the#new#ecology#brought#into#stark#relief#the#many#ways#in#which#Native#and#Indigenous#peoples#are#deeply#embedded#in#the#cultural#and#ecological#landscapes#of#their#own,#and#each#other's,#ancestral#territories.#I#had#to#learn#how#to#be#a#good#relation#in#this#new#home,#not#just#to#the#people#in#the#community#but#to#the#life]forms,#spirits,#knowledge,#and#memories#tied#to#the#landscape.##1.1! Ofrenda4,5!Most#respectfully,##we#begin#the#way#we#were#taught#to#begin#ceremony6#This#is#a#ceremony#of#witnessing,#Of#listening#with#all#of#our#being##Of#being]in]relation.#############################################4#Offering.##We#begin#with#ceremony#as#a#protocol,#a#waking#of#all#senses,#understanding#that#not#everything#shared#will#be#sacred#knowledge,#but#everything#shared#carries#a#responsibility#for#attention#and#respect.#5#"Calling#the#sacred#directions#is#an#act#of#historical#consciousness.”#(Celia#Herrera#Rodríguez,#cited#by#Gonzales,#2012,#p.#189).#As#an#introduction#to#this#dissertation,#it#creates#space#and#prioritizes#ancestral#ways#of#knowing.#6#Research#for,#with,#and#amongst#Indigenous#peoples#is#ceremony#(Wilson,#2008).##5#We#begin#with#offerings#and#an#invitation#passed#through#the#generations,##remembered,##practiced.#I'll#add#copal#to#the#sahumador7#And#with#my#sonaja8#and#ayoyotes9#ready#the#quiquitzli10#calls#to#invite#the#spirits#from#each#direction##With#a#turn#to#face#the#sky,#and#a#turn#to#face#nuestra#querida#madrecita#tierra11#and##with#a#deep#breath,##my#heart#is#ready#Tiahui!#1.2! Problem!Statement!Mni#wiconi12#(Gilio]Whitaker,#2018r#Larned,#2018).#Water#is#life.#Peoples#all#over#the#world#have#regarded#water#as#sacred#(Hikuroa,#Slade,#&#Gravely,#2011r#Indigenous#World#Forum#on#Water#and#Peace,#2014r#Young#&#Nadeau,#2005),#connecting#spirit#to#all#aspects#of#life#(Anderson,#2010,#Sanderson,#2008).#############################################7#Ceramic#cup#where#one#burns#copal#(tree#resin)#to#make#the#smoke#that#carries#prayers.#8#Hand]held#rattle.#9#Ankle#rattles,#used#in#Danza#Mexica.#10#Conch#shell,#played#like#a#trumpet#to#call#the#community#11#Our#beloved#Mother#Earth.#12#In#the#Lakota#language,#"water#is#life,"#used#as#a#rallying#cry#during#the#2016#protest#of#the#construction#of#the#Dakota#Access#Pipeline#through#the#Standing#Rock#Reservation.##6#Knowledge#of#water#is#vital#for#the#survival#of#all#peoples,#intimately#implicating#us#within#the#interdependent#aspects#of#our#local#ecologies.#As#the#contexts#of#our#communities#have#shifted#through#time,#so#too,#have#the#meanings#we#attribute#to#water.##In#only#a#few#generations,#knowledge#can#be#lost#to#forgetting.#Yet,#the#stories#of#our#elders#serve#as#a#map,#documenting#the#long#perspective#of#life#experience,#reminding#us#of#the#trajectory#of#who#we#are,#how#we#got#here,#and#what#we#have#collectively#known#along#the#way.##The#existing#relationships#between#people,#land,#and#water#were#profoundly#altered#with#the#onset#of#European#colonization#in#the#Americas#(Peña,#1998r#Simpson,#2014r#Tuck,#McKenzie,#&#McCoy,#2014).#We#now#understand#that#settler#colonialism#to#be#"a#persistent#social#and#political#formation#in#which#newcomers/colonizers/settlers#come#to#a#place,#claim#it#as#their#own,#and#do#whatever#it#takes#to#disappear#the#Indigenous#peoples#that#are#there"#(Arvin,#Tuck,#&#Morrill,#2013,#p.#12).#To#many#Indigenous#peoples,#land#is#the#source#of#knowledge,#responsive#and#aliver#yet#to#the#colonizers,#land#is#an#item#of#property,#a#commodity#to#own,#full#of#resources#to#use#and#sell.#Eurocentric#understandings#based#on#the#human#domination#of#Nature#have#literally#paved#the#way#for#urban#sprawl#across#our#planet]#local#people#are#violently#removed#and/or#displacedr#ecologies#are#razedr#concrete#is#pouredr#and#cities#grown.#For#a#vast#majority#of#people#living#in#urban#communities,#water#simply#comes#from#the#faucet,#with#little#or#no#understanding#of#local#water#cycles#involved.##In#the#urban#environment,#people#have#to#go#out#of#their#normal,#daily##7#routines#to#catch#a#glimpse#of#the#local#"natural#world"#to#see#how#the#land,#water,#flora#and#fauna#support#life#in#the#places#they#consider#home.##This#is#true#in#my#home#community#of#Laredo,#Texas.#There#is#evidence#of#continuous#habitation#along#the#banks#of#our#river#for#several#thousands#of#years#(Maestas,#2003r#Sansom,#2008).#However,#for#many#Laredoans,#our#rich#inheritance#of#Indigenous#river#knowledges#and#stories#is#not#common#knowledge.#Similar#to#the#way#that#in#particularly#dry#years,#the#water#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#does#not#reach#the#Gulf#of#Mexico.#In#these#particularly#fraught#generations,#the#intellectual#traditions#of#our#ancestral#waters#and#lands#have#not#reached#many#of#the#younger#people#in#our#community.#The#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo13#is#our#only#source#of#potable#water,#and#in#our#curve#of#the#river,#surrounded#by#the#arid#landscape,#access#to#potable#water#has#always#ensured#survival.#In#1848,#the#signing#of#the#Treaty#of#Guadalupe#Hidalgo#formalized#a#US#Mexico#colonial#system#of#land#and#water#dispossession#(Hernandez,#2001r#Martinez,#2012r#Menchaca,#1993),#making#our#river#their#international#border14.#Not#only#did#the#border#permanently#disrupt#the#local#community#and#ecology#that#had#grown#on#both#sides#of#the#river,#it#also#changed#how#locals#identified#themselves#in#relation#to#the#land,#to#the#river,#and#to#each#other.#For#many,#we#know#our#Indigenous#relatives,#but#systemically,#we#have#been#de]Indigenized#through#violence,#systemic#assimilation,#and#tricky#census#categories#(Menchaca,#############################################13#The#river#is#named#differently#on#each#side#of#the#border,#thus,#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#is#a#literal#representation#of#the#river#split#by#the#border#line.##For#residents,#the#names#are#interchangeable.##I#write#both#to#remind#myself#to#think#like#a#Laredoan.#14#Our,*referring#to#Indigenous#peoples#for#whom#the#greater#area#is#ancestral#territory,#and#their,*referring#to#the#US#and#Mexico#as#colonial#entities.*##8#1993r#Saldaña]Portillo,#2017r#Serrano#Nájera,#2014r#Urrieta,#2003).#However,#the#Indigenous#knowledge#has#survived,#and#our#elders#remember.#The#occupation#of#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#as#an#international#border#has#created#a#whole#new#set#of#meanings#and#implications#with#regards#to#both#the#river#and#water#in#the#region.#These#meanings#have#shifted#dramatically#over#time,#most#noticeably#in#how#the#mainstream#media#in#the#United#States#has#sensationalized#depictions#of#border#life.##Further#complicating#the#tension#for#border#communities#is#the#ongoing#militarized#occupation#by#the#US#Department#of#Homeland#Security#in#response#to#both#the#"war#on#terror"#and#"war#on#drugs"#(Fregoso,#2007r#Saldaña]Portillo,#2017).#The#uniformed#and#heavily]armed#agents#have#altered#the#landscape#not#only#by#their#physical#presence,#but#also#by#the#heightened#tension,#and#psychological#dominance#that#permeate#all#aspects#of#daily#life.#For#the#locals#who#live#in#my#community,#the#presence#of#armored#vehicles#and#machine#guns#in#public#spaces#makes#it#easy#to#forget#that#our#life]giving#ancestral#river#is#immediately#close#by.#However,#Laredo/Nuevo#Laredo#community#members#understand#the#river,#the#land,#and#themselves#differently#than#most#mainstream#depictions#of#border#life.#In#the#last#40#years#or#so,#within#my#lifetime,#I#have#witnessed#a#change#in#how#we#know,#live#with,#and#talk#about#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#in#my#community.#Elders#tell#stories#of#when#the#river#used#to#bring#the#community#together,#before#border#politics#and#the#US#Department#of#Homeland#Security#split#our#community#into#two#distinct#halves.#While#there#are#relatively#few#stories#that#exclusively#focus#on#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo,#the#river#is#ever]present#in##9#conversations#about#daily#community#life.#Collective#memory#of#the#river#has#shaped#peoples'#bodies,#the#landscapes,#and#the#ongoing#daily#practices#of#the#community#(Riaño]Alcalá#&#Baines,#2011).#The#influence#and#importance#of#the#river#permeates#all#life#here,#even#if#the#younger#generations#are#unaware.#In#spite#of#the#globalized#Eurocentric#worldview#of#Man#dominating#Nature,#Indigenous#and#land]based#knowledges#have#survived#in#the#collective#memories#of#many#peoples#who#continue#to#live#near/in/on/with#their#ancestral#territories#(LaDuke,#1994r#Maestas,#2003r#Martinez,#1998r#Ybarra,#2009).#Therefore,#this#project#focuses#on#recovering#the#Indigenous#knowledges#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#that#have#survived#in#the#collective#memory#of#my#community#of#Laredo,#Texas.#Much#of#this#cultural#knowledge#is#shared#informally,#through#being#on#the#land.#These#traditions#are#often#tacit,#built#into#the#local#culture,#and#as#such,#may#be#invisible#to#a#person#not#familiar#with#the#community#and/or#landscape.##The#three#major#areas#of#inquiry#are#the#relationships#between#the#people,#the#land,#and#water,#as#seen#in#Figure#2:#Concept#Map#Guiding#the#Study.!!Each#of#the#three#areas#of#inquiry#seem#to#offer#insight#independently#of#the#other#areas,#but#also#suggest#that#some#significance#will#be#co]constructed#in#the#overlap#of#areas#of#inquiry:#the#relationship#between#people#and#water,#between#water#and#the#land,#between#land#and#the#people,#and#in#the#overlap#of#all#three.#Drawn#as#intersecting#circles,#the#areas#of#inquiry#are#further#contextualized#when#understood#within#the#context#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#in#the#specific#geographic#location#of#south#Texas,#and/or#Laredo/Nuevo#Laredo.##10##Figure!2:!Concept!Map!Guiding!the!Study!The#geographical#context#can#be#seen#in#Figure#3:#Watershed#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo,#which#shows#the#footprint#of#the#river#system,#as#it#extends#into#both#Mexico#and#the#US,#including#the#smaller#rivers#that#join#the#waterway.#Development#of#the#concept#map#and#geographical#context#helped#to#clarify#the#research#questions,#and#also#made#immediately#obvious#the#challenges#of#visually#representing#key#decolonial/Indigenizing#concepts.#For#example,#I#specifically#was#searching#for#a#map#that#showed#the#river,#not#the#border.#The#challenge#was#in#locating#an#image15#that#represented#the#river#as#a#biological#entity,#mindful#that#each#particular#aesthetic#choice#prioritizes#particular#ways#of#seeing#that#are#culturally]centric#and#embedded#with#values#and#ethics16.##############################################15#I#did#eventually#create#a#few#images#of#my#own,#later#in#the#process.#16#Future#work#may#include#examining#a#Xicanx#decolonial#aesthetic#in#mapping#practices.##11##Figure!3:!Watershed!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!(Used#with#permission#of#the#Texas#Commission#on#Environmental#Quality.)#12#1.3! Purpose!The#purpose#of#the#project#is#to#understand#the#relationship#between#the#community,#river,#and#land,#and#to#revitalize#river#and#water#knowledge#as#an#intergenerational#intellectual#tradition.#Community#elders#and#knowledge#keepers#were#invited#to#share#their#stories#and#knowledge#about#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo,#and#to#give#witness#of#the#changes#that#have#occurred#in#their#lifetimes.#This#project#used#a#holistic#approach#to#incorporate#stories,#testimonios,#life#histories,#emplaced#and#embodied#experiences#to#understand#the#many#meanings#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#to#the#community#of#Laredo/Nuevo#Laredo.##Community#stories#provided#insight#into#how#the#river#and#the#land#have#shaped#how#we#understand#ourselves#as#a#community#of#diverse#Indigenous#peoples.#The#stories#of#our#collective#memory#were#then#used#as#the#basis#of#a#river]based#approach#to#pedagogy,#as#understood#through#the#eyes#of#sixth]grade#science#teacher#from#and#of#the#frontera#community.#This#project#intended:##•# To#document#and#understand#the#local#relationships#among#the#people,#the#land,#and#watersr#•# To#restore#an#intergenerational#practice#of#traditional#ecological#knowledge,#focusing#on#water#and#ecologies#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravor#and#•# To#explore#remembrance#and#restorying#as#approaches#toward##Indigenous#revitalization#in#the#context#of#ongoing#colonization,#environmental#racism,#and#exploitation,#which#have#impacted#the#peoples,#the#river,#and#the#land.##13#1.4! Research!Questions!This#project#asks#the#following#questions:#1.# How#do#Indigenous#people#who#live#along#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#understand#and#talk#about#the#river?#2.# What#is#the#relationship#of#water#to#the#people,#in#their#lives,#and#in#their#communities?#3.# How#might#these#relationships#inform#a#culturally]relevant#and#intergenerational#pedagogy#that#shares#Indigenous#intellectual#traditions#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo?#How#might#this#pedagogy#be#shaped#of/by/with/through#the#traditional#knowledge#of#water?#1.5! Significance!Colonization#is#ongoing,#including#the#multi]level,#structural#erasure,#silencing,#and#displacement#of#Indigenous#peoples#and#knowledges#from#the#land.##The#greatest#significance#of#this#project#lies#in#the#timeliness#of#the#focus:###•# Our#collective#past:#Many#community#elders#and#knowledge#keepers#are#still#with#us,#and#remember#when#our#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#was#our#sacred#water,#before#the#current#era#of#colonial#occupationr#and##•# Our#collective#future:#More#and#more#communities#are#moving#toward#culturally]centric#educational#practices#to#support#their#young#learners,#in#spite#of#legal#maneuvering#to#maintain#the#whitewashed#status#quo#in#education.##To#understand#the#importance#of#the#work,#we#must#begin#with#a#bit#of#context#to#situate#how#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#is#understood#by#mainstream#US#society.###14#Common#portrayals#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#in#the#dominant#US#media#use#the#river#primarily#as#a#line#to#mark#the#division#between#us]versus]them,#American]versus]Mexican,#and#first]world]versus]third]world#(Campbell#&#Heyman,#2007r#Elenes,#2002r#Santa#Ana,#2002).#The#two#sides#of#the#line#are#emphasized#in#news#stories#to#suggest#a#binary,#which#aligns#with#Eurocentric#and#Cartesian#thinking17.##Ahistorical,#oppositional#thinking#is#applied#to#the#people#as#easily#as#it#is#to#the#land,#making#assumptions#about#the#communities#using#the#terms#Latina/o,#Hispanic,#and/or#Mexican,#problematically#conflating#race,#ethnicity,#geography,#and#linguistic#abilities#across#multiple#distinct#populations#(Santa#Ana,#2002r#Tabuenca]Cordoba,#2005).#As#a#result,#each#of#these#terms#has#historically#been#used#to#erase#or#assimilate#the#various#Indigenous#peoples#for#whom#the#river#is#shared#ancestral#territory18.#Furthermore,#these#misrepresentations#are#so#often#repeated,#they#are#often#assumed#to#be#truths#(Santa#Ana,#2002r#Torres#&#Mercado,#2006r#Trofanenko,#2008),#normalizing#the#historical#and#ongoing#colonial#dynamics,#misconceptions,#and#political#(settler)#agendas#in#the#greater#borderland#region#(Irwin,#2013r#Tabuena]Cordoba,#2005).#The#predominance#of#the#white]supremacist#colonial#system#has#shaped#acceptable#categories#of#identity#(Gross,#2003r#Menchaca,#1993r#Saldaña]Portillo,#2017),#has#erased#Indigenous#and/or#ancestral#names#(Galindo,#2003r#Mancias#&#Torres,#2015)#and#has#been#internalized#through#the#generations#under#the#threats#of#violence#(Campbell#&#Heyman,#2007r#Maestas,#############################################17#By#contrast,#in#Indigenous#philosophy,#the#river#would#be#considered#as#a#system#of#relationships.##18#An#expanded#discussion#of#this#appears#in#Chapter#2.###15#2003).#While#many#community#members#know#their#Indigenous#ancestry,#there#may#not#be#a#cohesive#cultural#or#linguistic#community#to#which#they#belong.19#While#dealing#with#stereotypes#and#racist#microaggressions#are#certainly#taxing#on#individuals,#the#implications#of#normalizing#and#internalizing#the#dominant,#racialized#system#as#a#community#are#far]reaching.#Decisions#made#by#misinformed#politicians#dramatically#impact#the#daily#reality#of#everyone#living#in#border#communities,#regardless#of#identity.##Consider#the#following#systemic#policy]level#decisions,#and#material#reality#that#are#the#results:#•# In#May#of#2017,#President#Trump#signed#the#Consolidated#Appropriations#Act#of#2017,#granting#the#Department#of#Homeland#Security#$42.4#billion#(US#Department#of#Homeland#Security,#2017).##•# The#US#spends#roughly#$19#billion#on#border#security,#principally#to#manage#the#US#Mexico#border#(Schneider,#2016),#funding#the#US#Border#Patrol#and#US#Immigration#and#Customs#Enforcement#Agencies,#who#employ#more#than#49,000#enforcement#personnel#(American#Immigration#Council,#2017).#•# Even#though#the#federal#government#has#jurisdiction#over#the#US#Mexico#border,#the#state#of#Texas#spent#an#additional#$800#million#in#the#2016]2017#budget#to#supplement#border#enforcement#with#Texas#State#Troopers,#Texas#Rangers,#special#agents#of#the#Department#of#Public#############################################19#An#expanded#discussion#of#this#appears#in#Chapter#2.##16#Safety,#Texas#National#Guard,#and#Texas#State#Game#Wardens#(Schneider,#2016).##•# The#cost#of#building#the#Trump#Administration's#border#wall#is#estimated#to##be#approximately#$21.6#billion,#which#only#accounts#for#initial#construction,#not#including#annual#maintenance,#personnel,#or#environmental#remediation#(Shabad,#2017).#For#frontera#residents#living#in#border#communities,#homeland#security#has#produced#a#daily,#racially]charged,#military#occupation#of#the#places#we#call#home.#Billions#of#dollars#have#been#spent#to#occupy#the#US#Mexico#border#with#personnel,#surveillance#technology#and#the#construction#of#a#border#wall#by#multiple#levels#of#government,#with#little#to#no#knowledge#of#relational#ecologies#nourished#on#both#sides#of#the#river,#or#interrelated#peoples#on#both#sides#of#the#border.#Our#relationships#to#the#river,#the#land,#and#each#other#as#riverside#communities#are#forever#changed#by#the#colonial#apartheid#structures,#but#the#people#have#not#forgotten#that#this#current#hegemonic#occupation#is#not#normal.###For#much#of#the#population#of#the#southwest,#who#are#of#IndigenousMexicanAmerican20#descent,#the#politics#of#identity#have#always#been#historically#dangerous#(EagleWoman,#2008r#Irwin,#2013r#Montoya,#1994),#and#yet#cultural#traditions#based#in#traditional#knowledge#have#survived#(Anzaldúa,#1999r#Maestas,#2003r#Tabuenca]Cordoba,#2005).#Although#individuals#may#choose#to#self]identify#in#many#diverse#ways#(depending#on#the#context#and#depending#on#############################################20#IndigenousMexicanAmerican#is#written#as#a#run]on#phrase#to#indicate#the#confluence#of#these#identities.###17#who#is#asking)#the#stories,#practices,#songs,#testimonies,#and#uses#of#language#connect#them#as#fronterizxs21#to#the#collective#and#blood#memories#of#land]based#cultures#that#predate#colonization.##In#this#way,#this#project#seeks#to#reinvigorate#the#conversation#around#Indigenous#knowledge,#drawing#strength#from#the#connections#to#the#ancestral#intellectual#traditions#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo,#not#as#a#singular#entity,#but#as#a#diverse#and#poly]vocal#network#of#communities.##As#an#Indigenous#scholar,#part#of#my#work#is#to#recognize#that#"ecocide#and#ethnocide#go#hand#in#hand"#(Peña,#1998,#p.#14r#Cannella#&#Manuelito,#2008).#In#other#words,#destruction#of#the#land,#and#of#traditional#knowledge#of#the#land,#often#occurs#simultaneously#with#the#destruction#of#culture,#and#the#traditional#knowledge#embedded#in#that#culture.#The#systemic#violence#of#colonization#can#be#seen#in#how#both#private#and#public#lands#are#taken#and#occupied#in#the#name#of#national#security,#and#also#in#how#our#children#are#assimilated#by#Eurocentric#educational#institutions.#The#disappearance#of#Indigenous#peoples,#knowledge,#and#lands#happens#simultaneously#in#multiple#ways#in#educational#contexts,#from#the#interpersonal,#to#the#curricular,#to#the#programmatic,#and#to#the#legal#rights#and#structures#upheld#as#dominant.#In#public#school#classrooms#across#the#nation,#which#include#a#growing#population#of#Latinx#children22,#mandated#curricula#standards#normalize#colonial#worldviews#and#histories#as#the#natural#and#inevitable#outcome#of#human#progress#(Palacios,#2012).#In#Texas#state#history#standards,#Indigenous#pre]############################################21#Borderland#residents.#Further#discussion#of#this#term#is#in#Chapter#3.#22#They#are#generalized#as#Latinx#students,#but#can#also#be#understood#to#be#of#diverse#Indigenous]to]the]Americas#ancestries.##18#colonial#civilizations#are#relegated#to#ancient#histories#(Diaz,#2014r#Iasevol,#2017),#are#framed#by#the#patriotic#colonial#mythology#as#inferior#and#barbaric#(Godina,#2003r#Maestas,#2003),#or#are#altogether#missing#(Hernandes,#2005r#Noboa,#2013).##Indigenous#Mesoamerican#intellectual#traditions#are#not#considered#foundational#to#the#curriculum#(Acosta,#2014r#Godina,#2003),#unless#they#assimilate#(Montoya,#1994)#or#can#be#appropriated#by#(Calderón,#2014),#and#made#palatable#to#(bells,#1992)#the#Whitestream#norm.##In#this#way,#today’s#youth#are#the#targets#of#an#ongoing#ethnocide,#as#their#right#to#learn#the#Indigenous#knowledge#that#affirms#their#identity,#inalienable#human#rights,#and#strengthens#their#connection#to#their#ancestral#territories#are#at#risk.##One#well]documented#example#of#how#education#is#often#coopted#for#the#purpose#of#colonization#took#place#in#2010,#when#Republican#lawmakers#Tom#Horne#and#John#Huppenthal#wrote#legislation#in#Arizona#targeting#the#removal#of#the#Mexican]American#Studies#(MAS#or#Raza)#Program#at#Tucson#High#School#(Esquivel#&#Santa#Cruz,#2010).#Educator#Curtis#Acosta#explains#that#because#88%#of#the#student#body#was#considered#Latino/Hispanic#and#at]risk,#the#MAS#program#was#designed#to#draw#from#Indigenous#Mesoamerican#epistemologies#to#"rehumanize#the#educational#experience"#(Acosta,#2014,#p.#4r#Godina,#2003).##Pedagogical#praxes#were#based#on#trust,#authentic#caring,#and#justice,#so#that#education#could#move#toward#liberation#in#guiding#students#as#critical#and#engaged#community#members#(Acosta,#2014r#Rodriguez,#2011r#Romero,#Arce,#&#Camarota,#2009).#The#documentary#film#Precious*Knowledge*(2011)#explores#the#culturally]relevant#pedagogies#and#remarkable#success#of#the#MAS#program.#In##19#the#film,#Horne#goes#on#record#describing##(Toscano#Villanueva,#2013)#Studies#as#"divisive#and#unAmerican”23#(Khimm,#2010r#McGinnis#&#Palos,#2011r#McKechnie#&#Riechers,#2017r#Shaheed,#20131).#The#lawmaker#claimed#that#classes#were#radicalizing#students,#promoting#racial#animosity,#and#promoting#the#overthrow#of#the#US#government#(Depenbrock,#2017r#McKechnie#&#Riechers,#2011r#Santa#Cruz,#2010).#In#2012,#the#bill#was#passed#into#law#based#on#the#mistaken#notion#that#teaching#the#pre]colonial#history#of#our#country#is#damaging,#extraneous,#and#confusing#to#students#(Depenbrock,#2017r#Khimm,#2010r#Shaheed,#2013).#In#spite#of#their#remarkable#93%#high#school#graduation#rate#(Acosta,#2014r#McKechnie#&#Riechers,#2017),#the#MAS#program#at#Tucson#High#School#was#shut#down#in#2012#under#the#threat#of#the#school#losing#all#state#funding#(Kaleem,#2017r#Santa#Cruz,#2010).##The#students#of#Tucson#High#lost#a#significant,#critical#and#culturally]relevant#school#program,#and#watched#as#teachers,#student#leaders,#and#supportive#community#members#were#marginalized#in#the#years#that#followed#the#passing#of#the#law#(Depenbrock,#2017r#McKechnie#&#Riechers,#2011).##In#August#of#2017,#a#federal#appellate#judge#named#A.#Wallace#Tashima#sided#with#the#students#of#Tucson,#deciding#that#the#law#was#discriminatory#against#the#Mexican]American#students#in#both#enactment#and#enforcement,#and#also#interfered#with#their#Constitutional#rights#(Harris,#2017r#Kaleem,#2017).#While#the#legal#victory#is#important,#the#media#coverage#of#the#original#controversy#was#############################################23#Read#the#subtext#as:#because#Mexicans#are#considered#divisive#and#unAmerican.##20#widespread,#reinforcing#the#association#between#the#phrases**,#un5American24,*ethnic*chauvinism25,**and*reverse*racism26.##Little#has#been#done#to#correct#these#misconceptions#about#Mexican]American#studies,#or#publically#celebrate#the#success#of#ethnic#studies#courses#in#dramatically#increasing#retention#and#graduation#rates#for#at]risk#youth.#In#spite#of#this#misdirected#media#attention,#the#outcomes#are#remarkable,#inspiring#the#creation#of#educational#programs#based#in#Indigenous#Mesoamerican#intellectual#traditions#in#cities#such#as#El#Paso,#Texas,#Phoenix,#Arizona,#and#St.#Paul,#Minnesota#(Ayala,#2014,#Depenbrock,#2017,#Hermosillo,#2013r#Planas,#2013).#In#2013,#a#similar#law#was#introduced#in#Texas#by#State#Senator#Dan#Patrick,#named##SB1128,#which#would#disqualify#ethnic#studies#courses#from#counting#as#core#history#courses#toward#high#school#graduation#requirements#(Planas,#2013).#Senator#Patrick#argued#that#there#was#enough#representation#of#Latinos#in#K]12#curriculum,#and#that#Latino#history#is#not#general#Texas#or#US#history#(Hermosillo,#2013).#SB1128#was#left#to#die#in#the#83rd#Legislature.##Two#years#later,#State#Representative#Rafael#Anchia#introduced#an#act#to#the#85#Legislature,#advocating#for#the#adoption#of#content]based#curriculum#standards#for#different#ethnic#studies#courses.#In#other#words,#ethnic#studies#would#be#considered#a#valid#elective,#as#long#as#the#course#adheres#to#the#accepted#structures#decided#by#the#State#Board#of#Education.#Again,#Mexican#American#intellectual#traditions,#histories,#and#identities#would#only#be#allowed#if#it#was#############################################24#(Khimm,#2010r#McGinnis#&#Palos,#2011r#McKechnie#&#Riechers,#2011r#Shaheed,#2013)#25#(Fox#News,#2010)#26#(Ayala,#2014)###21#made#palatable#and#gained#the#approval#of#the#colonizing#Eurocentric#educational#system.#Colonization#also#manifests#in#the#form#of#educational#curricular#materials.#Take,#for#example,#the#recent#textbook#entitled#Mexican*American*Heritage#submitted#to#the#Texas#State#Board#of#Education#(TSBOE)#for#adoption#for#the#2017]2018#school#year.#The#text#was#written#by#Jaime Riddle and Valerie Angle, neither of whom#are#scholars#of#Mexican#American#studies.#It#was#published#by#Cynthia#Dunbar,#of#Momentum#Instruction,#a#former#member#of#the#Texas#State#Board#of#Education,#known#for#her#far]right#conservative#criticisms#of#public#education#(Sáenz,#2016).#According#to#Dunbar,#Mexican#American#scholars,#historians,#or#communities#were#not#consulted#in#the#development#of#the#content#in#order#to#avoid#bias#(Oyeniyi,#2016).#The#resulting#text#was#so#inaccurate,#it#had#the#potential#to#do#more#harm#than#good#to#the#Texas'#growing#majority#of#Mexican]American#students.#In#response,#a#group#of#academics#and#concerned#community#members#joined#to#form#the#Responsible#Ethnic#Studies#Textbook#Coalition,#to#give#the#text#a#thorough#critique.#The#coalition#found#the#text#full#of#factual#errors,#racial#stereotypes,#academic#laziness,#and#cultural#insensitivity#(Michels,#2016,#Sáenz,#2016),#averaging#three#errors#per#page#(Zelinski,#2016).#Celia#Moreno,#speaking#on#behalf#of#Texas#Latino#Education#Coalition#(TLEC),#explained,##The*textbook*not*only*insults*Mexican*Americans,*but*also*African*Americans*and*other*people*of*color.*Every*parent*and*taxpayer*should*take*offense*that*such*a*poorly*researched*and*written*textbook*would*even*be*considered*for*use*in*Texas*public*schools”*(Quinn,*2016).*#22#The#text#was#met#with#widespread#protest#from#students,#educators,#and#community#members#and#was#ultimately#rejected#by#the#TSBOE#(Quinn,#2016).##Communities#across#Texas#continued#to#organize#in#support#of#accurate,#relevant,#respectful#MAS#curriculum.#Shortly#thereafter,#the#Texas#State#Board#of#Education#put#out#a#new#call#for#submissions#for#MAS#textbook#materials.##Professor#Tony#Diaz#helped#to#organize#a#team#of#scholars,#committed#educators#and#organizations#to#create#a#text#called#the#Mexican*American*Studies*Toolkit.*In#August#of#2017,#the#TSBOE#rejected#the#draft#and#requested#revisions#to#the#text,#citing#lack#of#critical#thinking#and#interdisciplinarity#in#the#social#studies#content#(Iasevol,#2017).#An#additional#100#pages#of#content#were#added#to#address#all#of#the#requested#revisions,#created#through#consultations#with#the#Texas#Education#Association,#professors#and#educators,#and#concerned#community#members.##It#spite#of#these#efforts,#the#TSBOE#rejected#the#text#a#second#time#in#November#of#2017.#As#the#state#that#sets#the#standard#for#textbook#adoptions#across#the#country,#Texas#has#strategically#avoided#legitimating#or#establishing#standards#for#MAS.#As#such,#Mexican#American#studies#in#the#state#of#Texas#are#on#hold#indefinitely#for#lack#of#"satisfactory"#textbook#materials#or#clear#curriculum#standards#(Diaz,#2017).#In#spite#of#the#legal#setback,#demand#for#culturally]centric#content#and#pedagogical#practices#has#increased#in#the#last#few#years#to#meet#the#needs#of#diverse#student#populations.##In#each#of#these#examples,#we#can#see#that#the#silencing,#displacement,#and#erasure#of#Mesoamerican#intellectual#traditions#are#forms#of#violence##23#intended#to#dehumanize#and#assimilate#the#growing#population#of#Indigenous#Mexican#American#youth.#Education#(or#lack#thereof)#is#one#of#the#many#ways#in#which#colonization#removes#the#people#from#the#land,#and#land#from#the#people.#While#the#whitewashed#colonial#version#of#history#may#suggest#the#spontaneous#emergence#of#Mexicans#and#Americans#as#distinct#peoples#on#each#side#of#the#river,#Indigenous#peoples#and#knowledges#have#survived#in#relation#to#the#land,#river,#and#across#the#greater#landscape,#as#emplaced#witnesses#throughout#time.###This#project#actively#problematizes#the#dominant#generalizations#of#a#Hispanic/Latino/Spanish#south#Texas,#and#rejects#the#white]supremacist#colonial#occupation#of#the#Indigenous#communities#in#the#diverse#cultural#overlap#of#the#Texas#Mexico#borderlands.#The#work#honors#the#embodied#and#emplaced#Indigenous#borderland#perspectives#that#have#survived#in#the#collective#memories#of#community#elders#as#an#active#practice#of#decolonizing/Indigenizing#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo.#The#revitalization#of#collective#memory#creates#a#process#of#recognition#and#restoration#that#moves#toward#community#renewal.#Education,#framed#as#intergenerational#pedagogy,#works#in#the#service#of#communities,#and#honors#the#particular#strengths#and#challenges#of#holistic#learners,#embedded#in#various#layers#of#context.#Historically,#the#sharing#of#land]based#knowledges#have#ensured#the#survival#of#Indigenous#peoples#for#centuries,#directly#shaping#Indigenous#epistemologies,#language#development,#and#cultural#practices#creating#a#spiritual#landscape#across#south#Texas#(Gonzales,#2012r#Maestas,#2003).#Similarly,#the#sharing#of#land]#and#river]based##24#knowledges#has#the#potential#to#ensure#the#continued#survival#of#Indigenous#fronterizx#peoples.#The#significance#of#the#work#is#also#deeply#personal.#It#is#the#culmination#of#my#caminata#in#the#form#of#a#love#letter#to#my#home#community.#As#an#Indigenous#educator/scholar/fronteriza,#I#am#reclaiming#and#revitalizing#my#own#ancestral#knowledge,#fully#aware#of#the#nuance,#texture,#and#richness#that#may#be#invisible#to#non]Laredoans.#In#ceremony,#we#hear#the#phrase#por#todas#mis#relaciones,#for#all#my#relations.##For#me,#this#dissertation#project#is#the#active#engagement#of#traditional#teachings#por#todos#mis#relaciones#as#a#pedagogical#praxis,#inclusive#of#beings,#land,#sacred#waters,#and#other#relations#I#consider#my#ancestral#home.#Relatives,#nipaqui#nimixmati:#it#brings#joy#to#see#your#faces#and#know#your#hearts.#1.6! Positionality!This#dissertation#project#builds#upon#40#years#of#knowing#the#river#my#ancestral#home,#and#visiting#when#I#visit#my#relatives#in#Laredo.#Academically,#I've#studied#different#aspects#of#the#river,#land,#and#community#for#much#of#the#past#20#years.##My#first#interest#in#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#emerged#during#an#undergraduate#internship#at#Texas#A&M#International#University,#when#I#had#the#opportunity#to#work#in#a#toxicology#lab#in#the#summer#of#1997.##I#spent#much#of#the#summer#visiting#different#sites#along#the#riverbanks,#collecting#water#and#sediment#samples,#and#developing#both#biological#and#chemical#experiments#to#measure#the#health#of#the#river’s#ecology.#My#culminating#paper#focused#on#the#abundance#of#maquiladoras#along#the#river,#presence#of#heavy#metals#in#the##25#wastewaters#of#such#operations,#and#the#longitudinal#effects#on#ecological#and#public#health.###The#combination#of#dangerous,#low]wage#manufacturing#jobs#and#lax#environmental#law#enforcement#along#the#border#has#made#the#entire#region#susceptible#to#serious#environmental#injustices#(Grineski#&#Collins,#2010r#Johnson#&#Niemeyer,#2008)#and#human#rights#abuses.##As#a#result,#water]borne#illnesses#(gastrointestinal#illness,#cholera)#as#well#as#water]related#illnesses#(malaria,#dengue)#are#significantly#higher#along#the#border#than#in#the#rest#of#Texas,#as#are#respiratory#conditions,#neurological#disorders,#and#skin#irritations#related#to#direct#contact#with#industrial#tailings#(Grineski#&#Collins,#2010r#Muñoz,#Muñoz,#&#Arcak,#2010).#In#communities#all#along#the#Rio#Grande,#healthy,#potable#water#is#available#to#those#who#can#afford#it,#but#devastatingly#unavailable#to#many#who#cannot#(Muñoz,#2010).#As#a#fronteriza,#the#rationale#for#critical#work#was#personal]#it#is#not#just#data#connected#to#a#notion#of#danger.##My#community#is#directly#impacted#by#these#hazards,#and#my#family#drinks#the#water#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo.#My#Master’s#thesis#documented#the#work#of#a#project#called#The#Texas#A&M#University#Water#Project,#which#was#an#interdisciplinary#collaboration#between#educators,#artists,#engineers,#and#community#advocates#in#the#service#of#community#members#with#limited#access#to#potable#water.#Collaborators#met##26#weekly#for#the#purpose#of#increasing#access#to#potable#water#in#colonias27#along#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#(Muñoz,#2010).##Some#weeks,#we#would#share#knowledge#from#our#respective#fields,#other#weeks,#we'd#build#various#types#of#water#filters,#working#with#non]proprietary,#open]source,#appropriate#technology#that#could#be#implemented#in#rural#communities#immediately.#I#theorized#a#non]formal#learning#framework,#which#I#called#critical#environmental#justice,#as#the#lens#with#which#to#understand#the#content,#context,#and#collaborative#learning#process#specific#to#the#work#of#The#TAMU#Water#Project.##In#the#research#process#for#my#Master's#thesis,#I#found#that#academic#literatures#in#the#areas#of#colonias,#rural#public#health,#and#water#accessibility#tended#to#focus#on#objective,#observable,#text]based,#intellectualized#understandings#of#water,#often#devoid#of#context,#relationships,#and#other#ways#that#people#learn#and#understand#their#world.##In#retrospect,#one#of#the#limitations#of#my#Master’s#thesis#was#that#I#examined#the#economic,#legal,#political,#and#rights]based#approaches#to#the#global#water#disparities,#to#the#exclusion#of#other#ways#of#knowing#water.##While#academically#sound,#the#thesis#turned#toward#documenting#and#theorizing#one#case#study#as#an#example#of#critical#environmental#justice,#which#spoke#to#academia,#but#not#to#the#border#itself.#The#theoretical#framework#lacked#borderland#voices,#borderland#relationships,#and#borderland#ways#of#knowing,#forcing#the#borderland#case#study#to#fit#within#the#narrow#confines#of#Eurocentric#academic#expectations.##############################################27#Colonias#are#rural#communities#along#the#border#with#varying#access#to#such#things#as#running#water,#electricity,#and#paved#roads.#Residents#are#usually#American#citizens#experiencing#intergenerational#economic#disadvantage.###27#My#doctoral#research#is#still#concerned#with#water#in/of/along#the#frontera.28#This#project#holistically#recognizes#people,#and#their#cultural#and#spiritual#practices#as#a#part#of#their#ecological#system,#rather#than#separate#from#it#(LaDuke,1994r#Peña,#2005),#myself#included.##I#am#writing#from#home.##I#am#engaging#with#and#including#my#relatives.#I#am#including#teachings#from#my#own#ceremonial#practices,#inviting#my#ceremonial#elders#to#witness#my#project.#I#am#intentionally#including#deeply#personal#aspects#of#my#life#as#an#intervention#that#explicitly#challenges#the#normalized#and#default#Eurocentric#approaches#to#research,#moving#away#from#thinking#about#water#toward#feeling,#perceiving,#and#being]in]relation#to#water.#My#own#family#history#includes#the#Indigenous#and#colonial#histories#of#Laredo,#Texas.#In#the#words#of#Patricia#Gonzales,#"I#write#as#an#ancestor#to#the#future”#(2012,#p.#12).#In#one#single#sentence,#Gonzales#captures#my#own#sense#of#responsibility#in#the#service#of#my#community.#I#write#to#remind#myself#of#the#teachings,#past#and#present,#to#honor#the#elders#while#they#are#still#with#us.##I#write#to#revitalize#the#traditional#knowledges#of#waters#that#have#nourished#my#community#since#time#immemorial.#I#write#to#witness#the#river.#I#write#to#disrupt#the#national#narrative#of#border#life.##Most#importantly,#I#write#to#remember#and#share#with#my#daughter,#who#may#never#know#our#ancestral#waters#first]hand.#To#prepare#myself#for#the#responsibility#of#this#work,#I#must#be#a#good#relation#to#the#communities#that#nurture#my#learning#spirit.#By#honoring#my#############################################28#I#am#intentionally#switching#from#borderland#to#frontera#here.##While#borderlands#is#a#term#that#carries#many#expectations#of#academic#ways#of#knowing,#frontera/o/x#is#a#term#that#prioritizes#embodied#and#emplaced#frontera#ways#of#knowing#to#a#frontera#audience.###28#community#relations#and#recognizing#the#multiple#ways#of#knowing#and#being]in]the]world,#my#positionality#necessitates#that#I#consider#knowledges#pluralistically#and#holistically,#enacting#research#that#reciprocates#in#the#service#of#my#communities.##As#such,#research#entails#braiding,#bridging,#and/or#recognizing#the#irreconcilable#aspects#in#the#process#of#coming#to#know,#and#navigating#the#concentric#and#intersecting#contexts#as#an#act#of#resistance#against#marginalization#and#erasure.##The#process#of#restorying#is#hopeful.##It#has#the#potential#to#re]define,#re]create,#and#re]vitalize#the#ancestral#understandings#of#the#frontera#as#a#network#of#interrelated#relational#ecologies.#While#the#process(es)#of#colonization#cannot#be#reversed,#reactivating#traditional#ecological#knowledges#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#can#rejuvenate#our#responsibilities#to#our#local#relational#ecologies,#creating#a#critical#mass#of#engaged,#diverse#fronterizxs#inspired#to#fight#for#the#health#and#recuperation#of#our#river#and#our#communities.#Reconceptualized#in#this#way,#education#is#repurposed#from#a#system#that#perpetuates#the#hegemony#of#colonization#and#Indigenous#erasure,#into#a#tool#of#decolonization#and#Indigenization#focused#on#our#collective#well]being#and#futures.#1.7! Delimitations!This#project#will#not#focus#on#demographics#to#shape#the#concepts#of#Indigenous#identity.##This#project#is#not#intended#as#a#bid#for#federal#recognition.#This#project#is#not#intended#to#suggest#a#water#solution#for#the#thirsty#world#population.#This#project#is#not#an#exploration#of#sacred#practices#or#places.#This#project#will#not#focus#on,#or#generalize#across,#the#greater#borderland#region.###29#1.8! Assumptions!One#of#the#blind#spots#built#into#the#project#is#the#fact#that#it#was#thought,#completed,#and#represented#in#English#and#Spanish,#both#of#which#are#colonial#languages.##The#literature#woven#throughout#the#text#is#composed#almost#entirely#of#English]written#resources,#authored#by#both#US#and#Canadian#scholars,#as#these#are#the#expected#bodies#of#literature#reflecting#my#education#in#the#U.S.#and#in#Canada.#I#moved#forward#with#the#assumption#that#the#combination#of#English#and#Spanish#would#be#able#to#adequately#convey#Indigenous#epistemology.#Neither#I,#nor#any#of#the#community#participants#is#fluent#in#any#Indigenous#language#to#the#point#of#thinking#in#that#language29.#While#some#of#the#analysis#touches#on#the#fact#that#the#project#was#not#conceived#in#one#of#Texas'#Indigenous#languages#such#as#Carrizo,#Nahuatl,#Coahuilteca,#or#Nde',#it#was#necessary#to#start#somewhere.##Perhaps#in#future#work,#the#project#can#be#reimagined#in#an#Indigenous#language.###1.9! Organization!of!the!Thesis!In#place#of#a#formal#literature#review#chapter,#important#concepts#are#defined#in#the#glossary,#and#pertinent#literature#has#been#woven#throughout#the#text,#including#aspects#of#discussion#and#critique.#This#approach#honors#the#community#testimonios#as#the#primary#source#of#knowing,#such#that#academic#references#and#my#own#commentaries#work#to#uphold#and#create#approaches#for#understanding#without#dominating#as#authoritative#voices#in#the#thesis#text.###############################################29#While#there#are#a#few#Native#language#speakers,#the#level#of#proficiency#is#thinking#in#English#or#Spanish#and#translating#it#into#the#Native#language.####30#Chapter#2:#Introduction#to#the#Land,#River,#and#Community#provides#an#overview#of#the#Laredo/Nuevo#Laredo#community,#building#contexts#for#understanding#the#irreconcilable#dynamics#of#living#on#the#banks#of#a#river#that#is#also#an#international#border.#The#chapter#is#conversational,#and#weaves#an#assemblage#of#history,#maps,#photos,#and#testimonies#from#community#members#as#a#gentle#introduction#to#the#nuance#and#texture#that#emerge#from#the#relationships#between#the#land,#river,#and#people#in#my#community.###Chapter#3#is#called#An#Indigenous#Fronterizx#Cosmography#as#Theoretical#Framework.##In#this#chapter,#I#present#an#Indigenous#Fronterizx#Cosmography#as#the#theoretical#foundation,#detailing#the#braid#of#Indigenous#epistemologies,#Xicanx#ontologies,#and#Borderland#positionalities#that#are#crucial#for#understanding#life#along#the#frontera.#The#term#cosmography#refers#to#the#process#of#uncovering#the#ancestral#landscapes#where#our#community#stories#and#testimonios#were#lived,#and#how#these#landmarks#of#our#collective#memory#map#places#in#our#oral#intellectual#traditions.##Chapter#4:#Fronterawork#Methodology#uses#pedagogy]making#as#a#guide#for#research#design.#As#a#person#with#deep#roots#in#the#Laredo/Nuevo#Laredo#community,#I#outlined#the#culturally]based#concepts#and#respectful#community#protocols#used#to#complete#the#project,#cognizant#of#the#political,#racial,#and#environmental#implications#of#asking#an#arguably#vulnerable#community#to#go#on#the#record#and#give#testimonios#of#our#river/border#home.###In#Chapter#5:#Our#Teachings#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo,#I#share#how#community#elders#talk#about#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo.##The#excerpts#from#their##31#testimonios#are#organized#into#streams#of#thought,#using#the#behavior#of#a#wide,#fast]moving#river#to#describe#the#ways#that#their#stories#flow#in#and#out#of#River]as]Water#Thinking#and#River]as]Border#Thinking.##The#testimonios#of#our#community#elders#and#knowledge]keepers#are#honored#as#the#fundamental#source#of#knowledge,#out#of#which#the#findings#and#pedagogy#emerge.###Chapter#6:#Metacognitive#Considerations,#offers#an#analysis#of#how#our#local#understanding#of#the#Rio#Grande/Rio#Bravo#has#changed#over#time.#Often,#community#participants#responded#to#the#question#of#changes#over#time#through#stories,#offering#their#lived#experiences#comparing#river#memories#with#border#memories.##This#chapter#examines#the#timeliness#of#remembering#the#River]as]Water,#and#clarifies#the#teachings#our#elders#wish#to#share#with#young#learners.#As#a#fronteriza/educator/activist/scholar/granddaughter/daughter/mother,#Chapter#7:#An#Indigenous#Fronterizx#Pedagogy#of#Water#details#my#pedagogical#response#to#the#words#of#my#elders.#My#pedagogy]making#and#the#resulting#pedagogy#of#water#demonstrate#the#generation#of#new#knowledges#that#embody,#emplace,#and#enliven#the#ancestral#knowledges#that#have#survived#in#our#collective#memory#as#enduring#Mesoamerican#intellectual#traditions.##In#Chapter#8,#the#Conclusion#chapter,#I#offer#a#concise#review#of#the#project,#and#elaborate#upon#the#contributions#of#the#project#to#land,#river,#community,#and#educational#conversations,#and#offer#concluding#reflections.###32#Chapter!2:!Introduction!to!the!Land,!River!and!Community!This#project#is#based#on#collective#remembering,#sharing#stories#and#testimonies,#listening,#and#making#connections#between#the#land,#river,#and#the#Indigenous#peoples#who#live#in#Laredo,#Texas.#Indigenous#knowledge#has#survived#in#our#collective#memory#in#spite#of#the#devastation#of#de]tribalization,#official#accounts#of#Indigenous#extinction,#and#myriad#ways#that#community#members#self]identify30.#Intentionally,#this#is#not#a#(strictly)#history#chapter,#nor#is#it#a#chapter#intended#to#rely#on#colonial#classifications31#of#Indigenous#identity.#Instead,#it#is#a#manifestation#of#collective#memory#in#the#form#of#histories,#maps,#photos#and#stories#arranged#in#conversation#with#each#other#to#give#shape#to#the#Indigenous#community#and#Indigenous#knowledges#that#have#survived.###Specifically,#I#started#with#a#historical#narrative,#and#wove#the#images,#personal#photos,#and#the#voices#of#my#community#into#it,#as#a#way#of#making#space#for#the#embodied,#holistic,#emotional,#and#spiritual#elements#of#collective#remembering.##In#this#chapter,#we#will#meet#a#few#of#the#community#knowledge]keepers32,#through#their#direct#quotes,#as#they#narrate#community#histories,#both#shared#and#personal.##Understandably,#the#process#is#creative,#intuitive,#and#shaped#by#contexts#of#my#community#participants,#and#will#serve#to#guide#our#way#through#the#memoryscape#(Riaño]Alcalá#&#Baines,#2011)#of#Laredo,#Texas.##############################################30#As#will#be#discussed#in#Chapter#4:#Fronterawork#Methodology,#all#participants#self]identified#as#having#Indigenous#ancestry,#though#some#were#more#comfortable#with#Mexican,#Mexican]American,#American,#Indigenous,#Carrizo,#Coahuilteco,#Apache,#Hispanic,#Latina/o#or#other#such#designation.#31#The#fraught#nature#of#imposed#colonial#systems#of#identity#will#be#discussed#in#Chapter#3.##32#A#closer#examination#of#participant#testimonios#will#be#examined#in#Chapter#5:#Our#Teachings.###33#2.1! Shared!Ancestral!Territories!I#was#taught#to#begin#with#the#ancestral#languages#so#that#the#land#understands#when#we#call#it#by#name.#In#Carrizo/Comecrudo#language,#the#land#is#called#Somi'#Sek#(Mancias#&#Torres,#2015).#In#English,#we#call#most#of#the#territory#Texas.#Told#in#its#long#form,#the#history#of#Texas#begins#with#Native#peoples,#and#their#relationships#to#the#land.#The#particular#ecosystems#found#across#the#territory#include#arid#scrub#lands#bounded#by#the#Great#Plains#to#the#north,#the#Gulf#Coast#and#piney#forests#to#the#east,#the#Sierra#Madre#Occidental#mountains#to#the#south,#and#the#Chihuahuan#desert#to#the#west.#These#ecoregions#dictated#the#cultural#practices#of#the#many#Native#peoples,#who#lived#in#familial#bands#and#strategically#moved#according#to#seasonal#pressures#(Galindo,#2003r#Maestas,#2003r#Swanton,#1940).##Resources#such#as#chert,#pecans,#white]tailed#deer,#and#bison#were#traded#extensively,#creating#elaborate#networks#that#included#established#community#meeting#areas#connected#by#well]worn#routes,#passed#down#through#the#generations.#Familial#bands#lived,#travelled,#made#alliances,#waged#wars,#and#lived#in#complex#societies#for#thousands#of#years#before#the#arrival#of#the#European#colonists.#Of#critical#importance#for#the#purpose#of#this#study#is#the#notion#that#Mesoamerican#intellectual#traditions#were#based#on#many#generations#of#being]in]relation#with#the#land,#not#as#a#magically#imbued#Native#power,#but#as#the#accumulation#of#thousands#of#years#of#intergenerational#land]based#knowledge.###34#2.2! Colonial!Encounters!The#three#Eurocentric#concepts#that#fueled#colonization#of#the#Americas#were#the#Doctrine#of#Discovery33,#Terra#Nullius34,#and#Manifest#Destiny35,#used#in#combination#to#claim#a#divine*right#over#the#unused,*empty#land#occupied#by#heathen#and#uncivil#people#(Arvin,#Tuck,#&#Morrill,#2013r#Calderón,#2014r#UN#Permanent#Forum#on#Indigenous#Issues,#2012).#Although#the#land#was#neither#empty#nor#unused,#the#United#States#of#America#was#built#on#these#concepts#to#dehumanize#Indigenous#peoples,#constructing#a#framework#of#European#racial#superiority#(Calderón,#2014r#Rodríguez#Diaz,#2003),#gender#violence#(Arvin,#Tuck,#&#Morrill,#2013r#Gaspar#de#Alba#&#Guzman,#2010r#Smith,#2011),#and#entitlement,#wrapped#in#religious#rhetoric.##As#legal#precedents,#these#three#concepts#have#been#invoked#repeatedly#in#the#last#500#years#to#strip#rights#and#protections#from#Indigenous#peoples#for#the#economic#gain#of#various#settler#societies#(Arvin,#Tuck,#&#Morrill,#2013r#Hernandez,#2001),#and#continue#to#be#used#as#precedents#to#this#day#(City*of*Sherrill*v*Oneida*Indian*Nation*of*New*York,*2005,*conflict*at*Standing*Rock*over*the*Dakota*Access*Pipeline).##Upon#arriving#in#Texas,#many#of#the#Spanish#explorers#wrote#detailed#accounts#of#the#people#and#landscape,#trying#to#make#sense#of#what#they#were#seeing#through#Eurocentric#eyes#to#justify#their#endeavors#(Maestas,#2003).#############################################33#Papal#decree#establishing#Spain's#exclusive#rights#to#claiming#the#New#World#for#the#Catholic#Church.#34#Latin#for#"No#one's#land",#regarding#land#that#has#no#known/recognized#sovereign.#35#Colonial#occupation#from#coast#to#coast#as#a#divine#American#fate.#!35!! !Figure!4:!Ethnolinguistic!Distribution!of!Native!Texas!Indians!!!(Used!by!permission!of!the!University!of!Texas!Libraries,!The!University!of!Texas!at!Austin.)!36!Missionaries!also!documented!the!systemic!underreporting!of!the!Indigenous!population!(Maestas,!2003<!Menchaca,!1993<!Galindo,!2003).!Records!were!managed!to!fit!the!dictates!of!the!church.!Indigenous!peoples!were!diverse!and!migratory,!and!the!Spanish!authors!would!often!conflate!identifiers!such!as!linguistic!groups,!selfFidentifying!band/nation!names,!and!names!given!by!neighboring!Indigenous!peoples!(imposed!identifiers).!Records!were!often!written!with!the!expectation!that!all!Indigenous!peoples!would!be!converted!to!Christianity,!or!become!extinct,!so!the!finer!details!distinguishing!the!various!Indigenous!peoples!were!not!well!documented.!For!example,!missionaries!of!the!1500s!studied!the!linguistic!families!of!Texas,!including!the!Muskhogean,!Caddoan,!Athapascan,!UtoFAztecan,!and!Mayan!speaking!peoples,!as!mapped!in!Figure!4:!Ethnolinguistic!Distribution!of!Native!Texas!Indians.!Specific!vocabularies!were!also!recorded!for!the!CoahuiltecoF,!ComecrudoF,!CotonameF,!KarankawaF,!AtakapaF,!TamaulipecanF,!and!JanambrianFspeaking!peoples!(Swanton,!1940)36.!Similarly,!the!glossaries!of!many!Indigenous!languages!are!confusing,!as!some!were!heard!and!documented!with!SpanishFattuned!ears!in!Spanish!phonemes,!while!others!were!heard!and!documented!with!EnglishFattuned!ears!in!English!phonemes.!One!example!of!this!is!the!place!name!of!the!San!Antonio!sacred!springs,!which!is!sometimes!spelled!Yanaguana!(Spanish)!or!Yanawena!(English),!though!neither!quite!captures!the!soft!sounds!spoken!by!locals!who!speak!Coahuiltecan,!from!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!36!This!list!of!vocabularies!does!not!correspond!to!the!list!of!linguistic!families,!each!is!discussed!in!separate!reference!materials.!!37!which!the!name!originates.!In!spite!of!the!challenges,!the!diversity!of!linguistic!characteristics!offer!evidence!of!the!shared!knowledge!and!interdependence!of!Indigenous!peoples!of!Texas,!as!well!as!the!etymological!roots!of!many!words!and!concepts!that!are!embedded!in!the!colonial!languages!we!use!today.!Consider!also!that!linguistic!families!and!language!names!are!not!the!same!as!the!names!that!Indigenous!peoples!called!themselves,!and!that!any!particular!band!of!people!likely!spoke!more!than!one!language.!!SelfFidentifying!band/nation!names!documented!across!south!Texas!included!the!Pajalates,!Orejones,!Pacaos,!Pacoas,!Tilijayas,!Alasapas,!Pausanes,!Phihuiques,!Borrados,!Sanipaos,!Chayopines,!Manos!de!Perro,!Parchaque,!Mescaleros,!Yoricas,!Chomes,!Alachomes,!Pamais,!and!Payayas!(Swanton,!1940).!Bands/nations!specific!to!the!Lower!Rio!Grande!Valley!documented!between!1790!and!1818!include!the!Malagueros,!Garzas,!Zalayas,!Aguichacas,!Anda!el!Camino,!Chinitos,!Cotonames,!Cueros!Quemados,!Pajaritos,!the!Eastern!and!Western!Carrizos,!and!Guajolotes!(Galindo,!2003).!Surely,!the!diversity!of!Indigenous!peoples!in!the!area!of!south!Texas!must!also!represent!the!populations!of!migratory,!interdependent!familial!bands/nations!of!Indigenous!peoples!both!south!of!the!river,!and!also!along!its!length.!!!When!colonization!happened!in!other!territories,!missionaries!often!found!cohesive!communities!of!Indigenous!peoples,!sharing!the!same!culture,!language,!and!knowledge!of!the!local!ecosystem.!!Whereas,!in!the!greater!region!nourished!by!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!the!smaller!community!size,!diversity!of!languages,!diversity!of!cultures,!and!diversity!of!landFbased!ecological!!38!knowledge!was!easier!for!the!colonizers!to!erase,!displace,!and!assimilate.!This!historical!context!illuminates!how!so!many!fronterizxs!know!they!have!Indigenous!ancestry,!but!may!or!may!not!know!with!certainty!which!band/nation(s)!their!roots!connect!to,!much!less!whether!their!Indigenous!ancestry!is!considered!recognized!at!the!state!or!federal!levels!of!the!colonial!system.!!The!history!that!was!recorded!by!the!colonizers!simply!reinforced!their!claims!to!a!divine)right!over!the!empty!land!occupied!by!heathen!and!uncivil!people,!as!was!originally!put!forth!by!the!Doctrine!of!Discovery,!Terra)Nullius,!and!Manifest!Destiny.!The!circular!argument!was!used!to!justify!all!manner!of!atrocities!committed!against!Indigenous!peoples.!Dehumanizing!tropes!and!racist!stereotypes!endure!to!this!day,!and!are!repeated!in!countless!Texas!history!books!and!monuments!that!uphold!the!colonial!mythology!of!white!supremacy!over!the!primitive!Native!people!in!the!empty!land!(Calderón,!2014<!Romero,!2002<!Serrano!Nájera,!2014).!Colonization!devastated!the!rich!archives!of!Mesoamerican!intellectual!traditions,!impacting!the!knowledges,!peoples,!and!cultural!connections!to/with!the!land.!However,!Maestas!(2003)!reminds!us!that!for!Indigenous!people!of!Mexican!descent,!Native!American!identity!is!learned!and!shared!through!family!oral!traditions!and!cultural!practices.!!We!learn!from!our!elders,!who!remember!the!teachings!from!their!elders.!Indigeneity!does!not!have!to!be!defined!by!the!colonial!system.!!!39!2.3$ Surviving$the$Six$(Seven)$Flags$In!Texas!history,!the!phrase!six)flags)of)Texas37!refers!to!eight!periods38!of!colonial!occupation!beginning!in!1519,!during!which!all!of!part!of!the!state!we!know!today!was!claimed!by!a!colonial!empire.!Laredo!is!the!only!community!with!the!history!of!seven!flags39,!as!its!location!on!the!Rio!Bravo!was!considered!strategically!ideal!for!settlement!(Handbook!of!Texas!Online,!&!Spain,!Jr.,!2010),!chosen!because!the!bend!in!the!river!created!a!lowFwater!seasonal!passage!across!the!treacherous!river!(Adams,!2008).!!As!we!can!see!in!Figure!5:!Spanish!Missions!in!the!17th!and!18th!Centuries,$the!map!depicts!the!overlap!of!Indigenous!territories!and!colonial!missions.!This!map!is!distinct!in!that!it!represents!both!Indigenous!and!settler!populations!simultaneously,!defying!the!common!mapFmaking!practices!which!depict!Indigenous!peoples!of!Texas!as!either!ancient!history,!or!as!simply!having!vanished!with!the!arrival!of!the!Spanish.!As!a!viewing!audience,!we!can!understand!the!tension!and!conflict!that!must!have!arose!over!the!300!plus!years!of!Texas!history,!with!each!population!understanding!of!the!significance!of!the!land!differently.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!37!Spain,!France,!Mexico,!Republic!of!Texas,!Confederate!States!of!America,!United!States!of!America.!38!Spain!(1519F1685)<!France!(1685F1690)<!Spain!(1690F1821)<!Mexico!(1821F1836)<!Republic!of!Texas!(1836F1845)<!United!States!of!America!(1845F1861)<!Confederate!States!of!America.!(1861F1865)<!and!back!into!the!USA!(1865!until!present)!!!(Handbook!of!Texas!Online,!&!Spain,!Jr.,!2010)!39!The!Republic!of!the!Rio!Grande!lasted!from!January!to!November!of!1840.!!40!! !Figure'5:'Spanish'Missions'in'the'17th'and'18th'Centuries'(Used!by!permission!of!the!University!of!Texas!Libraries,!The!University!of!Texas!at!Austin.)!!41!When!we!listen!to!history!as!told!by!community!knowledge8keepers,!the!focus!is!not!on!the!colonial!powers,!but!instead!the!many!peoples!who!survived.!Mr.!Perez!is!one!of!our!community!knowledge8keepers!whose!personal!research!clarifies!the!connection!between!the!local!sacred!springs,!astronomy,!and!rock!art.!He!shares!his!work!at!public!lectures!to!teach!locals!of!the!rich!Indigenous!intellectual!traditions!connected!to!our!local!landscape.!!He!explains,!It’s%these%rich%lands...even%with%the%six%flags%that%laid%over%Texas%all%those%years,%from%Bexar%county%south%to%the%Rio%Grande%River,%the%people%remained%the%same.%They%never%changed,%never.%%I%have%a%professor%that%I’m%working%[with]...%she%showed%me%how%the%geopolitical%landscape%changed%and%how%in%South%Texas,%[it's]%the%same%people,%the%same%cultures,%the%same%foods,%the%same%demographics%never%changed.%I%think%that%that’s%what%helped%to%keep%the%cultures%of%South%Texas%intact%because%the%same%people%[that%have%stayed].%(G.%Perez,%oral%communication,%June%5,%2015)%Interestingly,!archaeological!and!anthropological!studies!support!Mr.!Perez's!observations:!the!population!was!relatively!stable!as!the!demographic!labels!and!categories!of!identification!changed!throughout!time.!The!social!dynamics!around!race!during!the!1700s!to!early!1800s!indicate!that!categories!of!racial!classification!were!dynamic!based!on!gender.!Out8of8wedlock!children!were!considered!shameful!to!the!church,!and!rather!than!document!the!generations!of!mestizo!children!descended!from!European!settler!men!and!the!local!Indigenous!women,!racial!categories!were!adjusted.!!To!avoid!implicating!anyone,!marriage!could!make!a!woman!who!was!india!or!mestiza!into!an!española,!in!which!case,!any!children!would!also!be!considered!españoles!(Galindo,!2003)40.!!Similarly,!mestizos!could!serve!in!the!Spanish!or!Mexican!armies,!gain!the!respect!of!the!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!40!These!were!designations!in!the!Spanish!colonial!caste!system,!of!which!there!were!many!terms!to!describe!racial!parentage!and!determine!social!standing!in!Spanish!colonies.!!42!community,!be!baptized,!and!earn!the!designation!of!español.!In!some!records,!Indigenous!peoples!gained!social!status!by!accepting!a!Christian!name.!!Although!recorded!as!an!español,!the!title!did!not!guarantee!the!same!rights!or!privileges!afforded!to!the!white!colonists.!In!this!way,!the!census!records!systemically!erased!Indigenous!peoples!without!assimilating!them,!leaving!the!people!to!stay!on!their!land!without!any!rights,!privileges!or!protections!by!law.!In!1755,!Laredo!was!founded!by!Don!Tomas!Sanchez!de!la!Barrera!as!a!Spanish!colony,!within!the!Mexican!state!of!Coahuila!y!Tejas,!under!the!third!of!its!seven!flags.!Figure!6:!Mexico!at!the!Time!of!Laredo's!Founding!in!1755!uses!color!to!indicate!the!location!of!the!US!Mexico!international!boundary.!The!particular!location!for!the!settlement!was!well8known!and!used!by!Indigenous!peoples!long!before!!!rediscovered!by!Spanish!patrols,!as!evidenced!in!how!the!place!was!(re)named!Paso%de%los%Indios!by!Spanish!colonists.!!The!not8so8subtext!of!the!name!suggests!there!were!Indigenous!peoples!living!here,!however,!there!is!no!indication!on!this!map!of!the!many!Indigenous!nations!living!across!the!territory.!Typical!of!most!historical!maps!of!Texas,!colonial!history!has!been!prioritized,!and!the!many!accounts!that!detail!rights,!histories,!and!records!of!Indigenous!belonging!here!have!been!silenced,!erased,!and!refused.!In!Texas,!the!erasure!of!Indigenous!peoples!was!normalized!very!early!in!the!colonial!process,!and!permeated!all!aspects!of!the!society,!influencing!in!the!ways!that!people!today!self8identify.!43!!Figure'6:'Mexico'at'the'Time'of'Laredo's'Founding'in'1755'(Used!by!permission!of!the!University!of!Texas!Libraries,!The!University!of!Texas!at!Austin.)!!44!2.4$ In$the$Time$of$my$Grandparents'$Grandparents$In!the!Laredo!community,!Indigenous!ancestry!is!often!mentioned!in!family!stories,!and!with!regard!to!grandparents!or!great9grandparents.!Ms.!Muñoz,!a!knowledge!keeper,!can!trace!parts!of!her!family!genealogy!to!the!founding!families!of!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo,!and!follow!those!roots!to!Europe!as!far!back!as!the!mid!1100s!AD.!In!spite!of!extensive!research,!her!Indigenous!roots!have!been!more!elusive.!On#my#father’s#side#he#had#recollections,#but#they#were#very#disjointed.#He#would#talk#about#them#in#little#bits#and#pieces.#He#would#talk#about#how#he#knew#that#there#was#Native#blood,#but#he#always#felt#like#it#was#a#huge#loss#not#having#more#information#to#share#with#his#children#about#it.#He#knew#that#there#had#been#a#mix#of#the#Spanish#and#Native#people,#but#he#was#not#able#to#say#which#Native#[nation].#He#would#say#that#it#was#enough#to#know#that#we#carried#Indian#blood#and#that#we#should#celebrate#it.#Recently#I#discovered#a#registro#of#death#in#1779,#reported#by#my#2nd#great#grandfather.#He#is#described#as#Indigeno#from#Real#de#Catorce,#San#Luis#Potosi.#(N.#Muñoz,#oral#communication,#December#4,#2014)#Many!of!the!community!participants!are!detribalized,!but!speak!of!the!Indigenous!knowledge!and!cultural!practices!that!connect!them!to!the!land!and!their!Indigenous!ancestry,!though!they!are!no!longer!connected!to!a!particular!Indigenous!community!or!nation.!!My#grandfather#was#a#big,#big#avid#fisherman.##He#was#a#Native#from#one#of#the#tribes#in#Mexico...##And#so,#he#lived#off#the#land#and#took#care#of#the#landU#that#was#my#grandfather,#Frank.#Back#then,#I#think#my#grandfather#would#go#and#be#able#to#hone#himself#in#when#he#was#close#to#the#river...#He#would#teach#us#things#along#the#riverbanks...##He’d#tell#you#to#take#out#a#cattail#and#he#could#do#this#thing#with#it,#and#how#you#can#catch#a#certain#fish#with#it,#and#so#on.#But#the#traditions,#I’d#say#the#last#30#years,#maybe#40#or#50#years,#have#ceased#because#our#riverbanks#have#become#so#modernized.#(J.#Gutierrez,#oral#communication,#June#7,#2014#)#In!this!short!excerpt,!we!are!able!to!glimpse!the!local!ecological!practices,!and!understand!the!way!cultural!knowledge!is!passed!in!regular!everyday!moments!!45!between!family!members.!Mr.!Gutiérrez,!a!knowledge!keeper,!goes!on!to!explain!how!it!is!harder!to!teach!his!own!children!due!to!the!many!ways!that!the!community!and!river!have!changed!over!time.!!Personal!photo!albums!also!help!families!and!communities!remember!details!that!are!not!recorded!in!the!official!archives.!Mrs.!Haynes9Ramirez,!a!career!educator!and!knowledge!keeper,!has!also!done!extensive!genealogical!research!on!her!ancestry.!!She!keeps!her!family!photo!albums!accessible!in!her!living!room,!sharing!that!today's!generation!of!youth!miss!out!on!the!stories!shared!when!families!look!through!thier!photo!albums.!!My#oldest#brother#Jorge#teases#us,#he#said,#“Well#we#have#1/16th#Native#American#through#my#great#grandmother.#She#was#[Carrizo].#We#can#own#a#casino.”#But#no,#really,#we#do#have#Native#roots.##I#will#show#you#a#picture#of#my#grandmother.#(C.#Haynes#Ramirez,#oral#communication,#May#22,#2015)#One!interesting!observation!is!the!wide!diversity!of!Indigenous!ancestries,!and!the!tendency!of!community!members!to!name!the!band/nation!or!specific!region!where!their!family!member!came!from!an!Indigenous!community.!Their!ancestry!is!not!mythologized!or!romanticized,!and!the!lack!of!specific!details!is!often!expressed!with!shame!and!sadness41.!!Other!community!members!know!more!of!the!details!of!their!heritage.!!Dr.!Garza,!a!local!elder,!speaks!Coahuilteca,!and!occasionally!offers!classes!to!the!public.!He!shares,!My#father#was#from#the#Garza#Band.#When#I#was#a#kid#and#people#found#out#I#was#Garza#they#always#asked#me,#“From#which#Garzas#are#you?”#It#wasn’t#until#I#grew#up#that#I#realized#what#they#were#asking#me#was,#“There#are#2#bands#of#Garza.#From#which#band#do#you#belong#to?”#So,#being#a#smartass,#!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!41!Across!the!southwest,!many!settler!folks!who!discover!and!claim!Native!heritage,!often!speak!of!having!discovered!a!grandmother!who!was!a!Cherokee,!without!any!knowledge!of!or!ties!to!a!specific!band!or!existing!community!of!Cherokee!nation.!!46!I#always#said,#“Well,#I#am#from#the#good#ones.”##[laughing]##But#there#were#2#bands,#one#was#from#Mier,#which#is#where#my#father#was#from#and#the#other#band#was#from#Camargo.#So,#doing#some#research,#I#found#out#that#our#regional#name#was#Miakan.#Then#somehow#the#name,#and#this#probably#from#the#Spaniards,#got#changed#to#Garza...#I#have#done#some#research,#usually,#very#few#books#mention#the#word#Miakan.#I#have#read#that#another#name#for#the#Miakan#was#Carrizo.#A#lot#of#the#Carrizo#Indians#were#called#Garza#or#Carrizo#by#different#groups#in#different#areas.#The#ones#that#lived#in#the#Laredo,#the#Laredo#area#were#called#the#Carrizo#and#the#ones#that#lived#in#Camargo#were#called#Garza.#(Dr.#M.#Garza,#oral#communication,#June#1,#2015)#Indigeneity!is!not!bound!by!the!current!border,!as!many!of!Texas!first!peoples!moved!freely!across!the!territory.!Oftentimes,!family!histories!include!Indigenous!communities!from!both!the!US!and!Mexico,!with!similar!stories!of!displacement!or!assimilation.!Clearly,!the!confusion!caused!by!differences!in!naming!is!not!limited!to!the!settlers.!!For!community!members!who!knew!they!were!Indigenous,!the!land9based!knowledge!they!practiced!was!considered!Indigenous!knowledge.!For!other!community!members!who!are!uncertain!of!their!right!to!claim!Indigenous!identity,!their!land9based!knowledge!is!often!considered!Mexican!cultural!knowledge.#!The!difference!is!somewhat!arbitrary!as!both!bodies!of!knowledge!are!land9based!traditions,!however,!in!effect,!the!body!of!Indigenous!intellectual!traditions!has!been!subdivided!and!delegitimized.!In!this!way,!the!process!of!recovering!Native!or!Indigenous!identity!must!include!an!active!engagement!to!recognize!the!practices!of!Mexican!cultural!knowledge!that!are!actually!land9based!Indigenous!knowledges!passed!through!our/their!families.!Consider!the!following!conversation!between!life9long!friends,!Ms.!Ramirez,!a!community!elder,!and!Ms.!Campos,!a!community!knowledge!keeper.!!Both!women!are!career!educators,!!47!who!opted!to!participate!in!the!oral!history!interview!together,!providing!an!example!of!how!a!community!can!remember!together:!Marissa:##How#much#do#you#think#is#Indigenous#knowledge,#because#of#the#history#and#people#who#live#here,#and#from#the#Indigenous#peoples#that#used#to#be#here?##Ms.#Ramirez:#Right#now?#In#the#present#time?##I#think#is#about...well,#as#far#as#my#Abuelita#Filipita#was#concerned,#it#must#have#been#about#maybe#85%#Indigenous#people#and#knowledge#back#then.#Sí,#porque,#actually,#the#ones#that#were#living#here#were#the#Comanches,#and#Abuelita#would#say#that#some#were#mean,#and#others#were#friendly.#Y#ella#les#decía#que#they#would#make#bows#and#arrows#from#the#carrizo.#Tambien,#plantas#del#rio,#y#nos#decían#como#traeran#las#U#how#to#carry#the#water#in#those#things.##[gesturing#over#her#shoulders].#They#would#show#them#how#to#do#it.#And#how#to#gather#wood#for#the#fire,#firewood.##Todo#eso,#they#learned#from#the#Indians.#Ms.#Campos:##My#grandma#was#descended#from#an#Indian,#too#...¿Cómo#se#llamaban?#Los#de#la#montaña#de#aquiUU#donde#iba#por#los#Guaraches,#losUU#Ms.#Ramirez:#Taramara.#Ms.#Campos:#Taramara,#la#sierra#Los#Taramaras.#So#she#was#descended#from#them.#[baby#screaming]##Ms.#Ramirez:#Actually,#I#think#it#was#the#Indians.##Porque,#mira,#Don#Tomás#Sánchez#was#a#Spaniard,#their#customs#were#totally#different#from#the#Indian#ways....#Pero,#who#knew#the#land#better#than#the#Native#peoples?#Nadie.#¿Verdad?#Entonces#they#[the#Spanish]#learned#everything#from#the#Native#people#here.##(J.#Ramirez,#M.#Campos,#oral#communication,#May#15#2015)#Both!talked!about!being!Indigenous,!but!in!this!conversation,!Ms.!Ramirez!and!Ms.!Campos!use!the!terms!Native!and!Indian!to!refer!to!Indigenous!communities!that!they!do!not!consider!themselves!a!part!of.!This!was!a!common!feature!across!many!of!the!oral!histories.!!Amongst!ourselves,!Indigenizing!our!thinking!includes!recognizing!our!daily!cultural!practices!rooted!in!land9based!knowledges!as!both!Indigenous!knowledges,!and!also!Mexican!cultural!knowledge.!!The!two!are!not!mutually!exclusive,!in!spite!of!what!was!taught!in!Texas!history!classes!in!!48!school.!!Furthermore,!reclaiming!Indigenous!knowledge!and!identity!reaffirms!what!we!have!collectively!known!for!generations9!that!as!IndigenousMexicanAmerican!peoples,!the!southwest!is!our!ancestral!territory.!!Regardless!of!the!current!mainstream!anti9Mexican!political!rhetoric,!embedded!in!our!stories!as!Indigenous!peoples!is!the!deep,!intergenerational!sense!that!we#belong#here42.!!2.5$ The$Border$that$Erased$Our$River$On$Maps$In!1848,!the!Treaty!of!Guadalupe!Hidalgo!was!signed!to!end!the!Mexican!American!War,!costing!Mexico!almost!one!million!square!miles!of!territory,!including!California,!Arizona,!New!Mexico,!as!well!as!parts!of!Colorado,!Utah,!and!Nevada.!In!Texas,!this!treaty!shifted!the!international!border!from!the!Nueces!River,!south!to!the!Rio!Grande,!in!effect!causing!the!border!to!jump!over!thousands!of!Indigenous!Mexican!and!Tejano!families43.!In!its!original!form,!the!treaty!was!written!with!provisions!for!the!Mexican!citizens!residing!in!the!territory,!consisting!primarily!of!“pueblos!de!indios,!genizaros,!…!and!mestizos”44!(Urrieta,!2003,!p.!160)!to!be!granted!American!citizenship,!and!to!retain!the!title!to!their!lands.!However,!President!James!Polk!omitted!these!articles!upon!ratification!in!1848!(Hernandez,!2001)!withholding!citizenship!on!the!basis!of!race!(land!ownership!was!a!right!granted!only!to!white!people!at!the!time)!(Menchaca,!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!42!Familiar!with!the!dangers!of!overgeneralizing!(Alcoff,!1991),!I!am!not!speaking!for!everyone!in!Texas,!but!am!voicing!the!specific!intervention!created!by!acts!of!reclaiming!Indigenous!histories,!knowledges,!and!inheritances.!43!Many!local!families,!including!my!own,!tell!stories!of!how!we#did#not#cross#the#border,#the#border#crossed#us!(Mireles,!2014g!Cobos,!2012g!Eagle!Woman,!2008).!!44!Indian!villages,!detribalized!Indians,!and!mixed!race!Indians,!which!are!designations!in!the!Spanish!colonial!casta!system.!!49!1993).!In!effect,!the!US!government!nullified!the!Mexican!system!of!land!grants,!and!reclassified!the!territory!as!unclaimed!(Hernandez,!2001),!rendering!Mexican!and!Indigenous!descended!peoples!across!the!southwest!landless!exiles!in!their!own!ancestral!territories.!While!the!treaty!is!best!known!for!dramatically!increasing!the!geographic!size!of!the!United!States,!it!did!so!by!dispossessing!many!thousands!of!families!of!their!homelands,!and!effectively!systematizing!the!construction!of!an!inferior!non9citizen!class!and!lasting!legacy!of!oppression!and!racial!hatred!(Hernandez,!2001,!Menchaca,!1993).!The!new!location!of!the!international!border!also!split!our!community!in!half,!into!sister!cities,!such!that!Laredo,!Texas,!was!now!part!of!the!US,!while!Nuevo!Laredo,!Tamaulipas,!is!part!of!Mexico.!!Many!community!members!tell!stories!to!remember!that!they#are#us.#Dr.!Valle,!a!community!historian,!storyteller,!and!semi9retired!professor,!makes!direct!connections!between!our!colonial!history!and!our!current!border!dynamic.!Of#all#the#border#cities,#Laredo#has#the#highest#concentration#of#ethnic#Mexicans.#We've#got#immigrants,#legal#and#illegal,#people#who#have#visas#and#just#don't#go#back,#and#those#of#us#who#are#born#here.#And#I've#spent#my#entire#career#as#a#college#professor#in#36#years,#telling#students#that#we're#the#same#people.#...If#you#look#at#a#satellite#photograph#of#Laredo,#Nuevo#Laredo,#they#look#like#one#city#with#a#river#running#through#it.#(Dr.#C.#Valle,#oral#communication,#June#14,#2014)#We!can!see!the!close!proximity!of!the!sister!cities!in!!Figure!7:!Laredo,!Texas,!1892,!which!positions!the!viewer!over!Nuevo!Laredo,!looking!toward!Laredo.!!!!50!!! !!Figure!7:!Laredo,!Texas,!1892!(Used!by!permission!of!the!University!of!Texas!Libraries,!The!University!of!Texas!at!Austin.)!!51!!Figure!8:!Standing!in!Laredo,!Looking!toward!Nuevo!Laredo!(Used!by!permission!of!the!University!of!Texas!Libraries,!The!University!of!Texas!at!Austin.)!!52!This!rendering!visually!captures!what!Dr.!Valle!suggests,!that!from!above,!the!sister!cities!look!like!one!single!city!with!a!not?so?wide!river!running!through!it.!The!curve!of!the!river!in!the!distance!suggests!a!give!and!take!between!the!sister!cities,!as!the!opposite!river!bank!is!never!far!from!reach.!!The!relative!proximity!is!further!understood!by!the!historical!photograph!seen!in!Figure!8:!Standing!in!Laredo,!Looking!toward!Nuevo!Laredo,"which!shows!the!oldest!of!the!four!bridges!that!connect!the!two!Laredos.!The!people!standing!in!the!foreground!help!us!to!understand!the!shortened!visual!perspective!of!the!river!that!divides!the!two!cities.!"From!this!viewpoint,!with!the!two!sandbars!in!the!waterway,!the!distance!between!sides!does!not!seem!far,!and!from!the!photo,!there!is!no!evidence!of!the!dangerous!undercurrents!that!claim!lives!almost!daily.!!For!many!Laredoans!and!Nuevo!Laredoans,!the!split!between!the!cities!did!not!happen!in!1848!when!our!river!became!a!border.!!It!happened!much!more!recently,!in!1924,!or!about!three!generations!ago,!when!locals!could!no!longer!cross!the!border!freely,!creating!a!permanent!sense!of!loss!and!conflict.!Many!community!participants!shared!that!in!their!childhood,!people!could!cross!back!and!forth!without!papers,!and!without!problems.!Ms.!Calderón!Porter,!a!knowledge!keeper,!describes!the!reluctance!of!the!interrelated!binational!community!to!stay%on%their%side%in!accordance!with!increased!US!border!security:%As%I%recall,%from%the%stories%of%my%early%childhood,%when%the%division%was%made,%those%of%my%relatives%that%had%to%stay%on%this%side,%because%their%ranches%and%land%and%belongings%were%on%this%side,%they%were%embarrassed.%Texas%was%very%rural%and%very%backwards,%and%to%live%in%Laredo%was%like...%ugh,%it%was%terrible.%You%wanted%to%live%in%Nuevo%Laredo%and%be%part%of%Mexico,%because%Mexico%City%was%the%center%of%culture,%!53!Bellas%Artes,%all%the%European%moda,%the%architecture.%I%mean,%that%was%a%hub%of%culture%and%world%profile%of%graciousness,%and%here%in%Texas,%in%Laredo,%was%just%a%rural%and%dusty%town.%(M.%E.%Calderón%Porter,%oral%communication,%June%13,%2014)%%The!closing!of!the!border!also!created!undeniable!privilege,!wealth,!and!opportunities!for!those!families!who!stayed!on!the!US!side,!compared!to!those!who!chose!the!Mexican!side.!Several!generations!later,!the!US!side!continues!to!benefit!from!those!privileges,!which!have!become!normalized!as!inherent!characteristics!of!each!side,!rather!than!the!outcome!of!an!apartheid!border!system.!In!my!own!lifetime,!I’ve!witnessed!a!dramatic!cultural!shift!away!from!families!being!able!to!build!happy,!healthy!lives!sharing!time!in!both!communities,!to!choosing!a!life!entirely!in!the!US.!!One!factor!that!pushes!people!north!is!the!violence!between!drug!cartels!and!military!and!law!enforcement!officers!from!both!sides!of!the!border,!which!has!become!very!dangerous,!especially!for!community!members!who!commute!across!the!river,!or!who!have!family!who!live!in!Nuevo!Laredo,!Tamaulipas.!!Ms.!Muñoz,!a!local!knowledge!keeper,!has!lived!most!of!her!life!in!Nuevo!Laredo,!and!began!commuting!to!the!US!at!age!15!for!work.!She!shares!the!visible!and!invisible!dangers!of!crossing!the!river/border:!Hay%mucha%migración%de%este%lado%[a%los%E.U.]%sí,%Hay%mucha%migración,%pero%de%aquel%lado%[a%México]%no,%pues%pura%gente%mala.%Nosotros%ya%sabemos.%Casi%la%gente%que%vive%hay%en%México,%en%Nuevo%Laredo,%ya%sabemos%que%no%nos%podemos%acercar%al%río.%Y%la%gente%que%viene%de%fueras,%ya%de%lejos,%se%acercan%al%río%y%los%asaltan,%los%matan,%los%secuestran,%pero%son%gente%que%no%sabe.%Nosotros%que%vivimos%ahí,%ya%sabemos%que%no%tenemos%que%ir.45%(C.%Muñoz,%oral%communication,%June14,%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!45!There%is%a%lot%of%migration%to%this%side%[%US%side],%yes.%there%is%a%lot%of%migration,%but%not%to%that%side%[to%México],%because%[of]%bad%people.%We%already%know.%The%people%who%live%there%in%!!54!2014)%In!this!testimonio,!Ms.!Muñoz!shares!her!understanding!of!the!Nuevo!Laredo!memoryscape,!including!the!invisible!dangers!of!physically!getting!close!to!the!river.!!She!knows!the!riverbanks!are!one!of!the!places!that!people!are!forced!to!pay!bribes!or!be!violently!assaulted.!Or!worse.!!(She!shared!a!similar!warning!about!riding!in!taxicabs!after!10!pm.)!!In!both!cases,!she!shared!her!experience!as!a!person!who!recognizes!the!real!dangers!of!her!life!in!Nuevo!Laredo,!which!do!not!happen!in!Laredo.!The!dangers!are!hyperlocal,!invisible!to!outsiders,!and!make!obvious!the!way!that!the!international!border!has!made!Laredoans!outsiders!to!Nuevo!Laredo.!!Even!though!we!share!the!river,!and!history!of!the!land,!and!are!connected!by!water,!the!US!side!does!not!experience!violence!in!the!same!way.!!Relative!location!renders!many!of!the!dangers!invisible!from!the!US!side.!!Similarly,!Ms.!Salas,!an!elder,!shared!that!she!lived!much!of!her!young!life!in!Nuevo!Laredo,!moved!to!Laredo!to!raise!her!children,!and!has!retired!in!Rio!Bravo,!a!rural!colonia!outside!of!Laredo,!where!it!is!peaceful.!She!shared!her!concern!for!family!members!who!still!live!across!the!river!in!Nuevo!Laredo,!!En%particular,%hay%mucha%delincuencia%en%México,%bastante%delincuencia.%Puros%chamacos%de%14,%15%años%matando%gente%sin%motivo%y%los%secuestran,%les%hacen%daños%muy%profundos.%Entonces%es%muy%difícil%que%vayas%tú%a%México%y%digas%que%todo%está%bien%y%son%mentiras.%Por%eso%yo%no%he%ido%a%ver%a%mi%hermano.%¿Sabes%dónde%lo%miro?%¡En%Facebook!46%(J.%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Mexico,%in%Nuevo%Laredo,%we%already%know%that%we%cannot%get%close%to%the%river.%And%the%people%who%come%from%outside,%from%afar,%[when%they]%approach%the%river,%they%assault%them,%kill%them,%kidnap%them,%but%those%are%people%who%do%not%know.%We,%who%live%there%already,%know%that%we%[are%not]%to%go%.(C.!Muñoz,!oral!communication,!June14,!2014)!46!In!particular,!there!is!a!lot!of!crime!in!Mexico,!a!lot!of!crime.!Many!youngsters!of!14,!15!years![old]!killing!people!without!motive,!and!kidnapping!them.!They!inflict![horrible!injuries]..!So!it!is!!!55!Salas,%oral%communication,%May,%22,%2015)"""In!her!testimonio,!Ms.!Salas!describes!having!family!who!are!relatively!happy!to!live!on!the!Nuevo!Laredo!side,!because!they!know!how!to!navigate!the!landscape.!We!can!understand!the!notion!of!belonging!no!matter!how!bad!it!gets,!which!echoes!the!Indigenous!survival!strategies!of!previous!eras!of!colonial!occupation.!!Similarly,!for!many!of!the!people!living!on!the!US!side,!the!racist!violence!of!lynchings!or!Jim!Crow!segregation!of!the!US!did!not!deter!them!in!any!way!from!the!frontera.!This!is!where!they!have!always!been,!and!where!they!belong,!and!comes!from!a!deep!knowing!of!one's!place!on/of!the!land!and!river,!with!or!without!official!documents.!Dr.!Garza!shared,!I%was%born%in%1943%and%I%was%born%in%Falfurrias,%Texas.%I%was%born%at%home.%They%told%me,%because%at%that%time,%they%didn’t%allow%nonfwhite%people%in%the%hospital.%So,%I%was%born%at%home.%(Dr.%M.%Garza,%oral%communication,%June%1,%2015)%For!those!elders!born!at!home,!systemic!marginalization!began!at!birth.!!Legal!paperwork!and!forms!of!identification!are!difficult!to!procure,!especially!without!a!hospital?recorded!birth!certificate.!Ms.!Ramirez!shared!her!recent!frustration,!Because%you%know,%they%really%restricted%the%daily%coming%and%going%[across%the%border]%when%they%wanted%passports%that%you%have%to%have%get%to%cross.%%When%I%applied%for%a%passport,%Marta%and%I%did,%they%sent%me%a%whole%bunch%of%forms,%and%they%wanted%to%know%all%the%names%of%my%thirteen%brothers%and%sisters,%when%they%were%born,%where%they%were%born,%who%was%the%doctor,%or%the%treatments%my%mother%was%getting%while%she%was%pregnant%...when%they%were%baptized,%which%school%they%went%to%from%first%grade%on,%the%grades%they%made%from%first%grade%until%they%graduated...Can%you%imagine?%%I%sent%a%really%ugly%letter%to%them%[laughing].%And%so,%I%told%Marta%"Mira,%I%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!very!difficult!for!you!to!go!to!Mexico!and!say!everything!is!fine.!!It!is!lies.!That's!why!I!have!not!gone!to!see!my!brother.!Do!you!know!where!I!see!him?!On!Facebook!!!56!don't%want%to%go%across%anyway,%what%for?"%And%back%then%it%wasn't%as%bad%as%it%is%now.%%I%told%Marta%"I%don't%care%if%I%ever%go."%%So%then...%the%passport%came%in%the%mail%[laughing].%(J.%Ramirez,%oral%communication,%May%15%2015)%Even!with!proper!paperwork,!Ms.!Ramirez!wasn't!planning!on!leaving!Laredo!to!go!on!a!far?away!adventure.!!She!wanted!to!go!to!the!Nuevo!Laredo!side!of!her!own!community.!Yet,!we!hear!her!angry!response!at!being!treated!as!a!second?class!person,!and!being!denied!access!to!the!places!from!her!childhood.!The!daily!racist!indignities!are!systemic!and!have!been!going!on!for!generations.!Many!community!members!recall!stories!not!recorded!in!history!books.!Dr.!Valle!shares!the!story!of!his!grandfather!being!drafted!by!the!Carranza!Government!as!a!cavalryman,!serving!his!time!fighting!Pancho!Villa's!troops,!then!fleeing!Mexico!during!the!Mexican!Revolution47.!He!came!to!Laredo!as!a!baker.!!The%next%morning%the%police%officer%offered%to%help%him%arrange%his%papers%and%immigrate%with%my%mother%and%my%grandmother.%And%one%interesting%thing%about%the%immigration%process%is%that%people%coming%from%Mexico%were%deloused.%They%were%stripped%naked%and%then%they%blew%this%insecticide%powder%on%them,%and%my%grandfather%became%very%angry%and%he%jumped%over%the%line%and%had%an%argument%with%the%US%Immigration%Officials,%and%convinced%them%that%"Somos%gente%limpia!"%"We%are%clean%people!%We%don't%have%lice!"%%But%I%guess%it%was%standard%operational%procedures%for%everybody%coming%in%from%Mexico.%The%question%has%arisen:%were%other%immigrants%like%on%Ellis%Island,%or%Galveston,%or%New%Orleans,%were%they%also%deloused?%I%don't%know%what%the%answer%is.%I%have%to%research%it.%%(Dr.%C.%Valle,%oral%communication,%June%14,%2014)%To!this!day,!European?descended!politicians!and!mainstream!media!often!parrot!a!race?based!entitlement!to!what!is!now!the!United!States,!by!conflating!Mexican!Indigenous!heritage!with!“illegal!alien”!immigration!status.!Rhetorical!stereotypes!repeated!at!the!national!level!have!served!to!flatten!the!real!diversity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!47!Future!work!may!explore!collective!memory!of!the!Mexican!Revolution!from!the!frontera,!as!roughly!half!of!the!community!participants!shared!similar!family!stories.!!57!of!the!borderlands,!erasing!the!Indigenous!ancestry!of!many!communities.!Yet,!Maestas!(2003)!reminds!us!"Human!migration!back!and!forth!across!the!Rio!Grande!has!been!an!important!aspect!of!local!Indigenous!life!for!thousands!of!years"!(p.!1).!Long!before!any!colonial!encounters,!there!was!a!rich!diversity!of!Indigenous!peoples!for!whom!there!were!no!colonial!borders.!While!some!families!can!name!the!genealogies!of!their!Indigenous!heritage,!there!are!also!traces!of!Indigenous!knowledges!in!the!social!history,!language,!cultural!practices,!and!ceremonial!observances!that!have!led!to!the!establishment!of!south!Texas!as!a!Native!sacred!geography!(Maestas,!2003).!Understood!broadly,!this!includes!the!specific!knowledge!of!burial!grounds,!sacred!medicines,!headwaters!and!natural!springs,!which!I!understand!as!different!aspects!of!the!traditional!ecological!knowledge.!In!spite!of!shifting!identities!and!politics!of!ongoing!occupation,!these!stories!and!responsibilities!survive!in!the!collective!memory!of!the!people!who!continue!to!live!in!the!sacred!geography!of!south!Texas.!In!particular,!for!me,!the!Memoryscape!includes!the!uninterrupted!horizon,!as!seen!in!Figure!9:!Looking!Out!Over!my!Grandfather's!Land."A!non?local!viewer!may!not!see!much,!looking!out!over!the!arid!landscape,!but!to!me!it!is!a!land!of!ancestral!and!traditional!ecological!knowledge,!stretching!out!in!all!directions.!!58!!Figure'9:'Looking'Out'Over'my'Grandfather's'Land'!59!2.6$ Nuestro$Rio,$Sagrado$y$Olvidado48$Mrs.!Bernal!Flores,!a!knowledge!keeper!and!retired!educator,!now!lives!closer!to!the!center!of!town,!but!she!recalls!the!significance!of!the!river!to!her!childhood,!growing!up!in!her!parents'!home,!a!block!and!a!half!from!the!river.!'The%river?%My%dad%used%to%take%us%to%it.%The%river%was%the%playground.%I%learned%how%to%swim%in%the%river.%My%dad%would%take%us%fishing...But%my%fondest%[memory]%is%at%night%when%I%could%hear%the%river,%the%sounds%of%the%river.%When%I%would%go%to%sleep,%I%would%leave%the%window%open%and%I%could%hear%it.%Barely...%but%you%could%hear%it.%%Everything%it%provided%for%us%was%the%significance%for%us%growing%up%there.%(P.%Bernal%Flores,%oral%communication,%June%8,%2014)%In!Ms.!Bernal!Flores'!story,!we!can!understand!a!particular!dynamic!true!for!many!of!our!community!members!living!in/with/near!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!D!our!river!is!at!once!sacred!and!forgotten.!!It!nourishes!all!life,!provides!us!with!everything!we!need!to!live!in!the!arid!landscape,!yet!it!is!no!longer!a!part!of!daily!life!in!the!busy!community!that!Laredo!has!become.!The!river!has!not!changed.!!We,!as!a!community,!have.!!In!listening!to!the!elders,!we!not!only!remember!the!significance!of!the!river,!but!also!who!we!were/are!as!people!of!the!river.!Mi%papá%también%me%decía,%que%cuando%no%había%tiempo%de%ir%a%la%iglesia,%los%bautizaban%en%el%río.%Un%tío%mío%nació%malito,%era%de%noche%y%dijeron:%"Para%mañana%no%amanece.%Pues%a%llevárnoslo%al%río".%Y%dijeron:%"¿Por%qué%no%lo%bautizas%con%agua%de%los%cántaros?%No,%porque%el%río%va%corriendo".%Se%fueron%y%lo%bautizaron%en%el%Río%Grande.%Le%llamaban%el%Río%Grande%o%Río%Bravo.%También%a%veces%era%parte%de%la%cultura,%pues%ahora%ya%nadie%lo%va%hacer.49%(M.%Campos,%oral%communication,%May%15%2015)%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!48!Our!River,!Sacred!and!Forgotten!49!My!dad!also!told!me!that!when!there!was!no!time!to!go!to!church,![people]!were!baptized!in!the!river.!An!uncle!of!mine!was!born!sick,!and!one!night!and!they!said:!"Tomorrow!morning,!he!won't!wake,!so!let's!take!him!to!the!river".!And!they!said:!"Why!do!not!you!baptize!him!with!water!from!the!cisterns?!No,!because!the!river!is!running."!They!baptized!him!in!the!Rio!Grande.!They!called!it!the!Rio!Grande!or!Rio!Bravo.!Also,!then,!it!was!part!of!the!culture,!but!!now!nobody!can!do!that.!!60!When!Ms.!Campos!shares!about!the!river,!Spanish!conveys!a!nuance!that!is!missing!from!our!English!discussion.!!They!took!the!child!to!baptize!him!in!the!river!because!it!is!running!or!moving!water,!and!is!considered!alive,!whereas!still!water!is!not!moving,!therefore!not!alive!in!the!same!way.!Today,!the!river!is!not!often!spoken!of!with!such!love!and!respect,!nor!is!the!riverside!a!safe!place!for!locals!to!go!or!spend!time.!!Mrs.!de!Llano,!an!elder!with!a!keen!memory!at!93!years!of!age,!remembers!when!water!was!delivered!by!barrileros,!young!men!who!would!collect!barrels!of!river!water,!back!when!the!water!was!potable,!and!deliver!to!the!families!who!needed!water!for!drinking!and!household!use.!!One%of%my%uncles%lived%with%us%because%he%was%orphaned%at%age%16.%Daddy%was%the%oldest%and%he%said%that%16%year%old%boy%can’t%live%by%himself.%So,%they%got%and%he%lived%with%us.%He%never%married.%He%used%to%distribute%water%to%all%the%peoples%from%the%Rio%Grande.%They%had%pumps%near%the%mine%that%he%would%go%in%and%fill%a%big,%big...%it%was%like%a%drum,%big%drum%of%water%and%distribute%to%the%people%that%didn’t%have%running%water.%Tia%Maria%had%running%water%in%her%place,%but%we%didn’t,%because%we%lived%out%on%the%hill%and%they%couldn’t%pump%water%to%that%place.%%So,%a%few%people%had%running%water,%and%those%who%didn’t%had%the%barrileros.%You%know,%to%wash%and%everything.%The%only%water%we%had,%that%came%from%the%Rio%Grande.%%Can%you%imagine?%%It%was%a%village%of%about%300%people%I%would%say.%Most%of%those%people%worked%either%at%the%mine%or%in%plantations.%There%were%a%lot%of%plantations.%Even%I%remember%that%my%sisters%were%picking%tomatoes,%picking%whatever,%but%I%was%too%little.%(Z.%de%Llano,%oral%communication,%June%14,%2014)%We!can!see!one!such!moment!in!Figure!10:!A!Barrilero!Collecting!Water!from!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!Today,!there!are!also!traces!of!what!the!landscape!used!!61!! !Figure'10:'A'Barrilero'Collecting'Water'from'the'Rio'Grande/Rio'Bravo'(Used!by!permission!of!the!University!of!Texas!Libraries,!The!University!of!Texas!at!Austin.)!!62!to!look!like!encoded!in!the!names!of!places!that!seem!to!mark!different!periods!of!colonial!occupation.!For!example,!Laredo!has!very!old!subdivisions!named!Plantation,!and!the!major!road!north!along!the!river!is!Mines!Road,!but!time!has!erased!all!major!landmarks!of!the!past,!as!new!businesses!and!developments!have!reshaped!the!community.!Some!of!the!landDbased!knowledge!we!can!learn!through!the!stories!is!not!general,!but!very!specific!to!particular!places!in!the!river!ecology.!The!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo!region!of!the!river!is!one!of!several!critically!endangered!niches!nurturing!a!rich!biodiverse!community!of!species!not!found!anywhere!else!in!the!world.!!Many!locals!know!the!flora!and!fauna,!and!cultivate!spiritual!waysDofDknowing!specific!to!the!community!and!our!local!ecology.!!Mr.!Muñoz,!a!knowledge!keeper,!has!worked!closely!for!the!last!25!years!with/in!many!of!the!residents!of!the!colonias50!along!length!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!shares,!!Tia$Josefa$in$particular,$Tia$Josefa$was$my$curandera.$She$knew$to$curar$de$susto51,$how$to$deliver$babies$she$had$all$kind$of$herbs$in$either$alcohol$or$vodka.$I$knew$if$it$was$in$a$vodka$bottle$it$was$stuff$that$we$were$going$to$be$drinking.$If$it$was$in$an$alcohol$bottle,$I$had$to$bring$the$alcohol,$go$buy$her$the$alcohol$sometimes$it$was$a$whole$nickel$for$alcohol.$It$wasn’t$for$drinking,$it$was$going$to$be$something$that$you$would$rub.$$She$would$say,$"Alright,"$she'd$hand$me$a$plant$and$she’d$say,$“See$this$plant?”$$Then$she$gave$me$a$paper$bag,$and$she’d$say$“fill$this$bag$with$this$kind$of$plant.”$Or$she’d$give$me$2$plants$and$she’d$say$“Give$me$a$bag$of$this$and$a$bag$of$this.”$$And$I$remember$I$asked$"What$are$you$going$to$use$it$for?"$She$goes$“son$para$mis$remedios.”$Every$once$in$a$while$she$would$tell$me,$what$the$remedio$was$and$what$it$is$going$to$be$for.$I$wish$I$had$remembered$and$I$had$asked$more$questions$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!50!Rural!communities!with!varying!degrees!of!access!to!resources!such!as!sewage,!paved!roads,!and/or!electricity.!51!In!Central!American!cultures,!susto!is!a!soulDwrenching!fright,!caused!by!a!physical!or!emotional!trauma,!in!which!the!soul!is!believed!to!leave!the!body.!It!can!be!cured!through!physical,!emotional,!and!spiritual!treatments.!!!63!now.$But$in$her$kitchen$there$was$a$cupboard$that$she$had$with$all$the$remedios.$Some$of$these$plants$that$I$would$get$her$they$would$be$in$like$mason$jars.$No$labels,$she'd$just$do$it.$She$just$knew$what$was$for$what.$So$the$plants$that$she$would$put$in$mason$jars,$was$for$making$teas,$the$plant$that$she$would$put$in$vodka$that$was$going$in$to$mason$jars$with$plants,$would$be$for$your$drinking$and$whatever$went$into$alcohol$was$going$to$be$for$rubbing.$$So,$she$had$a$bunch$of$them,$a$bunch$of$them.$Like$I$said,$I$never$knew$what$I$was$gathering,$I$just$knew$that$I$was$helping$her$get$some$of$her$medicinal$remedies.$(O.$Muñoz,$oral$communication,$May$10,$2015)$As!a!child,!Mr.!Muñoz!knew!that!some!of!the!plants!found!on!the!riverbank!were!medicinal!plants,!which!his!auntie!Josefa!knew!how!to!use!to!heal!people.!Mr.!Muñoz's!story!reminds!us!that!the!land,!river,!and!people!are!not!considered!separate!entities,!but!instead,!an!interconnected!network!of!living!beings!in!the!particular!ecologies!along!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!Understandably,!the!practice!of!traditional!plant!medicines!is!more!widespread!in!communities!that!have!free!access!to!their!medicinal!plants.!!Along!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!the!increase!of!border!security!has!made!cultural!practices!more!difficult!and!dangerous!to!continue,!as!our!river!ecology!are!the!only!natural!habitats!where!these!particular!plant!medicines!grow.!!2.7$ Creating$a$Living$Archive$of$Collective$Memories$There!are!particular!patterns!that!I!notice!as!a!local:!conversations!about!people!tend!to!focus!on!identityW!and!conversations!about!the!land!tend!to!focus!on!historiesW!while!conversations!about!the!river!focus!on!the!border.!In!this!project,!I!am!intentionally!making!space!for!other!ways!of!understanding!the!people,!land,!and!river!that!do!not!necessarily!rely!on!familiar!habits!of!mind.!I!want!to!actively!decolonize/Indigenize!my!own!thinking!to!cultivate!and!revitalize!my!own!Indigenous!ways!of!knowing.!While!there!certainly!wellDknown!studies!in!which!Indigenous!authors!write!about!identity!(Anzaldúa,!1999W!Yellow!Bird,!1999W!Menchaca,!1993),!and!land!(Armstrong,!1998W!Peña,!1998W!Simpson,!2014),!reclaiming!one's!ancestral!waters!is!much!less!common.!!!!64!Stories!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!tend!to!be!inclusive!of!the!land!and!people,!and!also!tend!to!flow!into!all!kinds!of!other!topics.!As!such,!riverDspecific!knowledge!requires!a!more!holistic!approach!to!listening,!one!that!prioritizes!the!connections!and!interdependencies!between!the!river,!land,!and!people.!While!community!members!are!eager!to!share!what!they!know!and!have!experienced!in/near/of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!the!process!of!platicando52!and!sharing!memories!is!often!unpredictable.!Our!stories!about!our!river!are!much!more!than!a!singular!account!of!the!events!that!took!place.!!The!process!of!storytelling!and!storylistening!recognizes!the!community!as!a!living!archive!(RiañoDAlcalá!&!Baines,!2011)!building!a!diverse,!polyvocal,!collective!memory!of!embodied!and!emplaced!stories!about!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!as!well!as!how!we!understand!ourselves!in!relation!to!our!river.!!In!Native!and!First!Nations!Studies,!there!is!a!growing!body!of!literature!focused!on!revitalizing!traditional!knowledges!for!Indigenous!communities!who!have!survived!colonization!with!a!collective,!recognized!identity.!What!is!distinct!about!my!community!is!that,!although!many!of!us!know!we!have!Indigenous!ancestry,!we!are!detribalized.!!The!collective!Indigenous!identity!has!been!interrupted,!yet!the!proximity!to!our!ancestral!territories!have!allowed!the!Indigenous!knowledges!to!survive!in!our!oral!traditions,!daily!cultural!practices,!and!in!our!understandings!of!home.!This!project!explores!how!collective!memory!can!revitalize!the!Indigenous!knowledge!of!the!sacred!geography!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!Meaning!is!made!through!the!process!of!remembering!how!to!beDinDrelation!to!each!other!in/with!our!ancestral!waters,!revitalizing!the!living!archive!within!the!Indigenous!fronterizo!community.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!52!An!informal!way!of!sharing!stories!in!a!group.!!65!2.8$ Summary$This!chapter!serves!as!an!introduction!to!the!land,!river,!and!people!of!my!community!of!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo,!Texas.!!Rather!than!rely!on!descriptions!to!curate!a!timeline!of!historical!events,!I!chose!to!take!a!restorying!approach,!weaving!history,!firstDhand!testimonios,!maps,!images,!and!my!own!understandings!of!my!community.!Each!of!these!aspects!of!our!collective!memory!document!home,!where!we!have!been,!how!we!got!here,!and!what!we!have!gained!and!lost!along!the!way.!In!the!next!chapter,!I!will!articulate!the!theoretical!framework!of!the!project,!which!I!have!named!an!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Cosmography.!The!same!way!that!collective!memory!expands!on!the!practice!of!history!to!include!a!polyvocal,!embodied!and!emplaced!body!of!holistic!knowledge,!an!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Cosmography!works!to!expand!on!the!practice!of!mapmaking!to!include!a!holistic,!embodied!and!emplaced!articulation!of!our!community!in!relation!to!the!universe.!Whereas!mapmaking!results!in!a!twoDdimensional!portrayal!of!landforms!at!a!particular!moment!in!time,!a!cosmography!portrays!the!dynamics!of!geography,!ecology,!and!the!related!cosmos!from!the!perspective!of!Indigenous!fronterizx!community!members.!In!this!way,!I!will!frame!the!project!with!appropriate!academic!literatures,!and!elaborate!the!waysDofDknowing,!waysDofDbeing,!positionalities!and!vocabularies!that!support!the!voices!and!knowledges!of!my!community!members.!!!66!Chapter$3:$An$Indigenous$Fronterizx$Cosmography$as$Theoretical$Framework$Grandma$was$a$seed$saver.$Every$summer$after$harvest$she$left$a$few$of$the$cornstalks$and$bean$bushes$standing$in$the$garden,$gathering$dust.$After$the$plants$dried,$she$collected$the$crops$and$stripped$the$seeds$from$them…"La$semilla$es$la$memoria$de$la$planta,"$she$said,$"crece$con$lo$que$vive$en$la$tierra."53$$$(Peña,$1998,$p.$27)$In!a!single!sentence,!Peña’s!grandmother!provides!a!metaphor!for!landDbased,!holistic!ecologies,!explaining!how!the!land!nurtures!both!the!seed!and!intergenerational!memory.!!While!the!seed!is!the!plant’s!memory,!so,!too,!is!the!practice!of!seedDsaving!a!traditional!cultural!memory,!both!intimately!based!on!the!relationships!with!the!land!that!are!passed!from!one!generation!to!the!next54.!!Seed$memories!are!just!one!example!of!the!traditional,!landDbased,!storied,!and!relational!practices!that!are!at!the!heart!of!this!project.!!!In!order!to!listen!receptively!and!recognize!the!teachings!with!the!appropriate!frames!of!reference,!it!is!necessary!to!clarify!the!theoretical!framework,!which!I!named!an!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Cosmography.!I've!chosen!this!name!to!indicate!the!emplaced!collective!memories!embedded!in!the!stories!of!the!community!knowledge!keepers!which!effectively!map!the!sacred!landscape!of!our!community!in!relation!to!the!land,!river,!sister!cities,!and!beyond.!!The!Indigenous!Fronterizo!Cosmography!details!the!perspective(s),!location(s),!and!positionality(ies)!of!fronterizx!lived!experiences,!immersed!in!the!waters!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!which!unifies!and!nourishes!the!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!53!The!seed!is!the!plant's!memory!and!grows!with!what!lives!in!the!soil.!54!By!the!same!logic,!the!seed!is!the!plant's!premonition!of!the!future,!such!that!seeds!are!simultaneously!past,!present,!and!future,!a!proleptic!being.!!!67!sister!cities!of!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo55.!This!is!the!first!time!such!work!has!been!articulated!in!this!way,!as!a!written!pedagogy,!though!many!of!these!ideas!have!been!spoken,!created,!danced,!and!sung!through!the!generations.!!To!do!so,!I!will!begin!from!the!widest!context!and!work!to!elaborate!on!the!intersections!and!overlaps!of!Indigenous!ways!of!knowing,!Xicanx!ways!of!being,!and!finally,!borderland!positionalities.!Each!strand!represents!a!specific!aspect!of!knowing!and!being!that!arises!from/with/in!relation!to!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!3.1$ Indigenous$Epistemologies$–$Ways$of$Knowing$Epistemology!is!the!branch!of!philosophy!that!speaks!to!what!it!means!to!know,!and!the!nature!of!how$we$come$to$know.!In!choosing!to!work!from!within!an!Indigenous!epistemology,!part!of!my!responsibility!is!to!honor!a!specific,!regional,!landDbased!way!of!knowing!nurtured!by!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!However,!there!is!no!single!body!of!knowledge!known!as!the!Indigenous!epistemology!from!the!US!Mexico!border.!There!are!many!epistemologies!that!have!emerged!along!the!river,!as!there!are!many!combinations!of!peoples,!languages,!and!ecological!niches!found!along!the!nearly!1,954!mile!length.!!The!work!of!Anzaldúa!(Anzaldúa,!1999W!Keating,!2009)!is!often!held!as!the!benchmark!for!Chicana!ways!of!knowing,!to!the!point!of!eclipsing!Indigenous!fronterizx!scholars.!For!many!frontera!communities,!Indigenous!epistemologies!are!encoded!in!the!language,!stories,!and!oral!traditions,!and!strategically!were!kept!hidden!from!colonial!consumption.!In!some!cases,!the!content!is!documented,!but!the!significance!or!teachings,!as!they!are!understood!by!the!local!community!members!may!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!55!The!phrase!is!intentionally!written!as!one!of!many!possibilities,!as!there!are!other!Indigenous!fronterizx!communities,!each!with!their!own!epistemological!and!cosmographical!considerations.!!68!not!have!been!recorded.!Mignolo!(2011)!reminds!us!that!decolonial!thinking!resists!universalizing!our!own!epistemologies!across!different!peoples,!who!may!understand!the!universe,!rooted!in!their!own!creation!stories,!to!be!different!from!our!own.!Instead,!we!can!start!with!respectful!approaches!to!working!with!and!within!Indigenous!knowledge!systems!by!making!space!for!epistemological!difference!(Arvin,!Tuck,!&!Morrill,!2013W!Rios,!2012)!amongst!each!other.!!It!is!important!to!note!that!systems!of!knowledge!are!also!sites!of!colonization,!in!which!Eurocentric!ways!of!knowing!are!by!default!regarded!as!dominant,!prioritized,!and!deeply!embedded!within!our!contemporary!colonial!society.!As!this!project!has!been!conducted!in!English!and!Spanish,!both!colonial!languages,!we!will!begin!with!a!gentle!invitation!that!we!actively!shift!our!thinking!and!assumptions!around!knowledge!and!how!we!come!to!know.!Rather!than!the!specifics!of!what!to!think,!which!aligns!with!EuroWestern!habits!of!binary!right/wrong!thinking,!we!will!focus!on!approaches!for!understanding,!as!there!are!many!ways!of!knowing,!many!ways!of!learning.!!At!the!heart!of!all!Indigenous!knowledge!systems!is!the!idea!that!all!life!is!connected!and!interrelated!(Cajete,!2000W!Gonzales,!2012W!Lara,!2014)!.!Knowledge!is!deeply!tied!to!being!and!becoming!aware!of!these!interD!and!intraDconnections,!building!understandings!of!the!dynamics!of!life!from!a!holistic!perspective!(Rios,!2012W!Villanueva,!2013).!The!term!ecological!is!used!in!a!broad!sense,!to!collectively!refer!to!the!flora!and!fauna!of!specific!places,!connected!by!much!more!than!physical!biological!logistics.!Kuokkanen!(2007)!writes!the!"self!and!the!world!are!not!separate!entities"!(p.!41),!but!are!connected!by!a!"responseDability!–!that!is,!an!ability!to!respond,!to!remain!attuned!to!the!world!beyond!oneself"!(p.!39).!Living!beings!are!connected!by!their!!69!responseDability.!While!easy!to!understand!if!we!think!of!a!bear,!or!tree,!or!insect!responding!to!its!natural!surroundings,!it!offers!a!radical!reconceptualization!of!the!role!of!humans!in!our!natural!surroundings.!All!elements!and!beings!within!an!ecosystem!has!responseDability.!The!term$ecology!can!be!repurposed!by!shifting!to!the!phrase!relational$ecology,$which!suggests!a!nonDhierarchical!and!nonDanthropocentric!orientation,!inclusive!of!all!!beings!and!elements!in]relation$(read!as!a!verb),!connected!by!place!and!time.!Similarly,!prioritizing!relationality!shifts!the!phrase!traditional$ecological$knowledge!toward!traditional$ecological!knowing,!as!both!a!practice!(verb),!and!content!(noun).!We!can!understand!that!such!knowing!develops!from!being!inDrelation!to!the!ecosystem!over!long!periods!of!time!(Tuck,!McKenzie,!&!McCoy,!2014),!"founded!on!spiritualDcultural!instructions!from!‘time!immemorial’!and!on!generations!of!careful!observation!within!an!ecosystem!of!continuous!residence"!(LaDuke,!1994,!p.!127).!!Evidence!of!the!intergenerational!landDbased!knowledges!can!be!seen!in!the!way!that!many!creation!stories!include!the!creation!of!the!land,!water,!and!people!within!the!same!story,!often!portraying!each!as!interdependent!and!inseparable!of!the!others.!!For!Indigenous!peoples,!a!relationship!with!the!land!serves!as!the!foundation!for!all!knowledge!(Arvin,!Tuck,!&!Morrill,!2013W!Corntassel,!ChawDwinDis,!&!T’lakwadzi,!2009).!Indigenous!languages!emerged!from!the!relationships!to!land!(Armstrong,1998)!based!on!the!embedded,!contextual,!relational!ecologies!communities!live!in,!with,!and!around.!Relational!ecologies!recognize!people!as!a!connected!part!of!the!complex!network!of!beings,!past,!present,!and!future!to!and!through!land,!and!water.!Within!each!Indigenous!language!is!the!specific,!nuanced!understanding!of!how!all!life!is!related!within!the!specific!ecology,!extending!through!the!embedded!contexts,!from!the!micro!to!!70!the!cosmos.!!Nuance!is!lost!when!we!think!in!English,!using!dominant!Eurocentric!frames!of!reference,!requiring!work!not!only!to!transliterate56!the!concepts!of!relational!ecologies!and!traditional!ecological!knowledges,!but!also!to!actively!interpret!the!implications!around!teaching!and!learning!of!such!concepts.!!For!example,!we!can!consider!the!difference!of!what!it!would!mean!for!Indigenous!learners!to!be!inDrelation!to!Texas!versus!what!it!may!mean!for!Estok'!Gna!(the!people!of!the!lower!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo)!to!be!inDrelation!to!Somi'!Sek!(the!ancestral!name!of!Texas).!The!language!automatically!encodes!specific!ways!of!knowing!and!understanding!of!the!relationships!between!the!peoples!and!the!land.!!The!first!phrase!is!general,!while!the!second!captures!the!dynamic!innerworkings!of!an!intradependent!relational!universe!distinct!to!the!Carrizo!language.!Thus,!rather!than!work!to!define!a!conceptual!framework!as!the!general!theoretical!basis!of!the!project!that!continues!to!think!with!a!colonial!language!in!a!dominant/other!frame!of!reference,!it!became!necessary!to!define!a!cosmography!inclusive!of!the!mix!of!languages!spoken!in!the!frontera,!which!specifically!includes!epistemological,!ontological,!and!positionality!elements.!Furthermore,!humans!are!not!simply!a!brain!transported!by!a!body!within!the!ecology.!Consider!the!processes!of!artDmaking!or!musicDmaking,!of!what!we!call!flow,!or!captivation,!is!when!we!are!so!engrossed!in!creation!that!we!lose!our!sense!of!time.!!Flow!is!not!an!external!event!that!happens!to!a!passive!body.!!Creating!is!a!wholeD!being!creative!response.!Gonzales!writes!“Knowledge!is!experienced!with!the!whole!of!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!56!Whereas!translation!works!to!convert!the!words!of!one!language!into!another,!transliteration!works!to!effectively!communicate!the!concepts!or!ideas!that!may!differ!from!literal!translations.!!71!our!being”!(2012,!p.!xvii).!!Coming!to!know!as!a!wholeDbeing!process.!Many!Indigenous!scholar!educators!are!theorizing!wholeDbeing!ways!of!knowing!(Archibald,!2008W!Battiste,!2010W!Rasmussen!&!Akulukjuk,!2009)!and!revitalizing!the!process!of!coming!to!know!that!our!communities!have!relied!on!for!centuries!(Little!Bear,!2009W!Sanderson,!2008W!Simpson,!2014W!Urrieta,!2016).!For!example,!the!concept!of!holism!(Archibald,!2008)!describes!the!interrelated!realms!that!together!form!a!whole!healthy!person:!the!mind,!body,!heart,!and!spirit.!Indigenous!learning!grows!from!being!deeply!embedded!within!community,!within!our!local!ecology,!coming!to!know!in!a!wide!variety!of!ways,!and!understanding!oneself!as!a!beingDinDrelation!(read!as!a!nounDverb!phrase).!Indigenous!ways!of!knowing!provide!tools!for!reframing,!valuing,!and!prioritizing!the!intellectual!traditions!of!our!communities!undervalued!by!dominant!colonial!society.!!Epistemology,!including!what!counts!as!valuable!knowledge,!directly!shapes!education.!Whereas!Eurocentric!learning!is!predominantly!based!on!defining,!categorizing!and!reproducing!the!standardized!book!knowledge!in!institutions!of!learning,!Indigenous!learning!is!much!more!personal,!relying!on!holistic,!multiDmodal,!multiDsensory,!ways!of!learning!by!doing,!creating,!engaging,!conversing,!and!being!inDrelation!to!the!world.!The!English!language!encodes!knowledge!as!a!noun!for!a!learner!to!possess,!which!is!different!than!in!many!Indigenous!languages,!in!which!knowing!is!held!in!verbs,!such!as!creating,!dancing,!building,!and!exploring!(Aikenhead!&!Ogawa,!2007W!Cruikshank,!2005W!Ronald,!2009).!In!this!way,!learning!is!a!lifeDlong!responseDability!entwined!with!living,!and!is!unique!to!one’s!abilities.!Ultimately,!the!purpose!of!knowing!is!to!cultivate!each!person's!divine!gifts!for!the!mutual!enrichment!of!the!community!(Kuokkanen,!2007W!Zibechi,!quoted!in!Meyer!&!Maldonado,!2010).!This,!in!!72!turn,!points!back!to!the!notion!that!there!are!as!many!ways!to!learn!as!there!are!learners,!who!are!responseDable!to!their!communities!and!ecologies.!Similarly,!there!are!as!many!ways!to!understand!the!relational!placeDbased!elements!of!Indigenous!epistemologies,!as!each!person!in!the!community,!with!their!unique!positionality,!may!offer!a!different!perspective!of!how!they!understand!their!context!and!universe.!!Colonization,!and!the!dispossession!of!people!from!their!ancestral!lands,!was!devastating!at!multiple!levels:!to!the!people,!to!the!dynamics!of!relational!ecologies,!and!also!to!the!various!Indigenous!epistemologies.!!Many!generations!later,!Indigenous!peoples!are!working!to!recover!and!revive!the!landDbased!intellectual!traditions!as!a!way!to!enrich!and!prepare!Indigenous!learners!in!contemporary!contexts.!As!Alfred!and!Corntassel!remind!us,!"Land!is!life–our!people!must!reconnect!with!the!terrain!and!geography!of!their!Indigenous!heritage"!(2005,!p.!613).!Doing!so!interrupts!the!intergenerational!violence!of!colonization,!reconnecting!Indigenous!peoples!to!their/our!ancestors!and!wealth!of!landDbased!knowledge,!in!order!to!imagine!a!healthy!future!for!their/our!children.!Indigenous!epistemologies!prioritize!land!as!central!to!Indigenous!knowledge!systems,!creating!a!foundation!for!recognizing!that!the!continuouslyDinhabited!communities!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!must!also!have!a!rich!intellectual!heritage!of!traditional!ecological!knowledge.!In!previous!sections,!we!discussed!the!land!that!is!now!called!Texas!in!terms!of!bioregions,!in!terms!of!how!the!landscape!directly!shaped!Indigenous!cultures,!and!in!terms!of!Indigenous!ways!of!knowing.!In!the!next!section,!we!will!consider!the!ways!that!people!live!their!ways!of!knowing!by!examining!the!circumstances!that!shape!Xicanx!ways!of!being.!!!73!3.2$ Xicanx57$Ontologies$–$Ways$of$Being$The$Gringo,$locked$in$the$fiction$of$white$superiority,$seized$complete$political$power,$a$stripping$Indians$and$Mexicans$of$their$land$while$their$feet$were$still$rooted$in$it.$$Con$el$destierro$y$el$exilio$fuimos$desuñados,$destroncados,$destripados]$we$were$jerked$out$by$the$roots,$truncated,$disemboweled,$dispossessed,$and$separated$from$our$identity$and$our$history$(Anzaldúa,$1999,$p.$29]30).$$In!this!section,!we!focus!on!the!people!with!ancestral!ties!to!the!land!who!continued!to!live!in!their!ancestral!territories!in!spite!of!ongoing!and!violent!setter!occupation.!!While!some!communities!were!designated!and!protected!as!federally!recognized!Native!American!tribal!nations,!for!many!others,!survival!depended!on!a!flexible!sense!of!identity!in$response$to$the$settlers,!and!a!prevailing!priority!of!staying!on!the!land!(Galindo,!2003W!Maestas,!2003).!!Similar!survival!mechanisms!can!be!seen!today!in!how!difficult!it!is!to!collect!accurate!demographic!data!from!frontera!communities!(Campbell!&!Heyman,!2007).!!Answers!shift!based!on!whom!is!asking!and/or!listening.!Spanish!colonizers!and!missionaries!arrived!to!an!Indigenous!territory!shared!by!hundreds!of!small!tribal!family!communities.!The!original!peoples!lived!with!the!land!as!they!always!had,!drawing!from!the!wealth!of!traditional!ecological!knowledge!to!survive!each!passing!wave!of!violence,!and!systemic!displacement.!As!the!land!was!claimed!by!different!colonial!governments,!the!ancestral!peoples!were!displaced,!raped,!infected,!enslaved,!and/or!assimilated,!at!the!will!of!the!colonial!forces,!changing!the!population!across!the!territory.!Some!Indigenous!peoples!kept!their!language!and!communities!intact!and!fought!for!federal!recognition,!other!communities!did!not.!!At!its!core,!Xicanx!ways!of!being!make!space!for!the!wide!range!of!experiences!across!the!greater!area,!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!57!Gender!neutral!term!for!a!person!of!Indigenous!Mexican!American!heritage,!not!as!a!mixed!race,!or!mestizo/a!suggesting!part!Indigenous,!but!intentionally!prioritizing!a!fully!Indigenous!person.!!74!and!honors!the!diversity!of!Indigenous!ancestries!in!spite!of,!and!in!the!face!of!ongoing!settler!colonial!violences!(intentionally!plural).$$However,!staying!on!the!land!came!at!great!cost.!The!easiest!way!for!the!colonial!governments!to!solve!the!Indian!problem!was!to!convince!the!Indigenous!peoples!they!were!no!longer!Indigenous58.!In!different!eras,!the!colonial!government,!through!the!census!and!legal!systems,!has!carefully!curated!the!identity!of!people!of!Indigenous!MexicanDdescent!(Galindo,!2003W!Gross,!2003W!Menchaca,!1993W!Palacios,!2012),!using!such!terms!as:$•! Indios!(fluent!in!an!Indigenous!language,!used!pejoratively)!•! Mestizas/os!(mixed!race,!a!term!used!to!assimilate)!•! Hispanic!(categorizes!all!SpanishDspeaking!peoples)!•! Latina/os!(having!geographic!ties!to!all!of!Latin!America)!!In!the!progression!of!names!imposed!by!colonial!powers,!Indigeneity!has!been!erased!bit!by!bit!by!overDgeneralizing!widely!different!groups!of!peoples,!to!uphold!the!myth!of!Terra!Nullius!(empty,!uninhabited!land)!for!the!purpose!of!taking!the!land!out!from!under!the!original!peoples.!!Each!of!these!terms!has!consequences!for!individuals!and!communities!that!have!shifted!dramatically!over!time,!in!terms!of!who!has!legal!rights!and!protections.!Terminology!changes,!peoples!are!included!or!excluded!by!the!terms!stated!in!the!law,!and!the!general!population!finds!ways!to!continue!doing!what!it!has!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!58!In!the!US!today,!the!phrase!paper$genocide!is!used!to!describe!the!systemic!invisibility!perpetuated!through!the!U.S.!legal!system!and!census!(Rodríguez,!2014).!The!most!recent!example!of!this!can!be!seen!in!the!decision!of!a!U.S.!Court!of!Appeals!to!rule!in!favor!of!the!term!Hispanic!as!a!new!racial!category!in!a!reverse!racism!case.!See!(Iafolla,!2016)!as!the!reference!from!the!case!Village!of!Freeport!v.!Barrella,!No.!14D2270!(2d!Cir.!2016).!In!effect,!this!decision!will!split!the!Native!population!between!two!racial!categories,!and!minimizing!Native!representation,!and!creating!confusion.!!75!always!done,!finding!the!paths!of!least!resistance!to!maintain!the!status!quo,!whether!that!be!upholding!the!hegemonic!colonial!system!or!staying!close!to!one's!ancestral!home.!During!the!Civil!Rights!movement,!Indigenous!peoples!of!Mexican!American!descent!residing!in!the!US!were!able!to!organize!public!pedagogies!aimed!toward!raising!critical!awareness.!!The!conversations!included!considering!new!ways!of!naming!themselves,!and!disrupting!the!census!categories!of!racial!identity:!•! Mexicana/o!(of!Mexica59!descent)!•! Chicana/o!(derived!from!the!Nahuatl!pronunciation!of!Mexica60)!•! Xicana/o!(derived!from!the!Nahuatl!spelling!of!Mexica)!•! Xicana@!or!Xicanx!(rejects!the!gender!specificity!of!the!Spanish!language)!The!development!of!the!Xicanx!identity!traces!the!rich!Mesoamerican!history!of!the!continent!that!predate!existing!borders.!In!the!last!500!years,!Mexican!Spanish!has!become!infused!with!many!words,!concepts!and!metaphors!of!Nahuatl,!the!language!shared!across!the!Aztec!empire.!Hernandes!explains!the!etymology!of!these!terms:!!Mexicano$was$thus$a$reference$to$the$Mexica,$or$Aztecs,$as$later$called$by$the$Spanish$colonists,$and$was$derived$from$the$union$of$four$terms:$$meztli$(moon),$xictli$(bellybutton),$cayotl$(offspring$of,$child),$noxt$(yes!)....$[Thus]$"Mexica"$translates$roughly$to$"children$form$the$belly$button$of$the$moon".$$Likewise,$xicano,$from$its$Nahuatl$base$can$be$taken$to$mean$an$affirmation$"Yes!$I$am$a$child$of$the$bellybutton$/earth!""$(2005,$p.$130)$The!Chicana/o!movement!arose!during!the!Civil!Rights!struggles!of!the!1960s,!as!an!organized!resistance!against!the!systemic!racial!injustice!that!remains!the!ongoing!legacy!of!colonization.!Communities!faced!the!terror!of!lynchings,!sunDdown!laws,!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!59!Mexica!is!the!name!the!people!called!themselves,!today,!we!know!them!as!the!Aztecs.!60!/meh!shee!ka/!!76!disappearances,!and!other!violent!acts!of!racism!that!paralleled!the!struggle!in!African!American!communities.!The!history!of!our!country!frames!racism!as!a!black!and!white!issue,!further!erasing!the!many!generations!of!trauma!survived!by!our!Indigenous!and!racialized!communities!at!the!hands!of!a!colonial!white!supremacist!nation!(Brayboy,!2005W!Delgado!Bernal,!2002W!Solorzano!&!Yosso,!2001).!!Since!colonial!times,!Indigenous!and!racialized!peoples!have!had!to!fight!for!the!rights!to!own!land!(Gross,!2003),!keep!inherited!titles!(Tamez,!2010),!citizenship!(Maestas,!2003W!Menchaca,!1993),!to!travel!freely!across!the!border!(Bejarano,!2010),!to!produce!knowledge!(Castillo!&!TabuencaDCórdoba,!2002),!to!access!education!(Romero,!Arce,!&!Cammarota,!2009W!Acosta,!2014W!SerranoDNájera,!2014),!to!healthcare!(Peña,!2011),!and!to!municipal!services!(GonzalezDArizmendi!&!Ortiz,!2004).!The!struggle!continues.!The!process!of!selfDnaming!was!not!merely!a!label!of!identity.!!Hernandez!(2005)!writes:!!so$while$in$the$1960s$young$MeXicanas$took$to$the$streets$and$proudly$proclaimed$themselves$Xicanas/os,$underlaying$this$affirmation$was$a$radically$different$cosmological$understanding$of$one's$relationship$to$self,$the$land,$the$earth,$and$all$living$things,$that$Xicanxes$have$now$consciously$embraced.$(2005,$p.130)$$The!knowledge!that!survived!through!several!generations!hidden!from!public!as!tacit,!personal,!familial!knowledge!is!now!being!discussed!and!revived!as!a!vast!cultural!resource,!and!as!a!means!for!healing!personally!and!as!a!community.!!Gonzales!writes!of!her!own!experience!"as!an!Indigenous!woman!learning!traditional!medicine!among!elders!variously!positioned!as!Nahua,!Chicana,!and!Mexican.!Indigenous!knowledge!persisted!across!these!various!labels!that!signal!a!certain!historical!situation!of!dislocation!from!Indigeneity”!(2012,!p.!xxv).!The!flexible!sense!of!identity!has!persisted!through!these!different!eras!of!colonization,!yet!the!traditional!ecological!knowledges!!77!that!connect!Indigenous!peoples!to!the!land!have!survived,!demonstrating!one!of!many!acts!of!resistance!to!ongoing!colonization.!Similarly,!Peña!(2005)!explains,!"The!resurgence!of!land!grant!struggles!since!the!1980s!signals!a!persistent!memory!of!place.!!It!is!a!strong!sense!of!place,!a!fierce!cultural!attachment!to,!and!identity!based!on,!a!direct!relationship!with!the!land!and!water"!(p.!191).!!In!other!words,!identity!comes!from!being!inDrelation!to!the!lands.!Under!both!Spanish,!and!later!Mexican!law,!land!grants!were!considered!by!the!people!to!be!nonDcommercial,!"lifeDsustaining!gifts"!(p.!105),!and!were!treated!as!ejidos61!(Hernandez,!2001)W!this!loving!relationship!to!land!can!be!seen!across!south!Texas!today.!For!some!families,!the!only!surviving!legal!claims!to!land!are!the!original!Spanish!land!grants,!as!all!Indigenous!written!records!including!histories,!genealogies,!titles,!and!archives!were!decimated!by!colonization.!!Yet,!the!detailed!recordDkeeping!of!the!colonizers!suggest!that!many!of!the!Spanish!landDgrant!founding$families!also!have!Indigenous!relatives!that!made!life!in!the!local!landscape!possible!for!the!early!colonial!ancestors.!Very!few!others!have!maintained!their!ancestral,!hereditary!Indigenous!titles,!yet,!these!examples!provide!powerful!testimony!of!Indigenous!resistance!in!south!Texas.!Xicanx!waysDofDbeing!recognizes!the!need!to!read!history!against!the!grain,!finding!clues!to!the!displaced!Indigenous!histories,!ancestors,!and!knowledges!present!and!absent!from!written!and!living!archives.!!To!be!Xicanx!is!to!always!have!to!prove!your!identity.!In!the!United!States,!the!qualification!of!federal]recognition!creates!a!hierarchy!of!legitimacy!that!attempts!to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!61!Land!farmed!communally.!Interestingly,!Hernandez!also!notes!that!the!change!in!attitude!from!land!being!considered!a!part!of!the!individual!to!land!as!commodity!changed!when!land!came!under!Anglo!ownership.!!!78!contain,!possess!and!define!Indigeneity!with!colonial!criteria!such!as!the!Dawes!Roll!and!blood!quantum!(Contreras,!2008W!Urrieta,!Jr.,!2016),!while!silencing!community!movements!toward!selfDdetermination,!sovereignty,!and!diverse!selfDrepresentations!(Gross,!2003W!Menchaca,!1993W!SaldañaDPortillo,!2017W!Yellow!Bird,!1999).!!In!Mexico,!Indigeneity!is!marked!by!fluency!in!an!Indigenous!language,!and/or!life!in!a!rural,!Indigenous!village!in!Mexico!(Urrieta,!Jr.,!2003).!!Therefore,!on!each!side!of!the!colonial!border,!in!each!colonial!nation,!the!defining!criteria!defining!Indigenous!identity!is!mutually!exclusive,!erasing!the!Indigenous!heritage!of!detribalized!Xicanx!borderland!communities.!!In!spite!of!all!of!the!different!imposed!identity!categories,!to!be!Xicanx!is!to!be!Othered,!never!fully!assimilated!into!“whitestream”!society!(Grande,!2008),!never!fully!American!enough!for!the!U.S.,!and!never!fully!Mexican!enough!for!Mexico.!Contreras!(2008)!explains,!“even!as!Chicanas/os!might!look!to!Mexico!as!a!homeland!of!sorts,!Mexico!does!not!necessarily!return!the!affection.!Xicanxs/os!remain!“exDMexicans”!or!even!“gringas/os”!foreign!to!Mexico,!but!also![foreign]!to!the!United!States”!(p.!6).!Xicanx!ways!of!being!invite!open!engagement!with!multiple!consciousnesses!and!multiple!simultaneous!irreconcilable!discrepancies!of!ongoing!violent!colonial!erasure.!While!it!is!primarily!people!who!live!in!the!U.S.!who!identify!as!Xicanxs,!there!is!an!everDpresent!tension!between!experiencing!the!violence!of!colonization!while!also!benefitting!from!it.!The!privileges!of!power!and!wealth!due!to!their!relative!location!on!the!north!side!of!the!border!are!undeniable.!For!the!people!connected!to!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo!through!multiple!generations,!knowledge!of!the!river!and!knowledge!of!the!land!is!more!than!a!lesson!in!biology.!It!is!a!sacred!geography!across!which!categories!of!identity!are!fluid,!while!the!cultural!!79!practices!continue!to!connect!people!to!their!ancestral!territories.!In!carefully!honoring!the!multiple!layers!of!knowledge!and!multiple!audiences,!this!project!rejects!the!Eurocentric!expectation!to!use!an!objective!omniscient!voice.!Instead,!I!humbly!and!respectfully!move!toward!reclaiming!and!enlivening!diverse!Xicanx!intellectual!traditions!that!are!at!once!deeply!personal,!relational,!embodied!and!emplaced!within!our!communities.!!I!began!the!discussion!of!the!theoretical!framework!by!describing!the!Indigenous!ways!of!knowing,!then!moved!to!understanding!Xicanx!ways!of!being.!!In!the!next!section,!we!will!focus!on!the!positionalities!of!an!Indigenous!Fonterizx!Cosmography,!inDrelation!to!the!land,!river,!and!each!other!to!ground!our!understanding!in!specific!contexts!on!the!banks!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!in!the!U.S.!Mexico!borderlands.!!!3.3$ Borderland$Positionalities$$“Is$border$literature$about,$on,$of,$or$from$the$border?”$$$(Castillo$and$Tabuenca]Córdoba,$2002,$p.$27)$$In!their!groundbreaking!book,!entitled!Border$Women:$Writing$from$La$Frontera,$Castillo!and!TabuencaDCórdoba!(2002)!invite!readers!to!pay!critical!attention!to!the!work!in!the!field!of!borderland!studies,!problematizing!the!frequency!which!the!border!is!treated!as!metaphor,!rather!than!a!positionality!and!location!from!which!intellectual!work!is!produced.!Furthermore,!we!are!reminded!that!“the!cultural!products!of!these!two!countries!fall!into!a!distinct!power!differential...what!and!who!crosses!the!border![and!what!does!not]!applies!to!literary!texts!as!well!as!persons”!(p.!6).!They!speak!to!the!selective!permeability!of!the!border,!warning!readers!that!intellectual!colonialism!happens!when!wellDknown!American!authors!speak!for!the!border,!rather!than!allowing!other!border!perspectives!to!be!heard.!!!80!Upon!closer!analysis,!patterns!of!both!real!and!symbolic!violence!and!erasure!have!occurred!in!four!major!ways.!Castillo!and!TabuencaDCórdoba!(2002)!help!us!to!understand!the!first!three!aspects!of!border!displacement:!!!1)!Historically,!Indigenous!peoples!were,!and!continue!to!be,!physically!displaced!from!their!traditional!territories!(Contreras,!2008).!Over!time,!this!has!resulted!in!nonDrecognition!of!Indigenous!peoples,!of!their!rights,!and!of!their!agency!(Johnson!&!Niemeyer,!2008).!!Examples!of!displaced!and!destroyed!histories!include!the!destruction!of!codices,!libraries,!ceremonial!centers!and!burial!grounds,!as!well!as!the!murder!of!elders,!who!are!living!archives.!A!community!that!forgets!its!own!history,!rights,!and!ancestral!ties!to!the!land!is!easier!to!occupy,!exploit,!and!control.!!2)!Local!placeDbased!knowledges!are!diminished!by!distant!expert!knowledges,!in!which!homogenized!generalizations!are!valued!over!firstDhand!embodied!and!emplaced!lived!experiences.!Some!placeDbased!knowledge!is!philosophical,!emerging!from!relationships!between!individuals!and!the!land,!which!is!quite!extensive!in!scale.!"The!cosmological!and!philosophical!aspects!of!the!local!culture!provide!the!foundation!upon!which!views!of!ourselves!and!our!relationships!to!nature!are!founded.!!Local!religions,!customs,!traditions,!and!folkways!have!ecological!implications!and!their!meanings!must!be!discerned"!(Martinez,!1998,!p.!74).!These!relationships!shape!daily!life!in!a!particular!place.!While!placeDbased!considerations!fit!easily!within!Indigenous!epistemologies,!mainstream!research!often!relies!on!generalization,!analysis,!and!concise!synthesis,!which!may!miss!multiple!layers!of!meaning!embedded!within!places.!!3)!The!material!realities!of!life!in!the!borderland!are!usurped!by!theoretical!abstractions,!vacating!border!of!any!real,!grounded,!embodied!or!emplaced!meaning.!!81!With!the!increased!visibility!of!Chicanx/Xicanx!62!literature,!concepts!such!as!Anzaldúa’s!borderlands!(1999)!have!been!taken!up!and!incorporated!into!many!other!fields!of!study.!!While!potentially!useful!as!a!metaphor,!the!trouble!is!the!cooptation!of!the!original!idea,!which!has!been!synthesized!and!remixed!to!the!point!of!nonDrecognition.!!Furthermore,!Anzaldúa’s!work!is!often!used!to!the!exclusion!of!any!other!borderland!perspectives.!In!reality,!any!place!along!the!border!is!populated!by!at!least!two!dominant!voices,!and!countless!other!local!perspectives,!each!speaking!from!a!different!positionality,!and!each!narrating!a!different,!yet!equally!valid,!reality!of!the!border.!!Life!on!each!side!is!integrally!dependent!on!the!community!that!lives!just!on!the!other!side!of!the!river.!Yet,!when!we!hear!about!the!border!or!borderlands!in!the!media,!the!portrayal!is!oppositional,!and!nationalistic.!The!reality!that!is!often!erased!is!that!they!(pointing!to!Mexico)!are!us!(MexicanDdescended!Americans),!and!we!are!all!Indigenous!peoples!residing!in!an!occupied!territory.!!As!seen!in!Figure!11:!Sites!of!Fronterizx!Displacement,!I!suggest!a!fourth!site!of!displacement:!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!62!Chicana/o,!spelled!with!an!X!at!the!front!to!signal!a!relationship!to!Mexican!Indigenous!peoples,!and!an!X!at!the!end!to!disrupt!the!gender!binary!of!words!ending!in!Da/Do.!!!82!$Figure$11:$Sites$of$Fronterizx$Displacement$$4)!Internally,!conceptions!of!Indigenous!identity!have!long!been!disputed!and!imposed!based!on!colonizing!political!and!religious!agendas,!replacing!the!traditional!ways!that!people!have!selfDidentified.!!Interestingly,!MexicanDAmerican,!Chicana,!and!Xicanx!identifying!peoples!have!increasingly!embraced!the!Indigenous!racial!category!in!the!U.S.!census!(Decker,!2011W!Iafolla,!2016),!rejecting!the!EuroDCaucasian,!AsianDdescended,!AfricanDdescended,!and!Other!categories.!!Simultaneously,!legal!cases!have!been!made!in!the!US!to!recategorize!the!term!Hispanic,!so!that!it!no!longer!marks!a!linguistic!group!(SpanishDspeaking),!but!instead!indicates!a!new!category!of!race!separate!from!an!Indigenous!racial!category!(El!Nasser,!2013).!Clearly,!the!attempt!is!!83!shortDsighted,!confusing,!USDspecific,!and!intended!to!erase!SpanishDspeaking!Indigenous!peoples.!!Displacement!of!identities!does!not!always!happen!directly!from!systems!of!power.!!"The!most!recent!form!of!colonialism!is!the!kind!we!do!internally!to!ourselves!as!individuals!and!to!those!with!whom!we!have!relationships.!!This!is!the!most!devastating!form!of!colonialism!because!of!the!invisibility!of!the!colonizer"!(Monture!Angus,!1999,!p.!74).!Shame!and!intergenerational!trauma!often!interact!to!create!various!implicit!and!explicit!forms!of!lateral!violence,!often!unintentionally!perpetuated.!!Yet,!regardless!of!intention,!the!resulting!erasure!of!Indigenous!identity!reifies!the!system!of!oppression!and!invites!a!critical!understanding!of!identity!as!a!site!of!meaning.!!While!research!exists!documenting!official!attitudes!of!identity,!such!as!the!US!census,!in!the!Texas!Mexico!borderlands,!there!is!little!attention!paid!on!the!displaced,!hidden,!and!fluid!aspects!of!selfDidentification,!or!how!our!stories!shape!who!we!are.!In!combination,!these!displacements!result!in!"intellectual!colonialism"!(Castillo!&!TabuencaDCórdoba,!2002)!of!the!U.S.DMexico!borderland!and!people,!in!which!landD!and!riverDbased!knowledge!is!rendered!invisible!(in!academia)!and!identity!is!dictated!by!hegemonies!of!assimilation.!Urrieta!pushes!the!criticism!further,!describing!the!disconnect!between!theory!and!actual!border!realities,!when!he!writes,!!I$wonder$how$many$of$the$scholars$that$build$fame$by$using$the$border]crossing$metaphor$have$ever$risked$their$lives$across$the$barbed$wire,$the$sewer$drains,$the$hot$deserts,$or$the$polluted$and$deadly$waters$of$the$Rio$Grande.$(2003,$p.$149)$It!is!a!valid!query.!Crossing!the!arid!landscape!and!swimming!through!the!waters!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!from!one!side!to!the!other!is!dangerous.!Having!that!experience!would!absolutely!change!how!one!would!write!about!the!border!or!reference!it!in!their!written!work.!Risking!one's!life!to!swim!across!the!river!is!also!one!single!story!of!many!!84!possibilities!about!how!people!interact!with!and!understand!the!river,!and!separately,!how!they!interact!with!and!understand!the!U.S.!Mexico!border.!!As!discussed!earlier,!in!our!colonial!culture,!this!embodied!and!emplaced!river!knowledge!is!not!prioritized.!In!the!simplest!sense,!this!project’s!many!collected!stories!emphasize!the!relationship!between!community!and!river.!For!this!reason,!in!this!work,!the$borderland!is!not!a!theoretical!space!or!useful!metaphor!for!conveying!meaning.!!The!borderland!is!an!actual!physical!location,!marked!by!the!river,!the!confluence!of!language!and!culture!which!carries!complex!and!overlapping!meanings.!In!order!to!represent!the!complexity!of!the!context,!I!remain!mindful!of!the!history!of!colonization!and!the!many!changes!such!occupation!caused!to!the!local!relational!ecologies,!the!borderland!must!be!both!a!physical!location,!as!well!as!a!common!thread!unifying!the!many!distinct!voices!and!social!locations!of!participants.!!By!grounding!the!project!in!the!daily!lives!of!fronterizxs63,!the!land!and!river!are!of!primary!importance!as!sources!of!traditional!ecological!knowledge,!told!through!firstDhand!accounts,!by!peoples!with!deepDtime!intergenerational!knowledge!of!these!specific!places.!Tuck!and!Yang!(2012)!remind!us,!Land$is$what$is$most$valuable,$contested,$required.$This$is$both$because$the$settlers$make$Indigenous$land$their$new$home$and$source$of$capital,$and$also$because$the$disruption$of$Indigenous$relationships$to$land$represents$a$profound$epistemic,$ontological,$cosmological$violence.$This$violence$is$not$temporally$contained$in$the$arrival$of$the$settler$but$is$reasserted$each$day$of$occupation.$(p.$5)$Violence!is!reasserted!every!day!on!the!river.!Stated!this!way,!conversations!about!violence!and!occupation!are!not!softened!by!remaining!at!a!theoretical!level,!but!are!told!through!the!embodied!and!emplaced!experiences!of!those!who!call!the!borderlands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!63!border!community!residents!!85!home.!Furthermore,!we!can!begin!to!connect!the!ways!in!which!violence!against!the!peoples!and!violence!against!the!land!and!river!are!interrelated.!!Cannella!and!Manuellito!(2008)!propose,!"the!erosion!of!(and/or!genocide)!of!peoples,!cultures,!and!environments!is!understood!as!inextricably!linked!by!these!new!forms!of!conquest"!(p.!54).!!In!this!way,!conquest!is!understood!as!an!ongoing!structure!related!to!the!violence!of!continuous!occupation!that!provides!insight!into!current!conditions!(Arvin,!Tuck,!&!Morrill,!2013)!and!establishes!a!basis!for!predicting!Indigenous!borderland!futurities.!!3.4$ Weaving$the$Soft$Basket$of$an$Indigenous$Fronterizx$Cosmography$Woven!together,!Indigenous!ways!of!knowing,!Xicanx!ways!of!being,!and!borderland!positionalities!come!together!to!form!an!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Cosmography!as!a!theoretical!framework!for!understanding!the!project.!While!there!is!certainly!a!wealth!of!Indigenous!or!Xicanx!or$borderland!knowledge!to!draw!from,!the!connections,!conflicts,!and!overlaps!between!these!three!intellectual!frames!are!emergent!fields!of!study64.!Weaving!is!an!apt!metaphor!depicting!the!movement!of!how!at!different!times,!one!frame!may!take!priority!over!others,!yet!all!three!offer!support!from!which!to!build!understanding.!!The!different!strands!of!thought!come!together!to!form!a!soft!basket,!as!seen!in!Figure!12:!Braided!Basket!Representing!an!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Cosmography,!responsive!to!elements!collected!inside,!accommodating!a!wide!variety!of!identities,!knowledges,!and!positionalities.!!Our!soft!basket!moves!with!the!water,!through!the!water,!and!acts!as!a!filter!to!critically!engage!traditional!ecological!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!64!This!is!not!surprising!considering!the!ongoing!marginalization!of!IndigenousMexicanAmerican!content!as!ethnic!studies,!treated!as!a!low!priority!elective,!rather!than!the!mutual,!required!preDcolonial!history!of!the!US.!!!86!knowledge!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!as!a!sacred!Indigenous!landscape,!while!letting!less!important!colonial!debris!pass!through.!!Considering!a!much!longer!chronological!perspective,!colonization!is!a!relatively!recent!phenomenon!as!"historically,!the!area!now!claimed!as!the!southern!political!land!border!of!the!United!States!has!been!a!place!of!indigenous!territories,!communities,!gatherings,!markets,!and!crossroads!for!thousands!of!years"!(EagleWoman,!2008,!pp.!555D556).!I!use!the!term!cosmography!to!suggest!an!unearthing!of!ancestral!maps!of!the!cosmos!based!on!the!revitalization!of!Indigenous!fronterizx!knowledges,!through!$Figure$12:$Braided$Basket$Representing$an$Indigenous$Fronterizx$Cosmography$!!87!!collective!memory!and!storying,!in!the!footsteps!of!other!Indigenous!cosmographers/mapmakers!including!Cajete!(2000)!and!Blackwell,!Goeman,!&!Teeter!(2017).!!Centering!Indigenous!knowledge!engages!a!healing!process!of!recognition,!creating!safe!spaces!from!which!to!approach!the!embodied!and!emplaced!stories!and!silences!of!collective!memory.!The!process!of!storying!is!simultaneously!internal!and!external,!as!it!shifts!our!relationship!with!the!river!by!restorying!the!landscape,!revitalizing!the!maps!embedded!in!our!collective!memory,!and!recuperating!the!ancestral!ways!of!knowing.!The!transformation!toward!articulating!a!critical!Indigenous!fronterizx!consciousness!is!not!an!end!goal!but!rather!a!commitment!to!engage!and!be!shaped!by!a!process!that!requires!practice!and!attention!to!being!and!becoming.!The!process!of!transformation,!in!this!case,!is!a!delicate!dance!of!expressing!one’s!experience!without!misrepresenting!or!crowding!out!other!indigenous!voices,!or!slipping!into!the!existing!default!of!colonial!dysconsciousness!(King,!1991)!or!uncritical!habits!of!mind.!!MontureDAngus!(1999)!elaborates,!!Generally,$all$Euro]Americans$have$to$do$to$perpetuate$colonialism$today$is$to$ignore$that$colonialism$is$a$vibrant$fiber$in$the$texture$of$this$society.$Given$that$privilege$(in$its$various$forms)$is$very$infrequently$expressed$(or$examined)$by$those$who$possess$it,$perpetuating$colonialism$now$occurs$without$their$further$energy$and$investment.$(p.$75)$$Colonialism,!as!a!social!structure,!has!become!so!normalized,!that!I!would!extend!the!argument!to!suggest!that!it!is!not!just!EuroDAmericans,!but!all!dysconscious!peoples,!regardless!of!ancestry,!who!passively!perpetuate!the!intersecting!hegemonies!of!settler!colonialism!along!the!U.S.!Mexico!border.!To!be!clear,!it!is!not!a!matter!of!genealogy!or!culture,!but!is!a!matter!of!critical!awareness!of!self,!of!the!colonial!contexts,!and!one's!!88!relations!to!and!within!society.!As!with!all!hegemonies,!social!norms!operate!as!a!form!of!social!control!to!which!there!do!not!seem!to!be!viable!alternatives!(Four!Arrows,!2006).!However,!there!are!individuals,!families,!and!communities!who!resist!colonization!and!have!a!different!orientation!to!the!land!through!Indigenous!collective!memory,!which!predates!colonization.!The!Indigenous!fronterizx!cosmography!works!to!actively!revitalize!ancestral!knowledges!by!elaborating!a!different!orientation!to!the!geography,!ecology,!and!universe.!Building!an!Indigenous!orientation!to!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!allows!Indigenous!peoples!to!recover!their!relationships!with!each!other!across!shared!territories,!across!various!creation!stories!and!linguistic!relationships!to!land.!!For!example,!there!are!many!shared!stories!and!symbols!connecting!the!older$brothers!of!Central!and!South!America!with!the!younger$brothers!of!North!America.!EagleWoman!reminds!us!that!"a!primary!symbol!for!those!from!North!American!is!the!eagle,!and!those!from!Central!and!South!America!embrace!the!condorW!hence!the!entire!hemisphere!is!represented!by!the!joining!of!the!eagle!and!the!condor"!(EagleWoman,!2008,!p.556).!This!is!an!old!story,!and!there!are!different!versions!shared!across!the!continent!(Rodríguez,!2012,!Palacios,!2012),!and!yet,!we!can!understand!through!the!metaphor!of!brothers,!and!through!the!relational!ways!of!thinking,!a!landscape!that!is!vastly!different!than!our!current!Mercator!map!projection.!In!my!community,!Dr.!Garza!tells!the!story!this!way:!'Let$me$tell$you$the$story$of$the$Eagle$and$the$Condor$that$has$been$taught$to$me,$because,$I$mean,$there$are$different$stories.$Basically,$the$Prophecy$of$the$Eagle$and$the$Condor$was$that$at$one$time$the$Eagle$and$the$Condor$used$to$fly$together.$Then,$one$day,$where$the$two$continents$are$divided,$the$Eagle$was$at$the$bottom$of$North$America$and$the$Condor$was$at$the$top$of$South$America.$Then$they$started$noticing$what$was$going$on$especially$between$the$Indians,$like$“Oh$you$are$not$really$a$real$Indian.”$So,$they$started$crying$and...$then$the$water$started$filling$up.$Then$you$got$that$Panama$Canal,$that$did$that.$$!89!So,$they$made$a$promise$that$when$Indians$from$the$north,$the$Eagle$Indians,$and$Indians$from$the$south,$the$Condor$Indians,$would$again$reunite,$that$the$earth$would$be$healed.$So,$basically$that’s$the$bottom$line$of$the$Prophecy$that$we’ve$heard$and$we$believe$in.$That’s$why$we$made$that$part$of$the$objective$of$our$powwow,$to$reunite$the$Condor$and$the$Eagle.$$(Dr.$M.$Garza,$oral$communication,$June$1,$2015)$In!the!Prophecy!of!the!Eagle!and!the!Condor,!it!is!said!that!when!the!two!meet,!a!great!awakening!will!occur,!healing!the!relationship!between!nuestra!madre!tierra65,!the!lifeDgiver,!and!her!many!peoples.!!The!relationship!between!brothers!unearths!the!ancestral!maps!connecting!space!and!time,!suggesting!a!familiar!sibling!relationship!as!a!guide!for!relating!similarity!and!differences!across!vastly!different!first!peoples!of!Abiayala66.!!While!an!Indigenous!fronterizx!cosmography!may!not!dismantle!or!interrupt!the!colonial!machinery!in!a!visible!way,!it!does!provide!a!useful!strategy!of!Indigenous!resistance,!modeling!how!collective!memory!can!be!used!to!Indigenize!across!colonial!borders!and!revitalize!our!relationships!as!First!Peoples!across!the!continents.!Today,!there!is!a!critical!mass!of!Xicanx!scholars!standing!in!the!footprints!of!our!parents!and!grandparents,!engaging!difficult!conversations!toward!justice.!Our!elder!relatives!lived!in!a!segregated!Jim!Crow!south,!of!which!the!lynching!of!black!and!brown!bodies!was!a!reality.!In!a!context!so!fraught!with!danger,!it!is!not!just!about!asking!the!right!questions.!!It!is!about!a!deep!intuition!and!responseDability!to!listen!holistically,!learn!from,!and!revitalize!the!ancestral!knowledge!of!our!river!in!a!way!that!serves!my!home!community,!within!a!system!of!interrelated!Indigenous!communities.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!65!Our!Mother!Earth!66!Name!in!Kuna!language!for!all!of!the!Americas,!understood!as!a!singular!land!mass.!Sometimes!this!name!is!written!as!Abya!Yala,!but!in!Kuna,!it!is!Abiayala.!!90!3.5$ Unsettling$the$Borderlands$The!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!has!many!meanings,!both!as!a!river!and!as!an!international!border.!To!unearth!the!ancestral!landDbased!ways!of!knowing,!and!understand!our!stories!about/with/from!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!it!is!necessary!to!challenge!the!many!assumptions!imposed!on!both!the!river!and!people!in!the!borderlands,!and!build!a!framework!for!understanding!the!world!through!fronterizx67!eyes,!when!your!feet!are!planted!on!our!riverbanks.!!The!process!of!unsettling!demands!multiple!interventions,!reframing!our!process!toward!generative!and!authentic!orientations.!Unsettling!must!simultaneously!resist!colonialism,!while!also!revitalizing!Indigenous!knowledge!and!culture,!and!generating!new!knowledge!that!responds!to!our!new!contexts.!Decolonization!is!a!multiDlayered!undertaking,!working!to!uproot!the!settler!colonial!systems!of!racial!superiority!and!patriarchy!such!that!Indigenous!peoples,!lands,!and!knowledges!are!free!from!an!obligation!to!respond!to!colonial!structures!(Monture!Angus,!1999).!Decolonization!unsettles!everyone!by!intentionally!recognizing!land!as!knowledge,!and!demands!its!repatriation!to!the!ancestral!caretakers!(Tuck!&!Yang,!2012).!!While!decolonization!is!gaining!traction!within!Indigenous!studies,!and!is!favored!by!scholars!in!the!US,!Canada,!Australia,!and!New!Zealand,!academic!definitions!and!discussions!do!not!easily!fit!the!embodied!and!emplaced!ways!that!my!community!discusses!the!US!Mexico!border!context.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!67!Frontera!is!the!border,!fronteriza/fronterizo!is!a!person!from!the!border,!fronterizx!is!the!genderDneutral!play!on!the!spelling.!!91!•! How!can!we!take!up!the!work!of!decolonization!in!the!current!context,!which!includes!military!occupation,!perpetual!surveillance,!a!suspension!of!our!basic!Constitutional!rights?!!•! As!an!person!of!Indigenous!ancestry!without!a!cohesive!Indigenous!community,!what!does!decolonization!accomplish?!!!•! After!many!generations!of!fighting!for!survival!against!erasure,!displacement!and!violent!assimilation,!how!do!we!simply!be?!!!•! Furthermore,!how!can!we!be!free!in!the!carceral!shadow!of!the!growing!border!wall!intended!to!sever!the!communities!and!ecologies!that!straddle!the!US!Mexico!international!border?!!The!answers!for!each!of!these!questions!is!complicated,!and!must!be!landDbased!(Simpson,!2004),!polyvocal!(Grande,!2004W!TabuencaDCordoba,!2005),!and!intersectional!(Clark,!2008).!There!is!much!potential!in!the!practice!of!unsettling!borderlands,!part!of!which!includes!decolonization.!!!In!particular,!discussions!around!decolonization!seem!to!naturalize!colonization,!pointing!to!the!Whitestream!dominant!society!as!the!normalized!referent!from!which!decolonization!is!derived!(Kovach,!2009).!Linguistically,!this!implies!that!colonization!is!somehow!reversible!or!deconstructDable,!as!though!a!temporary!condition,!rather!than!recognizing!colonization!as!a!political!and!social!structure!that!selfDperpetuates!(Arvin,!Tuck,!&!Morrill,!2013)!through!hegemony!(Kovach,!2009).!Furthermore,!the!binary!of!colonization/decolonization!suggests!that!they!are!opposites,!whereas,!in!reality,!!92!individuals!can!be!both,!capable!of!perpetuating!lateral!oppression!onto!others!(Anzaldúa,!1999W!MontureDAngus,!1999W!Clark,!2008)!68.!!!!Kovach!(2009)!rewords!and!thus!reconceptualizes!the!conversation,!“I!prefer!to!use!the!term!and!talk!about!conscientizatión”!(p.!91).!Concientización!(Asher,!2009W!Freire,!1970),!or!the!process!of!becoming!critically!aware,!is!much!more!inclusive!of!Indigenous!struggles!from!a!global!perspective!(Ermine,!2007W!Sandoval,!1991W!Soto,!CervantesDSoon,!Villarreal,!&!Campos,!2009).!For!the!purposes!of!my!project,!I!work!from!the!definition!that!borrows!from!the!Freireian!use!of!the!term!that!recognizes!the!powerful!ways!that!concientización!has!also!been!mobilized!by!the!movimientos!por!derechos!humanos69!of!Central!and!South!America.!Yet,!perhaps!working!toward!an!end!goal!of!critical!awareness!is!too!specific!to!capture!the!range!of!Indigenous!borderland!experiences.!!Anzaldúa!suggests!a!process,!rather!than!a!particular!result.!Nepantla$is$the$Nahuatl$word$for$an$in]between$state,$that$uncertain$terrain$one$crosses$when$moving$from$one$place$to$another,$when$changing$from$one$class,$race,$or$sexual$position$to$another,$when$traveling$from$the$present$identity$in$to$a$new$identity.$(Anzaldúa,$in$Keating,$2009,$p.$180)$$While!conscientización!implies!an!enlightened!resolution,!nepantla!embraces!the!chaos!of!uncomfortable!metamorphosis.!In!this!way,!critical!awareness!does!not!reach!a!conclusion,!but!cycles!through!perpetual!transformation.!Although!different!in!their!approaches,!both!Kovach!and!Anzaldúa!draw!from!an!embodied!and!emplaced!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!68!My!own!privilege!and!power!as!a!US!citizen!is!not!lost!on!me!D!I!directly!benefit!from!the!unequal!power!relations!created!by!the!international!border,!and!struggle!with!issues!of!gentrification!in!moving!back!home!to!San!Antonio,!Texas.!!I!am!complicit!in!upholding!capitalistic!Eurocentric!institutions!while!simultaneously!working!to!decolonize/Indigenize/revitalize!my!community.!!69!human!rights!movements!!93!Indigenous!knowledge,!each!voicing!a!critical!element!of!understanding!how!we!may!unsettle!the!border.!!!Similarly,!the!concept!of!Borderland!Mestizaje!Feminism!“emerges!from!contestations!of!colonialism!and!dominant!cultural!politics!that!have!denied!not!only!our!experiencias70,!but!our!existencia71!as,!and!history!of,!producers!of!culture”!(Saavedra!and!Nymark,!2008,!p.!260).!!Such!scholarship!specifically!addresses!overlapping!oppressions,!writing!to!reclaim!collective!memories!buried!by!forced!assimilation!and!erasure.!!The!process!is!quite!powerful.!!Grande!writes,!“Language!and!the!ability!to!name!one’s!experience!are!precursors!to!emancipation”!(2004,!p.!5).!For!many!Indigenous!peoples,!the!move!from!protective,!terrified,!resistant!or!habitual!silence!to!speaking!our!truths!is!a!powerful!individual!transformation.!!When!witnessed!by!borderland!communities,!such!testimonies!and!shared!collective!memories!hold!the!potential!to!heal!relations!toward!community!empowerment.!Although!Anzaldúa’s!seminal!work!Borderlands/LaFrontera:$The$New$Mestiza,!and!Saavedra!and!Nymark’s!theory,!Borderland$Mestizaje$Feminism,!indicate!a!reclaiming!of!the!term!of!mestiza/o,!this!term!has!a!controversial!history.!!"Spanish!colonizers!intended!to!extinguish!the!indigenous!identity…by!substituting!labels!such!as!‘campesinos’!(peasants),!ladino,!and!mestizos!(mixed!race).!The!label!‘indios’!(Indians)!had!the!connotation!of!racial!inferiority"!(EagleWoman,!2008,!p.!558).!Not!only!is!there!a!geographic!preference!as!to!how!terms!are!used,!there!is!a!distinct!difference!in!meaning!depending!on!who!is!using!the!vocabulary!of!colonization.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!70!experiences!71!existence!!94!For$instance,$‘indigenous/indigena’$(or$even$indio,$nativo,$or$runa)$can$be$used$pejoratively$as$a$racial$slur$against$an$ethnic$group$but$may$also$be$a$self]affirming$category$of$pride,$recently$appropriated$by$the$indigenous$movement$in$their$discourse$on$‘first$nations’$or$‘original$peoples’.$Similarly,$‘peasant/campesino’$is$both$a$construct$imposed$on$indigenous$by$reformist$governments$to$deny$their$cultural$identity$and$a$term$(often$insisted$on$by$indigenous$peoples$themselves)$to$strengthen$class]consciousness$and$political$alliances.$$(Boelens,$Getches,$&$Guevara]Gil,$2010,$p.$21)$Thus,!in!considering!an!academic!foundation!for!how!to!unsettle!the!borderlands,!both!terminology!and!concepts!require!some!careful!attention!in!addressing!the!shared!and!parallel!understandings!that!shift!according!to!positionality.!Common!subjects!of!conversation!or!stories!may!have!very!different!vocabularies!in!different!contexts!with!different!audiences!and!can!certainly!lead!to!misrepresentation!and!misunderstandings.!For!the!purpose!of!my!own!borderland!study,!and!for!many!peoples!in!south!Texas,!"Chicano!and!Mexicano!Native!American!cultural!revitalization!is!based!upon!the!notion!of!Texas!Indian!survival!in!Texas!and!Mexico!and!rejects!a!colonial!mestizo!identity"!(Maestas,!2003,!p.!15).!!Not!only!were!mestizos!considered!of!higher!class!standing!than!their!indio!relatives!due!to!their!European!mixed!heritage,!but!the!term!also!embodies!a!normalization!of!gendered!violence!(Urrieta,!2003W!Palacios,!2012).!!Specifically,!mixed!race!peoples!in!this!continent!are!descended!from!the!few!Spanish!conquistador!men!who!raped/took/married!many!Indigenous!women!(Maestas,!2003W!Palacios,!2012W!Urrieta,!2003).!This!reality!has!been!mythologized,!retold!through!the!dominant!colonial!Mexican!perspective!condemning!Malinche/Malintzin,!the!symbolic!Indigenous!mother!of!the!Mexican!people,!taken!by!Spanish!conquistador!Hernan!Cortez,!as!La$Chingada72!(Anzaldua,!1999W!Cobos,!2012W!Godayol,!2012W!Palacios,!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!72!Literally!translated,!means!“the!f*cked!one”!!95!2012).!This!is!one!example!of!how!the!dominant!hegemonic!rhetoric!from!Mexico!further!complicates!and!normalizes!violence!against!Indigenous!women!and!systematizes!shame!and!illegitimacy!as!the!grounds!for!dispossession.!For!this!reason,!I!do!not!to!use!the!term!mestiza!to!describe!myself,!though!I!do!invoke!many!concepts!that!use!the!term!to!refer!to!Mexican!Indigenous!ancestry,!not!as!a!mix,!but!as!a!specific!cultural!and!linguistic,!detribalized,!and!dispossessed!Indigenous!population.!!To!unsettle!the!borderlands!requires!three!simultaneous!interventions:!decolonization,!revitalizing!Indigenous!knowledge!and!culture,!and!generating!new!knowledge!that!responds!to!our!new!contexts.!Decolonization!has!been!taken!up!by!many!scholars,!both!in!broad!terms,!and!also!as!placeD!and!cultureDspecific!approaches!in!the!border!communities.!!By!contrast,!significantly!less!scholarship!has!been!developed!that!revitalizes!Indigenous!knowledge,!or!generates!new!understandings!in!border!communities,!and!specifically,!in!Laredo,!Texas.!!Part!of!my!responsibility!is!to!carefully!and!critically!situate!this!project!within!the!field!in!a!way!that!does!not!misrepresent!the!voices!of!my!community.!As!such,!I!take!up!the!idea!of!indigenization,!or!the!awakening!of!Indigenous!knowledge!as!a!Nepantlera73,!focused!on!the!process!of!witnessing!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!rather!than!moving!toward!any!particular!outcome.!I!belong!to!the!land!nourished!by!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!connecting!life!through!time,!from!my!ancestors!and!my!grandchildren!yet!to!come.!This!project!honors!the!multiDgenerational!life!stories!of!my!family,!my!community,!and!my!ancestral!waters.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!73!person!who!actively!engages!Nepantla!thinking!and!being!!96!3.6$ Summary$This!chapter!outlined!a!theoretical!framework!called!an!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Cosmography,!by!braiding!Indigenous!ways!of!knowing,!Xicanx!ways!of!being,!and!Borderland!positionalities.!!Each!of!these!strands!focuses!on!a!different!layer!of!context!in!which!colonization!operates!to!erase,!silence,!and!assimilate!the!Indigenous!people,!land,!and!knowledges!of!the!frontera.!By!carefully!weaving!a!basket,!we!design!the!tools!by!which!to!sort!and!collect!teachings.!!In!the!next!chapter,!I!will!use!an!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Cosmography!to!inform!the!research!methodology!and!methods,!!to!be!of!service!to!the!community.!!!97!Chapter$4:$Fronterawork$Methodology$The!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!is!a!complex!network!of!interrelated!beings!along!a!nearly!1,255!mile!stretch!of!different!ecological!landscapes,!and!often,!the!local!landDbased!traditional!ecological!and!cultural!knowledges!are!often!hidden!from!plain!sight.!!For!these!reasons,!each!aspect!of!this!research!process!was!carefully!considered!to!keep!the!river!in!mind,!in!conversation,!and!inDrelation!to!every!aspect!of!the!project.!In!this!chapter,!I!will!introduce!A!Fronterawork!Methodology,!designed!to!prioritize!the!emplaced!and!embodied!ways!of!understanding!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!while!intuitively!inviting!water!knowledges!to!guide!the!research!path!with!the!community,!in!the!service!of!the!community.!I!will!elaborate!upon!the!process!of!building!a!pedagogy!of/with/around!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!from!the!perspective!of!the!fronterizx!community!members,!specific!to!my!home!community!in!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo.!$4.1$ The$Elements$of$Fronterawork$The!research!question!appears!straightforward:!"How!do!people!who!live!along!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!understand!and!talk!about!the!river?"!!Much!like!the!river!itself,!the!calm!surface!of!the!question!hides!the!complex,!and!often!fraught!undercurrents.!The!overlap!of!the!river!and!border!through!the!community!creates!a!wide!range!of!effects/affects!on!the!people,!suggesting!that!responses!would!be!wideDranging,!unpredictable,!and!likely!contradictory.!Moving!forward!with!my!project!felt!like!I!was!simultaneously!mapping!and!navigating!metaphorical!rapidsD!I!could!only!study!the!water!from!the!banks!for!so!long.!!Eventually,!I!had!to!just!jump!in.!!In!the!process,!I!was!able!to!clarify!a!research!methodology!which!I!call!Fronterawork,!that!is!inclusive,!holistic,!engages!multiple!diverse!perspectives!and!!98!allows!for!multiple!entry!points!into!the!conversation,!as!a!way!to!find!meaning!in!the!distinct!cultural!interface!of!the!frontera!community.!!The!five!elements!of!a!Fronterawork!Methodology!include:!•! Thinking!with!metaphors!•! Being!inDrelation!•! Embodied!and!emplaced!ecologies!•! Showing!the!unspeakable!•! Remembrance!as!healing!Rather!than!suggest!a!specific,!stepDbyDstep!set!of!instructions!to!the!research!project,!the!next!sections!detail!the!considerations!necessary!for!holistic!witnessing!and!storyDlistening!in!fraught!contexts,!for!the!purpose!of!building!an!intergenerational!pedagogy!of!water!with!and!for!Indigenous!frontera!residents.!Activating!my!own!teaching!experience!as!a!sixth!grade!teacher!in!public!school!classrooms,!the!process!is!not!to!be!read!as!a!personal!thinkDaloud!of!what$do$I$need$to$do,!but!the!preparations!for!coDconstruction!of!meaning!between!myself!and!a!community!of!learners,!asking!what!do!we!need!to!do!to$help$co]learning$happen?!!4.1.1$ Preparing$My$Mind:$Thinking$with$Metaphors$$In!the!first!page!of!my!research!notebook,!I!wrote!myself!a!reminder:$Water$is$life.$$Water$is$alive.$$Water$is$spirit.$These!three!little!metaphors!are!examples!of!how!one!word!or!concept!can!be!used!to!create!an!image,!an!action,!or!a!set!of!relationships!as!a!way!of!understanding!a!second!word!or!concept.!In!the!above!trio,!water!can!be!understood!as!a!vital!aspect!of!being,!!99!water!can!be!understood!as!a!fragile!biological!process!of!responseDability,!and!water!can!be!understood!as!a!manifestation!of!the!sacred.!!To!prepare!for!the!process!of!inclusive,!holistic!listening,!it!was!necessary!to!challenge!the!metaphors!that!inform!my!use!of!language,!habits!of!mind,!and!assumptions!about!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!Human!cognition!is!constructed!through!images!and!symbols.!“We!first!invent,!and!then!rely!almost!exclusively!on,!metaphors!to!make!sense!of!the!world!we!live!in.”!(Santa!Ana,!2002,!p.!xv).!!In!this!way,!metaphors!illustrate!the!relationships!through!which!we!perceive!and!understand!reality.!This!is!precisely!the!reason!that!oral!traditions!and!storytelling!are!powerful!pedagogies!amongst!Indigenous!communitiesD!within!each!story,!the!world!is!recreated!according!to!a!specific!landDbased!ontology!coded!in!the!form!of!metaphors!and!symbols.!Santa!Ana!(2002)!elaborates,!“Metaphor!is!more!than!poetic!color!and!superficial!ornamentation.!!It!shapes!everyday!discourse,!and!by!this!means,!it!shapes!how!people!discern!and!enact!the!everyday”!(p.!26).!!In!this!way,!Coyote!and!Mockingbird!are!not!merely!characters!for!our!entertainment,!but!often!instruct!and!guide!storyDlisteners!to!learn!culturallyDappropriate!behavior.!Similarly,!in!shifting!our!metaphors!around!water,!we!shift!our!understandings!of!water,!and!shift!our!responsibilities!and!actions!toward!water!(and!toward!each!other).!!Thinking!with!metaphors!can!also!help!us!to!Indigenize!our!understandings!by!envisioning!various!relationships,!tracing!the!connections!between!humans!and!the!dynamic!and!animate!world!of!which!we!are!a!part.!!Thinking!in!this!way!can!inspire!new!courses!of!action.!As!an!example,!consider!the!following!metaphors!which!are!!100!used!as!the!daily!affirmation!and!philosophy!of!Mexican!American!Studies!classes!in!Tucson!Unified!School!District.!Drawing!from!the!concept!of!In$Lak$Ech:!Tú$eres$mi$otro$yo.$Si$te$hago$daño$a$ti,$me$hago$daño$a$mí$mismo.$Si$te$amo$y$respeto,$me$amo$y$respeto$yo$$You$are$my$other$me.$If$I$do$harm$to$you,$I$do$harm$to$myself.$If$I$love$and$respect$you,$I$love$and$respect$myself$(Rodríguez,$2011)$In!other!words,!based!on!culturallyDcentric!metaphors!and!ways!of!understanding,!youth!are!being!taught!as!beingsDinDrelation!to!refer!to!all!other!aspects!of!creation.!Rio!Grande,!you!are!my!other!me.!!Water,!you!are!my!other!me.!Neighbors,!you!are!my!other!me.!Blooming!huisache,!you!are!my!other!me.!!Not!only!do!these!metaphors!indicate!a!different!ontology,!but!they!also!point!toward!a!much!more!relational!and!responseDable!approach!toward!the!places!and!realities!of!life!in!the!frontera!communities.!We!must!first!think!relationally!so!that!we!can!be!(passive)!and!be$response]able!(active)!as!beingsDinDrelation.!Thinking!with!metaphors!seems!to!be!one!important!factor!in!understanding!traditional!knowledge!in!its!many!forms,!especially!in!regards!to!appreciating!our!role,!responsibilities,!and!relationships!to!water.!!Throughout!time,!people!have!created!thousands!of!works!of!literature!and!art!that!engage,!reflect,!honor,!and!depict!the!waterways!in!the!world!around!them.!Both!the!material!and!affective!characteristics!of!water!are!well!studied.!Strang!(2005)!elaborates,!Water's$diversity$is,$in$some$respects,$a$key$to$its$meanings.$Here$is$an$object$that$is$endlessly$transmutable,$moving$readily$from$one$shape$to$another:$from$ice$to$steam,$from$vapour$to$rain,$from$fluid$to$steam…The$process$of$transformation$!101!never$ceases:$water$is$always$undergoing$change,$movement$and$progress.$Even$in$the$calmest$of$conditions,$its$qualities$are$such$that$it$reflects$the$most$subtle$changes$in$light,$and$so$shimmers$with$movement$(pp.$98]99).$Water,!by!its!very!nature,!provides!countless!metaphors!and!images!for!understanding.!!As!active!learners,!we!can!think!with!metaphors!to!expect!the!stories!of!our!elders!to!similarly!be!“endlessly!transmutable,”!teaching!about!water!as!the!subject,!but!also!as!a!pedagogical!model!for!attending!to!student!and!community!needs.!!Furthermore,!metaphors!transcend!the!limitations!of!linguistic!fluency,!i.e.,!we!do!not!have!to!be!fluent!in!any!particular!language!to!understand!the!imagery,!sensations,!or!relationality!that!are!conveyed!by!metaphors.!This!is!not!to!say!multilingual!fluency!could!in!any!way!be!replaced!by!thinking!with!metaphors,!however,!to!navigate!a!dynamic!cultural!interface,!a!relational!way!of!thinking!helps!to!overcome!what!could!otherwise!be!a!barrier!to!understanding.!On!the!frontera,!finding!common!ground!and!thinking!relationally!are!essential!skills,!not!often!explicitly!practiced!in!the!US.!4.1.2$ The$Approach:$$Practicing$Being$inWRelation$Indigenous!borderland!ways!of!knowing!must!include!the!physical!and!embodied!modes!of!engagement.!Although!most!people!are!taught!that!we!have!five!senses,!in!reality,!humans!have!closer!to!twenty!different!sensitivities!to!the!world!around!them,!including!a!sense!of!balance!(equilibrioception),!a!sense!of!temperature!(thermoception),!sense!of!pain!(nociception),!a!sense!of!our!bodies!in!space!(proprioception),!and!to!the!passage!of!time!(chronoception)!(Gray,!2017W!Hiskey,!2010).!!While!colonization!did!not!diminish!the!many!ways!in!which!people!experience!the!world!around!them,!it!did!prioritize!the!sense!of!sight!above!all!others,!training!us!to!equate!seeing!with!believing,!corresponding!to!the!European!bias!toward!occularDcentrism.!Wilshire!(2006)!writes,!“seeing…is!the!sense!in!which!we!are!least!involved!as!!102!whole!bodies,!least!involved!emotionally,!and!existentially!in!whole!environments!over!the!long!term”!(p.!261).!!In!this!way,!occularDcentrism!supports!the!expectation!of!distanced!observation!and!emotional!stoicism.!As!these!ways!of!being!and!engaging!with!our!surroundings!become!unconscious!habits,!we!forget!the!many!other!physical!and!embodied!ways!of!knowing.!Furthermore,!learning!of/with/in/on!the!Rio!Grande/!Rio!Bravo!provides!learners!with!an!entry!point!for!the!"teachings!implanted!and!offered!up!by!their!ancestors"!(Gonzales,!2012,!p.!175).!These!teachings!are!personally!customized!to!connect!each!learner!within!the!local!ecology!in!ways!that!cannot!be!shared!in!formal!school!classroom!environments!of!passive,!controlled!seated!activities,!such!as!what!are!typically!seen!in!a!public!school!classroom.!!In!centering!traditional!and!Indigenous!knowledges,!we!can!engage!the!process!of!restoring!ourselves!as!holistic,!engaged!learners,!and!restory!ourselves!back!into!a!relationship!with!our!land!and!waters.!Intellectual,!spiritual,!emotional,!and!embodied!efforts!combine!to!shift!the!work!toward!selfDactualization.!The!process!is!circular.!!As!we!restory!our!relationships!with!the!land,!and!with!the!waterways,!we!restory!ourselves,!honoring!the!ancestral!knowledge!and!traditions!that!shape!who!we!are!as!Indigenous!peoples.!In!this!way,!Indigeneity!comes!from!the!ground,!up,!restoring,!reviving,!and!regenerating!our!ancestral!connections!as!beingsDinDrelation.!4.1.3$ Embodied$and$Emplaced$Ecologies$Embodiment!is!being!aware!of!how!we!relate!to!other!bodies!and!things,!and!the!ways!in!which!a!body’s!engagement!with!the!world!creates!meaning!(Csordas,!1994W!Irwin!&!Springgay,!2008).!Humans!are!not!minds!carried!along!in!meaningless!bodies,!but!are!holistic!beings!that!create!and!become!experiences!as!we!interact!with!our!!103!surroundings.!!For!example,!we!say!"I!am!happy"!or!"I!am!hungry,"!!rather!than!"I!am!feeling!happiness"!or!"I!am!experiencing!hunger."!Our!senses!help!us!name!our!state!of!being.!Our!bodies!matter.!!Our!skin!protects!the!health!of!our!bodies,!contains!our!essential!organs,!and!is!a!site!at!which!we!experience!the!world!around!us.!Our!bodies!are!also!tools!that!we!use!to!influence!our!surroundings.!Considered!this!way,!the!relationships!between!time,!place,!humans,!and!nature!are!mutually!coDconstructed,!and!meanings!are!layered.!!Considering!the!following!example:!Ana!walks!down!to!the!riverside!banks,!sits!on!a!rock,!and!listens!to!the!sounds!that!surround!her.!She!may!feel!the!coolness!of!the!shade,!the!hard!rock!underneath!her,!holding!her,!and!the!sounds!of!the!river,!the!birds,!and!the!airplane!overhead.!She!may!understand!it!as!an!embodied!experience!within!a!relational!and!emplaced!ecology.!The!aforementioned!scenario!paints!a!relatively!serene!picture,!but!we!can!also!use!the!same!vocabulary!to!understand!less!pleasant!circumstances,!such!as!places!that!are!dangerous!or!have!a!history!of!violence.!!If!we!return!to!the!example!of!Ana,!sitting!on!the!banks!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!her!quiet!moment!is!disrupted!by!the!roar!of!the!oncoming!US!Border!Patrol!speedboats,!that!pass!every!half!hour!or!so!within!the!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo!interface.!!The!boat!has!several!armed!agents!and!a!large!machine!gun!is!mounted!onto!the!front!of!the!boat.!!Her!relative!location!on!the!north!side!of!the!river!affords!her!a!small!comfort!D!she!will!only!be!questioned!and!asked!to!show!identification!instead!of!being!apprehended.!These!added!details!of!Ana's!specific!location!add!new!meanings!to!the!relative!ecology.!We!can!speculate!how!Ana's!presence!on!a!rock!by!the!riverside!impacts!the!immediate!ecologies!around!!104!her,!and!also!surmise!how!her!context!impacts!her!being!physically,!intellectually,!emotionally,!and!spiritually74.!Ana's!example!can!also!illustrate!how!danger!is!emplaced,!demonstrating!the!geographies$(plural)!of!race,!which!illustrate!how!racism!operates!in!places!over!time.!Nayak!(2011)!argues!evidences!of!racism,!“in!all!their!messy!misrecognized!and!globalized!assemblage,!live!on:!!they!are!displaced!onto!people,!objects,!things,!and!brought!to!bear!in!everyday!events…!They!seep!into!the!collective!imagination,!the!psychic!pulse!and!nerve!tissue!of!many!societies”!(p.!556).!The!geographical!interrogation!afforded!by!mapDmaking!may!be!useful!in!constructing!maps!of!racialized!places!that!could!be!particularly!insightful!in!areas!of!dynamic,!conflicting!power!and!cultural!interfaces,!such!as!the!borderlands.!Tracing!the!embodied!and!emplaced!cartographies!of!racism!offer!a!potential!approach!to!discussing!what!might!otherwise!remain!silenced.!Nayak!(2011)!elaborates,!Gestures,$fleeting$glances,$strained$silences$and$the$discreet$performances$of$othering$have$come$to$mark$difference…processes$of$racialization$simultaneously$work$through$a$palette$of$senses$including$sounds,$smells,$tastes,$and$touch….In$this$way,$eliciting$the$embodied$geographies$of$race$can$add$depth$and$richness$to$the$cut$and$dried$data$generated$through$interview.$(pp.$554]555)$$In!the!borderlands,!emplaced!and!embodied!testimonios!historicize!existing!contexts,!connecting!performances!and!experiences!of!racism!to!the!colonial!rhetoric!of!whiteDsupremacy,!evident!in!ongoing!incidences!of!feminicidio!and!terracide.!!Other!contemporary!issues!that!include!a!specific,!unspoken!element!of!racism!include!the!construction!of!the!U.S.!border!wall!through!Indigenous!communities!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!74!Future!work!will!also!take!up!the!ways!that!violence!enters!the!collective!memory,!influencing!out!understandings!and!relationships!in!our!frontera!river!communities.!!!105!(EagleWoman,!2008),!the!feminicidio!of!the!borderlands!(Gaspar!de!Alba!&!Guzman,!2010),!the!“hunting”!of!newly!crossed!immigrants!using!military!drones!(Dinan,!2013),!the!criminalization!of!humanitarian!efforts!to!leave!water!in!the!desert!(Fernandez,!2009),!the!widespread!use!of!the!chemical!defoliant,$Imazapyr,!to!clear!riverbanks!as!a!“national!security!measure”!(XicanoPwr,!2009),!and!the!unrestricted!dumping!of!industrial!waste!by!maquiladoras75!near!colonias!(Bullard,!Johnson!&!Torres,!2005),.!In!each!of!these!examples,!we!can!see!the!complex!intersectionality!of!race,!class,!and!gender.!We!can!also!infer!how!the!sharing!of!testimonios!can!be!essential!in!moving!toward!justice.!The!process!of!emplaced!and!embodied!storytelling!(and!emplaced!and!embodied!storylistening)!may!invite!communities!to!understand!overlapping!layers!of!context!differently!and!find!ways!to!organize!toward!healing.!!Of!particular!importance!in!our!practice!of!understanding!embodied!and!emplaced!ecologies!is!the!gendered!aspects!of!knowing!and!recognizing!danger.!!When!a!girl!or!woman!is!murdered!for!being!female,!the!act!is!a!gendered!violence.!Interestingly,!in!Mexico,!the!term!feminicidio!allows!conversations!to!focus!on!the!girls/women,!while!in!Canada,!a!parallel!phenomena!is!the!Missing!and!Murdered!Indigenous!Women,!which!similarly,!provides!a!useful!framework!for!recognizing!the!gendered!violence.!In!the!US,!however,!we!do!not!use!a!specific!term!or!framework!for!recognizing!the!gendered!violence,!thus,!we!do!not!often!focus!critical!attention!on!the!patterns!and!circumstances!that!women!and!girls!face.!We!talk!about!violence!in!general,!or!domestic!violence,!or!even!look!at!murder!in!particular,!but!each!of!these!phrases!generalizes!across!the!population,!so!that!the!gendered!aspect!is!not!recognized.!However,!when!gender!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!75!Usually,!a!U.S.!owned!factory!built!in!Mexico.!!106!intersects!with!race!and/or!class,!then!a!few!select!examples!of!violence!against!particular!girls/women!call!our!attention.!The!systemic!and!normalized!racism!and!sexism!on!both!sides!of!the!U.S.!Mexico!border!permeates!all!aspects!of!how!to!understand!the!cultural!landscape,!and!frames!the!conversations!around!what!we!do!and!do!not!recognize!as!important.!!If!we!return!to!the!example!of!Ana!for!a!moment,!sitting!on!the!side!of!the!river,!we!can!add!one!more!dimension!to!the!situation.!!Ana!is!dark!brownDskinned,!blackDhairedW!her!clothing!is!clean,!but!secondDhand.!!Every!moment!she!spends!sitting!on!the!riverbanks,!she!knows!that!if!she!were!to!get!into!trouble,!no!one!would!help!her.!!She!would!be!on!her!own.!!On!the!frontera,!white(r)!women!call!the!police,!headlines!are!written,!monetary!rewards!offered,!and!search!parties!formed,!while!brown(er)!women!quietly!disappear!and!become!faceless!statistics.!It!is!not!just!the!ecology,!but!also!the!embodied!and!emplaced!ways!we!understand!our!relational!ecologies!that!matter,!especially!in!contexts!that!include!multiple!possible!sources!of!danger.!4.1.4$ Showing$the$Unspeakable$Recognizing!that!our!topic!includes!the!normalized,!daily!occurrence!of!violence,!both!directly!and!indirectly,!impacting!the!lives!of!each!community!participant,!I!had!a!responsibility!and!responseDability!to!make!space!for!experiences!that!are!unspeakable!(VinitzkyDSeroussi!&!Teeger,!2010).!Silence!is/was!meaningful!(Kidron,!2009).!As!I!developed!the!process!of!memory!work!in!a!context!that!is/was!often!dangerous,!it!was!important!to!be!explicit!in!the!ways!to!hold!space!for!the!aspects!that!cannot!be!spoken,!and!to!keep!participants!safe!and!respected.!Specifcally,!this!meant!I!had!to!practice!compassionate!witnessing,!in!which!I!was!willing!to!be!with!someone!as!they!worked!!107!through!a!difficulty!without!judgment!or!intervention.!As!an!interviewer,!this!meant!taking!care!to!practice!whole!body!witnessing,!and!selfDmonitoring!not!to!finish!the!sentences,!interrupt,!or!give!oral!prompts!to!the!community!participants.!Once!the!interview!process!was!over,!I!took!care!to!sit!with!the!community!member,!and!wrap!up!the!process!in!a!gentle!way,!in!case!there!was!emotional!discomfort!or!after!care!needs.!I!made!sure!to!explain!the!rest!of!the!research!process,!describing!the!transcription,!translation,!and!process!of!verification.!!Each!community!member!knew!to!expect!a!transcript!in!their!mailbox,!which!they!could!approve,!correct,!or!redact,!and!I!would!only!use!with!their!permission.!In!all!cases,!community!members!seemed!to!relax!with!the!knowledge!that!they!would!have!the!chance!to!verify!and!take!out!any!or!all!parts!of!the!interview!with!which!they!were!uncomfortable.!!In!this!way,!the!project!was!built!on!the!firstDhand!testimonios!of!community!members!with!the!expectation!of!hearing!varying!voices,!experiences,!and!entry!points,!all!of!which!were!treated!with!respect.!!To!show!the!unspeakable,!I!listened!for!silences!and!stories!of!trauma,!and!practiced!holistic!witnessing!based!on!mutual!respect!and!trust.!!4.1.4.1$ Listening$for$Silences$The!same!way!that!danger!lies!in!specific!places!along!the!river,!it!is!also!embedded!in!how!we!talk!about!the!river,!in!how!and!what!we!allow!to!be!recorded,!and!where!our!stories!go!once!we!share!them.!!"The!problems!of!voice!and!identity!are!packed!with!internal!dilemmas!not!only!for!the!listeners!but!also!the!tellers!of!the!tale…!There!are!penalties!for!choosing!the!wrong!voice!at!the!wrong!time,!for!telling!an!inappropriate!tale”!(Razack,!1993,!no!page).!!Specifically,!in!designing!a!project!that!!108!used!oral!history!and!testimonio!to!discuss!the!fraught!context!of!the!river,!there!were!moments!in!which!some!participants!felt!unsure!or!unsafe!with!some!part!of!our!process.!For!some,!the!discomfort!was!not!in!the!process!itself,!but!in!not!knowing!where!their!stories!would!go!after!I!completed!the!project.!I!considered!these!as!moments!of!resistance,!and!respected!the!boundaries!of!relatives!who!declined!to!participate.!There!were!moments!when!the!responses!were!short!phrases!instead!of!stories,!some!with!the!subtext!of!moving!on,!others!due!to!lack!of!interest.!In!some!cases,!the!silence!was!due!to!discomfortW!in!other!cases!it!was!an!intentional!response,!sometimes!with!meaning,!sometimes!without.!In!all!cases!the!silences!were!a!part!of!the!conversation.!!I!was!careful!to!listen!to!such!things!as!tone!of!voice,!sighs,!and!notice!body!language,!and!find!space!for!silence,!and!work!with!and!around!these!moments.!Participants!also!knew!that!they!could!stop!the!interview!at!any!time.!4.1.4.2$ Listening$Around$Trauma$In!the!context!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!multiple!eras!of!colonization!and!multiple!sites!of!erasure!have!caused!generations!of!fronterizxs!trauma!and!shame.!Some!of!the!trauma!was/is!fresh,!caused!by!the!current!contexts!of!surveillance!and!systemic!racism,!while!other!traumas!are!older,!passed!from!one!generation!to!the!next!in!the!form!of!fear,!habits,!and!sensitivities.!!Care!was!taken!to!respect!the!memory!work,!acknowledging!how!trauma!affects!our!abilities!to!recall,!retell,!and!listen!to!the!stories!of!community!members.!!Razack!reminds!us!that!“the!risks!taken!in!the!course!of!critical!reflection!are!never!equally!shared."!(1993,!no!page).!!Privilege!is!always!manifest,!and!in!spite!of!best!intentions!and!shared!purposes,!and!participation!in!this!type!of!work!is!always!more!hazardous!for!some!than!for!others.!!!109!Giving!testimony!to!experiences!of!violence!can!reDtraumatize!survivors!and!witnesses!by!recreating!the!emotional!turmoil!of!the!original!event.!!Oftentimes,!the!most!difficult!traumatic!incidences!cannot!be!spoken,!and!yet!the!silence,!the!tears,!the!tension,!and!the!embodied!memories!speak!volumes!of!the!impact!of!such!events!(Kidron,!2009W!RiañoDAlcalá!&!Baines,!2011).!These!nuanced!and!performative!details!are!not!often!captured!in!interview!transcripts.!I!prepared!to!respond!appropriately,!as!needed.!Simon!(2004)!suggests!that!the!act!of!giving!testimonio!asks!questions!of!the!listener!as!an!active!participant!in!deciphering!what!is!being!said!and!what!is$not!being!said,!and!examining!the!context!and!connections!between!the!two.!Listening,!in!this!way,!entails!an!embodied!awareness!and!attentiveness!to!more!than!just!the!words!being!spoken.!This!was!reminiscent!of!the!old!saying!that!to!really!listen,!one!must!listen!with!their!eyes,!their!ears,!and!their!heart.!!Active!listening!was!especially!pertinent!around!trauma,!as!dealing!with!trauma!is!a!personal!process,!and!the!person!giving!a!testimonio!may!or!may!not!have!the!words!for!such!memories.!!Looking!back,!none!of!the!interviews!seemed!to!touch!memories!that!were!traumatic!narratives,!but!I!prepared!for!them,!just!in!case.!For!example,!in!a!few!of!the!interviews,!community!participants!shared!stories!of!someone!having!drowned!in!the!river.!Their!stories!included!pain,!fear,!and!a!deep!sense!of!loss,!even!though!the!memories!are!40!or!more!years!old.!!As!I!listened,!I!was!mindful!of!my!own!emotional!response,!and!followed!the!cues!of!the!storyteller.!It!was!important!to!remain!gentle!and!responsive,!out!of!respect!for!both!the!storyteller,!as!well!as!those!friends!and!neighbors!whose!lives!were!lost.!By!allowing!the!storyteller!to!lead!the!conversation,!and!deviate!from!the!interview!script,!it!gave!us!time!and!space!to!feel!emotions,!and!be!inDrelation,!!110!in!the!moment.!In!each!case,!allowing!the!time!to!feel,!to!listen,!and!to!sit!with!each!other!also!allowed!the!community!member!to!lead!our!way!into!other!areas!of!conversation.!!In!this!way,!the!listening!process!was!built!around!mutual!respect!and!trust.!Not!only!was!listening!around!trauma!important!in!the!research!process,!but!it!is!also!a!necessary!skill!to!teach!learners!about!D!we!have!to!learn!how$to$listen!to!the!elders’!stories.$4.1.5$ Remembrance$as$Healing$Within!Indigenous!borderlands!ways!of!knowing,!collective!memory!provides!an!entry!point!from!which!to!restore!and!reDstory!traditional!knowledge!within!the!frontera!communities.!!For!our!community!elders,!who!are!our!living!archives,!the!process!of!witnessing!their!oral!histories!is!validating.!The!act!of!sharing!and!witnessing!each!others’!stories!revitalizes!the!relationships!between!generations!of!the!community,!building!a!bank!of!knowledge!as!community!strength,!while!reconnecting!people!to!the!land!and!river.!Furthermore,!building!a!pedagogy!based!on!collective!memory!communicates!to!every!community!member!that!their!lives!matter,!and!that!our!collective!survival!and!resistance!is!deeply!connected!to!each!other!and!the!land!and!river!that!nourish!us.!!Although!difficult,!the!work!of!critical!remembrance:!might$enact$possibilities$for$an$ethical$learning$that$impels$us$into$a$confrontation$and$‘reckoning’$not$only$with$stories$of$the$past$but$also$with$ourselves$as$we$are$(historically,$existentially,$ethically)$in$the$present…[and]$for$what$it$means$to$live$relationally,$to$live$justly$and$publicly,$with$others,$both$living$and$dead.$(Simon,$2004,$p.$187)$Critical!remembrance!helps!to!move!survivors,!witnesses,!and!descendants!to!address,!attend!to,!and!heal!the!traumas!of!historical!violence,!while!exploring!new!ways!of!addressing!contemporary!contexts!of!violence!in!the!borderlands.!When!today’s!youth!are!encouraged!to!understand!the!contexts!and!struggles!of!our!grandparents,!they!can!!111!come!to!understand!how!these!events!directly!influence!the!contexts!and!struggles!of!today.!As!a!community,!we!are!better!able!to!interrupt!the!dominant!narratives!of!blame!and!deficit!framing!that!are!often!attached!to!our!Indigenous!and!racialized!frontera!communities.!Historical!context!allows!us!to!reframe!community!challenges!in!ways!that!address!systemic!sources!of!trauma,!so!as!to!disrupt!ongoing!harm,!rather!than!solely!focusing!healing!at!a!personal!level.!!Beaucage!(2005)!elaborates!upon!the!process!of!healing:!How$we$name$ourselves$and$remember$ourselves$in$different$times$and$places$is$a$way$of$making$history.$Displacement$has$been$a$cultural$reality$for$Aboriginal$peoples$on$this$land.$$Identifying$the$dominant$codes$and$ethics/values$that$put$us$in$this$place$is$the$journey$of$re]covery,$re]memory,$re]naming$our$history.$(p.$140)$The!process!of!reDnaming!(and!restorying)!our!history!is!especially!pertinent!in!the!frontera,!where!labels!of!identity!have!been!imposed!by!colonial!governments,!determined!to!erase!Indigenous!knowledge!and!people!from!the!land.!!Remembrance!works!to!recover!and!heal!the!relationships!that!have!been!erased!or!colonized!in!our!frontera!communities,!allowing!us!to!restore!ourselves!as!holistic,!relational,!embodied!and!emplaced!beings.!More!than!giving!ourselves!permission!to!reclaim!our!Indigenous!ancestry!and!practice!the!landDbased!cultural!practices!that!have!survived!in!our!families,!we!are!also!reminded!of!our!responsibilities!as!caretakers!of!the!river,!the!land,!and!each!other.!!4.1.6$ Ethics$of$Fronterawork$As!I!moved!forward!in!this!Indigenous!research!process,!it!was!important!to!articulate!a!process!reflective!of!my!ceremonial!teachings!(Wilson,!2008).!The!four!main!principles!guiding!this!project!are!what!I!collectively!refer!to!as!the!Ethics!of!!112!Fronterawork!(Muñoz!&!Muñoz,!forthcoming),!that!informs!research!with/for/by!fronterizxs.!!It!was!essential!that!the!research!project:!•! prioritize!and!build!upon!Indigenous/racialized!scholarship!toward!articulating!an!Indigenous!fronterzx!framework,!!•! build!a!research!process!that!gives!back,!rather!than!takes!from,!the!borderland!community,!•! create!a!system!of!accountability!for!myself!as!a!community!member/researcher,!and!for!the!results!of!the!project!that!communicates!to!a!wider!public!audience,!and!•! intervene!in!the!erasure!of!Indigenous!fronterizxs!by!making!space!for!the!complex!ways!we!represent!ourselves.!!To!build!in!accountability,!four!elders,!grandmothers,!were!asked!to!witness!the!doctoral!research!process!and!serve!on!an!Advisory!Elders’!Council.!Each!of!these!women!were!mentors!and!teachers!at!various!times!during!my!youth!whom!I!came!to!know!through!a!ceremony!called!Kanto$de$la$Tierra76:!!Ruby!Vargas!(Wukchumni),!Teresa!Candelaria!(Ohlone/Xicana),!Lorena!Herrera!(Huichol),!and!Yvette!Mendez!(Apache/Xicana).!In!2014,!before!I!began!the!work,!each!of!the!grandmothers!was!sent!a!paper!copy!of!my!research!proposal.!!I!called!each!elder!and!talked!them!through!the!purpose!and!process!for!the!research,!and!updated!them!with!general!progress!reports!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!76Kanto$de$la$Tierra!was!an!intertribal!ceremony!created!by!an!elder!named!Reymundo!Tigre!Perez,!and!brought!to!Laredo,!Texas,!in!1990.!One!of!the!guiding!principles!of!the!ceremony!was!the!Prophesy!of!the!Eagle!and!the!Condor.!Elders!were!invited!from!across!the!Americas!to!participate,!reuniting!knowledge!keepers!from!the!northern!(Eagle),!central!(Quetzal),!and!southern!(Condor)!directions.!My!family!was!involved!in!from!1990D2005.!As!locals,!my!family!had!the!honor!of!hosting!and!developing!friendships!with!elders!and!knowledge!keepers!from!all!over!the!Americas.!!113!along!the!way.!In!the!beginning,!I!was!unsure!if!the!project!would!collect!information!that!could!be!understood!as!sacred!knowledge,!which!is!not!intended!for!a!public!audience.!!In!areas!of!uncertainty,!it!seemed!wise!to!have!an!Advisory!Elders’!Council!ready!to!help.!As!the!project!wrapped!up,!this!was!not!necessary,!and!the!primary!purpose!of!the!Council!was!to!witness!my!own!research!journey!as!the!culmination!of!my!lifelong!teachings.!!The!results!of!the!project!were!presented!at!a!public!event!as!a!way!of!sharing!the!knowledge!back!with!my!community.!All!of!the!material!outcomes!including!pedagogical!resources,!will!be!gifted!to!the!participants,!elders,!and!interested!community!members,!made!available!at!a!local!public!library.!4.2$ The$Original$Plan$When!I!first!got!to!Laredo,!I!had!made!arrangements!to!run!an!amoxtli!mapDmaking!workshop,!as!well!as!an!optional!hourDlong!oneDonDone!oral!history!interview.!!Amoxtli!is!the!Nahuatl!word!for!book!or!codex,!which!is!a!pictorial!manuscript!used!to!document!civil!data,!maps,!stories,!histories,!prayers,!songs,!and!other!knowledge!(Farias,!2013).!!The!workshop!was!designed!to!be!the!primary!activity!while!the!interview!was!optional77.!!!Originally,!I!chose!a!visual!method!to!help!depict!border!residents'!relationships!with!water!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!(Powell,!2010),!with!the!intention!of!literally!mapping!the!traditional!knowledge!and!people!back!onto!the!river!landscape.!!I!had!prepared!several!examples!of!cultural!mapping!practices!(including!forest!maps,!star!maps,!nautical!maps,!etc.)!and!was!ready!to!blend!the!storied!compound!images!of!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!77!For!reference,!see!(A:shiwi!A:wan!Museum!and!Heritage!Center,!n.dW!Araujo!de!Almeida,!2004)!!114!amoxtli!with!mapDmaking!to!create!culturallyDcentric!maps!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!The!process!of!creating!amoxtli!in!a!group!setting!would!allow!participants!to!share!stories!and!memories!of!the!river!through!informal!discussion,!and!simultaneously!envision!and!enliven!Indigenous!knowledge!of/with/in!the!local!landscape.!!Figure!13:!Codex!Azcatitlan,!Dated!1501D1600,!depicts!an!example!of!an!amoxtli!that!combines!elements!of!narrative!and!geographic!mapping.!!!I!had!a!venue,!an!agenda,!an!assortment!of!wellDchosen!drawing!supplies,!and!laminated!examples!ready!to!lead!the!workshop.!!However,!in!spite!of!my!best!recruitment!efforts,!participants!politely!declined!to!participate,!almost!unanimously!citing!lack!of!artistic!skills!as!their!reason,!but!were!eager!to!meet!for!a!oneDonDone!oral!history!interview.!In!response!to!their!feedback,!interviews!became!my!primary!focus.!115!!!!Figure!13:!Codex!Azcatitlan,!Dated!1501:1600!!(Used!by!permission!of!the!National!Library!of!France)!!!116!4.3$ The$New$Plan$–$Oral$Histories$In!June!of!2014,!I!took!my!family!with!me!to!Laredo,!prepared!to!stay!for!a!few!weeks!of!fieldwork.!I!did!what!we!do!in!our!community!when!we!visit!–!I!brought!my!family.!Culturally,!it!would!have!been!terribly!awkward!to!arrive!alone.!One!or!both!of!my!parents!and!my!infant!child!came!to!pay!respects!and!visit!our!community!elders,!usually!in!the!home!of!the!community!participant,!or!a!public!space,!such!as!the!public!library.!!Participants!were!provided!the!interview!questions!along!with!the!consent!forms!at!the!time!of!recruitment!so!that!they!could!use!it!to!decide!whether!or!not!to!participate.!I!brought!all!fieldwork!provisions!with!me!and!agreed!to!meet!community!elders!at!their!convenience.!!Materials!included!extra!copies!of!all!forms,!a!digital!audio!recorder,!bottled!water!for!the!community!participants,!and!a!location!with!little!background!noise.!In!most!cases,!I!met!the!community!member!in!their!home,!and!we!were!done!in!an!hour.!The!family!dynamic!led!to!some!unexpected!challenges,!as!decisions!around!logistics!were!reached!by!group!discussion!and!consensus,!rather!than!researcher!being!primary!decisionJmaker.!!My!father!helped!as!the!driver!and!interpreter!onJcall,!while!my!mother,!would!help!me!with!childcare!for!my!infant.!Sometimes,!my!parents!would!pay!respects!to!the!community!member,!and!visit!with!the!friends!and!family!of!the!elder!in!another!room.!!Sometimes,!everyone!in!the!house!would!sit!around!the!kitchen!table!and!listen!to!the!interview!as!it!was!being!shared.!!I!made!clear!that!I!would!arrange!myself!and!the!audio!recorder!to!capture!the!best!recording!of!the!voices,!but!let!each!elder!decide!about!whether!to!include!a!listening!audience!or!not.!!!117!Although!unconventional!in!the!academic!sense!of!being!surrounded!by!my!family!for!the!research!process,!the!moments!of!intergenerational!sharing!is!at!the!heart!of!the!project.!!My!academic!training!taught!me!to!feel!tension,!and!try!to!more!tightly!control!the!interview!process!as!a!oneJonJone!interview,!yet,!my!intuition!and!commitment!to!a!nonJhierarchical!research!process!invited!the!community!to!guide!the!process.!!The!presence!of!friends!and!family!moving,!talking,!eating,!listening!created!comfort!as!a!nonJformal!platica78,!and!invited!a!wider!variety!of!stories!to!be!shared!as!conversations!often!included!collective!remembering.!!After!the!first!few!visits!went!well,!every!accommodation!was!made!to!encourage!these!types!of!culturallyJbased!intergenerational!learning!moments.!!Consequently,!each!audioJrecorded!interview!is!peppered!by!the!voices!of!my!own!child!and!my!mother,!and!occasionally,!other!community!members!as!well.!!In!this!case,!the!term!intergenerational!describes!the!emergent!research!process,!as!well!as!the!resulting!pedagogical!practice.!!4.4$ Community$Participants$I!planned!to!invite!10J12!community!elders!to!participate,!specifically!seeking!people!who!selfJidentified!as!Indigenous!and!who!had!spent!most!of!their!lives!in!Laredo,!and/or!who!were!multiple!generation!Laredoan.!I!met!with!two!knowledgeable!community!members!who!work!for!the!Rio!Grande!International!Study!Center!to!get!some!feedback!about!the!research!design,!and!after!preliminary!conversations,!had!a!list!of!32!possible!participants,!with!phone!numbers,!and!permission!to!tell!them!who!had!referred!me!to!them.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!78!A!platica!is!a!casual!talk,!usually!in!a!group!setting,!focused!on!a!topic,!but!without!a!formal!format!!!118!The!first!few!interviews!were!with!elders!whom!my!family!knew,!but!whom!I!did!not!have!a!close!personal!connection.!These!included!the!parents!of!a!high!school!classmate!of!my!parents,!the!first!cousin!of!my!grandmother,!and!a!wellJregarded!journalist!who!published!a!local!newspaper.!I!had!never!met!a!few!of!the!community!members!before,!and!a!few!I!had!not!seen!since!I!was!a!child.!!Some!participants!suggested!the!names!of!other!people!who!may!be!interested,!and!the!sample!began!to!snowball!amongst!interested!community!members.!!Below!Figure!14:!Summary!of!Community!Participant!Data,!shows!the!number!of!community!participants!involved!and!or!represented!at!each!step!of!the!process,!while!demographic!details!can!be!seen!in!Figure!15:!Community!Participants.!!Figure$14:$Summary$of$Community$Participant$Data$!119!!Figure'15:'Community'Participants'!120!4.5$ Site$Selection$The!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!directly!shapes!the!landscape!of!frontera!communities!across!Texas.!Choosing!a!community!was!easy.!!Laredo,!Texas,!was!a!significant!part!of!my!childhood,!is!the!hometown!of!each!of!my!parents,!and!lifelong!place!of!residence!for!all!of!my!grandparents.!Family!roots!include!ancestral!ties!to!the!founding!families!of!the!city!and!deeper!roots!include!Indigenous!peoples!that!predated!colonization,!connected!to!this!river.!Working!with!my!own!home!community!drew!on!my!strengths,!allowing!me!access!to!community!members,!places,!and!stories!that!are!not!often!shared!with!outsiders.!My!childhood!in!Laredo!could!be!considered!preJengagement,!preparing!for!the!research!project!with!the!local!understanding!of!how!complex!life!is!when!the!river!is!also!the!international!border.!!4.6$ Instrumentation$Similar!in!importance!to!the!Coast!Salish!cultural!practice!of!witnessing79!(Gaudry,!2011P!Qwul'sih'yah'maht,!2005),!the!practice!of!dando!testimonio80!(Pearlman,!2010)!is!giving!a!firstJhand!account!of!what!one!has!experienced!or!seen!in!their!own!lifetime.!Thus,!while!a!testimonio!is!one!single!lived!account,!the!practice!of!collecting!testimonios!can!give!shape!to!the!collective!memory!of!a!community!and!serve!as!the!basis!of!storying!history!and!storying!relationships.!The!process!of!collecting!testimonios!is!similar!to!oral!history!interview!approaches!but!shifts,!based!on!the!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!79!Witnesses!and!the!process!of!witnessing!are!considered!a!sacred!community!role,!vital!to!oral!traditions!and!recognizing!the!honorable!and!important!work!of!fellow!community!members.!This!is!one!of!my!Canadian!teachings.!80!"To!give!truthful!witness”!(Pearlman,!2010,!p.!5)!!While!I!appreciate!and!acknowledge!the!extensive!scholarship!about!testimonio!in!Central!and!South!America!in!the!areas!of!literature,!rhetoric,!and!human!rights!studies,!I!use!it!here,!more!casually,!the!way!the!word!is!used!in!the!community.!!121!questions!asked!of!the!interviewee.!While!testimonios!often!center!specific!events,!attesting!to!a!particular!moment!or!era!of!time,!and!the!events!that!were!impactful!to!oneself,!oral!histories!tend!to!collect!the!life!stories,!narrated!firstJhand!by!the!individual!person,!including!their!thoughts!and!actions.!The!issue!of!representation!is!vital!in!the!use!of!testimonios.!When!testimonios!are!retold!by!a!different!storyteller!to!a!new!audience,!as!when!a!researcher!uses!testimonio!to!support!a!research!project,!these!personal!accounts!can!convey!a!different!meaning!than!originally!intended.!!For!this!reason,!the!process!of!collecting!testimonios!must!also!include!a!strategy!of!verification!to!ensure!accuracy!and!consent.!I!created!a!set!of!interview!questions!that!borrowed!from!oral!history!and!testimonio!practices,!with!the!goal!of!hearing!life!stories!that!give!witness!to!life!in/with/near/at!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!The!first!few!interview!questions!were!designed,!to!help!participants!feel!comfortable!with!the!interview!process!while!collecting!some!basic!information!including!name,!birthdate,!birthplace,!name!of!parents.!All!of!the!other!questions!were!openJended!so!that!participants!could!share!as!much!or!as!little!as!they!were!comfortable.!A!few!questions!invited!family!histories!and!earliest!memories!of!place.!Then,!questions!became!a!bit!more!specific!with!the!goal!of!encouraging!participants!to!give!testimonios!about!the!river.!The!process!of!developing!these!questions!was!somewhat!intuitive,!based!on!the!three!major!themes,!depicted!in$Error!!Reference!source!not!found..!!I!provided!the!graphic!organizer!to!the!community!members!both!in!their!Letter!of!Invitation!as!well!as!their!copy!of!the!Oral!History!Interview!Questions!to!invite!stories!that!may!also!relate!to!one!of!the!other!themes.!The!second!half!of!the!interview!asked!!!122!questions!to!elicit!information!about!the!overlapping!areas!in!the!figure!below,!in!Figure!16:!Elements!of!a!Relational!Ecology,!inviting!details!about!the!importance!of!land!to!the!community,!water!in!the!landscape,!and!role!of!the!river!in!the!community.!!This!way,!the!focus!shifted!toward!the!relationships!between!the!elements,!with!multiple!entry!points!into!the!conversation.!!!It!was!important!to!honor!the!lifetime!relationships!participants!have!within!our!community!and!listen!to!the!wealth!of!historical!information!that!is!often!overlooked.!!The!first!few!interviews!were!conducted!with!an!earlier!draft!but!the!wording!in!two!questions!did!not!translate!into!Spanish!very!well.!!The!concept!of!relationship!with!the!land!and!river!was!lost!in!translation,!and!the!answers!clearly!indicated!the!need!to!edit!for!clarity.!The!version!seen!in!Figure!17:!Oral!History!Interview!Questions!was!used!for!22!of!the!28!interviews.!!Figure$16:$Elements$of$a$Relational$Ecology$!!123!!Figure$17:$Oral$History$Interview$Questions$!124!As!with!other!memory!work!methods,!the!information!is!assumed!to!be!true,!and!understood!as!a!whole,!making!space!for!the!occasional!fuzzy!detail!or!mistake!in!retelling.!The!process!of!collecting!multiple!interviews!allows!for!us!to!assemble!different!perspectives!in!which!various!stories!confirm!and!uphold!what!we!can!come!to!understand!as!the!collective!memory,!specific!to!how!Laredoans/Nuevo!Laredoans!know!and!understand!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!While!it!is!a!bit!difficult!to!measure!the!statistical!validity!of!such!an!openJended!process,!the!interview!was!effective!in!bringing!forward!many!firstJhand!accounts!and!metaphors!for!understanding!the!river.!Each!testimonio!can!be!understood!as!a!different!puzzle!piece!depicting!a!part!of!the!larger!story,!restorying!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!back!onto!the!land,!and!our!community.!!Collectively,!I!consider!this!body!of!stories!to!be!foundational!knowledge!from!which!other!parts!of!the!research!process,!such!as!findings!and!new!knowledge,!grow.!A!process!of!triangulation!helped!to!fill!in!some!of!the!additional!puzzle!pieces.!!During!the!research!process,!I!visited!several!archives,!both!in!Texas!and!in!Mexico,!in!search!of!information!documenting!the!traditional!knowledge!of!water!specific!to!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!Most!of!the!archival!material!exists!in!colonial!collections!but!I!tried!to!read!against!the!grain!to!note!what!was!and!was!not!present!and!find!representations!of!the!river!through!time.!My!research!strategy!was!to!search!for!photos!and!maps!that!depicted!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!Of!interest!were!the!explicit!reminders!that!the!landscape!was!dramatically!different!for!previous!generations!of!fronterizxs.!I'd!also!search!for!documents!containing!details!such!as!how!locals!named!themselves,!traditional!plant!knowledge,!and!firstJhand!accounts!of!the!mining!towns!that!no!longer!exist.!Many!of!these!details!are!absent!from!the!historical!documents,!and!not!available!!125!to!the!public.!!In!this!way,!the!archival!work!was!not!particularly!helpful,!but!it!did!explicitly!point!to!the!importance!of!documenting!the!lived/living!archival!knowledge!of!community!elders,!as!the!content!they!remember!is!often!what!colonial!archives!fail!(and!intentionally!refuse)!to!document.!4.7$ Field$Test$Ten!interviews!were!conducted!in!June!of!2014.!The!opportunity!to!conduct!them!came!quickly,!unexpectedly,!during!a!nonJresearch!trip!to!visit!family!in!Laredo,!Texas.!!I!had!ethics!approval!and!was!finalizing!my!technology!when!some!of!my!elder!family!members!became!available!for!the!interview.!!I!wanted!to!take!advantage!of!their!excitement!so!moved!forward!with!the!interviews.!I!used!these!as!a!field!test!and!opportunity!to!refine!the!interview!process.!In!these!first!interviews,!community!participants!were!able!to!answer!each!question,!and!stay!(relatively)!on!topic!in!their!answers.!There!was!one!question!that!I!had!to!consistently!rework!each!time!it!was!translated!into!Spanish!during!the!interview,!and!two!questions!that!were!too!openJended,!resulting!in!responses!that!were!too!wideJranging.!Most!of!the!responses!seemed!to!be!offJtopic,!distracting!the!flow!from!one!question!to!the!next,!from!one!story!to!the!next.!!These!two!questions!were!edited!in!a!second!version!of!the!interview!questions.!Also,!it!was!during!these!interviews!that!I!was!able!to!translate!the!interview!into!Spanish!in!a!way!that!accurately!reflects!the!LaredoJspecific!way!of!thinking!and!ways!of!speaking,!moving!between!the!two!languages,!which!is!different!than!formal,!academic!Spanish.!At!the!end!of!each!hourJlong!interview,!I'd!thank!the!participant,!timestamp!the!end!of!the!recording,!turn!off!the!recorder,!and!spend!a!few!minutes!with!the!community!!126!member.!!I'd!ask!how!they!felt!about!the!interview,!ask!for!any!suggestions,!and!get!a!general!sense!of!other!improvements!I!might!make!to!the!process.!!Most!participants!did!not!have!suggestions!for!me!but!expressed!gratitude!for!my!interest!in!the!river!and!the!importance!in!teaching!the!next!generation.!!During!one!of!the!first!interviews,!a!community!member!was!telling!a!story!about!a!place!near!my!grandmother's!house.!When!she!said,!"Your!grandma!will!tell!you!all!about!it,"!I!had!a!moment!of!deep!personal!reflection.!!I!was!taking!advantage!of!the!network!nurtured!by!my!family!over!many!years,!yet!excluding!my!own!family!from!the!interviews,!in!spite!of!the!fact!that!my!eldest!relatives!are!my!personal!sources!of!collective!memory!and!ancestral!knowledge!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!It!felt!disrespectful!to!exclude!my!own!relatives.!!At!that!point,!I!made!the!decision!to!invite!a!few!family!members!who!fulfilled!the!participant!criteria,!careful!to!abide!by!free,!informed,!and!prior!consent!guidelines,!and!include!their!voices!in!the!project.!4.8$ Oral$History/Testimonio$Collection$Procedures$I!was!on!academic!leave!from!August!2014!until!May!of!2015.!!In!June!of!2015,!I!returned!to!Laredo!to!continue!the!interviews.!!The!process!for!each!interview!was!to!make!initial!contact,!usually!by!phone!or!in!person!and!to!casually!explain!the!purpose!and!educational!goals!of!the!research!process.!I'd!schedule!the!interview!at!the!participant's!convenience,!usually!with!the!arrangement!that!I!would!travel!to!meet!them.!At!the!time!of!the!appointment,!I'd!arrive!with!my!family,!find!a!quiet!place!to!conduct!the!interview,!and!casually!converse!with!the!community!member.!I!provided!each!participant!with!their!own!copies!of!consent!forms!and!the!interview!questions!and!!127!talked!them!through!each!section!of!the!forms!to!ensure!full!understanding!with!no!pressure!to!participate.!If!the!community!member!agreed!to!participate,!they'd!sign!one!copy!and!keep!the!other!for!their!files.!I'd!turn!on!the!audio!recorder,!check!for!sound!levels,!and!begin!with!question!1.!!The!questions!were!just!a!guide!but!participants!were!welcomed!to!let!the!conversation!go!in!different!directions.!Sometimes!I!would!ask!clarifying!questions!not!on!the!list!but!related!to!our!topic.!Usually,!interviews!lasted!close!to!an!hour.!!At!the!end!of!the!interview,!I'd!offer!words!of!thanks!and!a!small!gift!to!reciprocate!for!the!knowledge!shared.!!The!gift!included!a!handmade!thank!you!card,!a!$10!gift!card,!as!well!as!a!packet!of!milkweed!seeds!specific!to!our!south!Texas!ecology.!!Milkweed!is!the!sole!food!source!for!Monarch!butterflies,!which!migrate!across!the!US!to!winter!in!central!Mexico.!There!are!many!stories!regarding!Monarch!butterflies!in!this!region,!often!associated!to!Dia!de!los!Muertos,!celebrated!on!November!1J2!each!year.!!Monarch!butterflies!are!said!to!be!spirits!of!loved!ones!who!have!crossed!over!into!the!spirit!realm,!returning!to!visit!their!families.!I!also!chose!milkweed!seeds!to!support!the!beautiful!creatures!on!their!annual!migrations,!which!defy!colonial!borders.!August!through!December!of!2015,!I!worked!on!transcription!and!translation!of!interviews.!In!the!last!two!months!of!2015,!I!decided!to!hire!the!help!of!a!transcription!service.!!Once!the!transcript!documents!were!returned!to!me,!I!had!to!listen!to!the!audio!files!again!and!correct!the!transcripts,!as!the!use!of!local!slang!and!mix!of!Spanglish!required!careful!attention81.!!In!January!of!2016,!I!sent!an!email!and/or!called!each!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!81!The!transcription!mistakes!were!fascinating!and!sometimes!hilarious,!and!could!easily!be!used!for!a!linguistic!analysis.!!128!participant!with!a!follow!up!report!of!the!progress!of!the!project,!explaining!the!verification!process.!!At!the!end!of!February,!2016,!I!mailed!two!copies!of!each!transcript!to!each!participant,!one!for!their!records,!and!one!for!them!to!return!to!me!in!the!postage!paid!envelope.!Participants!could!mark!their!edits!on!the!paper!document!itself,!or!add!comments!to!a!Microsoft!Word!file.!!The!instructions!were!to!check!for!accuracy!of!names,!dates,!and!places,!and!to!strike!any!parts!of!the!transcript!that!they!did!not!want!included!in!the!project.!!I!reminded!participants!not!to!edit!the!conversational!aspects,!or!grammatical!errors.!At!the!end!of!March,!I!called!each!participant!to!remind!them!to!either!return!the!corrected!transcript!or!to!consent!to!use!the!transcript!as!is.!!By!midJApril!of!2016,!I!had!heard!back!from!all!but!three!persons.!!There!are!25!transcribed,!corrected,!verified!transcripts!that!I!used!as!my!main!sources!of!collective!memory.!!4.9$ Summary$In!this!chapter,!I!detailed!the!Fronterawork!Methodology!that!I!created!that!responds!to!the!many!nuances!of!conducting!research!with!frontera!communities!with!the!goal!of!revitaliizing!the!traditional!and!relational!ecological!knowledge!related!to!the!river!in!my!community!of!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo.!Then,!in!the!second!half!of!the!chapter!I!shifted!from!the!conceptual!to!the!practical,!explaining!how!my!research!method!had!to!shift!to!accommodate!the!feedback!and!energy!of!my!community!participants.!The!goals,!framing,!and!possible!outcomes!of!the!project!remained!as!planned,!in!spite!of!the!data!collection!process!changing!from!a!visual!and!creative!process!to!an!oral!storying!process.!!129!Chapter$5:$Preparing$Our$Teachings$$At!the!beginning!of!the!day!the!water!was!warm,!and!it!was!flowing!smoothly,!slowly.!!You!know,!you!could!bathe!in!it,!and!just!walk!into!the!water,!and!stay!there.!But!once!the!sun!started!going!down,!you!could!see!even!the!flow!of!the!water!was!coming!more!rapidly,!and!the!water!was!becoming!mas!fria82,!getting!colder.!!And!tambien!del!current!and...!la!marea.!The!tide!would!start!to!get!high,!you!know,!during!the!day,!you!would!stand!in!the!middle!of!the!water,!and!the!water!level!would!be!just!under!your!knees.!And!by!maybe!6!o'clock!or!so,!ya,!it!was!up!to!about!midCthighs,!aqui,!más!o!menos83.!You!would!get!out,!because!you!could!feel!the!current!getting!stronger.!!You!already!knew,!because!our!parents!would!tell!you!"Te!tienes!que!salir,!porque!el!río!es!un!traidor."!Tú!lo!ves!and!it's!flowing!smoothly,!tranquilito!y!todo,!pero84,!you!get!in!and!get!to!a!certain!area,!and!it!has!undercurrents,!and!it!pulls!you.!!There!is!no!way!to!stop!from!going!with!the!current.!!So!we!knew,!we!were!aware,!and!we!took!care!of!what!we!did.!Y!decían!los!adultos!también:!"¡Hey!salte,!salte!85"!"Aye,!no,!I'm!having!a!good!time."!!There!were!a!lot!of!kids!at!that!time.!Estábamos!todos!chiquitos86!so!you!know!that!not!everybody!would!mind.!!Nosotros!oíamos:!"No!se!quiere!salir!Norma!del!río!"!!Y!allá!van87C!the!grown!ups!would!go!and!get!you!outta!there,!because!they!knew.!!!They!had!been!young!kids!at!one!time,!doing!that,!and!more!than!that.!They!would!go!and!bathe!in!the!river!almost!on!a!daily!basis.!No!había!showers,!ni!baños,!ni!nada88,!like!we!used!to!have,!so!they!would!go!into!the!river!on!the!daily!basis.!!They!knew!more!about!the!river!than!we!did.!!(J.!Ramirez,!oral!communication,!February!2,!2016)!The!above!story!was!shared!by!my!great!auntie,!my!Tia!Cheffie,!as!four!generations!of!women!and!girls!from!our!family!sat!around!the!kitchen!table,!listening,!laughing,!and!taking!turns!caring!for!my!infant,!Ofelia.!!It!provides!a!beautiful!example!of!how!community!members!think!and!talk!about!the!river,!how!the!process!of!remembering!calls!forward!other!stories,!and!how!concepts!flow!into!each!other!within!one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!82!colder!83!up!to!here,!more!or!less!84!"You!have!to!get!out,!because!the!river!is!a!traitor."!And!you!see!it!and!it's!flowing!smoothly,!peacefully!and!everything,!!85!And!the!adults!would!also!say!"Hey,!jump!out,!jump!out."!86!We!were!all!little!kids!87!We!would!hearP!"Norma!doesn't!want!to!get!out!of!the!river!"!And!there!they!go,!88!There!were!not!showers,!nor!bathrooms,!nor!anything!!130!conversation.!!My!Tia!Cheffie!was!sharing!her!memories!of!the!river,!deeply!embedded!within!the!familial!context,!speaking!to!me!as!greatJniece!rather!than!researcher.!!It!is!these!personal!connections!that!allow!the!conversation!to!be!so!rich!and!nuanced,!and!also!why!the!process!of!analysis!requires!such!respect!and!care.!!In!this!chapter,!I!will!share!my!educator!responseJabilities!for!the!teachings!found!in!the!testimonios!of!community!elders,!and!offer!suggestions!for!how!to!use!the!teachings!as!part!of!a!pedagogical!practice.!!5.1$ ResponseKAbility:$PedagogyKMaking$as$Methodology$Rather!than!deferring!to!the!academic!literature!(as!the!authority)!for!a!tool!to!apply!to!the!interviews!(as!passive!data),!I!found!myself!reflecting!on!my!own!positionality!and!responsibilities!as!a!community!member,!friend,!relative,!and!educator.!I!wanted!to!intentionally!disrupt!the!power!dynamics!of!the!research!process!and!engage!the!collective!memory!of!the!community!as!the!foundational!knowledge!out!of!which!both!findings!and!new!knowledge!could!grow.!!Analysis,!in!this!case,!centered!on!the!third!research!question,!which!originally!asked,!"How!might!these!relationships!inform!a!culturallyJrelevant!and!intergenerational!pedagogy!that!shares!Indigenous!intellectual!traditions!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo?!How!might!this!pedagogy!be!shaped!of/by/with/through!the!traditional!knowledge!of!water?"!!The!intention!remained!the!same!as!the!question!guiding!my!next!steps!shifted!into:!"What!are!the!steps!to!building!a!pedagogy!from!the!river!stories!of!my!community?"!!The!most!appropriate!response!seemed!to!emanate!from!within,!requiring!that!I!enact!my!responsibilities!and!responseJabilities!as!a!deeply!embedded!participant!in!this!system!of!intergenerational!knowledge.!My!dual!roles!in!the!research!process!as!!131!learner!(as!I!was!listening!to!the!stories!of!my!own!elders)!and!as!teacher!(as!I!hope!to!pass!these!teachings!to!the!next!generation)!constitute!the!two!fundamental!aspects!of!building!and!nurturing!responsive!pedagogy.!The!process!of!pedagogyJmaking!was!largely!shaped!by!my!experience!as!a!middle!school!teacher,!such!that!I!was!able!to!intuitively!think!through!implementation!based!on!an!audience!of!sixth!grade!learners.!!Clarifying!my!responseJability!helped!to!shape!steps!of!pedagogyJmaking.!!As!seen!in!Figure!18:!Intergenerational!Pedagogy!of!Indigenous!Knowledge,!I!have!come!to!understand!the!first!half!of!the!research!project,!including!the!travel!home,!inviting!community!members,!visiting,!listening,!and!facilitating!the!interviews!to!be!the!Learning!Phase!of!my!pedagogyJmaking!process.!The!second!part,!the!Teaching!Phase,!included!selecting!the!teachings,!building!context,!representing!knowledge,!and!connecting!with!learners.!While!each!phase!is!distinct!in!terms!of!whether!information!is!being!received!or!relayed,!learning!and!teaching!are!mutuallyJconstituted,!shaped!by!context!in!a!responsive!and!reflective!pedagogical!practice.!!Often,!landJbased,!placeJbased,!and!culturallyJspecific!ways!of!knowing!are!passed!this!way,!including!both!explicit!and!implicit!ways!of!learning.!The!embedded,!nonJhierarchical!role!of!teacher!as!coJlearner!shares!the!responsibility!for!the!continuance!of!intergenerational!knowledge!such!that!the!whole!community!participates.!!Consequently,!my!research!process!moved!toward!the!generative!metaphors!of!growing,!nurturing,!and!building!a!pedagogy!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!based!on!the!teachings!found!within!the!collective!memories!of!our!community!elders.!!Much!like!the!other!aspects!of!the!project,!the!process!of!consideration!is!intuitive!and!flowing,!mindful!to!practice!and!embody!the!traditional!knowledge!practices!of!my!community.!!!132!!!Figure$18:$Intergenerational$Pedagogy$of$Indigenous$Knowledge$$5.2$ Learning$Phase:$Thinking$Through$a$Fronterawork$Practice$The!methodological!framework!mirrors!the!theoretical!framework!of!the!project!by!focusing!primarily!on!the!firstJhand!lived!experiences!of!Indigenous!fronterizxs,!!133!connected!to!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!through!multiple!generations.!In!examining!what!the!river!means!to!an!Indigenous!frontera!community,!it!was!crucial!to!be!inclusive,!flexible,!and!sensitive!to!the!ways!in!which!ongoing!occupation!influences!how!and!where!the!community!feel!safe!to!openly!discuss!the!river.!The!intention!was!to!critically!unsettle!the!typical!academic!model!of!research!in!favor!of!respectful,!nonJhierarchical,!and!relevant!research!elements!that!give!back!rather!than!take!from!my!own!home!community.!The!process!was!fluid,!allowing!for!various!iterations!to!unfold,!producing!outcomes!that!were!meaningful!and/or!useful!to!the!community!residents.!!Conversations!invited!a!holistic!approach!to!coJlearning89!through!community!engagement,!drawing!loosely!on!Indigenous!methodologies,!communityJbased!research,!and!culturallyJrelevant!oral!practices.!!In!this!way,!the!oral!histories!are!not!referred!to!as!data,!but!are!instead!experiences!of!collective!memory,!creative!resistance,!and!demonstrations!of!emplaced!and!embodied!Indigenous!knowledge.!Community!elders!are!living!archives.!!Our!stories!are!healing.!!In!describing!the!development!of!Red!Pedagogy,!Grande!(2008)!elaborates,!“The!social!engagement!of!ideas!is!my!method…ideas!as!they!come!alive!within!and!through!people(s),!communities,!events,!texts,!practices,!policies,!institutions,!artistic!expression,!ceremonies,!and!rituals“!(p.!233).!Similarly,!traditional!knowledge!of!water!is!brought!to!life!through!the!pedagogical!practices!that!connect!people!within!relational!ecologies,!embedding!communities!within!particular!moments!in!time.!Yet,!in!order!to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!89!The!roles!of!researcher!and!subject!are!built!upon!a!hierarchy!of!power.!In!contrast,!coJlearners!(in!my!own!experience)!suggest!mutual!and!shared!growth!for!understanding.!In!practice,!the!educator!curates!an!openJended!teachable/learning!moment,!but!is!not!tied!to!a!particular!learning!path!or!rigid!outcome.!Learning!is!allowed!to!happen!organically!and!holistically.!!!!134!create!meaningful!borderland!pedagogies!of!water,!the!pedagogical!practice!must!do!more!than!simply!talk!about!water!–!it!must!also!embody!and!enliven!water!as!living!knowledge.!In!the!Statement!on!Water!and!Indigenous!Peoples,!presented!to!the!10th!Session!of!the!United!Nations!Permanent!Forum!on!Indigenous!Issues,!the!Global!Indigenous!Peoples!Caucus!(2011)!articulates,!!"Our!Mother!Earth!nurtures,!shelters,!and!nourishes!us,!and!we!are!spiritually!connected!through!her!waterways!J!veins!and!arteries!to!the!plants,!animals,!places….!Water!is!sacred,!water!is!life."!In!other!words,!water!makes!life!possible,!not!as!a!process!that!animates!individual!humans,!but!as!a!spirit!that!connects!us!to!all!beings!in!creation,!in!which!humans!are!small!elements!in!the!dynamic!system!of!life.!!Water!does!not!bring!us!to!lifeP!the!water!in!us!is!life.!!!To!enliven!a!pedagogical!practice!that!centers!water!in!my!community!is!to!recognize!that!the!water!of!the!Rio!Grande/!Rio!Bravo!is!life,!connecting!us!to!our!ancestors!and!to!our!grandchildren!yet!to!come.!!Teaching!and!learning!these!forms!of!traditional!knowledge!require!all!modalities!of!learning,!including!intellectual,!emotional,!physical,!and!spiritual!aspects.!Wilson!(2008)!explains,!"Research!by!and!for!Indigenous!peoples!is!a!ceremony!that!brings!relationships!together”!(p.!8).!Thus,!when!the!research!takes!the!form!of!pedagogy,!the!intraJrelated!processes!of!teaching!and!learning!are!the!ceremonies!that!bring!our!community!relationships!together.!The!development!of!!culturallyJspecific!methodologies!in/of//for!the!borderlands!moves!to!Indigenize/decolonize90!the!research!process,!prioritizing!embodied!and!emplaced!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!90.!Decolonization!suggests!a!deconstruction!or!intervention!in!the!process!of!colonization,!while!Indigenization!prioritizes!the!Indigenous!intellectual!traditions.!This!project!does!both.!!135!traditional!and!Indigenous!knowledges.!!In!so!doing,!this!project!raises!critical!awareness!with!and!within!borderland!communities,!in!the!service!of!borderland!communities!by!enlivening!the!intergenerational!conversation!about!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!that!connects!all!life!in!our!community,!including!the!nonJhuman!life!of!our!relational!ecologies.!From!this!central!idea,!pedagogy!emerges!through!sharing,!inspiriting!of!intergenerational!knowledge,!allowing!us!to!be!responseJable!in!the!processes!of!teaching!and!learning!in!the!places!we!call!home.!!5.3$ Learning$Phase:$Dando$Luz91$to$a$Fronterawork$Method$$Inspiration!for!this!research!process!borrows!from!oral!histories,!testimonios,!emplaced!witnessing,!Indigenous!storying,!and!Indigenous!cartography,!to!revitalize!the!ancestral!knowledge!of!the!frontera!community!based!on!life!stories!of!community!elders!and!knowledge!keepers.!In!weaving!these!stories!into!the!foundation!of!an!intergenerational!pedagogy,!we!(as!a!community)!can!work!to!collaboratively!generate!holistic!understandings!that!map!ancestral!knowledge!(Herman,!2008)!and!reJinscribe!culturallyJspecific!meaning!to!the!places!in!which!we!live!(Armstrong,!1998),!while!mobilizing!traditional!ecological!knowledge!for!the!protection!of!the!community.!!At!the!beginning!of!this!project,!I!had!a!clear!vision!of!what!the!work!would!entail.!!However,!as!with!most!communityJfocused!research,!unexpected!challenges!and!ongoing!feedback!from!community!participants!changed!the!process!at!each!step.!Or,!to!use!the!river!metaphor,!once!I!jumped!in,!the!currents!took!me!in!unexpected!directions.!In!the!following!section,!I!will!focus!on!all!aspects!of!the!research!process!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!91!giving!light!to,!a!phrase!used!to!describe!the!process!of!childbirth!!136!including!the!parts!that!worked,!those!ideas!that!didn't!work,!with!some!discussion!around!improvements!and!future!work.!!5.4$ Examining$the$Teachings$in$Our$Basket$In!their!entirety,!collective!memory!is!valuable!to!my!community!for!documentary!reasons,!recognizing!our!elders!as!living!archives,!able!to!share!stories!and!details!that!are!not!conveyed!in!the!photos,!text!or!realia.!There!is!urgency!to!document!their!stories!before!the!elders!cross!over.!However,!for!the!purpose!of!this!project,!there!are!specific!teachings!about!our!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!that!need!to!be!passed!along!to!the!future!generations,!as!well!as!specific!criteria!for!determining!which!aspects!are!the!intergenerational!Indigenous!knowledges,!and!which!aspects!offer!valuable!nonJIndigenous!support.!While!the!general!history!is!important,!I!am!specifically!in!search!of!our!river!knowledge!and!water!stories!that!connect!us!to!our!ancestral!territories.!I!turned!to!modern!technology!to!help!me!discern!which!teachings!to!use!for!the!next!phase,!the!Teaching!Phase!of!my!pedagogyJmaking.!Once!the!transcripts!of!the!interviews!were!corrected!and!verified,!I!used!an!online!software!tool!called!Dedoose,!to!organize,!read,!and!code!the!25!transcript!documents.!The!process!was!iterative,!adjusting!the!codes!with!each!new!reading.!I!read!all!of!the!transcripts!several!times,!working!in!different!orders!(alphabetically,!chronologically!by!birth!year,!by!length)!adding!a!few!new!codes!each!time.!!137!!Figure'19:'Codes'Created'During'the'Reading'Process'!138!By!the!fourth!pass,!I!had!45!different!codes,!as!depicted!in!the!word!cloud!in!Figure!19:!Codes!Created!During!the!Reading!Process.!!After!coding,!I!encountered!technical!difficulties!with!the!software,!and!stopped!using!Dedoose.!In!addition!to!applying!codes,!I!compiled!a!list!of!the!specific!geographic!locations!shared!in!the!stories,!in!order!to!map!our!stories!onto!the!landscape.!Some!of!these!places!were!large!areas,!such!as!various!states!in!both!Mexico!and!the!United!States,!while!others!were!specific!addresses!and!landmarks!where!the!stories!happened.!!All!locations!were!compiled!into!a!spreadsheet!for!mapping.!!Finally,!I!highlighted!the!excerpts!from!each!transcript!when!the!community!member!was!speaking!literally!or!figuratively!about!the!river!and/or!water.!!For!most!of!these,!I!also!made!notes!of!my!own!thoughts!and!connections!to!the!bigger!context.!Excerpts!and!notes!were!exported!from!Dedoose!for!further!analysis.!!After!all!of!the!transcripts!were!coded!and!mapped,!then!I!referred!to!the!criteria!for!determining!which!of!the!testimonios!were!examples!of!Indigenous!Fronterizxs:!selfPidentification!and!an!intergenerational!relationship!with!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!as!seen!in!Figure!20:!Testimonio!Transcripts!According!to!the!Criteria.!!!139!"Figure"20:"Testimonio"Transcripts"According"to"the"Criteria"!Looking!at!the!table,!it!appears!that!only!15!of!the!transcripts!clearly!fit!the!criteria.!However,!I!was!not!comfortable!with!simply!throwing!out!10!of!the!25!testimonios!of!community!elders!and!knowledge!keepers.!!It!felt!disrespectful.!!I!considered!the!fact!that!for!Indigenous!identity!is!still!a!fraught!aspect!of!identity!to!claim,!especially!for!the!particular!individuals!in!question.!I!decided!to!use!19!of!the!oral!histories/testimonios!as!the!main!body!of!the!knowledge!from!which!to!develop!the!pedagogy,!representing!knowledge!keepers!who!are!both!intergenerational,!and!have!lived!in!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo!for!over!40!years,!and!who!either!do!identify!as!Indigenous!or!refuse!to!answer!the!question.!The!remaining!6!elders!and!knowledge!keepers!are!either!Indigenous!to!!140!the!greater!south!Texas!area!(not!Laredo!specific),!or!are!not!Indigenous,!but!considered!river!experts!with!over!40!years!of!embodied!and!emplaced!knowledge!or!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!specific!to!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo.!These!6!testimonios!were!not!used!to!build!the!pedagogy,!but!were!used!to!offer!explanations!of!embodied!and!emplaced!witnessing,!woven!in!as!part!of!the!discussion!that!supports!the!pedagogy.!In!this!way,!the!Indigenous!knowledge!is!prioritized,!upheld!by!the!testimonios!of!community!elders!and!knowledge!keepers,!inclusive!of!the!way!they!identify.!5.5" Teaching"Phase:""Laying"the"Groundwork"with"Maps"The!original!design!of!the!project,!and!therefore,!the!interview!questions,!were!centered!on!three!interrelated!topics:!!water,!land,!and!people.!However,!the!landscape!encoded!in!the!local!knowledge!and!collective!memory!is!not!the!landscape!we!see!today.!!"It's!like!telling!a!newPcomer!“Go!down!Sambe!and!take!a!left!where!the!old!Dairy!Queen!used!to!be."!!Any!local!will!understand!that,!but!it!doesn't!make!any!sense!to!an!outsider"!(O.!Muñoz,!oral!communication,!May!10,!2015).!!He's!right.!!Sambe!is!the!local!nickname!for!San!Bernardo!Avenue,!and!the!Dairy!Queen!is!no!longer!there,!but!the!place!it!used!to!stand!is!still!used!as!a!landmark!for!locals.!Only!a!local!would!understand!the!hyperlocal!historical!landmarks!commonly!used!to!navigate!the!city.!Or!consider!the!following!conversation!between!Mr.!and!Mrs.!Bernal,!when!I!asked!the!address!of!his!childhood!home,!!Mr.$Bernal:$ 1712$$y$16$$Lincoln.$Mrs.$Bernal:$$$ No$1712$Lincoln.$$$!141!Mr.$Bernal:$$$ Si,$1712.$$Pero$cuando$vienes$en$el$frente,$es$171692.$$[laughter]$Mrs.$Bernal:$$$ [laughter]$$I’m$sorry.$$I$didn’t$know$that.$$To!the!folks!who!know!the!family!and!location,!the!house!number!is!1712,!but!to!the!person!who!lived!there,!the!home!had!two!different!addresses,!both!1712!and!1716.!!The!difference!may!be!subtle,!but!the!embodied!and!emplaced!details!give!a!different!nuance!to!life!in!the!particular!places.!!The!challenge!for!me,!as!a!local!who!knows!only!some!of!these!oral!landmarks!and!memoryscapes,!is!to!try!to!teach!the!stories!held!in!the!land!and!river!to!learners!without!any!prior!knowledge!of!the!landmarks!or!memoryscapes.!To!work!around!this!dilemma,!I've!mapped!the!places!where!the!stories!live.!Using!a!free!mapping!software!available!through!Google!called!My!Maps,!I!created!a!series!of!maps,!including!the!example!seen!in"Figure!21:!Geographical!Locations!Mentioned!in!the!Oral!Histories."The!process!required!some!finePtuning,!as!many!of!the!smaller!towns!were!plotted!incorrectly!by!the!software.!!I!had!to!crossPreference!each!location,!and!manually!correct!onePthird!of!the!places!mentioned.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!92!Yes,!1712,!but!when!you!come!from!the!front,!it!is!1716,!!142!!Figure'21:'Geographical'Locations'Mentioned'in'the'Oral'Histories'!143!As!I!began!to!populate!the!map,!it!immediately!became!obvious!that!the!collective!list!of!places!gave!no!indication!of!different!eras!of!time.!!To!understand!the!interplay!of!place!over!time!more!accurately!would!require!movement!of!these!place@!markers!as!stories!moved!over!time93.!!Furthermore,!there!were!many!locations!in!the!stories!that!no!longer!appear!on!current!maps,!most!likely!because!they!are!no!longer!populated,!or!represent!landmarks!that!have!been!erased!from!the!landscape!(i.e.,!the!Dairy!Queen!that!is!no!longer!there),!but!remain!significant!in!our!collective!memory.94!!Another!consideration!in!the!mapping!process!relates!to!the!aesthetic!details!of!how!the!land,!river,!and!border!are!all!depicted.!!Intentionally,!I!chose!a!color!scheme!that!did!not!differentiate!the!US!from!Mexico!by!color,!in!order!to!visually!show!the!continuity!of!the!landscape!on!both!sides!of!the!river.!Within!the!Google!My!Maps!user!interface,!I!could!not!find!a!way!to!depict!the!river!without!the!black!or!white!line!of!the!border.!In!these!maps,!the!river!is!not!indicated!unless!the!map!is!zoomed!in!quite!close,!or!is!switched!to!a!composite!satellite!image,!as!seen!Figure!22:!Terrain!Versus!Satellite!Mapping!#1:!US!Mexico!Border!and!Figure!23:!Terrain!Versus!Satellite!Mapping!#2:!South!Texas/Northeast!Mexico.!!These!limitations!are!due!strictly!to!the!map!sources!used!in!the!software.!For!the!purpose!of!this!project,!they!serve!to!create!a!point!of!reference,!connected!to!the!life!stories!of!the!community!members.!!The!stories!shift!from!placeless!generalizations!to!material!reality,!so!that!we!may!understand!life!in!specific!places!along!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!93!Animating!the!maps!through!time!is!beyond!the!scope!of!this!project,!but!may!be!taken!up!later.!94!The!methods!and!process!of!visualizing!collective!memory!through!Indigenous!map@making!could!be!a!separate!investigation.!!!144!!Figure!22:!Terrain!Versus!Satellite!Mapping!#1:!US!Mexico!Border!!145!!Figure!23:!Terrain!Versus!Satellite!Mapping!#2:!South!Texas/Northeast!Mexico!!146!Once!I!had!a!sense!of!the!geography,!I!went!back!to!the!interviews!and!began!to!notice!how!the!different!stories!suggested!different!visual!representations!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!There!were!no!visual!references!such!as!photos!or!maps!used!during!the!interview!process,!however,!the!storytellers!gave!many!landmarks!and!visual!clues!to!indicate!scope,!place,!and!context!for!each!story95.!!Conventional!mapping!tools!use!a!default!perspective!that!looks!down!from!above,!suggesting!an!omniscient!perspective,!however!this!visually!does!not!match!the!embodied!and!emplaced!form!of!storying!methodology!of!the!project.!!Memory!work!requires!a!more!personal!approach,!depicting!and!navigating!the!world!from!an!eye@level!perspective96.!However,!for!the!sake!of!showing!how!our!interconnected!Indigenous!fronterizxs!are!to!both!sides!of!the!river,!overhead!mapping!quickly!conveys!lives!lived!across!the!greater!region.!!!5.6! Teaching!Phase:!!Discerning!the!Streams!of!Thought!The$whole$of$Laredo$culture$is$about$the$river.$$Our$culture$is$distinct$from$any$other$border$town.$The$way$the$river$separates$the$cities$is$a$friendly$separation....$There$are$parts$of$it$through$ranches$that$you$could$walk$across.$There$are$parts$of$the$Rio$Bravo$that$cattle$walk$across,$they$become$international$cattle,$and$that$nobody$likes$that.$[laughing]$but$you$can't$control$that.$But$how$are$we$different$from$the$other$sister$cities?$I$think$we're$different$in$what$we$we’re$called.$Look$at$what$this$border$did.$We$are$Laredo$and$Nuevo$Laredo.$It's$a$same$name.$We$are$not$Matamoros/Brownsville,$and$we$are$not$Reynosa/McAllen,$and$we’re$not$Piedras$Negras/Eagle$Pass.$We$are$Laredo/Nuevo$Laredo,$and$it's$symbolic$that$we$were$one$community.$$(M.$E.$Calderón$Porter,$oral$communication,$June$13,$2014)$For!people!who!do!not!live!in!frontera!communities,!it!is!easy!to!conflate!the!river!and!the!border!because!on!a!map,!these!two!places!appear!to!be!inseparable.!!For!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!95!Future!work!would!include!a!mapping!and!visual!component!to!the!process,!inviting!the!community!to!take!up!issues!of!representing!where!we!live,!and!where!our!collective!memories!live!on!the!land.!96!Future!work!may!explore!visuals!from!multiple!simultaneous!perspectives,!suggesting!visual!arts!practices!such!as!cubism.!!147!community!residents!who!live!along!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!the!river!is!distinct!from!the!border,!and!each!serves!a!different!function,!as!is!made!clear!in!the!quote!above.!!In!just!a!few!sentences,!Mrs.!Calderón!Porter!explains,!what!for!her!is!common!knowledge,!that!the!river!and!communities!preceded!the!border.!The!formation!of!the!border!split!communities!into!halves,!which!we!now!call!sister!cities,!but!for!the!people!living!in!the!communities,!it!is!one!big!community.!!In!using!the!sister!cities!metaphor,!we!can!understand!the!interdependence!of!the!communities!on!each!side!of!the!river,!related!by!blood,!genealogy,!history,!and!ecology.!!!The!river,!understood!as!a!life!source,!is!what!brings!community!on!each!side!together,!while!the!border!works!to!separate!and!divide.!!Although!both!may!exist!in!the!same!relative!location!across!the!landscape,!we!can!start!to!understand!the!juxtaposition!of!irreconcilable!demands!that!make!life!in/on/along/between!the!two!challenging.!The!difference!between!River!Thinking!and!Border!Thinking!is!an!essential!distinction!that!gets!at!the!heart!of!what!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!means!in!the!lives!of!the!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo!community!members,!and!how!these!concepts!have!shifted!within!one!lifetime.!!5.7! !Summary!In!this!chapter,!I!activated!our!response@ability!by!discussing!the!process!of!pedagogy@making!as!a!synthesis!of!the!community!testimonios!of!life!with!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!I!developed!some!context!by!mapping!the!place@names!from!our!stories,!and!detailed!the!process!of!reading!and!coding!for!patterns!in!the!transcripts.!As!I!examined!the!teachings,!two!distinct!streams!of!thought!emerged,!Water!Thinking!and!Border!Thinking,!which!will!be!further!discussed!in!the!next!chapter.!148!Chapter!6:!Our!Teachings!as!Streams!of!Thought!!In!this!chapter,!I!will!use!a!waterway!metaphor!to!organize!and!discuss!the!teachings!drawn!from!the!archives!of!our!collective!memories.!!I!will!also!discuss!Water!Thinking!and!Border!Thinking,!while!drawing!on!the!words!of!our!community!elders!and!knowledge!keepers.!!The!discussion!will!often!take!on!the!characteristics!of!water!itself,!most!notably!in!the!flow!of!one!concept!into!the!next,!intuitively!mapping!our!community!understandings!of!water!and!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!While!in!English,!there!is!a!tendency!to!suggest!Water!Thinking!and!Border!Thinking!are!oppositional!to!each!other,!however,!I!will!highlight!examples!from!the!testimonios!of!community!members!to!demonstrate!the!ways!that!River@as@Water!Thinking!and!River@as@Border!Thinking!are!not!mutually!exclusive!for!fronterizxs.!Often,!meaning!can!be!found!in!the!inherent!complexity!and!seemingly!incompatibility!that!speaks!directly!our!life!experiences!as!fronterizos!making!a!life!on/of/with/along!the!river!border.!!As!I!worked!to!group!related!stories!of!our!rio,!I!began!to!visualize!the!connections!and!conversations!between!the!testimonios!of!community!members.!!What!emerged!can!be!seen!in!Figure!24:!Metacognitive!Map!of!our!Understandings,!which!depicts!one!main!waterway,!into!which!all!smaller!waterways!join.!!In!this!case,!the!river!is!not!a!map!of!the!physical!waterway!across!land,!but!instead!a!metacognitive!map!of!the!many!ways!that!community!members!and!knowledge!keepers!understand!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!The!image!is!an!iterative!line!drawing,!intentionally!simplified,!to!make!space!for!the!complex,!intersecting,!interrelated!ideas!to!develop.!!!!!149!!Figure!24:!Metacognitive!Map!of!our!Understandings!Looking!closer,!we!can!discern!the!two!distinct!streams!of!thought,!River!thinking!and!Border!thinking,!and!the!smaller!tributaries!that!feed!each!stream.!In!some!contexts,!these!are!somewhat!exclusive,!while!in!other!contexts,!the!two!streams!of!thought!come!together!in!confluence,!which!we!can!understand!as!dynamic!and!turbulent,!in!the!waterway!metaphor.!This!metacognitive!map!is!iterative,!and!evolved!as!different!aspects!of!communty!testimonios!were!examined.!In!the!next!section,!we!will!examine!both!major!streams!of!thought,!as!well!as!each!tributary,!building!understanding!through!direct!quotes,!contexts,!and!examples.!!!150!!Figure!25:!Summary!of!Water!ThinkingWATER!THINKING:!River@as@Water!concepts!(paraphrased)!!River!as!LIFE!!•! Water!as!universal!to!all!life.!•! Water!is!life.!!No!water!is!death.!•! No!river,!no!water,!no!Laredo.!•! The!river!is!alive.!•! River!is!life,!our!source!of!life.!•! River!as!relief!from!the!arid!environment.!•! River!as!a!wild!animal!that!has!never!been!tamed.!•! River!a!baptismal!font!(literally),!a!sacred!place.!!River!as!IDENTITY!•! The!river!is!a!big!part!of!us,!as!part!of!our!identity.!!!•! The!damage!we!do!to!the!river,!we!do!to!ourselves.!•! No!water!would!be!our!death!physically,!and!also!culturally.! !Culture!lives!here.!•! River! as! coded! language! for! locals,! as! a! reflection! of! the! social!conditions.! For! example,! "Que! mugrero! trajo! el! rio!"! [The! river! has!brought!such!trash!here!]!!•! El!rio!es! lo!que!une!a! las!comunidades.![The!river! is!what!unites!the!communities.]! River! as! the! uniting! factor! between! the! sister! cities,!unites!each!side!as!one!community.!!•! River! as! family! member.! "We! speak! of! the! river! as! we! speak! of! a!mutual!relative!or!mutual!friend."!•! "El!rio!es!un!traidor."![The!river!is!a!traitor.]!!River!as!LAND/PLACE!•! If!there!was!no!river!here,!the!border!would!have!no!meaning@!It!is!just!another!dusty!town.!The!river!has!the!meaning.!!•! River!is!a!conduit!that!connects!all!life,!conduit!for!information,!and!conduit!for!culture.!•! The!river!is!a!map!to!the!medicine,!lengthwise.!The!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!is!the!basis!of!our!relationship!with!our!medecina,!peyote.!•! Places!holding!history!and!memories!@!you!have!to!go!there!to!hear!the!story!to!understand.!•! River!sounds!are!the!soundtrack!for!home,!relaxing.!•! The!river!as!recreational!place,!entertainment,!adventure,!as!a!playground,!belonging!to!the!locals.!•! River!as!fishing!resource.!!151!6.1! Water!Thinking:!RiverPAsPWater!!The!River@as@Water!stream!of!thought!includes!all!of!the!stories!in!which!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!was!referred!to!as!the!source!of!water.!!Similar!story!excerpts!were!grouped,!then!paraphrased!and!organized!according!to!theme,!as!seen!in!Figure!25:!Summary!of!Water!Thinking.!Three!major!tributaries!emerged!from!the!stories!with!relation!to!!River!as!Life,!River!as!Identity,!and!River!as!Land/Place.!The!three!were!ordered!this!way!to!indicate!the!growing!distance!between!frontera!residents!and!their!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!loosely!corresponding!to!the!shifting!role!of!the!river!over!time:!the!river!is!the!life!inside!of!me,!the!river!is!a!part!of!me,!and!finally,!the!river!is!external!to!my!body.!!!6.1.1! River!as!Life!!!One!of!the!most!repeated!phrases!in!the!interviews!was!some!form!of!the!idea!that!water$is$life,!with!the!focus!remaining!on!water,!as!a!general!concept,!rather!than!the!river,!as!a!specific!place,!or!ecology.!Interestingly,!the!word!life!was!also!used!with!reference!to!one's!individual!life,!as!well!as!the!collective!concepts!of!community!life,!cultural!life,!and!spiritual!life.!!When!considered!from!this!inclusive!perspective,!the!meaning!of!the!phrase!water$is$life!shifts!our!thinking!to!understanding!that!life!encompasses!a!very!broad,!multi@layered!reference!to!all!of!creation!throughout!time.!!Community!participants!shared!a!diverse!array!of!stories,!recounting!their!memories!of!their!own!grandparents,!some!of!which!reached!back!in!time!to!life!before!the!river!was!a!border.!In!the!US,!systemic!Eurocentrism!ignores!the!history!of!the!land!previous!to!colonization!in!spite!of!the!fact!that!traditional!knowledge!survives!in!the!oral!traditions!of!the!elders.!When!Indigenous!peoples!remember!the!local!relational!!152!ecologies,!they/we!remember!a!different!ontology!of!their/our!to!the!land!and!river.!!These!memories!map!a!different!landscape!than!what!current!maps!show.!The$Rio$Grande$River$is$a$conduit$of$life,$lifestyle$and$culture.$It$connectsW$it’s$just$not$something$you$cross$over.$The$entire$length$of$[the$river]$is$a$conduit$of$information$like$it$used$to$be$a$hundreds$of$years$ago,$where$people$traveled$up$and$down$and$traded.$$So,$it’s$not$the$dividing$line$created$specifically$for$the$North$American$Free$Trade$Agreement.$It’s$the$conduit$of$life$and$the$ebb$and$flow$of$people$traveling$back$and$forth$and$telling$stories$and$trading$things$and$learning$about$different$cultures$and$different$ways,$and$intermarrying,$tribes$and$other$gentes.$Not$this$way$[motioning$across],$but$this$way$[motioning$lengthwise].$(G.$Perez,$oral$communication,$June$5,$2015)$Mr.!Perez's!story!completely!reorients!how!we!often!think!of!the!river,!how!we!understand!the!people.!!Rather!than!the!contemporary!fixation!with!crossing!the!river!as!the!primary!way!of!knowing!and!interacting!with!the!river,!he!reminds!us!that!in!the!past,!people!knew!it!by!travelling!the!length!of!it!and!as!a!route!for!trade!and!community!relations.!I!suspect!this!to!also!be!a!generational!difference!in!that!many!elders!know!the!river!and!have!been!physically!in!the!water,!orienting!to!the!length!of!the!flow,!whereas!younger!generations!who!have!not!experienced!the!water!tend!to!think!in!terms!of!crossing!over!the!water.!!!Family!histories!include!details!of!daily!community!life!on!both!sides!of!the!river,!when!Laredo!was!one!single!town.!!The$river$was$not$a$division$back$then.$$It$was$more$of$a$place$where$everyone$could$come$together$for$the$use$of$the$water.$Different$animals$had$to$drink$the$water,$too,$which$also$brought$people$together.$$That$is$how$life$was$for$a$long$time$for$many$people$living$on$both$sides$of$the$river....$Water$was$crucial$to$every$aspect$of$daily$life$and$everyone$was$dependent$on$the$river.$(N.$Muñoz,$oral$communication,$December$4,$2014)$Speaking!about!stories!shared!by!her!grandmother!in!her!youth,!Mrs.!Muñoz!reminds!us!of!the!most!important!function!of!the!river!as!the!source!of!water,!and!how!a!few!generations!ago,!daily!life!was!shaped!by!daily!interactions!with!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!!153!Bravo.!Visits!to!the!river!are!not!just!a!historical!detail.!In!their!lifetimes,!our!elders!experienced!the!water!flow!quite!differently!than!we!do!today.!I$remember$also$when$we$were$little,$we$would$go,$Daddy$would$take$us$in$a$wagon$to$the$edge$of$the$river$and$he$would$just...$he$would$go$like$this$[gesturing$with$her$hands]$with$the$wagon,$it$was$a$carreta,$a$two_wheel,$not$a$four_wheel$wagon...$And$we$used$to$go$like$this$and$make$it$lean$back,$and$then$he$would$wash$my$hair,$wash$my$hair$right$into$the$river.$(Z.$de$Llano,$oral$communication,$June$14,$2014)$In!Mrs.!de!Llano's!account,!in!her!childhood,!the!water!was!so!clean!that!her!family!would!bathe!in!the!water.!!Later!in!her!testimonio,!she!mentioned!what!a!momentous!milestone!it!was!to!eventually!move!into!a!home!with!plumbing,!but!until!then,!they!would!visit!the!river,!and!also!have!water!delivered.!Home!water!delivery!continues!to!this!day!97!to!support!those!community!members!who!live!outside!of!the!municipal!water!district,!Through!time,!as!developments!such!as!indoor!plumbing!and!municipal!water!services!grew,!community!members!visited!the!river!less!often,!causing!the!relationship!between!the!people,!the!landscape,!and!the!river!to!shift.!6.1.2! River!as!Identity!!!Similarly,!there!were!many!ways!that!people!spoke!of!water,!or!of!the!river,!as!a!fundamental!part!of!who!they/we!are.!In!some!cases,!the!pronoun!we!referred!to!immediate!company,!but!usually,!we!meant!frontera!community!members!from!both!Laredo!and!Nuevo!Laredo.!In!this!case,!the!concept!of!identity!is!used!broadly!to!include!the!many!different!ways!frontera!residents!may!identify,!inclusive!of!the!different!contexts!that!inform!identity!on!both!sides!of!the!river.!Considered!from!an!Indigenous!land@based!perspective,!identity!refers!to!a!layered,!holistic,!embodied!and!emplaced!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!97!The!water!is!no!longer!delivered!by!horse!or!donkey,!but!is!instead!delivered!by!trucks.!!154!way!of!understanding!how!the!river!can!refer!to!the!people,!as!a!reflection,!as!a!relative,!and!as!part!of!fronterizx!identity.!!In!spite!of!changing!contexts,!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!still!remains!the!only!major!source!of!freshwater!for!the!community.!Several!community!members!explicitly!made!the!connection!between!lack!of!water!and!death,!not!using!hyperbole,!but!based!in!the!reality!of!the!very!arid,!scrubby!climate!of!the!land!in!which!drought!is!seemingly!everpresent.!!In!her!oral!history,!Ms.!Ramirez!draws!the!connection!between!the!health!of!the!river!and!health!of!the!people:!Pero,$la$gente$antes,$they$respected$the$river,$and$took$care$of$the$river...$Do$you$remember$any$sick$people$from$that$time,$¿Viejitos?$Do$you$remember$any$older$people,$sick?$$Si$había$gente$viejita,$Doña$Panchita__usaba$un$bastón$_$a$lo$maximo,$pero,$you$never$heard$of$anyone$getting$cancer$or$something$like$that.$They$were$still$alli$con$el$azadón,$working,$y$todo$eso.$$Because$the$water$was$clean.$$Y$ahora,$nowadays?$Todo$el$mundo$enfermo$del$estómago....$[Antes]$La$gente$viejita.$They’d$live$to$an$old$ripe$age.$Entonces..the$water$makes$a$lot$of$difference$in$your$system.$$Sometimes$they$even$tell$us$not$to$drink$the$water!$$$(J.$Ramirez,$oral$communication,$May$15,$2015)$Unlike!other!forms!of!archival!information,!Ms.!Ramirez’s!memories!hold!rich!nuanced!details,!including!some!of!the!seemingly!mundane!details!of!daily!life!that!help!to!elaborate!the!specific!ways!that!the!health!of!the!river!is!directly!tied!to!the!health!of!the!people.!Unlike!a!research!perspective!of!public!health,!Ms.!Ramirez!remembers!that!when!she!was!young,!the!communities’!ailments!were!different!and!the!general!health!of!elders!was!different!than!current!times.!While!there!may!be!other!factors!for!these!long@term!differences!(such!as!changes!in!diet,!pollution,!or!access!to!medical!care),!she!connects!health!of!the!people!to!health!of!the!water!as!a!direct,!reciprocal!relationship.!When!the!people!took!care!of!the!river,!the!river!took!care!of!the!people.!!Conversely,!when!people!stopped!taking!care!of!the!river,!the!river!could!not!take!care!of!the!people,!evidenced!in!a!decline!in!the!health!of!community!elders.!!155!In!21!of!the!25!oral!histories,!memories!of!the!river!include!a!time!when!the!community!spent!time!in!and!around!the!water!for!fishing,!swimming,!and!other!recreation.!Ms.!Guerra,!a!journalist,!historian,!and!founder/owner/editor!of!the!alternative!Laredo@area!newspaper!LareDos,!shares,!I$remember$seeing$gray$healthy$catfish.$But$by$the$time$I$was$about$13,$the$river$was$already$polluted$because$when$he$was$fishing$out$_$he$would$show$us$fishes$and$say$“this$is$not$a$healthy$fish,$you$can't$eat$this,$and$you$can't$give$it$to$anybody.”$And$he’d$throw$them$back$in$there$and$say$although$they$had$miserable$lives$because$they$were$deformed,$we$should$not$kill$them.$It$was$sad,$that$we$lost$the$river$as$a$source$of$healthy$edible$food$and$it$became$a$river$for$just$the$sport$of$fishing.$Although...$it$really$could$not$be$a$source$of$great$entertainment$because$the$water$started$getting$smelly.$$The$city$of$Laredo$had$a$huge$sewage$plant$and$it$would$dump$raw$sewage$into$the$river$water$right$around$the$area$of$Guatemotzín.$(M.$Guerra,$oral$communication,$June$13,$2014)$Many!of!the!local!fishing!stories!revolve!around!alligator!gar,!as!fierce,!enormous,!and!prehistoric,!and!each!fisherperson!has!their!own!stories!to!share.!!While!there!are!still!gar!in!the!river,!fisherpersons!are!much!less!common!today!than!in!the!past.!These!stories!point!not!only!to!a!changing!local!ecology!due!to!development!but!also!indicate!that!a!few!decades!ago,!community!members!could!easily!access!the!river!and!enjoy!the!river,!the!flora!and!fauna,!as!river!people.!In!this!example,!the!relative!decline!in!the!health!and!vitality!of!the!other!living!beings!in!our!relational!ecology!is!a!reflection!of!our!own!relative!(un)health.!Today,!the!relationship!between!the!community!and!the!river!is!strained,!unhealthy,!and!colonized,!and!as!we!can!see!in!the!example!of!our!fish!relatives,!all!life!in!our!relational!ecology!is!affected!by!our!neglect.!If!we!continue!to!neglect!our!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!our!young!people!may!never!understand!it!as!the!sacred!source!of!life!in!our!community,!which!for!many!generations,!has!been!a!central!to!our!collective!identity!as!Indigenous!peoples.!!!!!156!Knowledge!of!water!specific!to!the!local!landscape!has!survived!through!the!generations,!but!the!sudden!changes!in!the!local!ecology!have!also!shifted!how!land@based!knowledge!is!valued!and!passed!along!to!our!youth.!!Mr.!Montoya,!an!avid!outdoorsman!and!nature!photographer,!whose!family!owns!a!90!acre!ranch!outside!of!Laredo,!elaborates,!I$remember$my$dad$used$to$tell$me...'Where$there$is$water,$there$is$life.'$I$always$kept$that$in$my$mind.$So,$being$hunters$that$we$were,$when$I$was$growing$up,$we$knew$that$a$good$place$to$hunt$would$be$close$to$the$water.$I$always$knew$that,$but$I$kind$of$took$it$for$granted.$I$wouldn’t$know$to$tell$my$kids$that,$because$I$would$think$that$they$would$[already]$know,$but$there$is$a$lot$of$things$that$we$do$need$to$teach$them."$(J.$Montoya,$oral$communication,$May$22,$2015)$$$Mr.!Montoya!goes!on!to!describe!how!he!learned!about!the!land!from!following!in!his!father's!footsteps,!literally,!walking!through!the!monte98!and!by!doing!work!to!care!for!the!family!ranch.!Reflecting!on!his!own!children,!he!knows!that!the!experiential!learning!that!was!part!of!his!childhood!is!not!the!same!for!his!children.!Not!only!do!they!not!know!the!land,!they!do!not!know,!through!being_in_relation!to!the!land,!that!they!are!people!of!this!land.!!He!shared!that!because!most!of!the!community!no!longer!has!access!to!the!river,!knowledge!of!the!river!must!be!made!explicit!or!it!will!be!lost.!!Similarly,!it!is!important!to!document!the!stories!of!community!elders,!before!the!knowledge!is!lost.!!!Mr.!Montoya!also!shared!that!the!river!has!also!been!the!subject!of!his!photography!hobby,!documenting!important!community!events,!such!as!the!flood!of!1995.!!He!spoke!of!photographing!the!land!and!river!much!the!same!way!people!snap!family!photos@!some!record!particular!memories,!while!others!are!more!candid,!everyday!images.!Mr.!Montoya’s!deep!appreciation!for!the!land!and!river!is!obvious!in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!98!A!natural!landscape!of!scrubby,!thorny!flora.!!157!how!he!speaks!of!them.!His!stories!are!affectionate!and!personal!when!he!speaks!of!his!relations.!6.1.3! River!as!Land/Place!!!The!third!tributary!of!Water!Thinking!connects!to!land!and!place.!Many!of!the!memories!in!this!group!share!metaphors!for!understanding!the!land!as!the!life@giving!context,!i.e.,!the!river!brings!the!land!to!life,!the!river!maps!a!sacred!journey!across!the!land,!and!the!river!holds!memory!of!the!land.!Whereas!the!first!two!tributaries,!related!to!life!and!Identity,!are!more!general!and!could!possibly!speak!to!many!different!river!communities,!the!ideas!related!to!land!and!place!are!more!specific!in!tying!together!the!connections!between!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!the!land,!and!residents!of!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo,!in!particular.!!Embedded!within!each!conversation!is!traditional!land@based!knowledge,!connecting!many!generations!of!Mr.!Montoya’s!family!to!the!land!and!to!the!river.!And!yet,!like!many!elders,!he!was!humble!and!somewhat!reluctant!to!share!by!repeatedly!saying,!"I!don't!know!anything,!I'm!not!an!expert."!!Interestingly,!Mrs.!Montoya,!his!wife!of!40!years,!spoke!to!Mr.!Montoya’s!habit!of!downplaying!his!knowledge.!!She!shared!that!he!is!so!deeply!knowledgeable!of!the!family!land!that,!following!the!2011!earthquake!in!Japan!(Buis,!2011n!Voigt,!2011),!he!noticed!a!difference!in!the!horizon!on!his!regular!walk!around!the!ranch.!The!8.9@magnitude!earthquake!was!calculated!to!have!shifted!the!planet!on!its!axis!by!nearly!4!inches!(Voigt,!2011).!At!the!time,!Mr.!Montoya!did!not!know!the!cause!of!the!difference,!only!that!he!knew!it,!both!through!observations!and!also!in!his!experience!of!being!on!the!land,!he!felt!the!difference.!Mrs.!Montoya!shared!how!her!husband!observed!the!details!in!the!light!in!the!sunset!!158!(palatte,!reflective!qualities),!and!the!location!of!sunset!(topographical!and!geographical!referencing),!and!was!surprised!that!she!didn't!notice!the!changes!as!well.!!Mr.!Montoya!did!not!mention!his!observations!in!his!own!oral!history,!perhaps!assuming!it!to!be!implicit!common!knowledge,!or!unrelated!to!my!questions!about!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!However,!where!and!how$the!sun!sets!are!essential!details!in!orientation!that!indicate!a!fluency!in/with/through!his!family's!land,!demonstrating!a!holistic!knowing!by!being$in_relation.!For!Mr.!Montoya,!the!deep!relationship!to!his!family's!land!is!subconscious,!a!default!orientation!of!Indigenous!fronterizx!embodied!and!emplaced!knowledge.!!!The!conversation!was!a!good!example!of!how!traditional!knowledge!can!be!overlooked!by!individuals!for!a!variety!of!reasons,!but!as!a!conversation,!community!members!may!able!to!recognize!and!find!the!words!for!ideas!or!events!or!experiences.!Participants!remember!in_relation!to!each!other!in!ways!that!are!reaffirming!and!legitimating.!As!the!listener/witness,!I!recognize!to!the!importance!of!collective!memory!in!recovering!traditional!knowledge,!specifically,!how!we!remember!together!as!a!community99.!!!Many!of!the!stories!centered!on!recreation!seemed!to!take!place!during!a!particular!time!period,!from!the!1950s!to!the!1980s100,!after!which!the!daily!use!of!the!River@as@Water!shifted!dramatically.!Many!participants!talked!about!not!having!gone!back!to!the!river!to!enjoy!it!for!many!years!for!a!variety!of!reasons.!Mr.!Muñoz!explains,!You$don’t$hear$about$the$good$news,$you$don’t$hear$of$how$students$helped$clean$certain$areas.$You$don’t$hear$about$the$bird$watchers$that$love$doing$that.$You$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!99!Future!work!may!include!small!discussion!groups,!using!historic!photos!to!collectively!remember.!!100!In!future!work,!I'd!find!photos!and!first!hand!documentation!to!support!the!stories!and!build!a!timeline.!!159!don’t$hear$about$some$other$kayakers$that$like$to$go$out$there.$There$are$activities$that$are$positive$happening,$but$I$don’t$believe$that$sells$papers.$What$sells$papers$is$drug$lords$and$how$many$illegal$immigrants$cross.$(O.$Muñoz,$oral$communication,$May$10,$2015)$$Negative!press!is!only!one!of!the!many!complex!reasons!that!recreational!interest!has!decreased!dramatically!in!the!last!few!years.!For!many!residents,!how!we!understand!River@as@Water!has!shifted!due!to!physical,!logistical,!and!rhetorical!forces,!changing!how!frontera!community!members!interact!with!the!water,!the!river,!and!the!land!they/we!call!home.!In!his!words,!we!can!also!observe!the!ability!to!engage!River@as@Water!thinking!and!River@as@Border!thinking!simultaneously.!!For!many!locals,!Water!thinking!is!related!to!stewardship,!birding,!kayaking,!being!in/near/on/with!the!water!as!response@able!fronterizxs,!while!the!issues!of!drug!cartels!and!refugee!and!immigrant!crossings!are!examples!of!River@as@Border!thinking,!which!I!will!discuss!shortly.!!In!spite!of!these!changes,!many!memories!shared!a!profound!connection!to!the!land!and!river.!!In!remembering!the!words!of!his!father,!Dr.!Garza!shares,!A$saying$that$he$would$always$say$was$"Donde$quiera$es$camposanto."$At$that$time,$I$interpreted$it$wrong.$I$was$interpreting$‘camposanto’$as$cemetery,$but$he$was$saying$holy$ground.$That$the$ground$was$sacred.$That$the$ground$was$hallow.$Later$on,$I$knew$that$that’s$what$he$meant.$$(Dr.$M.$Garza,$oral$communication,$June$1,$2015)$In!this!excerpt,!we!can!see!that!even!for!folks!who!are!fluent!in!both!English!and!Spanish!(colonial!languages),!there!is!nuance!to!the!saying!that!is!not!obvious!in!a!literal!translation101.!!The!land,!inclusive!of!the!river,!is!sacred.!!For!some,!the!land!is!made!sacred!by!the!sacred!water!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!So,$one$of$the$guys$in$the$Native$American$Church,$[his]$name$was$Jasper.$He$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!101!Future!work!may!include!linguistic!studies!examining!the!predominance!of!traditional!knowledge!coded!in!Spanish!that!is!not!easily!translated!to!English.!!!160!was$[from]$Taos$Pueblo.$They$have$a$sacred$lake$up$in$the$mountains,$and$it's$snow_fed.$You$know$that$lake?$...$That$water$comes$all$the$way$down$off$the$lake$and$into$the$Rio$Grande...$So,$they$maintain$their$relationship$with$the$peyote$[sacred$medicine],$through$the$river,$through$the$Rio$Grande.$(G.$Perez,$oral$communication,$June$5,$2015)$He!explained!that!since!time!immemorial,!the!river!has!been!a!map,!guiding!many!Indigenous!relatives!from!upriver!on!their!ceremonial!journeys!south!to!their!ceremonial!plant!medicines.!From!its!home!in!south!Texas,!wherever!the!peyote!medicine!has!travelled,!it!carries!Carrizo!and!Coahuilteco102,!two!of!the!ancestral!languages!of!Texas!with!it,!in!the!form!of!song!and!ceremony.!Peyote!songs!call!the!spirits!of!Yanaguana,!honouring!the!land!called!Here,$Where$I$Rest,!and!the!sacred!springs!of!Central!Texas.!Hikuri103!is!also!a!sacred!plant!medicine!for!our!relatives!from!the!south,!the!Wixairika!peoples,!and!interestingly,!the!plants!there!speak!Wixairika,!the!language!that!emerged!from!Wirikuta,!the!place!of!creation!(Elder!Matsuva,!oral!communication,!2006).!In!each!place,!the!land!and!river!tell!the!stories!of!emergence,!connecting!the!people,!language,!and!knowledge!within!the!respective!relational!ecologies.!For!other!community!members!who!may!not!be!affiliated!with!the!Native!American!Church!or!the!hikuri!ceremonies,!reverence!for!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!comes!from!a!sense!of!responsibility.!Grandmother!Muñoz!is!an!elder!and!living!archive!of!the!recipes!of!traditional!foods!and!teas!for!wellness.!Although!her!interview!was!relatively!concise,!once!the!digital!recorder!was!turned!off,!the!conversation!flourished.!Consider!the!words!shared!by!Grandmother!Muñoz,!when!asked!if!there!were!any!final!thoughts!around!what!we!need!to!teach!the!young!people:!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!102!Coahuilteco!is!believed!to!be!a!pidgin!language,!borrowing!from!many!other!local!languages!103!North!of!the!river,!we!call!it!peyote,!south!of!the!river,!it!is!often!called!hikuri.!!161!Pues,$que$tengan$mas$cuidado$como$usan$el$rio,$por$que$mucha$gente$lo$usan$como$una$cosa$perdida$y$debemos$cuidar$el$agua.$porque$es$el$futuro.$Debemos$cuidar$el$agua$para$la$bienestar$de$todos104.$(L.$Muñoz,$oral$communication,$June$14,$2014)$The!water!is!the!future.!The!water!is!our!future.!!We!must!take!care!of!the!water!to!ensure!the!well!being!of!our!collective!future.!Grandmother!Muñoz!illuminates!a!powerful!metaphor!that!is!foundational!to!an!intergenerational!pedagogy!of!water,!reminding!us!that!when!we!consider!River@As@Water,!water!is!not!just!an!object!or!place.!The!waters!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!are!our!collective!future.!So!it’s!a!place,!as!a!locational!and!phenomenological!referent!(in!this!case!not!as!a!physical!entity!or!materiality).!The!process!of!remembering!seems!particularly!salient!as!the!meaning!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!has!shifted!over!time!from!River@as@Water!to!River@as@Border.!In!the!next!section,!we!turn!to!the!specific!instances!when!community!elders!and!participants!spoke!of!River@as@Border.!We!will!start!with!a!general!overview!of!Border!Thinking!and!!examine!the!corresponding!tributaries,!and!follow!up!with!excerpts!from!the!interviews.!6.2! Border!Thinking:!RiverPAsPBorder!!When!the!focus!of!the!interview!questions!shifted!to!River@As@Border,!the!language!and!manner!of!almost!all!of!the!interviews!also!changed.!Stories!were!recent!(rather!than!historical)!and!charged!with!different!emotions!and!opinions.!The!term!river!was!used!to!refer!to!both!the!water!source!and!the!border!functionsn!however!the!term!border!only!referred!to!the!dividing!line!with!no!reference!to!the!presence!of!the!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!104!"Well,![they!should]!be!careful!how!they!use!the!river,!because!many!people!use!it!as!a!lost!thing!and![we]!must!take!care!of!the!water,!because!it!is!the!future.!We!must!take!care!of!the!water!for!the!well!being!of!everyone"!!162!waterway.!Similarly,!some!conversations!drifted!from!River@as@Water!to!River@as@Border!thinking,!but!it!never!happened!in!reverse.!In!this!project,!the!phrase!River@as@Border!is!used!to!emphasize!the!comparison!however,!the!orientation!is!more!precisely!named!Border!Thinking.!!Figure!26:!Border!Thinking,!shows!the!four!tributaries!that!emerged!from!the!oral!histories!and!testimonios,!including!some!direct!excerpts,!some!paraphrased!responses,!each!addressing!the!border@related!functions!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!Although!interviewees!were!from!both!Laredo!and!Nuevo!Laredo!and!every!participant!was!familiar!with!both!halves!of!the!community,!the!following!discussion!is!specific!to!the!Texas!side!of!the!border.!!Positionality!and!location!matter.!!The!following!concepts!may!have!been!completely!different!had!the!interviews!taken!place!in!Nuevo!Laredo.!There!were!four!major!tributaries!that!emerged!in!how!people!spoke!of!the!River!as!a!border:!!border!as!a!thing,!border!as!a!space,!border!as!a!marker!of!power,!and!border!as!arbitrary.!These!tributaries!are!interrelated,!and!excerpts!often!supported!more!than!one.!Noticeably!missing!are!references!that!personify!or!signify!to!the!river!as!alive,!referencing!its!own!life,!or!the!life!the!river!supports.!!Moreso,!River@as@Border!moves!away!from!ecological!conceptions!that!include!humans!as!part!of!the!environment,!or!the!interdependence!of!the!sister!cities,!and!more!toward!anthropocentric!concepts!of!economy.!!In!this!way,!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!is!simultaneously!a!resource!of!commoditiesn!the!border!is!a!place!of!exchange,!and!marker!of!those!who!can!afford!access.!!I!now!turn!to!examine!specific!examples!of!each!tributary!that!comprises!River@as@Border!thinking,!in!which!attention!is!focused!on!the!line,!wall,!and!structures!that!divide,!often!ignoring!the!presence!of!the!river.!!!!163!!!!Figure!26:!Border!Thinking!!BORDER!THINKING:!River@as@Border!concepts!(paraphrased)!!Border!as!a!THING!•! The!river/border!is!an!obstacle,!a!hurdle!to!overcome.!•! The!bridge!is!a!trap!that!catches!cars!in!traffic.!!Walking!is!faster.!•! The!river/border!belongs!to!the!Border!Patrol!and!government!interests.!•! River/border!is!one@way!barrier!!Border!as!a!SPACE!•! The!river/border!as!a!transition@!you!don't!spend!time!there,!you!go!through!it.!!•! River/border!as!a!place!where!people!change.!You!have!to!switch!your!thinking!to!the!other!side!before!you!leave.!•! River!as!untouchable.!It!is!just!a!place!for!objects!to!pass!over!via!bridge.!•! River/border!as!boundary!to!keep!people!in!or!out.!!•! River!as!protection,!a!buffer!zone.!!Border!as!a!MARKER!OF!POWER!•! Oppositional!binaries,!i.e.!first@world!versus!third@world,!legal!versus!illegal!crossing,!visible!wealth!versus!visible!poverty,!good!versus!bad,!Europeans!versus!Indigenous.!•! As!an!unequal,!unfair!relationship.!•! River/border!as!source!of!income!due!to!the!boundary.!•! The!river!as!protected!by!armed!security,!but!this!makes!it!unsafe!for!people!to!go!there!or!be!there.!!•! River/border!as!a!place!of!one@way!communication,!one@way!policy.!!Border!as!ARBITRARY!•! Border!as!the!wall!that!divides!two!rooms!of!a!house@!it's!still!the!same!house.!•! Border!as!unremarkable,!trivial!or!commonplace!@!crossing!the!river/border!was!like!crossing!the!street.!•! The!river!itself!as!neutral!ground!for!the!nurses!of!the!Cruz!Blanca!during!the!Mexican!Revolution.!•! The!river!brings!families!from!both!sides!togethern!the!border!is!what!tries!to!keep!families!and!people!apart.!!People!will!always!find!a!way.!!!!164!6.2.1! Border!as!a!Thing!!In!this!tributary,!the!border!was!discussed!as!an!object,!often!using!metaphors!to!describe!what!it!does.!!For!community!members!who!commuted!across!the!river,!it!was!a!trap,!a!hurdle,!a!daily!waste!of!time,!all!of!which!are!unpleasant!associations.!!Some!folks!referred!to!the!river!as!an!object!belonging!to!the!Border!Patrol!or!US!government!and!notably,!no!longer!belonging!to!the!people!in!the!community.!Common!to!these!phrases!is!the!implication!that!the!river!had!become!inanimate,!disconnected!from!ecology,!and!existing!solely!in!the!service!of!the!border.!In!this!excerpt,!Mrs.!Calderón!Porter!describes!her!experience!having!a!home!on!one!side,!and!private!school!for!her!three!children!and!job!on!the!other,!and!having!to!commute!for!many!years!over!the!bridge:!I$don't$even$see$the$river.$Occasionally,$I’ll$go$to$La$Posada,$and$I’ll$$see$the$river$and$I’ll$remember$[it$is$there,$but]$it's$like$a$past$lifetime.$It$has$nothing$to$do$with$me$today.$Future$generations?$$I$don't$know.$If$I$think$'How$are$my$children$attached$to$the$river?$Did$I$attach$them$to$the$river?'$No,$I$didn't.$They$were$attached$in$frustration$[by$commuting$in$traffic$every$day]."$(M.$E.$Calderón$Porter,$oral$communication,$June$13,$2014)$$Mrs.!Calderón!Porter!shares!how!one!of!the!easiest!identifiers!of!Border!Thinking!is!whether!or!not!the!river!is!present!in!the!conversation.!For!her,!the!river!was!present!in!a!past!lifetime,!implying!that!River@as@Water!used!to!be!significant!to!her,!but!no!longer!carries!the!same!meaning!in!her!current!daily!life.105!!While!we!can!understand!how!people!who!are!not!from!the!community!may!tend!to!forget!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!when!they!speak!of!our!Texas/Mexico!border,!locals!also!come!in!and!out!of!Border!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!105!Future!work!may!examine!the!relationships!between!water!and!time.!There!are!many!uses!of!figurative!language,!both!in!English!and!Spanish,!that!suggest!a!deep!connection!in!how!Indigenous!!fronterizxs!understand!time.!See!(van’t!Hooft,!2006). !!165!Thinking.!To!be!clear,!it!seems!Water!Thinking!and!Border!Thinking!are!not!mutually!exclusive.!!Sometimes!we!can!find!one!or!the!other,!sometimes!they!are!both!present,!creating!tension,!as!in!Mrs.!Calderón!Porter's!stories.!!As!Laredoans!continue!to!experience!a!loss!of!public!access!to!the!river,!we!might!expect!the!general!thinking!to!shift!away!from!River@as@Water,!and!more!toward!Border!Thinking,!especially!as!young!people!may!not!ever!experience!the!water!or!water!ways!of!knowing.!We!come!to!understand!how!Mrs.!Calderón!Porter's!own!personal!sentiments!with!the!border!traffic!influenced!how!she!raised!her!children,!feeling!so!frustrated!that!she!chose!not!to!associate!with!the!river/border!at!all,!and!therefore,!chose!not!to!connect!her!children!to!it.!The!border!became!a!thing!to!avoid,!instead!of!a!place!to!be.!!Five!of!the!community!participants!mentioned!no!longer!having!access!to!the!river!due!to!the!sale!of!riverfront!property!that!includes!areas!that!were!previously!public!points!of!water!access.!!Lack!of!physical!access!to!the!riverbanks!is!only!one!aspect!of!how!the!River@as@Border!creates!distance!from!the!community.!!In!the!past,!the!riverbanks!were!places!of!shared!access!to!swimming,!recreation,!and!fishing.!Today,!these!activities!are!no!longer!available!to!community!residents!as!the!river!is!considered!private!property,!understood!as!an!object!owned!by!individuals.!!!6.2.2! Border!as!a!Space!!The!ideas!of!the!Border!as!Space!tributary!all!seem!to!mark!a!location!where!events!do!and!do!not!happen.!Whereas!the!term!place!implies!a!location!connected!to!the!land!and!informed!by!the!context!of!landscape,!space!is!a!much!more!generalized!understanding!of!location!that!is!not!particularly!informed!by!the!landscape,!but!is!the!location!where!things!happen.!Specifically,!activities!that!happen!in!this!space!include!!166!movement!over!the!bridges!with!separate!lines!for!pedestrian!traffic,!car!traffic,!and!18@wheeler!traffic.!Transitions!occur!on/at!the!bridge,!shifting!between!English!and!Spanish!thinking,!and!between!Mexican!and!US!social!norms.!Several!community!members!mentioned!that!Laredo!is!the!largest!inland!port!in!the!country,!describing!commerce!as!the!primary!function!of!the!River@as@Border,!in!which!all!border!crossing,!including!the!people!commuting,!are!understood!in!terms!of!economic!metaphors.!The!River@as@Border!is!not!a!site!for!lingering,!for!sightseeing,!or!for!recreation,!including!both!the!riverbanks,!and!the!bridges,!and!several!community!members!discuss!what!they!are!no!longer!allowed!to!do!in!these!particular!spaces.!!The!nature!of!our!riverside!neighborhood!and!community!spaces!have!changed,!due!to!increased!violence,!militarization!and!security.!!!Now$it$is$being$secured$by$Homeland$Security$and$the$Border$Patrol,$that$area$(pointing).$Where$before$it$was$just$free,$[public_access]$land$you$know,$people$used$to$come$from$across$and$walk$over$to$our$streets$and$then$go$back.$They$would$come$and$go,$and$the$people$from$Laredo$would$do$the$same$thing."$(P.$Bernal$Flores,$oral$communication,$June$8,$2014)$Mrs.!Bernal!Flores!goes!on!to!talk!about!her!childhood!home!one!block!away!from!the!river,!and!her!neighbors,!including!families!on!both!sides!of!the!river.!!As!she!described!the!families!that!lived!and!worked!on!both!sides,!her!voice!sounded!nostalgic,!as!walking!across!the!river!was!a!normal!part!of!life!in!her!neighborhood.!However,!on!the!day!of!our!interview,!the!three!patrol!cars!had!blocked!off!part!of!the!residential!street!two!blocks!away!from!her!parents'!home.!!She!explained!that!they!had!likely!apprehended!someone!and!pointed!to!a!tall!wall!of!hedges.!From!our!position,!we!could!see!a!patrol!car!parked,!hidden!from!view!to!those!on!the!riverbanks.!!Mrs.!Bernal!Flores!described!how!the!neighborhood!had!changed!from!one!with!a!strong!sense!of!community!identity!in!a!safe,!familiar,!friendly!network!of!families,!to!a!closed,!private,!!167!unfamiliar,!highly!scrutinized!place!where!people!live!close!to!each!other,!but!not!in@relation!to!each!other.!!Mrs.!Bernal!Flores'!experience!is!one!example!of!many!that!describe!the!specific!ways!that!recent!increased!security!measures!to!protect!the!border!have!actually!eroded!and!damaged!some!of!our!oldest!frontera!communities.!The!neighborhood!was!now!simply!a!space,!disconnected!from!the!river!and!land,!and!is!no!longer!a!community!of!supportive!and!interrelated!families.!!Similarly,!in!his!oral!history!witnessing!the!river!for!the!last!30!or!so!years,!Dr.!Vaughan,!a!professor!of!biology,!and!co@founder!of!the!Rio!Grande!International!Study!Center,!has!monitored!the!health!of!the!river!by!visiting!it!every!week!for!the!last!25!years.!!In!his!time!surveying!the!river,!the!river!banks!have!changed!dramatically,!partly!due!to!natural!phenomena,!such!as!flooding,!and!partly!due!to!human!intervention,!such!as!vegetation@clearing.!!In!this!excerpt,!he!describes!the!way!that!the!river!is!often!treated!as!an!inanimate!and!ahistorical!place,!much!like!a!game!board.!!He!shared,!I$think$it$is$1998...$that$the$Border$Patrol$had$built$a$road.$Well,$we$tried$to$stop$them$from$building$the$road$and$we$told$them,$"you’ve$built$this$road$here$it’s$going$to$wash$away."$They$finished$the$road$I$think$in$March.$In$August$it$washed$away$just$like$we$told$them$it$would.$$Well,$ten$years$later$they$came$back$and$said$they$are$going$to$build$the$road$again.$Well,$we$went$to$the$city,$[because]$it’s$city$property.$We$went$to$the$city$council,$we$talked$to$the$Border$Patrol$people,$and$we$said,$“Look,$we$told$you$10$years$ago$what$was$going$to$happen$to$your$road.$All$right?$[If]$you$put$the$road$here$again,$guess$what?$It’s$going$to$wash$out."$...And$they$said$“Oh$no$we$got$new$engineers,$we$got$it$all$figured$out.”$The$floods$of$2010$washed$away$not$only$the$road$but$all$of$their$millions$of$dollars$of$clearing$and$re_vegetation.$(Dr.$T.$Vaughan,$oral$communication,$June$13,$2014)$In!this!example,!we!can!understand!that!for!some!people,!the!bend!in!the!river!is!just!empty!space,!and!that!to!developers,!it!may!seem!like!the!perfect!spot!to!build.!!For!the!community!members!who!know!the!history!of!this!particular!bend!along!the!river,!this!area!is!crucial!to!the!health!of!the!river!and!to!the!protection!of!the!communities!!168!downstream.!!In!the!natural!relational!ecology!of!the!river,!the!bend!acts!as!a!valve!along!the!dynamic!waterway!to!hold!waters!during!periodic!flooding.!In!this!case,!the!river!bend!is!simply!considered!empty!space!that!is!neither!inherently!good!nor!bad,!devoid!of!significance.!!In!a!next!tributary,!we!can!understand!the!various!ways!in!which!some!areas!along!the!river!border!are!used!as!spaces!that!indicate!power.!6.2.3! Border!as!a!Marker!of!Power!!In!this!tributary,!testimonios!focused!on!the!comparison!of!life!in!the!US!versus!Mexico,!from!each!side!of!the!border!looking!to!the!other!side,!including!such!areas!as!wealth,!job!opportunities,!public!safety,!and!access!to!resources.!!In!other!testimonies,!the!border!itself!is!the!marker!of!power,!described!through!instances!in!which!locals!on!both!sides!of!the!border!are!impacted!by!non@local!interests!and!opinions.!Conversations!around!immigration,!framed!as!homeland!security,!bear!a!striking!resemblance!to!colonization!in!which!local!peoples,!ideas,!relationships,!and!landmarks!are!erased!or!submerged!beneath!the!power!structure.!Interestingly,!for!much!of!south!Texas,!the!places!where!the!river!runs!are!physically!different!locations!from!the!spaces!where!the!infrastructure!of!the!international!border!are!located,!as!though!to!suggest!that!the!border!exists!in!the!air!space!rather!than!on!land.!To!cross$the$border!is!often!to!be!on!a!bridge,!or!in!an!airplane,!disconnected!from!the!land!or!river!below.!The!border!is!also!the!space!where!racial!profiling!is!unapologetically!in!full!effect:!some!people!become!illegal,!some!people!fit!the!profile!and!become!suspect,!and!power!is!flaunted!as!military@grade!weaponry.!Positionality!determines!power.!In!general,!the!border!implies!binary!thinking:!first@world!versus!third@world,!visible!wealth!versus!visible!poverty,!violence!versus!!169!safety.!!Yet,!power!is!not!exclusive!to!one!side!or!the!other.!Power!is!held!by!whoever!controls!the!border!at!any!given!moment,!exercised!by!the!armed!patrols!that!may!include!governmental!agencies,!criminal!elements,!and/or!armed!local!residents.!!In!the!next!two!interview!excerpts,!we!can!see!how!oftentimes,!the!decisions!made!through!River@as@Border!Thinking!and!exercised!by!those!in!positions!of!power!whom!may!lack!both!historical!understanding!and!a!bigger$picture!perspective.!!With!each!major!flooding,!the!river!banks!are!transformed!by!two!invasive!species,!the!carrizo!(cane)!and!salt!cedar!trees,!which!grow!aggressively,!and!densely!line!the!river!banks.!Both!are!tall!enough!to!disrupt!the!line!of!sight!for!border!agents!looking!for!people!in!the!water!column.!Carrizo!grow!by!rhizome,!deep!beneath!the!surface!and!are!particularly!difficult!to!remove!mechanically!(much!like!bamboo).!!If$Homeland$Security$had$their$way,$they$would$just$buy$millions$of$gallons$of$herbicide$and$aerially$spray$it.$They$actually$attempted$to$do$that$in$Laredo.$$We$got$them$stopped.$I$mean,$they$still$use$the$herbicides,$but$they$didn’t$use$helicopters$or$the$airplanes$to$spray$it…$I$don’t$know$how$much$money$was$spent,$but$there$was$a$1.1_mile$stretch$of$the$river,$right$at$the$bend$of$the$river,$that$they$did$their$"pilot"$[using$herbicides$to$clear$the$vegetation.]$Well$they$chose$the$absolute$worst$place$to$do$that,$absolutely$the$worst$place!$$(Dr.$T.$Vaughan,$oral$communication,$June$13,$2014).$$We!can!hear!the!exasperation!in!Dr.!Vaughan's!account!as!he!explains!the!inherent!nature!of!river!bends,!all!river!bends,!is!that!they!are!prone!to!flooding.!!Although!the!US!Department!of!Homeland!Security!tested!the!viability!of!a!defoliant!called!Imazapyr!in!2009,!one!of!the!major!victories!for!Dr.!Vaughan!was!the!intervention!of!the!widespread!aerial!application!of!the!herbicide!(see!Rio!Grande!International!Study!Center,!2009).!!Every!victory!counts,!as!many!of!these!chemicals!are!proprietary!cocktails!of!undisclosed!ingredients,!creating!unknown!hazards!singly!and!in!combination!in!the!river!ecosystem.!With!sickening!regularity,!chemical!defoliants!are!considered!the!best!!170!way!to!spend!the!generous!homeland!security!budget!for!the!sole!purpose!of!increasing!visibility,!regardless!of!the!fact!that!the!river!is!a!sacred!living!system!that!locals!depend!on!for!drinking!water.!Yet,!most!community!residents!learned!of!the!issue!after!the!fact,!through!the!media,!including!photos!of!the!riverbanks,!and!comparisons!to!the!use!of!Agent!Orange!during!the!Vietnam!War!(Frontera!NorteSur,!2010n!XicanoPwr,!2009)106.!!Figure!27:!Imazapyr!Test!Application!at!Zachary!Ranch,!2008,!shows!a!test!patch.!In!the!color!version!of!the!photo,!the!viewer!can!see!the!stark!difference!between!the!lush,!deep!green!of!dense!foliage!on!the!far!shore,!compared!to!the!brown,!dead,!sparse!foliage!of!the!foreground.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!106!The!dangers!of!Imazapyr!were!also!discussed!in!mainstream!media.!See!(McLaughlin,!2009).!!!171!!Figure'27:'Imazapyr'Test'Application'at'Zachary'Ranch,'2008'(Photographer:!Dr.!Jim!Earhart.!Used!with!permission.)!!172!Mr.!Muñoz!shares!his!perspective!I"saw"this"picture"of"the"river,"and"heard"that"the"government"in"Laredo..."sprayed"all"of"the"riverside"with"Roundup"to"dry"up"all"the"vegetation"and"all"the"carrizo"that"was"there<"just"so"they"could"have"a"cleaner"view"of"people"that"might"be"crossing"illegally."Nobody"was"askedA"they"just"did"it."(O."Muñoz,"oral"communication,"May"10,"2015)""While!some!of!the!details!are!fuzzy,!such!as!herbicide!name,!Mr.!Muñoz!is!describing!his!perception!of!the!event,!what!he!heard!and!saw!on!the!land!after!the!de@foliation.!!We!can!clearly!hear!the!frustration!in!his!testimony.!!He!faults!decision@makers!for!not!consulting!the!community,!for!spraying!chemicals!that!are!damaging!to!the!river!and!community,!and!finally,!for!a!reason!that!locals!may!not!consider!a!grave!problem107.!Later!in!the!conversation,!Oscar!explains!that!it’s!not!a!neutral!event!that!happened!in!a!random!place.!He!explains!that!people!in!power!chose!to!poison!us,!inclusive!of!the!land!and!community!of!Nuevo!Laredo,!because!our!counties!are!economically!depressed,!and!easy!targets!for!ongoing!environmental!injustice.!!In!this!way,!we!can!understand!how!the!River@as@Border!is!a!conspicuous!marker!of!power,!not!solely!differentiating!the!US!from!Mexico,!but!instead!demonstrating!how!powerful!outside!interests!impose!decisions!against!the!will!of!the!local!fronterizxs!on!both!sides!of!the!river.!!The!people!who!wield!power!are!not!locals,!do!not!think!the!ways!that!locals!think,!and!do!not!make!decisions!that!are!in!the!locals’!best!interests.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!107!Later!in!his!testimonio,!Mr.!Muñoz!discusses!what!locals!know!to!be!true:!Almost!all!of!the!drugs!come!by!vehicle,!most!often!the!big!18@wheelers!that!pass!through!corrupt!officials.!!The!river!banks!are!so!polluted,!that!no!crops!are!grown!here,!not!even!illegal!ones.!The!only!reason!for!such!severe!defoliation!is!to!improve!visibility!and!capture!undocumented!river!crossers.!!!173!6.2.4% Border%as%Arbitrary%%In!this!tributary,!community!members!demonstrate!a!familiarity!with!River@as@Border!Thinking,!but!find!ways!to!resist,!question,!and!challenge!aspects!of!Border!thinking.!!Excerpts!in!this!section!demonstrate!the!way!that!fronterizxs!navigate!River@as@Water!and!River@as@Border!simultaneously!in!the!places!where!meaning!is!layered!and!complex.!!The!subtext!of!many!of!these!conversations!is!that!no!matter!what!the!colonizers!attempt!to!do!or!build!or!erase,!locals!will!find!a!way!to!challenge,!trouble,!or!overcome!the!effects!of!the!border,!and!will!never!leave!their!land.!Regardless!of!the!identity!and!positionality!of!our!community!participants,!all!of!the!oral!histories!spoke!to!the!increased!danger!due!to!narco@trafficking.!Both!the!violence!and!the!threat!of!violence!have!become!normal!aspects!of!border!life!that!fronterizxs!navigate.!The"drug"cartels"that"had"moved"in"were"living"all"along"the"border,"so"we"were"very"discouraged"about"taking"a"trip"over."My"husband"and"I"have"gone"to"Mexico"numerous"times,"but"we"would"always"bypass"Nuevo"Laredo."Then"there"was"the"rare"occasion"when"we"would"go"for"something"that"we"absolutely"needed"from"Nuevo"Laredo,"but"we"would"go"for"the"purpose"of"buying"that"one"item"and"then"very"quickly"head"back"to"the"Texas"side."(N."Muñoz,"oral"communication,"Dec"4,"2014)""Some!community!members,!such!as!Mrs.!Muñoz,!are!able!to!mitigate!the!influence!of!danger!by!changing!their!lives!to!include!or!exclude!particular!places.!Notice!that!she!has!built!her!life!in!ways!that!allow!for!border!violence,!and!does!not!speak!of!leaving.!!Many!of!the!businesses!and!markets!that!used!to!draw!folks!to!Nuevo!Laredo!have!migrated!into!the!U.S.!to!avoid!the!violence.!!Not!everyone!is!free!to!move!across!the!border!or!to!find!safety.!For!other!community!members,!dangerous!places,!such!as!the!riverbanks!where!they!draw!water,!or!particular!intersections,!are!unavoidable.!!174!Al"cruzar"hay"mucha"migración,"pero"de"aquel"lado"no,"pues"pura"gente"mala."Nosotros"ya"sabemos."Casi"todo"la"gente"que"vive"ahí"en"México,"en"Nuevo"Laredo,"ya"sabemos"que"no"nos"podemos"acercar"al"río."Y"la"gente"que"viene"de"fueras,"ya"de"lejos,"se"acercan"al"río"y"los"asaltan,"los"matan,"los"secuestran,"pero"son"gente"que"no"sabe."Nostros"que"vivimos"ahí"ya"sabemos"que"no"tenemos"que"acercar108."(C."Muñoz,"oral"communication,"June14,"2014)"In!describing!her!daily!commute!from!home!on!the!Nuevo!Laredo!riverbanks,!Ms.!Muñoz!describes!how!locals!know,!suggesting!that!there!is!a!fluency!related!to!places.!Locals!know!which!places!are!safe,!as!well!as!the!cultural!norms!that!offer!safety!in!dangerous!places.!Outsiders,!such!as!migrants!from!Central!America,!become!targets!when!they!do!not!understand!the!specifics!of!the!bordered,!rivered!places.!!!Further!complicating!matters!is!the!relative!silence!around!the!issue!of!narco@traffic!and!gang@related!violence.!Speaking!about!her!career!as!a!journalist!and!publisher!of!a!newspaper!entitled!LareDos,!Ms.!Guerra!shares,!And,"of"course,"it’s"dangerous"to"write"about"it."We"don’t"write"about"it"at"all."But"there"it"is."And"anybody"who"thinks"it’s"just"over"there"is"not"living"in"the"real"world."It’s"here."It’s"everywhere."The"bodies"are"showing"up"here."They"don’t"just"show"up"in"Nuevo"Laredo."(M."Guerra,"oral"communication,"June"13,2014)"In!truth,!every!fronterizx!is!touched!by!violence!related!to!the!border.!!Some!examples!shared!during!the!interview!process!include!the!unexploded!grenade!found!at!the!end!of!the!residential!block,!the!classmate!who!was!kidnapped!for!ransom!and!never!recovered,!and!the!relative!whose!house!in!Nuevo!Laredo!has!bullet!holes!from!a!shootout!between!narcos!and!the!army.!The!daily!soundscape!carried!by!the!wind!to!nearby!neighborhoods!includes!helicopters,!gunshots,!and!sirens,!which!do!not!happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!108!"When!crossing!there!is!a!lot!of!migration,!but!on!that!side,!there!are!many!bad!people.!We!already!know.!Almost!all!the!people!who!live!there!in!Mexico,!in!Nuevo!Laredo,!we!already!know!that!we!cannot!get!close!to!the!river.!And!the!people!who!come!from!far!away,!come!to!the!river!and!they!assault!them,!kill!them,!kidnap!them,!but!they!are!people!who!do!not!know.!We!who!live!there!already!know!that!we!cannot!approach!the!river"!!175!all!day,!but!do!happen!each!day.!Violence!has!become!part!of!the!mundane!daily!reality!for!many!fronterizxs,!and!also!part!of!the!border!spectacle!for!the!non@fronterizx!audience.!!Incidences!of!violence!are!recited!every!evening!on!the!local!news!stations,!and!reenacted!with!famous!actors!in!action!plots,!creating!an!all!too!familiar!trope!that!eclipses!all!other!meanings!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!and!life!as!a!fronterizx.!!Yeah,"the"Rio"Grande"will"continue"to"be"a"political"border."The"riverboats"wake"me"up"on"the"morning."They"use"a"very"powerful"Chrysler"engines"to"propel"their"boats."Helicopters"are"always"hovering"overhead,"sign"of"the"times."Border"Patrol,"DPS"helicopters"carrying"M<16"fully"automatic"weapons."Yeah,"atrocities"do"happen,"accidental"and"otherwise."I"do"not"know"when"the"crime"situation"will"be"rectified."I"am"very"concerned"about"that."I"hope"I"am"still"around"when"it"happens."(Dr."C."Valle,"oral"communication,"June"14,"2014)"In!his!interview,!Dr.!Valle!is!very!casual!about!the!increased!militarization,!drawing!connections!between!the!history!of!colonization!and!current!contexts.!!He!spoke!of!his!deep!pride!for!Laredo!as!a!community!and!place!nourished!by!the!Rio!Grande,!and!spoke!candidly!about!the!dangerous!elements!associated!with!the!border!as!the!latest!unpleasant!developments!of!life!here.!(His!manner!reminded!me!of!how!someone!might!speak!of!a!dear!family!member!who!is!in!trouble,!i.e,"She!is!a!wonderful!person,!but!is!caught!up!with!a!bad!crowd!and!having!a!hard!time.")!The!conversation!circled!back!to!the!bigger!picture,!portraying!the!wealth!of!culture,!relationship!between!the!sister!cities,!and!rugged!beauty!of!the!river!winding!through!the!landscape.!!It!seems!important!to!note!that!although!Dr.!Valle!is!deeply!connected!to!the!community,!and!possesses!a!rich!archive!of!local!land@based!knowledge,!he!exercises!his!influence!by!teaching!and!writing!letters!to!the!editor!of!the!local!newspaper.!!Interestingly,!in!spite!of!these!dynamics,!Dr.!Valle!is!hopeful!to!see!a!de@escalation!in!the!dangers!associated!with!Border!Thinking.!!176!!Figure%28:%Major%Streams%and%Tributaries%of%Understanding%!6.3% Summary%In!this!chapter,!I!detailed!the!foundational!knowledge!shared!by!the!community!elders!and!knowledge@keepers!about!our!community!relationship!to!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!When!considered!in!conversation!with!each!other,!the!testimonios!split!into!two!major!streams!of!thought:!River@as@Water!Thinking!and!River@as@Border!Thinking.!!!life!!177!Within!each!stream,!I!discussed!and!provided!examples!of!the!smaller!tributaries!that!correspond!and!contribute!to!how!local!community!members!understand!the!streams.!!I!provided!excerpts!from!the!testimonios!to!help!illustrate!the!ways!that!community!members!used!Water!Thinking!and!Border!Thinking!in!particular!ways,!demonstrating!a!relative!ease!with!shifting!one's!frames!of!reference!from!one!to!the!other.!A!summary!of!these!findings!can!be!seen!in!Figure!28:!Major!Streams!and!Tributaries!of!Understanding,!which!we!can!understand!as!a!snapshot!of!the!current!ways!that!our!community!elders!think!and!talk!about!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!In!the!next!chapter,!I!will!focus!on!the!ways!that!our!community!understandings!of!the!river!have!shifted!over!time,!to!coincide!with!the!social,!political,!and!(infra)structural!developments!in/alongside/over!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!178!Chapter%7:%Our%Teachings%Informed%by%Changes%over%Time%When!I!was!young,!we!would!park!in!the!outdoor!parking!at!Riverdrive!Mall,!and!walk!across!the!bridge!to!Nuevo!Laredo.!It!was!only!a!few!blocks!to!the!Mercado!with!all!of!the!little!shops!and!restaurants.!Some!folks!would!go!every!weekend,!some!would!commute!over!the!bridge!everyday!for!work!and!school,!and!some!had!a!home!on!each!side!of!the!river.!!In!our!sister!cities,!it!was!common.!!Within!the!span!of!a!decade!(2000@2010),!everything!changed.!Riverdrive!Mall!went!out!of!business.!Laredo!locals!stopped!walking!across!the!bridge!to!run!their!weekend!errands!in!Nuevo!Laredo.!Many!of!the!families!with!homes!on!both!sides!of!the!river!stopped!commuting,!and!businesses!either!closed!or!relocated!in!response!to!the!community.!As!the!relationship!between!our!sister!cities!became!restricted,!our!communities!lost!the!distinctive!characteristic!that!would!draw!tourists!from!all!over!the!world.!One!of!the!goals!of!this!research!project!was!to!document!how!my!community,!bisected!by!the!river,!has!changed!over!time,!told!from!the!perspective!of!community!elders,!who!have!a!much!longer!perspective!than!my!own.!Whereas!the!previous!chapter!helped!to!convey!a!snapshot!of!the!current!state!of!our!community!members!thing!and!talk!about!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!this!chapter!provides!an!understanding!of!the!changes!over!time!that!have!shaped!our!current!contexts.!!7.1% What%has%Changed%in%Our%Thinking?%%In!thinking!about!the!metacognitive!river!metaphor,!streams!and!tributaries!move!water!into!the!major!waterway!of!a!river!system.!!In!contrast,!branches!indicate!where!water!is!diverted!from!the!major!waterway!into!a!different!path.!!In!thinking!about!what!has!changed!over!time,!I!will!use!the!term!branches!to!describe!the!distinct!concepts!!179!that!move!away!from!embodied!and!emplaced!ways!of!understanding!our!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!When!I!asked!the!community!residents!to!describe!the!changes!in!the!river,!as!well!as!changes!in!how!!we!interact!with!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!their!answers!seemed!to!align!into!the!following!four!branches,!each!of!which!move!away!from!an!!Indigenous!epistemology:!the!River!as!Unknown,!River!as!Dangerous,!River!as!a!Commodity,!and!River!as!Dirty,!as!seen!in!Figure!29:!Understanding!the!Shift!from!Water!Thinking!to!Border!Thinking.!!!180!!Figure%29:%Understanding%the%Shift%from%Water%Thinking%to%Border%Thinking%!7.1.1% River%as%Unknown%The!first!marked!change!away!from!Water!Thinking!seems!to!be!generational.!Locals!cannot!visit,!play,!fish,!swim,!or!spend!the!day!on!the!riverbanks!the!way!that!our!!What!has!Changed!in!Our!Thinking?!(paraphrased)!!River!as!UNKNOWN!!!•! River!as!untouchable,!as!there!no!longer!public!access!to!the!water.!•! Most!Laredoans!under!the!age!of!50!has!never!been!in!the!water.!•! Border!is!a!place!for!illegal!activity.!•! River!as!external,!not!a!part!of!us,!not!us.!•! We!are!disconnected!from!the!ecology.!!!River!as!DANGEROUS!!!•! Drowning!happens!daily.!•! Where!dangerous!people!are/go!to!do!dangerous!things.!•! The!Flood!of!1954,!in!which!the!river!was!like!a!thief.!•! River!is!an!ever@present!danger.!•! River!is!in!ever@present!danger.!•! River!used!to!be!for!everybody,!now!it!is!owned!by!very!few.!!•! Every!body!is!suspect,!some!more!than!others.!!River!as!COMMODITY!•! River!as!place!of!commerce!and!industry.!•! As!ranching!has!become!more!mechanized,!there!are!less!people!on!the!land!and!on/in!the!river!in!the!US.!•! The!river!as!powerful!political!tool!@!power!over!the!water!is!the!power!over!lives.!•! Water!is!a!commodity,!not!a!human!right.!!!!River!as!DIRTY!!•! River!washes!and!cleans!away!chemical!hazards!of!maquiladoras.!•! River!as!a!dumping!grounds!for!garbage.!!•! River!as!cesspool!of!unknown!combinations!of!chemicals.!•! Raw!sewage!dumped!from!both!sides.!!•! River!as!a!morgue,!place!for!dead"bodies.!!!!!181!grandparents!did.!This!also!suggests!that!the!local!Indigenous!fronterizxs!can!no!longer!access!the!beings!of!their!relational!ecologies,!such!as!flora,!fauna,!and!other!phenomena!in!places!of!significance!to!the!local!culture(s).!!A!few!community!elders/knowledge!keepers!mention!that!all!interaction!between!the!people!and!river!is!mediated!by!border!structures!such!as!bridges!over!the!water,!or!chain!link!fences!that!structure!our!experiences.!As!community!members!have!lost!public!access!to!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!they/we!have!lost!the!learning!experiences!that!shape!how!they/we!know!the!river.!!I"think"that"the"people"of"Laredo"have"become"indifferent"to"the"river."They"see"the"water"we"obtain"from"our"river"as"their"right."We"take"the"water"flowing"from"our"faucets"for"grantedA"not"thinking"through,"how"or"how"not,"or"in"what"condition"it"is"flowing"from"upstream"to"us."Somehow"I"believe"they"think"it"is"an"innate"commodity"of"our"infrastructure"as"an"urban"location."And"I"don’t"think"too"many"Laredoans"go"to"the"river"anymore."On"the"Mexican"side"they"are"still"witnessing"the"river"and"its"changesA"you"can"still"see"homes"on"the"riverbanks."The"smaller"homes"depend"on"the"river"water"for"irrigating"their"gardens,"their"pets"drink"water"from"the"river,"and"the"more"humble"homes"use"the"river"water"to"boil"and"wash"their"clothes"and"so"their"partnership"with"the"river"is"a"very"important"one,"especially"to"the"under<served"the"persons"that"don’t"have"running"water"in"their"homes"(M."E."Calderón"Porter,"oral"communication,"June"13,"2014)""Mrs.!Calderón!Porter!shares!some!of!the!details!of!how!people!have!become!disconnected!from!the!river!over!time!through!a!comparison!of!the!daily!life!of!fronterizxs!in!the!US!and!Mexico.!!In!much!of!her!testimony,!she!uses!personification!to!describe!the!river,!attributing!moods!and!emotions!to!the!interplay!between!people,!land,!and!river.!She!also!spoke!of!how!her!father!could!read!the!river,!suggesting!that!he!was!fluent!in!understanding!the!current,!temperature,!and!turbidity!as!a!gauge!for!the!environment.!!In!this!excerpt,!Mrs.!Calderón!Porter!reflects!on!the!relative!privilege!of!the!average!Laredoan,!for!whom!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!is!unknown,!unfamiliar,!and!disconnected!from!our!urban!lives.!Laredo!residents!no!longer!know,!understand,!or!!182!respond!to!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!because!widespread!municipal!services!have!rendered!these!knowledges!non@vital.!Which!is!not!to!say!the!knowledge!of!the!river!is!not!importanti!it!has!simply!become!a!matter!that!is!out!of!sight!and!out!of!mind.!Yet,!fluency!in!understanding!the!river!is!still!practiced!in!Nuevo!Laredo,!where!life!depends!on!direct!interaction!with!the!Rio!Grande/!Rio!Bravo.!!!!Similar!sentiments!were!shared!by!Dr.!Vaughan,!whose!research!projects!often!involve!monitoring!ecologies!and!water!conditions!from!the!water!in!a!canoe!or!kayak.!!People"in"Laredo"don’t"have"a"very"close"association"with"the"river."There"is"much"more"association"with"the"river"on"the"Mexican"side"of"the"river"by"far."I"mean"you"can"put"a"canoe"in"the"river"and"come"…"10"or"15"miles"down"the"river"and"see"zero"people"on"the"US"side"except"maybe"a"Border"Patrol"agent"or"two."You"might"see"50"or"100"people"on"the"Mexican"side.""(Dr."T."Vaughan,"oral"communication,"June"13,"2014)"So!while!Mrs.!Calderón!Porter!was!speaking!of!the!humble!homes!of!the!colonias!or!under@served!neighborhoods!built!by!families!experiencing!poverty,!Dr.!Vaughan’s!observations!offer!insight!across!a!wider!range!of!socio@economic!conditions!along!his!15@mile!canoe!trips,!navigating!the!permitted!length!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!through!the!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo!interface.!!Folks!on!the!Mexican!side!of!the!river!visit!and!use!the!river!much!more!often!than!the!folks!on!the!U.S.!side.!!!There!is!also!a!sense!that!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!was!once!known!by!the!community,!but!has!become!unknown,!similar!to!the!sentiment!of!when!dear!friends!or!loved!ones!slowly!drift!apart.!For!some,!going!to!the!river!was!a!recreational!activity!of!a!bygone!era,!while!for!others,!going!to!the!river!is!associated!with!living!in!poverty!and!having!to!haul!water.!Of!the!25!interviews,!four!cited!the!increased!private!ownership!of!the!land,!and!subsequent!loss!of!public!access!as!the!reason!for!shifting!understandings!with!the!river.!!183!To"us,"the"Rio"Grande"was"always"a"place"to"be"careful"because"of"the"risk"of"drowning,"but"if"you"really"think"about"it,"we"didn’t"have"much"access"to"the"river"because"most"of"the"land"was"privately"owned."So,"the"only"time"we"saw"the"river"was"when"we"crossed"the"bridge"to"go"to"Nuevo"Laredo."Later"in"life,"I"was"fortunate"enough"to"know"people"that"owned"land"along"the"banks"of"the"river."So,"I"did"have"access"to"walk"to"the"banks,"but"before"then,"it"was"hard"to"get"there."(J."Montoya,"oral"communication,"May"22,"2015)"With!this!testimony,!it!is!easy!to!understand!how!access!is!a!barrier!to!knowing!the!river.!The!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!has!become!unknown!to!the!average!Laredoan!because!there!is!no!longer!public!access!to!the!riverbanks!or!the!water.!Mr.!Montoya!goes!on!to!explain!that,!for!many,!the!only!way!to!see!the!river!is!from!the!bridge,!therefore!the!water!is!untouchable.!This!is!a!dramatic,!generational!difference,!as!almost!all!of!the!community!elders!in!the!70!+!age!range!spoke!of!swimming!and!visiting!the!river!in!their!youthi!very!few!interviewees!discuss!entering!the!water!in!the!last!ten!years.!If!one!has!never!had!the!experience!of!going!to,!wading!in,!sitting!near,!or!understanding!the!Rio!Grande/!Rio!Bravo!as!water!nurturing!the!land,!River@as@Water!thinking!is!limited!to!conceptual!understandings!rather!than!embodied!and!emplaced!knowledge.!In!this!way,!lack!of!public!access!has!caused!a!generational!displacement!in!how!community!members!relate!to!the!river,!moving!away!from!River@as@Water!thinking,!toward!River@as@Border!thinking.!!!7.1.2% River%as%Dangerous%The!second!change!from!River@as@Water!Thinking!is!that!the!river!has!become!more!dangerous!in!the!last!30!or!so!years.!Depending!on!the!identity/positionality/location!of!the!person,!the!source(s)!and!nature!of!the!danger!varies.!Some!of!the!danger!is!from!the!river!itself!as!a!dynamic!and!natural!landscape,!evidenced!in!the!regularity!of!drownings.!!Some!danger!arises!from!the!dynamic!of!the!river!being!a!semi@permeable!international!border,!and!the!forces!that!push/pull!people!!184!to!cross!the!border.!Some!danger!arises!from!the!nature!of!the!security!forces!charged!with!protecting!the!border!in!river@shaped!landscapes!and!communities.!Over!time,!the!danger!associated!to!the!river!has!changed.!!!When!speaking!about!their!childhoods,!when!swimming!was!a!common!recreation,!nearly!all!of!the!community!members!spoke!of!the!danger!of!drowning.!!Some!recounted!the!safety!precautions!of!family!outings,!some!recalled!neighborhood!tragedies,!some!spoke!of!the!recognition!and!praise!won!by!fearless!and!strong!swimmers.!Daily!life!included!the!danger!of!drowning,!and!locals!regarded!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!with!caution.!In!Spanish,!it!is!called!el!Rio!Bravo!del!Norte,!the!translation!of!which!means!"fierce!river!of!the!north"!warning!of!its!powerful!nature.!!Later!in!her!interview,!Ms.!Ramirez!shared!the!following:![Do"we"have]"Access"to"the"river?""Well,"we're"about"seven"blocks"away"from"the"river"if"you"go"toward"the"west"side,"pero,"we"don't"go"anymore.""We"don't"have"a"reason"to"go"because"of"what"is"happening"nowadays.""Pura"violence"y"todo"eso....""There's"a"whole"bunch"of"Border"Patrol"men"patrolling"the"area,"policemen,"y"todo."Asi"es"que"you"cannot"get"close"to"the"river"banks"without"law"enforcement"officers"coming"and"asking"you""what"are"you"doing"here?""You"are"not"free"to"go"and"say""I"want"to"go"fishing"or"have"a"little"barbeque"party"here"""or"anything,"you"cannot"do"any"of"that"anymore."Ya"no"hay.""You"are"not"free"anymore."And"if"you"do"go,"you"are"risking"your"life,"really...The"rio"used"to"be"used"for"drinking"water"and"survival"…."for"taking"the"horses"to"drink"water"and"to"grow"crops"along"the"riverbanks,"to"go"bathing,"and"wash"your"clothes"y"todo."Y"ahora"it's"used"for"something"else,"like"smuggling"people."""(J."Ramirez,"oral"communication,"May"15,"2015)""In!this!passage,!we!can!hear!Ms.!Ramirez’s!frustration!with!the!abundance!of!agents!patrolling!the!few!remaining!parks!and!green!spaces!along!the!river!banks,!shifting!the!community's!cultural!practices.!Ms.!Ramirez!points!to!a!difference!of!perception!between!herself!and!the!agents!about!what,!exactly,!is!the!dangerous!element.!!The!heavily!armed,!non@local!law!enforcement!may!not!have!any!history!or!context!to!understand!the!ancestral!importance!of!the!river.!They!think!the!river!itself!is!dangerous.!!185!For!locals!such!as!Ms.!Ramirez,!the!river!is!as!it!always!has!beeni!the!danger!is!the!high!numbers!of!armed!government!agents,!officers,!and!troops.!Ms.!Ramirez!suggests!that!border!personnel!could!protect!locals!who!are!enjoying!community!cultural!practices!along!the!riverbanks.!Instead,!they!actively!interrupt,!disrupt,!and!remove!local!community!members!from!the!riverbank!area.!She!is!no!longer!free,!in!spite!of!her!life!long!relationship!with!the!river,!the!Border!Patrol!have!occupied!the!landscape!with!imposed!their!specific!understanding!of!the!river!as!a!no@people@zone.!!!Dr.!Valle!shares!a!similar!comparison,!sharing!the!danger!of!his!youth,!and!the!dangers!of!current!contexts.!I"grew"up"fishing,"and"when"I"was"a"teenager,"that's"where"I"would"hide"[to"go]"beer"drinking,"you"know."We'd"go,"and"nobody"would"bother"us"on"the"riverbanks....And"so"the"river"represents"a"lot"of"adventures"and"stuff,"but"now"it's"dangerous"as"heck.""Heavily"patrolled,"highly"militarized."There"are"riverboats"with"machine"guns"on"them."The"Border"Patrol"and"the"DPS"have"fitted"30"caliber,"fully"automatic"weapons"on"their"boats."Fighting"narco<trafficking"and"human"trafficking,"the"river"represents"a"border."(Dr."C."Valle,"oral"communication,"June"14,"2014)""His!testimony!differs!from!Ms.!Ramirez!in!how!he!suggests!Border!Thinking!cultivates!a!sense!of!danger.!In!his!youth,!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!was!a!river!enjoyed!by!the!community.!Then!danger!came!to!these!places!in!the!forms!of!narco@trafficking,!drug!cartels,!human!smuggling,!and!(in!response)!military@grade!weaponry,!all!of!which!transformed!this!river"place!into!a!border"space.!In!the!presence!of!military@grade!weaponry,!everything!starts!to!look!like!danger!related!to!warfare.!Metaphors!invoking!relational!ecologies!or!friendly!binational!sister!cities!no!longer!fit!the!material!reality!of!life!in!the!shadow!of!machine!guns!and!carceral!walls.!For!the!fronterizxs!who!have!lived!on!and!with!the!river,!the!border!itself!is!somewhat!arbitraryi!its!meaning!and!manifestation!are!evolving!according!to!political!will,!whereas!River@as@Water!has!particular!unshakeable,!deeply!rooted!implications.!!!186!Dr.!Valle!shares!his!opinion!of!the!series!of!federal!laws!created!for!the!building!of!a!border!wall,!which!was!begun!in!2006,!during!the!President!George!W.!Bush!administration.!Each!subsequent!federal!administration!has!added!to!the!policies!and!budgets!of!border!security,!and!"Build!the!wall!"!was!also!a!major!campaign!promise!and!catchphrase!during!the!2016!election!of!Donald!Trump.!I"don't"understand"by"any"means"the"building"of"a"physical"wall"on"this"otherwise"pristine"river"that"runs"down"our"countryside"here."It"is"a"source"of"life."(Dr."C."Valle,"oral"communication,"June"14,"2014)"For!fronterizxs!who!live!here,!know!the!land,!know!the!relationship!to!our!sister!city!Nuevo!Laredo,!a!physical!barricade!built!on!top!of!the!river!is!beyond!comprehension!when!one!is!physically!situated!in!this!rivered!border!home.!!It!doesn’t!make!sense!in!our!frontera!community!for!two!seemingly!oppositional!reasons:!!a!physical!wall!threatens!the!life@giving!ecologies!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!in!its!role!as!the!sole!source!of!potable!water!for!the!greater!area!(Harris,!2017),!which!is!to!say,!the!effects!of!the!wall!are!not!localized!to!one!single!side,!but!will!be!borne!by!relational!ecologies,!including!human!and!non@human!life,!on!both!sides!of!the!frontera!community!(Border!wall!a!disaster,!2018i!Harris,!2017i!Owens,!2016).!!Secondly,!no!wall!can!sever!the!relationships!that!have!developed!over!centuries!between!the!people,!the!land,!and!the!waters.!Locals!will!simply!adapt!around!the!structure.!!In!both!instances,!we!see!the!limitations!of!Border!Thinking!in!the!ways!that!such!streams!of!thought!underestimate!the!importance!and!interdependence!of!the!rivered!sister!city!communities.!!What!Dr.!Valle’s!excerpt!also!points!to!is!that!although!fronterizxs!can!intellectually!engage!with!Border!Thinking,!a!River@as@Water!orientation!remains!the!primary!framework!for!understanding,!as!it!is!inclusive!of!the!physical!landscape,!material!realities,!the!histories!and!collective!memories!of!life!in!these!particular!places!!187!along!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!Thus,!in!spite!of!the!border,!and!in!spite!of!the!increased!military!presence,!we!are!still!interrelated!sister!cities.!We!still!share!the!water!and!responsibilities!for!protecting!our!common!environmental!health.!!7.1.3% River%as%Commodity%The!third!noticeable!branch!away!from!holistic!Water!Thinking!is!the!framing!of!the!river!as!a!resource!or!commodity.!!In!this!collection!of!excerpts,!community!members!speak!of!the!ways!in!which!water!can!be!objectified,!bought,!sold,!disposed!of,!but!also!the!way!that!the!very!river!itself!is!also!framed!as!a!consumer!item.!Community!members!have!come!to!rely!on!the!municipal!water!supply!to!deliver!drinking!water!to!their!homes,!therefore,!they!no!longer!have!a!reason!to!go!to,!or!be!fluent!in!the!health!of!the!river.!Whereas!many!of!the!older!generations!know!that!the!municipal!supply!comes!from!the!river,!younger!generations!do!no!think!past!the!faucet.!Consumer!thinking!also!amplifies!issues!of!disparate!access,!playing!into!dynamics!of!wealth,!class,!and!social!status.!!The!most!noticeable!shift!in!how!locals!talk!about!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!has!to!do!with!economic!terms!and!concepts!that!commodify!the!river!and!water.!!All!reference!to!life,!living,!or!ecological!characteristics!are!dimmed,!while!concepts!such!as!water!rights!(indicating!ownership),!acre@feet!of!debt,!and!fugitive!resources!have!increased!in!the!last!few!years.!!In!our!conversation!around!water!laws!in!Texas,!Dr.!Vaughan’s!language!and!demeanor!shifted!as!he!explained!the!antiquated!system!of!water!rights:!I’m"convinced"that"the"wars"of"the"future"will"be"fought"over"water.""The"Rio"Grande"[supports]...."several"millions"of"people,"and"the"population"is"expanding"all"the"time."Today"somewhere"between"85"and"90%"of"the"water"in"the"Rio"Grande"belongs"to"agriculture.""Irrigation"districts"mainly"downstream"of"Laredo"are"the"!188!owners"of"the"water."So..."the"Rio"Grande"is"over"allocated."That"is,"there"is"more"ownership"of"water"than"there"is"actual"water.""(Dr."T."Vaughan,"oral"communication,"June"13,"2014)"wow...!"As!a!community!member!who!has!dedicated!a!significant!part!of!his!career!teaching,!investigating,!protecting,!monitoring,!advocating!and!loving!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!the!topic!of!water!rights!is!exasperating.!It!is!an!old!system,!created!to!serve!the!needs!of!ranchers!a!few!hundred!years!ago,!preserved!in!law.!!People!bid!on!a!certain!number!of!water!rights!that!they!predict!they!may!need!in!the!future,!leaving!the!water!in!the!river!until!they!need!it.!When!they!need!it,!they!can!draw!up!to!the!allotted!quantity!each!!calendar!year.!!Falling!to!use!your!water!rights,!or!leaving!the!water!in!the!river,!may!result!in!losing!one’s!rights!to!the!water.!!Rights!of!future!use!and!rights!of!ownership!are!oversold!based!on!the!assumption!that!most!users!will!not!draw!on!their!entire!allotment!of!rights.!Such!conceptions!of!water!impose!a!capitalist!market!system!on!a!somewhat!unpredictable!and!finite!element!of!nature,!imposing!expectations!that!are!counterintuitive!to!the!embodied!and!emplaced!nature!of!water.!!Consider!the!comparison!of!capitalist!framing!versus!of!relational!ecologies:!one!is!based!on!owning!future!rights,!while!the!other!relies!on!the!present,!responds!to!what!is,!and!attends!to!the!inherent!right!to!exist,!rather!than!owning!the!rights!of!future!use.!The!difference!in!understandings!is!striking.!While!there!are!a!few!examples!of!rivers!that!have!recently!gained!protected!rights!to!exist!in!their!communities,!such!as!the!Ganga!and!Yamuna!Rivers!in!India,!the!Atrato!River!in!Columbia,!and!the!Whanganui!River!in!!189!New!Zealand!(Ainge,!2017i!Morris!&!Ruru,!2012i!O'Donnell,!2018),!similar!cases!in!the!US!have!not!(yet)!been!considered!by!the!courts109.!!!If!rivers!have!the!right!to!exist,!what!will!we!use!as!the!markers!of!quality!existence?!!Mr.!Perez!recalls!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!before!the!two!major!dams!were!built,!drawing!our!attention!to!the!ways!that!river"management!has!dramatically!shifted!the!nature!(read!as:!characteristics)!and!Nature!(read!as:!ecology)!of!rivers,!lands,!and!the!life!they!support.!I"remember"it"being"grander"but"dirty,"and"now"it’s"almost"just"a"trickle,"and"a"controlled"trickle"at"that!""It"really"isn’t"a"river"anymore."It’s"just"a"waterway."To"me"it’s"not"the"Rio"Grande"it"used"to"be."A"lot"of"the"problem"is"because"of"the"dams"that"they"built"all"the"way"up"in"Big"Bend,"like"the"one"in"Del"Rio.""If"you"look"at"what"the"dams"have"held"back"since"the"dams"were"built"20"to"30"miles"upriver"on"the"Rio"Grande."The"silt"has"come"up"80"feet."That"sand"is"being"held"back"and"not"sent"down"the"river"through"the"Rio"Grande"and"into"the"Gulf"of"Mexico"to"rejuvenate"the"land."It"just"looks"like"it’s"a"river"going"down"a"desert"now."It’s"an"impoverished"riparian"system,"for"sure."Not"just"because"of"the"lack"of"the"rain,"but"also"because"of"encroachment."(G."Perez,"oral"communication,"June"5,"2015)"In!this!testimonio,!we!can!understand!how!the!constructions!of!the!Amistad!Dam!upriver!and!Falcon!Dam!downriver!of!Laredo!have!dramatically!changed!the!characteristics!of!both!the!river!and!land.!When!Mr.!Perez!describes!the!tight!control!of!water!and!silt!that!prevents!rejuvenation,!we!can!understand!how!human!management!interferes!with!the!natural!cycles!of!life!in!and!of!the!Rio!Grande/!Rio!Bravo.!We!get!the!sense!that!human!activity!has!impoverished,!encroached,!and!seemingly!choked!the!living!qualities!out!of!the!river,!transforming!it!into!a!tame!waterway!for!consumers,!not!unlike!the!concrete!drainage!ditches!that!are!built!in!cities.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!109Future!work!will!more!thoroughly!explore!the!right!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!to!exist,!and!the!implications!and!outcomes!of!legal!status!and!protection.!!190!Part!of!the!reason!for!such!tight!control!of!the!water!has!to!do!with!the!antiquated!water!laws!that!govern!water!sources!shared!by!the!two!countries.!In!1945,!both!the!US!and!Mexico!agreed!to!the!Treaty!for!the!Utilization!of!the!Waters!of!the!Colorado!and!Tijuana!Rivers!and!of!the!Rio!Grande,!now!often!called!the!Treaty!of!1944.!!The!Treaty!created!a!complex!system!of!accounting!for!what!the!U.S.!and!Mexico!are!entitled!to,!as!well!as!a!regulating!body!called!the!International!Boundary!and!Water!Commission!(Umoff,!2009).!As!the!river!moves!along!in!each!country,!the!Treaty!allows!quantities!to!be!drawn!from!one!area!in!the!river,!with!the!expectation!that!the!same!quantity!be!reciprocated!in!other!areas!of!the!river,!and/or!shared!out!of!another!river.!!In!good!years,!when!the!water!cycle!provides!enough!rainfall,!the!system!is!balanced,!and!riverside!communities!along!the!US!Mexico!border!have!what!is!needed.!In!this!federal!treaty,!The!Colorado!River!and!Rio!Grande!each!have!their!particular!formulas!for!calculating!rights!versus!use!versus!debt!(see!Umoff,!2008).!Most!years!are!drought!years,!and!drought!is!borne!dissimilarly!by!the!diverse!ecological!systems!connected!along!the!border.!!In!drought!years,!water"debt"may!accumulate!for!one!country!or!the!other,!between!states,!or!between!overall!rivers,!exacerbating!tensions!both!between!the!neighbors,!as!well!as!along!the!length!of!the!river.!between!agriculture!and!industrial!interests!that!hold!water!rights,!and!those!thirsty!communities!along!the!river!who!need!potable!water.!Since!the!original!treaty,!additional!policies!to!calculate!and!regulate!water!have!been!added!to!supplement!the!Treaty,!as!the!population!growth!has!long!ago!broken!the!limits!of!what!the!agreement!intended!to!serve.!!Thinking!in!terms!of!systems!of!accounting,!in!which!water!is!a!commodity,!ignores!the!nature!of!the!river!in!which!harm!is!cumulative,!compounded!in!the!bodies!and!in!the!landscape!near!the!!191!mouth!of!the!river,!where!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!meets!the!Gulf!of!Mexico.!Gains!and!losses!are!calculated!with!little!regard!for!the!quality!of!water!reaching!the!end!of!the!river,!in!Brownsville/Matamoros.!!Much!of!the!policy!regarding!management!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!both!in!its!function!as!a!source!of!water!as!well!as!in!its!function!as!a!border,!employs!River!as!Commodity!thinking.!!These!conversations!are!inherently!political!and!implicate!parties!in!power,!often!triggering!both!fear!and!scorn,!which!the!above!excerpts!seem!to!capture.!!In!our!conversations,!community!residents!did!not!speak!of!the!river!in!this!way!very!often.!So!although!it!is!familiar!and!worth!mentioning,!the!interview!questions!focused!our!attention!on!the!life!stories!related!to!the!river!and!the!land.!We!now!turn!to!the!most!common!answer!when!asked,!“How!has!the!river!changed!in!your!lifetime?”!All!of!the!community!residents!spoke!of!danger.!The!dangers!of!the!past!are!not!the!same!dangers!of!the!present,!and!danger!is!a!thread!that!runs!through!both!River@as@Water!thinking!as!well!as!River@as@Border!thinking.!Danger,!as!it!relates!to!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!could!be!an!in@depth!topic!of!investigation,!but!for!our!purposes,!we!will!only!focus!on!how!it!comes!up!in!relation!to!the!river.!!7.1.4% River%as%Dirty%The!fourth!branch!that!splits!from!River@as@Water!Thinking!seems!to!be!a!lack!of!relational!awareness!about!the!nature!of!water!and!rivers.!Some!participants!commented!on!the!use!of!water!to!clean!or!fix!problems,!noting!the!general!lack!of!general!public!awareness!of!where!water!goes!afterwards.!The!river!is!only!important!as!it!is!useful!to!people,!but!once!it!stops!being!useful!or!becomes!dirty,!it!is!best!out!of!!192!sight!and!out!of!mind.!This!thinking!demonstrates!linear!thinking,!rather!than!cyclical!or!relational!understandings,!between!the!people,!the!land,!and!the!river.!!!None!of!the!elders!and!knowledge!keepers!mentioned!pollution!in!their!earliest!memories,!but!did!increasingly!talk!about!it!in!more!recent!stories!about!life!on/with/near!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!Every!community!member!seemed!aware!of!the!dangers!of!pollution!including!the!multiple!sources!of!river!contaminationi!however,!some!were!much!more!aware!of!specific!details!than!others.!!Ahora,"ya"se"nos"están"diciendo"que"el"agua"de"las"embotelladas"que"compramos,"que"hasta"esa"es"ácidica,"y"que"nuestra"alimentación"en"Estados"Unidos"es"muy"ácida,"y"que"necesitábamos"un"poco"alcalinizar"nuestro"cuerpo."Entonces,"compramos"un"filtro"nosotros"que"alcalinice"el"agua"hacia"otros"niveles."7.0"es"la"que"todos"podemos"tomar,"esa"tiene"8,"hasta"9.5"que"es"la"maxima.""Nosotras"la"tomamos"para"cuidarnos"mejor,"porque"dicen"que"el"cáncer"es"una"de"las"enfermedades"que"prolifera"en"un"ambiente"ácido."Entonces,"en"aquellos"años,"la"gente"no"se"preocupaba"por"eso,"porque"el"agua"del"río"brincaba"aquí,"pegaba"en"las"piedras,"y"toda"estaba"oxigenada.""Tal"vez"estaba"alcalinizada,"tenía"los"metales"adecuados"para"que"la"gente"sobreviviera"bien."Porque"no"estaba"poluida,"nadie"le"echaba"mugre"ni"nada."Pero"ahora,"le"hechan"tanta"cosa"que"está"¡ácidica!."Si"tú"la"tomas"de"ahí"ahorita"y"está"contaminada,"pues..."Entonces,"la"diferencia"entre"la"antigüedad"a"ahora,"es"que"falta"cultura"y"educación."Aunque"uno"les"diga,"no"lo"hacen.""Ah"está"bien,"yo"la"aviento"."En"aquellos"años"no,"nosotros"les"hacíamos"caso"a"los"abuelos,"a"los"papás"y"ahora"todo"eso"ha"cambiado110."(M."Campos,"oral"communication,"May"15,"2015)"Ms.!Campos!makes!the!direct!connection!between!the!health!of!the!river!and!the!health!of!the!community.!!As!the!water!has!been!mistreated,!polluted,!and!become!acidic,!so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!110!"Now,"we"are"being"told"that"the"bottled"water"we"buy,"that"even"that"is"acidic,"and"that"our"food"in"the"United"States"is"very"acidic,"and"that"we"need"to"alkalize"our"bodies."So,"we"bought"a"filter"that"alkalizes"the"water"to"other"levels."7.0"is"the"one"we"can"all"drink,"this"one"has"8,"up"to"9.5,"which"is"the"maximum."We"drink"it"to"take"better"care"of"ourselves,"because"they"say"that"cancer"is"one"of"the"diseases"that"proliferates"in"an"acidic"environment."Back"then,"in"those"years,"the"people"did"not"worry"about"that,"because"the"water"of"the"river"jumped"here,"hit"the"stones,"and"everything"was"oxygenated."Perhaps"it"was"also"alkalinized,"and"had"the"right"metals"to"help"people"survive"well."It"was"not"polluted,"and"no"one"was"throwing"garbage"or"anything."But"now"they"do"so"much"that"it"is"acidic!"If"you"drink"from"there"now,"you"are"contaminated..."So"the"difference"between"those"times"and"now,"is"that"young"people"lack"culture"and"education"even"if"you"tell"them,"they"do"not"care.""Ah,"okay,"I’ve"got"it.""In"those"years,"we"paid"attention"to"the"grandparents,"our"parents,"and"now,"all"that"has"changed.""(M.!Campos,!oral!communication,!May!15,!2015)!!193!has!the!health!of!the!general!population,!resulting!in!specific!illnesses!and!dis@eases.!Her!example!of!contamination!works!both!metaphorically,!as!youth!are!no!longer!nourished!by!traditional!knowledge!of!water,!and!literally,!as!our!physical!bodies!are!no!longer!nourished!by!neutral!clean!water,!to!communicate!the!danger!of!pollution.!As!a!career!educator,!she!also!shifts!our!attention!to!the!detachment!of!our!young!people,!who!are!not!being!taught!the!cultural,!land@based!and!Indigenous!teachings!that!connect!them!(us)!to!the!river.!!Later!in!the!interview,!she!warned!that!if!we!do!not!find!a!way!to!record!our!cultural!river!knowledge,!it!would!be!lost.!While!she!did!not!specify!what!it!refers!to,!we!can!imagine!that!both!knowledge,!and!our!river,!and!possibly!our!youth!would!be!lost.!!It!was!not!surprising!that!many!of!the!community!members!use!water!filters!for!drinking!water.!Many!Laredoans!do.!What!was!surprising!was!how!the!answer!would!change,!depending!on!whether!or!not!the!audio!recorder!was!on!or!off.!!On!the!record,!participants!would!admit!“I!don’t!like!the!taste!of!tap!water,”!while!off!the!record!I!heard!many!reasons!related!to!what!might!be!in!the!water,!usually!pointing!to!the!perceived!conditions!of!the!water!and!river.!!As!a!child,!I!remember!hearing!classmates!say!“Don’t!drink!from!the!tap,!it!has!dead!bodies!in!it.”!At!the!time,!I!didn’t!make!the!connection!between!the!almost@daily!reports!of!someone!having!drowned!in!our!primary!source!of!drinking!water.!Four!of!the!25!oral!histories!included!a!personal!connection!to!someone!who!drowned!in!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!While!the!municipal!water!treatment!facility!is!quite!adept!at!drawing!water!from!the!river!and!cleaning!biological!contaminants,!there!is!still!a!stigma!related!to!drinking!from!the!tap.!!!194!Of!greater!concern!is!the!dumping!of!industrial!chemical!waste!into!the!natural!water!system.!There!is!a!direct!connection!between!the!passage!of!NAFTA!in!1994,!the!subsequent!development!of!hundreds!of!maquiladoras111!along!the!border,!and!the!sharp!rise!in!illegal!chemical!dumping!directly!into!the!river.!!Ms.!Guerra!shares,!!When"we"started"our"paper"in"‘94,"the"river"was"where"you"dumped"those"barriles"that"you"didn’t"know"what"to"do"with."So"the"river"has"become"in"many"ways"a"toxic"stew."It’s"probably"a"little"bit"cleaner"than"it"used"to"be."But"when"we"started"writing"about"it"in"the"‘90s,"it"was"a"pretty"bad"thing."I"mean,"cement"trucks"would"back"up"to"the"river"to"dump.""The"river"was"a"cesspool,"and"it’s"why"people"got"sick"in"Rio"Bravo"and"El"Cenizo,"trying"to"clean"that"filthy"water."(M."Guerra,"oral"communication,"June"13,"2014)"Similar!to!Ms.!Campos,!Ms.!Guerra!makes!the!direct!connection!between!health!of!the!water!and!public!health.!Treating!chemical!pollution!is!an!involved!process,!as!the!list!of!toxic!chemicals!is!generally!unknown,!may!be!detectable!in!particular!parts!of!the!water!stream!or!sediment,!and!not!others,!and!may!or!may!not!visibly!impact!the!ecological!system112.!!Further!complications!arise!from!the!mix!of!chemicals!that!may!be!reactive!in!the!natural!environment,!and!the!many!possibilities!of!public!exposure.!!Biological!and!chemical!pollution!is!often!localized!to!rural!areas!where!underserved!communities!are!exposed,!causing!dramatic!increases!in!the!spread!of!communicable!and!water@borne!illnesses!along!the!river.!While!modern!medicine!has!come!a!long!way!to!develop!vaccines!and!prevention!techniques,!rural!communities!face!the!challenges!of!increased!risk!of!exposure!coupled!with!lack!of!access!to!medical!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111!Maquiladoras!are!the!US@owned!factories!that!take!advantage!of!inexpensive!labor!and!lax!environmental!and!human!rights!laws!on!the!Mexican!side!of!the!river!(Muñoz,!2010).!Environmental!racism!due!to!industrialization!was!part!of!my!Master’s!thesis.!112!In!1997,!I!spent!the!summer!in!a!toxicology!lab!at!Texas!A&M!International!doing!exactly!this!process,!in!search!of!heavy!metals!near!El!Cenizo.!!!195!services.!Some!community!elders!shared!their!childhood!experiences!growing!up!along!the!river,!!Ms."Gonzalez:"Me"dieron"enfermedades"muy"feas"como"el"tétanos,"la"tos"ferina,"la"viruela,"el"sarampión..."Todo"de"lo"que"ahora"vacunan,"antes"yo"lo"tuve."Todo"lo"tuve."Porque"en"el"‘53"sacaron"la"vacuna"del"sarampión,"pero"ya"a"mí"me"había"dado"Marissa:""¿Y"es"de"vivir"cerca"del"río?"Mrs."Gonzalez:"Sí.113"""[V."Gonzalez,"oral"communication,"May"22,"2015)"Mrs.!Gonzalez!reminds!us!that!statistics!and!data!do!not!relay!the!lived!stories!of!lifelong!fronterizxs.!While!the!data!may!show!a!higher!than!normal!infection!rate!of!each!of!the!illnesses,!Mrs.!Gonzalez!knew!that!because!of!her!proximity!to!the!water!in!the!river,!she!had!contracted!every!childhood!illness,!and!had!survived.!Other!family!members!did!not.!There!are!nuances!in!the!details!that!connect!the!health!of!the!water!and!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!to!the!health!of!the!communities.!!River@as@Water!Thinking!helps!us!understand!more!holistically,!to!see!connections!and!long@term!patterns,!while!Border!Thinking!may!miss!the!contexts!for!understanding.!!!!7.2% Summary%To!summarize,!in!this!chapter,!I!examined!the!teachings!we!collected!in!the!soft!braided!basket!of!the!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Cosmography,!collecting!those!stories!and!testimonios!that!spoke!to!holistic,!embodied!and!emplaced!ways!of!understanding!the!river.!!I!used!my!educator@mind!to!clarify!the!teachings!in!the!form!of!interview!excerpts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!113Ms.!Gonzalez:!I!had!all!the!very!awful!diseases!such!as!tetanus,!whooping!cough,!smallpox,!measles!...!All!the!diseases!they!now!vaccinate!for,!before,!I!had!it.!I!had!it!all.!Because!in!'53!they!developed!the!measles!vaccine,!but!I!had!already!had!it.!Marissa:!And!is!it!all!from!living!near!the!river?!Mrs.!Gonzalez:!Yes.!!196!that!speak!specifically!to!water!and!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!Then,!I!organized!the!teachings!by!sorting!them!into!two!major!streams!of!thought:!!River@as@Water!and!River@as@Border.!Within!each!stream,!I!further!examined!the!words!of!our!community!knowledge!keepers!to!draw!out!tributaries!that!demonstrate!specific!concepts!that!capture!each!way!of!thinking.!I!used!direct!quotes!and!narrated!the!context!so!that!knowledge!could!be!situated!as!embodied!and!emplaced!understandings.!!!I!also!examined!the!responses!to!the!question!“What!has!changed?”!Community!participants!spoke!about!four!branches!that!move!away!from!holistic!ways!of!knowing!the!river,!as!seen!in!Figure!30:!Metacognitive!Mapping!of!What!has!Changed!in!Fronterizx!Thinking.!In!this!figure,!we!return!to!our!metacognitive!map.!We!can!see!the!flow!of!ideas,!moving!from!River!Thinking!and!Border!Thinking!into!the!main!waterway.!As!the!water!moves!along,!we!can!see!a!fork!in!the!river,!in!which!smaller!branches!are!diverted!away!from!the!main!water!flow!and!begin!to!carve!a!different!path.!!As!each!of!the!changes!to!relationship!between!the!community!and!the!river!are!significant,!resulting!in!dramatic!changes!in!how!we!understand!the!river,!there!is!no!way!to!predict!what!may!result!in!our!collective!futures.!The!only!certainty!is!that!River@as@Water!knowledge!will!be!increasingly!more!difficult!to!recover!as!time!goes!on.!!!!197!!Figure%30:%Metacognitive%Mapping%of%What%has%Changed%in%Fronterizx%Thinking%!While!much!of!this!chapter!focused!on!the!metacognitive!process!of!noticing!our!thinking,!as!summarized!by!!life!!198!!Figure!31:!Concept!Mapping!Changes!to!Fronterizx!Thinking,!each!of!the!testimonios!cited!also!speaks!to!a!physical,!geographical,!and!cultural!change!in!the!daily!life!of!Laredo!over!time.!!In!this!way,!we!can!see!the!!!Figure%31:%Concept%Mapping%Changes%to%Fronterizx%Thinking%!!199!complexities!of!how!deeply!embedded!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!is!in!all!aspects!of!fronterizx!life.!!This!chapter!provided!highlights!of!the!embodied!and!emplaced!testimonios!witnessing!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!which!cumulatively!represent!a!fundamentally!distinct!way!of!understanding!of!the!confluence!of!River@as@Water!and!River@as@Border.!Community!elders!and!knowledge!keepers!have!shared!collective!stories!and!accounts!that!unearth!the!ancestral!intellectual!traditions!of!our!Indigenous!Fronterizx!community,!restory!the!relationships!between!the!land,!river,!and!people,!not!only!across!the!landscape,!but!also!through!time.!!In!the!next!chapter,!I!will!draw!from!this!foundation!of!knowledge!to!create!a!Pedagogy!of!Water!that!honors!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!as!our!ancestral!waters.!!200!Chapter%8:%An%Indigenous%Fronterizx%Pedagogy%of%Water%%To!get!to!know!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!we!traced!the!path!of!the!waters!through!time,!over!diverse!landscapes,!and!through!the!specific!cultural!confluences!of!my!frontera!community!in!Laredo,!Texas.!Each!oral!history!interview!with!community!elders!uncovered!the!intricate!and!nuanced!ways!that!fronterizxs!were!deeply!connected!with!our!river,!demonstrating!the!deeply!personal!implications!that!accompanied!the!meanings!of!the!river!over!time.!!In!the!simplest!terms,!the!elders'!life!stories!demonstrated!that!what!we!do!to!the!Rio,!we!do!to!ourselves.!!!Much!like!the!water!cycle!that!creates!movement!through!endless!transformations,!the!relational!and!traditional!ecological!knowledges!generate!movement!through!endless!manifestations!in!the!testimonios!people!tell.!This!research!journey!focused!on!tracing!these!paths!and!honoring!the!teachings!of!the!elders!as!a!pedagogy!that!could!nourish!the!community.!The!generation!of!new!knowledge,!which!I!have!named!an!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water,!is!one!more!iteration!of!the!intergenerational!knowledge!that!has!nourished!my!community!for!generations.!!In!this!chapter,!I!will!detail!a!pedagogy!that!honors!the!Indigenous!intellectual!traditions!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!as!shared!by!community!elders!and!knowledge!keepers,!with!the!intention!of!restorying!how!community!members!think!of!and!understand!our!river.!As!seen!in!Figure!32:!Restorying!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!the!process!of!restorying!(depicted!as!the!dotted!lines)!works!to!engage!multiple!meanings!simultaneously,!such!that!the!changes!in!our!community!are!not!understood!as!exclusively!positive!or!(mostly)!negative!associations!(two!distinct!streams),!but!are!instead!understood!in!the!complicated!messiness!as!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Thinking.!!!201!!Figure%32:%Restorying%the%Rio%Grande/Rio%Bravo%life!!202!In!doing!so,!the!pedagogy!moves!to!Indigenize!our!thinking!about!water,!engaging!holistic,!multimodal!ways!of!knowing!and!understanding!water!that!reflect!the!complex,!inclusive,!polyvocal!nature!of!the!frontera!itself.!Within!the!metacognitive!map,!as!we!understand!water!to!take!the!path!of!least!resistance,!we!can!also!start!to!understand!how!traditional!knowledges!of!water!have!survived!colonization!in!the!Indigenous!Fronterizx!communities!along!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!In!the!first!half!of!the!chapter,!I!will!detail!the!four!specific!elements!that!comprise!an!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water,!and!in!the!second!half,!I!will!expand!specific!teaching!themes!drawn!from!the!words!of!community!elders.!8.1% RiverVasVWater%Pedagogical%Elements%%Throughout!history,!systems!of!education!were!created!to!shape!generations!of!learners!to!become!functioning!members!of!society.!!Understood!through!a!critical!lens,!young!people!are!trained!to!maintain!the!status!quo,!reproducing!social!structures!and!norms,!including!colonialism,!capitalism,!and!imperialism!(Serrano!Nájera,!2014)!for!the!purpose!of!social!control!(Kincheloe,!2008).!!Many!students!struggle!to!find!relevance!and/or!success!in!mandated!educational!systems!(Kirkness!&!Barnhardt,!2001i!Little!Bear,!2009i!Romero,!Arce,!&!Cammarota,!2009).!!When!the!learners,!community,!and!schooling!system!are!aligned!within!a!common!epistemology!and!united!by!similar!values,!schools!have!been!places!that!nurture!the!transformative!potential!within!the!community!of!learners!(Brown,!2004i!Cajete,!2000i!Delgado!Bernal,!2002).!This!research!project!moves!toward!such!a!transformative!potential!by!building!a!pedagogy!of!water!from!the!banks!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!that!connects!our!community!elders!to!our!young!people!with!ancestral!knowledge.!The!process!of!restorying!revives!!203!ancestral!knowledge,!while!also!creating!new!knowledge!in!response!to!the!new!contexts!and!social!issues.!As!I!thought!about!the!steps!of!building!a!pedagogy!of!water,!or!more!specifically,!a!teaching!practice!shaped!of/by/with/through!the!traditional!knowledge!of!water,!I!worked!largely!from!my!own!instinct!as!a!sixth!grade!science!teacher!and!intuition!as!a!cultural!practitioner.!I!began!to!hand@draw!the!concepts!and!keywords!collected!in!the!course!of!the!research!project,!rearranging!relationships!to!represent!what!a!pedagogy!of!water!might!look!like!in!a!way!that!would!be!useful!to!other!teachers.!Pedagogy,!understood!in!the!practical!sense,!is!comprised!of!four!foundational!elements!that!shape!learning:!the!learners,!the!educators,!curricula,!and!learning!communities.!For!a!pedagogy!to!be!successful,!all!elements!must!complement!each!other!to!honor!the!epistemological!values!of!the!community.!I!wrote!these!four!elements!on!index!cards.!!When!I!superimposed!the!index!cards!naming!each!of!the!three!themes!that!emerged!from!the!Water@Thinking!(Identity,!Land,!and!Life)!with!the!four!main!elements!of!pedagogy!(Learners,!Educators,!Curricula,!and!Learning!Communities),!the!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!began!to!take!shape.%Figure!33:!Finding!an!Alignment!between!Pedagogical!Elements!and!River!Teachings,%depicts!how!closely!Water!Teachings!(inner!ring)!aligned!with!the!Elements!of!Pedagogy!(outer!ring).!!!204!!Figure%33:%Finding%an%Alignment%between%Pedagogical%Elements%and%River%Teachings%Specifically,!it!made!sense!that!Identity!(Water!Teaching)!fall!into!alignment!with!both!Learners"and!Educators"(Pedagogical!Elements),"as!a!successful!pedagogical!praxis!would!make!room!for!multiple,!diverse!identities!(Romero,!Arce,!&!Cammarota,!2009i!Serrano!Nájera,!2015i!Urrieta,!2003),!inclusive!of!importance!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!in!the!identities!of!both!Learners"and!Educators.""Similarly,!there!is!quite!a!lot!of!precedent!in!Indigenous!education!regarding!the!centrality!of!Land!(Water!Teaching)!in!the!process!of!Curriculum@making!(Pedagogical!Element)!(Cajete,!2000i!Simpson,!2014i!Tuck!&!Yang,!2012).!It!would!be!quite!simple!to!shift!the!focus!from!the!land!to!the!water!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!which!brings!our!land!to!life.!!Completing!!205!the!circle,!there!is!also!a!natural!affinity!between!the!Pedagogical!Element!of!Learning"Community!and!the!Water!Teaching!of!Life.""The!alignment,!in!this!case,!moves!toward!understanding!Life!as!the!relational!ecology,!in!which!the!Learning"Community"reflects!the!non@anthropocentric!understanding!of!humans!embedded!in!the!systems!of!nature!in!the!places!we!live.!Figure!34:!Evolution!of!the!Concept!Map!Depicting!the!Pedagogy!of!Water,!seen!below,!simplifies!the!concept!map!by!combining!the!Pedagogical!Elements!and!River!Teachings!into!one!image.!!Figure%34:%Evolution%of%the%Concept%Map%Depicting%the%Pedagogy%of%Water%!!206!As!the!graphic!organizer!evolved,!so!too,!did!my!own!understandings!of!the!specific!contours!of!an!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water.!Indigenizing!our!pedagogical!approaches!requires!that!we!treat!water!as!an!active!entity,!engaging!it!holistically,!encouraging!understandings!to!emerge!from!being<in<relation!to!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!both!for!educators!and!students.!Therefore,!the!Pedagogy!of!Water!must!include!more!than!just!the!conceptual!approach!(which!would!only!address!intellectual!ways!of!understanding!water).!The!practice!of!being<in<relation"suggests!that!we!practice!an!embodied!approach!to!water,!making!space!for!the!emotional,!physical,!and!spiritual!approaches!of!knowing!as!the!basis!of!a!praxis.!The!terms!around!the!perimeter!of%Figure!35:!Developing!a!Praxis!for!the!Pedagogy!of!Water!are!intended!to!guide!our!teaching!practice!with!approaches!that!embody!characteristics!of!water.!!In!other!words,!to!enliven!the!relational!and!traditional!knowledge!within!the!Pedagogy!of!Water,!we!must!also!consider!the!ways!in!which!the!water!in"us!may!be!activated!and!enlivened.!In!the!next!section,!I!will!discuss!each!quadrant!of!the!figure,!elaborating!upon!the!four!elements!of!the!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water,!in!greater!detail.!207!!Figure'35:'Developing'a'Praxis'for'the'Pedagogy'of'Water!208!8.1.1$ Pedagogical$Element$1:$$Identity$of$Learners$Indigenous!fronterizx!pedagogies!originate!from!the!understanding!that!each!learner!is!a!cultural!being,!within!a!complex!network!of!relationships,!always!simultaneously!acting!as!an!individual!and!community!member.!Identity!in!the!frontera!is!fluid,!shifting!depending!on!the!particular!context,!and!inclusive!of!the!Mexican,!Indigenous,!American!and!other!ways!of!knowing!and!being.!Learners!are!encouraged!to!develop!their!own!sense!of!identity!within!a!supportive!community,!navigating!through!self+guided!discovery,!making!meaning!through!selfCreflection!and!rich!learning!opportunities!as!a!holistic!self.!!For!this!reason,!the!terms!fluid,!inclusive,!and!self+guided!are!characteristics!of!water!that!also!suggest!the!approach!to!enlivening!the!Pedagogy!of!Water!for!and!with!Learners.!!Here,!I!use!the!phrase!enlivening-of-traditional-knowledges!as!a!reminder!that!learning!is!not!the!(passive)!study!of!inert,!inanimate!objects,!but!a!dynamic!process!that!engages!with!life!as!dynamic,!complicated,!and!beingCinCrelation.!!StudentCcentered!learning!is!an!approach!that!meets!students!where!they!are,!working!to!attend!to!their!own!unique!learning!path,!rather!than!administering!a!oneCsizeCfitsCall!approach!to!teaching.!!The!identity!of!the!learners!is!central!to!framing!learning!opportunities!such!that!each!learner!feels!valued,!capable!of!success,!supported,!and!respected.!Furthermore,!the!learning!objectives!of!the!Pedagogy!of!Water!are!not!simply!to!teach!waterCrelated!content,!but!instead!to!encourage!our!learners!to!internalize!the!notion!that!they!are!each!capable!changeCmakers!contributing!to!their/our!community.!!!!209!8.1.2$ Pedagogical$Element$2:$$Identity$of$Educators$$Educator!responsibilities!such!as!cultivating!relationships,!ongoing!selfCreflection,!and!researching!communityCspecific!resources!are!vital!foundations!of!a!studentCcentered!teaching!practice.!The!characteristics!of!water!that!can!support!the!Identity!of!Educators!in!a!Pedagogy!of!Water!include!confluence,-and!approaches!that!are!holistic-and!responsive.---In!the!EuroCcentric!conception!of!education,!based!on!the!factory!metaphor,!educators!are!an!extension!of!the!school!system,!often!treated!as!a!replaceable!cog!in!the!machinery.!!Educators!are!expected!to!lead!the!learners!in!their!own!footsteps!to!the!exactly!correct!teacherCdirected!outcome,!finding!success!measured!by!standardized!exams.!!By!contrast,!in!the!Pedagogy!of!Water,!educators!are!honored!as!holistic!beings!including!their!personal!strengths,!experiences,!and!perspectives,!living!inCrelation!to!a!dynamic!ecology!and!diverse!student!community.!Their/Our!primary!responseCability!is!to!encourage!students!to!grow!in!ways!that!are!mutually!respectful!and!inclusive!of!the!necessary!knowledge!and!skills!for!life!in!their!community!and!relational!ecology.!Educators!are!expected!to!be!responsive!to!the!needs!of!the!students!and!the!community,!recognizing!the!many!inherent!learning!opportunities!and!room!for!growth.!Confluence!speaks!to!the!alignment!of!different!aspects,!finding!a!mutual,!coordinated!direction,!but!not!requiring!a!specificCteacher!directed!outcome!or!measure!of!success.!!Pedagogies!of!Water!shift!the!role!of!educators!toward!a!process!of!coClearning!and!collaborative!meaningCmaking.!Learning!becomes!responsive-for!both!educatorC!and!studentClearners,!engaging!land,!water,!and!relationships!as!the!teachings!from!!210!which!“knowledge!is!experienced!with!the!whole!of!our!being”!(Gonzales,!2012,!p.!xvii).!In!this!way,!learning!emerges!through!our!relationships!in!a!connected!universe,!stimulating!the!physical,!emotional,!spiritual,!and!intellectual!aspects!as!beingsCinCrelation.!!8.1.3$ Pedagogical$Element$3:$$Land<$and$Water<based$Curricula$$Colonial!frameworks!of!education!often!misrecognize!difference!as!deficit.!!OneCsize!approaches!to!curriculumCbuilding!do!not!fit!all!communities,!as!they!often!overlook!the!wealth!of!local!land/water!knowledge!as!well!as!the!specific!cultural!practices!that!are!relevant!within!each!community.!Resistance!can!be!simple!as!prioritizing!the!distinctness!of!the!actual!places!we!live,!incorporating!the!local!landforms!and!waters!into!the!teaching!practice,!and!building!on!ancestral!placeCbased!knowledges!as!strengths.!LandC!and!waterCbased!curricula!starts!from!the!land,!building!culturallyCrelevant!learning!experiences!to!and!through!the!places!we!live,!teaching!what!it!means!to!be-a-good-relation-in/to!the!relational!ecology!and!community!where!we!live.!To!do!so,!the!three!characteristics!that!help!enact!a!landCbased!curriculum!are!the!duality!of!land/water,!survivance,!and!memory.---Curricula!that!emerge!from!the!relational!landC!and!waterC!scapes!of!the!community,!offer!relevant!teachings!that!shape!life!in!particular!places!to!serve!the!specific!needs!for!learning!in!emplaced!relational!ecologies.!Students,!families,!and!communities!are!valued!and!respected!as!knowledgeCproducing,!which,!in!turn,!builds!support!for!all!learners!in!the!community.!A!land/water!based!approach!is!particularly!valuable!as!it!allows!for!multiple!intersecting!complexities,!inclusive!of!the!cultural!confluences!and!dynamics!created!by!the!river/border,!building!on!understanding!the!!211!river/border!frontera!as-a!home.!!Land/water!based!curricula!protects!Indigenous!knowledges!based!on!specific!cultural!protocols,!which!are!considered!fundamental,!and!grow!out!of!a!specific!deepCtime!community!relationship!with!the!landC!and!waterCscapes.!!In!this!way,!land/water!based!curricula!work!to!resist!the!erasure!of!Indigenous!people!and!knowledge!in!the!frontera!by!transforming!classrooms!into!sites!of!survivance114!(Vizenor,!2008,!2009)!and!reflective!consciousnessCraising.!!Focusing!on!landC!and!waterCbased!curricula!shifts!how!a!learner!may!understand!themselves!to!be!situated,!such!that!they!are!not!a!passive!part!of!a!class,!a!gradeClevel,!and!a!neighborhood,!but!instead!are!engaged!as!active!and!contributing!members!of!their!community.!!Considered!in!this!way,!the!embodied!and!emplaced!knowledges,!the!practices!of!coClearning,!and!the!frames!for!understanding!pedagogies!of!water!are!already!within!the!people!who!live!inCrelation!to!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!in!their!borderland!homes.!To!revive!traditional!knowledge,!part!of!our!work!is!to!quiet!our!colonized!framesCofCmind!and!simply!be-beingsCinCrelation.!The!land!and!waters!have!always!been!here.!We!must!rely!on!the!collective-memories!of!our!elders!to!remember!and!reCmember!ourselves!back!onto!the!land.!8.1.4$ Pedagogical$Element$4:$$Life<based$Learning$Communities$$$The!three!characteristics!of!water!that!support!this!approach!are!the!concepts!that!knowledge!is!emplaced,-culturally+centric,!and!understood!within!a!relational-ecology.--When!teaching!and!learning!is!grounded!as!embodied!and!emplaced!within!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!114!Vizenor!(2008,!2009),!developed!the!concept!of!survivance!to!depict!the!"union!of!active!survival!and!resistance!to!cultural!dominance!...an!obvious!spirit!of!native!sovereignty"!(p.!24,!2009).!It!resists!victimhood,!absence,!and!static!cultural!representations!of!Native!peoples!in!literature,!through!an!active,!dynamic!presence!and!sense!of!futurity.!Vizenor!writes,!"Native!survivance!is!a!continuance!of!stories"!(2009,!p.!1).!I!borrow!the!concept!here!to!indicate!a!refusal!to!forget!ancestral!knowledges.!!212!the!!community,!learning!does!not!only!happen!for!a!test!or!a!distant!future.!!Knowledge!that!is!emplaced-is!immediately!impactful!in!their/our!daily!lives!because!it!addresses!the!timeliness!and!geographical!contexts!of!current!events.!For!fronterizxs,!this!means!including!discussions!of!increased!military!presence,!(possible)!construction!of!a!border!wall!through!our!communities,!and!increased!violence!in!Nuevo!Laredo.!Difficult!and!contentious!topics!cannot!be!ignored!to!protect!students!from!impolite!social!conversations.!This!is!the!reality!we!all!live!in,!and!we!must!find!a!way!to!transform!these!dynamics!for!the!better,!and!imagine!a!different!future.!In!this!way,!emplaced!lifeCbased!learning!communities!are!foundational!in!the!resistance!against!ongoing!colonial!occupation.!!!In!the!frontera,!learning!opportunities!emerge!inclusive!of!all!of!the!complexities!of!life!with/in/alongside/over/of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!Culturally+centric!approaches!allow!us!to!recognize!the!nuanced,!teachable!moments!that!are!relevant!to!our!students.!Historically,!schools!were!institutions!of!assimilation!into!the!dominant!culture,!erasing!the!homeCculture!of!the!learners.!By!building!culturally+centric!learning!communities,!we!can!repurpose!schools!to!function!in!the!service!of!the!community,!toward!positive!transformation!of!the!relationships!between!people,!their!cultures,!and!their!relational-ecologies.!Furthermore,!the!lifeCbased!learning!community!of!an!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!challenges!the!dominant!conceptions!of!water!as!an!infinitely!consumable!resource.!Water!is!life.!!Water!is!the!life!that!connects!us!within!our!relational-ecologies.!Teaching!water!holistically!encourages!students!learning!opportunities!that!repair!our!collective!relationships!with!water,!focusing!on!our!!213!responsibilities!and!responseCabilities!in!the!dynamic!and!intradependent!relational-ecologies.!!!To!review,!in!this!section,!I!drew!from!the!oral!histories!of!the!local!elders!to!consider!how!the!water!teachings!of!Identity,!Land,!and!Life!can!inform!a!pedagogy!that!enlivens!the!traditional!knowledge!of!water!in!my!community.!!I!elaborated!each!Pedagogical!Element!(Learner,!Educator,!Curriculum,!and!Learning!Community)!that!together!comprise!an!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water,!incorporating!the!characteristics!of!water!that!support!an!embodied!approach.!Next,!I!revisit!the!testimonios!of!the!elders,!and!offer!teaching!themes!that!may!guide!learners!back!toward!Water!Thinking.!The!next!piece!in!assembling!the!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!was!to!figure!out!specific!teaching!themes!that!educators!could!use!to!develop!curriculum.!!8.2$ River<as<Water$Thinking:$Teaching$Themes$At!the!beginning!of!this!research!journey,!my!goal!was!to!explore!how!the!frontera!community!understands!the!Rio!Grande/!Rio!Bravo.!Through!the!stories!of!community!elders!and!knowledge!keepers,!community!members!expressed!the!need!for!the!community!to!return!to!Water!Thinking.!Thus,!the!purpose!of!our!creative!pedagogical!response!was!to!explicitly!teach!our!future!generations!of!fronterizxs!how!to!understand!our!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!as!sacred,!ancestral,!lifeCnourishing!water.!The!challenge!was!to!reinvigorate!what!a!few!of!the!elders!called!the!"old!ways!of!thinking,"!which!I!understand!to!refer!to!tacit,!unspoken!traditional!knowledges!of!water,!in!ways!that!are!relevant!to!today's!reality!of!a!river!border!context.!!214!When!asked,!"What!has!changed?"!community!elders!shared!stories!that!aligned!into!four!specific!themes!(River!as!Unknown,!River!as!a!Commodity,!River!as!Dangerous,!River!as!Dirty),!each!addressing!a!specific!shift!in!the!relationships!between!the!community,!the!land,!and!the!river.!Their!observations!have!occurred!over!a!lifetime,!accumulated!over!60,!70,!80,!or!90!years!of!experience,!living!alongside!the!river.!In!response,!I!developed!direct!interventions!based!on!the!Teachings!of!the!elders,!as!seen!in!Figure!36:!Collective!Observations!Inform!Our!Teachings.!!The!goal!was!not!to!shift!our!collective!understandings!to!Water!Thinking!to!the!exclusion!of!Border!Thinking,!but!to!be!able!to!navigate!the!multiple,!seemingly!irreconcilable!juxtapositions!of!confluence!inherent!in!Indigenous!fronterizx!realities.!!We!have!survived!in!the!confluence!of!multiple!ways!of!knowing,!and!multiple!ways!of!being,!as!a!survival!strategy.!We!remember!that!our!Rio!Grande/!Rio!Bravo!is!sacred.!!The!development!of!an!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!engages!both!decolonization!and!Indigenization!(Absolon,!2010f!Simpson,!2014f!Louie,!Pratt,!Hanson,!&!Ottmann,!2017),!in!which!the!local!ancestral!traditional!knowledges!of!water!are!revitalized!and!practiced!by!the!families!who!have!remained!intergenerationally!connected!to!their!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!making!space!for!Indigenous!fronterizx!futurities!to!emerge!from!our!collective!memories.!!In!the!next!section,!I!will!detail!each!of!the!Teaching!Themes!that!revitalize!the!relational,!traditional,!and!ancestral!ecological!knowledges!through!an!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water.!!!215!!Figure$36:$Collective$Observations$Inform$Our$Teachings$!8.2.1$ Teaching$Theme$1:$$River$as$Known$When!the!elders!were!asked!to!describe!the!changes!they!have!witnessed!over!their!lifetimes,!17!of!the!25!community!participants!mentioned!that!the!community!no!longer!spends!time!on!the!riverbanks!or!in!the!waters!of!the!river,!the!way!that!they!did!in!their!youth.!In!the!past,!families!could!access!the!river!and!would!visit!regularly,!but!today,!access!is!restricted,!and!community!members!have!lost!the!sense!of!fluency!with!!216!the!landC!and!waterCscapes.!I!collected!these!stories!into!a!divergent!branch!called!River-as-Unknown.!!!The!corresponding!Teaching!Theme,!River-as-Known,!works!to!reframe!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!such!that!the!river!becomes-known!by!the!community!once!again.!Learners!can!engage!this!teaching!theme!through!a!wide!variety!of!embodied!and!emplaced!learning!opportunities,!such!as!trail!visits,!water!studies,!stewardship,!emplaced!story!telling/listening,!restorying!histories!based!on!collective!memory,!mapping,!and!communityCcentered!inquiry.!!An!interdisciplinary!approach!is!important!in!creating!multiple,!related,!inclusive!entry!points!into!the!process!of!coming!to!know!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!such!that!river!teachings!are!not!confined!to!one!or!two!subject!areas.!Teaching!and!learning!opportunities!are!dynamic,!and!the!skills!of!multiple!subjects!can!be!used!to!engage!the!landscape!and!waterscape!in!which!communities!are!situated.!For!older!or!more!advanced!learners,!the!River!as!Known!Teaching!Theme!can!push!students!to!examine!the!specific!dynamics!that!have!disrupted!the!intergenerational!sharing!of!water!knowledge,!as!well!as!inspire!their!own!approaches!to!recovering!and!protecting!River!Knowledge.!!Some!local!institutions,!such!as!the!Rio!Grande!International!Study!Center!and!the!Laredo!Water!Museum,!have!established!precedent!in!gaining!appropriate!permisos115!to!host!educational!activities!near/at/in!the!water!of!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!Although!these!programs!may!not!be!culturallyCcentric!with!regard!to!Indigenous!Knowledge,!strategically,!it!would!seem!important!for!the!entire!community!to!gain!access!first,!and!Indigenize!onClocation!and!in!discussions!afterwards.!In!the!River!as!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!115!permissions!!217!Known!Teaching!Theme,!the!goal!is!to!use!all!available!content,!experiences,!and!teachable!moments!to!reacquaint!ourselves!with!the!river.!!It!moves!us,!as!individual!learners!and!as!a!community,!to!reClearn!the!language!of!the!river!and!landscape,!so!that!we!can!read!it,!understand!its!characteristics,!patterns,!and!health!as!our!elders!did.!The!only!way!to!do!so!is!to!spend!time!with/in/near!the!waters!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!8.2.2$ Teaching$Theme$2:$$River$as$Respected$The!second!theme!that!emerged!from!the!elders'!testimonios!was!mentioned!in!every!single!interview.!The!River-as-Dangerous!branch!included!a!long!list!of!dangers!and!perceived!dangers!associated!with!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!Whereas!there!are!some!aspects!of!danger!that!cannot!be!changed,!such!as!the!danger!of!undercurrents,!or!danger!associated!to!illegal!activity!and!militarized!patrols,!the!corresponding!Teaching!Theme,!River-as-Respected,!suggests!a!different!response!for!how!the!community!interacts!with!the!river.!Rather!than!abandoning!the!places!that!are!associated!with!danger,!the!River-as-Respected!Teaching!Theme!invites!attention!to,!care!of,!familiarity!with,!and!healthy!boundaries!that!recognize!the!importance!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!within!the!community!and!ecosystem.!!The!revitalization!of!public!green!spaces!and!public!programming!around!recreation!would!serve!to!reclaim!some!of!the!public!access!that!the!community!has!lost!over!time.!!It!could!also!be!argued!that!increased!visitation!and!visibility!in/alongside/around!public!access!points!would!deter!illegal!activity,!as!well!as!help!to!build!a!local,!culturallyCcentric!dialog!with!law!enforcement!and!homeland!security!forces!around!rights!and!ownership!of!the!lands!and!water.!!!218!The!perception!of!danger!or!safety!can!dramatically!affect!our!time!spent!in!particular!places.!When!we!believe!we!are!in!danger,!our!body!reacts!automatically!by!becoming!tense,!alert,!and!preoccupied!to!notice!the!danger!from!all!around!us.!By!contrast,!when!we!know!we!are!relatively!safe,$and/or!when!we!know!where!the!danger!lies,!we!can!relax,!yet!remain!watchful,!and!come!to!understand!the!dynamics!of!the!landscape.!Focusing!on!embodied!and!emplaced!ways!of!knowing!allows!learners!to!familiarize!themselves!with!the!roles!and!dynamics!as!beings!within!a!relational!ecology,!because!in!Nature,!there!is!always!danger.!It!is!inherent!in!being!alive,!inherent!in!being!in/with/near!any!body!of!water,!and!inherent!in!the!waters!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!Community!knowledgeCkeepers!spoke!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!as!a!fellow!community!member,!and!as!we!would!show!respect!to!another!human!being,!we!are!moved!to!show!respect!and!make!space!for!the!river!in!all!of!its!complexity.!In!the!second!Teaching!Theme,!River!as!Respected,!we!will!learn!how!to!respect!the!Rio!as!a!in!vital!entity!in!our!relational!ecology,!inclusive!of!the!danger,!nurturance,!animate!and!inanimate!beings,!increasing!our!awareness!of!the!effects!that!the!land!has!on!our!bodies,!but!also!how!our!bodies!interact!and!affect!the!landscape!as!beingsCinCrelation.!Learning!how!to!respect!the!river!encourages!learners!to!reawaken!the!ancestral!knowledge!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!in/of/within!themselves,!and!revitalize!the!relationship!between!the!river!and!our!frontera!community!as!part!of!our!relational!ecology.!!219!8.2.3$ Teaching$Theme$3:$$River$(Water)$as$Spirit$The!third!divergent!branch,!River-as-Commodity,!discussed!by!community!elders!is!the!idea!that!both!the!river!and!the!water!have!become!commodities,!understood!within!economic!models!as!objects!to!be!bought,!sold,!replaced,!and!discarded!at!will.!In!response,!within!a!Pedagogy!of!Water,!the!waters!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!would!be!reframed!as!Spirit-(i.e.,-River-as-Spirit),!prioritizing!the!metaphors!of!life,!spirit,!growth,!and!healing.!To!be!clear,!learning!opportunities!will!not!focus!on!any!particular!religious!teaching,!but!will!instead!invite!an!open!and!inclusive!conversation!about!how!all!life!is!connected,!and!is!also!connected!through!time.!!These!conversations!consider!water!from!a!holistic!perspective,!including!where!it!goes!and!what!it!does!within!a!relational!ecology.!!Like!the!other!Teaching!Themes,!there!is!no!single!right!way!to!guide!learning.!!Spiritual!ways!of!knowing!can!be!tricky!in!the!learning!environment.!Some!students!may!be!resistant!because!they!do!not!understand!the!difference!between!spirituality!(as!an!inherent!part!of!our!humanity)!and!religion!(as!a!learned!doctrine!and!institution).!!I!offer!the!following!two!examples!of!spiritual!ways!of!learning!to!guide!learners!in!the!classroom.!Sometimes,!the!process!is!passive,!such!as!when!we!listen!to!a!live!performance!of!music!and!are!deeply!moved.!As!a!witness,!we!are!fully!engaged!at!that!moment,!stirred!to!feel!deep!connection!with!those!around!us,!and!are!often!reminded!of!our!own!deep!values,!such!as!life,!love,!and!family.!!Other!times,!spiritual!learning!is!an!active!process,!such!as!what!artists,!musicians,!and!inventors!call!flow.!!In!these!moments,!our!context,!skills,!and!vision!are!aligned!and!we!become!so!engaged!in!the!process!of!creation!that!we!lose!track!of!time,!lose!track!of!our!own!bodily!needs.!!Both!!220!types!of!experience!remind!us!that!life,!and!being!alive,!is!exquisite,!and!we!are!reminded!to!make!time!to!appreciate!these!inspiring!moments.!At!the!core!of!the!River-(Water)-as-Spirit-Teaching!Theme,!educators!and!learners!are!invited!to!explore!the!ways!that!our!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!might!inspire!and!inspirit!our!learning.!By!focusing!on!the!deep!resonance!and!intraCdependence!of!life!within!the!relational!ecology,!we!engage!thinking!that!is!not!anthropocentric!(in!which!we!humans!are!the!sole!focal!point).!Instead,!our!attention!moves!to!the!intricate!movement!of!water!that!connects!us!simultaneously!within!macro!and!micro!systems!of!life.!Further,!Spirit!honors!the!beautiful,!dynamic,!fleeting!temporal!aspects!of!life,!strengthening!our!connections!as!a!community,!and!through!time,!to!our!ancestors!as!well!as!our!future!descendants.!Restorying!water!and!the!Rio!as!Spirit!asks!learners!to!consider!What-will-we-leave-our-grandchildren-when-it-is-our-turn-to-be-elders?!8.2.4$ Teaching$Theme$4:$$River$(Water)$as$our$Response<ability$Finally,!the!fourth!branch,!River-(Water)-as-Dirty,!summarizes!a!commonly!held!belief!in!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo,!addressing!how!the!River!(Water)!has!become!Dirty,!as!though!a!permanent!and!irreparable!condition.!!This!idea!speaks!not!only!to!the!sensory!experiences!along!the!river!banks,!but!also!points!to!common!knowledge!of!industrial!waste,!municipal!dumping,!and!other!local!public!health!concerns.!!While!there!is!certainly!some!truth!behind!this!perception,!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!is!still!our!only!source!of!drinking!water,!and!should!not!be!discarded!as!easily!as!a!disposable!consumer!good.!When!we!consider!something!disposable,!we!have!little!emotional!connection!to!it,!and!pay!little!to!no!attention!to!where!it!came!from!or!where!it!goes!when!we!are!done!using!it.!!Several!elders!described!that!this!is!the!attitude!of!many!!221!young!people!towards!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!having!lost!their!sense!of!responsibility!to!the!community,!land,!and!river.!!!The!corresponding!Teaching!Theme!within!the!Pedagogy!of!Water!would!be!to!understand!the!River-(Water)-as-our-Response+ability,!as!people!living!within!the!relational!ecology.!This!teaching!theme!would!focus!on!the!idea!that,!as!good!relations,!we!learn!that!what-we-do-to-the-river,-we-do-to-ourselves.-As!a!direct!intervention,!emotional!ways!of!knowing!centered!around!empathy!encourages!learners!to!come!to!know!the!river!in!meaningful!and!personal!ways.!!Much!the!same!way!that!we!explicitly!teach!children!empathy!by!listening!to!others!with!"their!eyes,!their!ears,!and!their!hearts,"!we!could!develop!an!empathy!toward!the!river!with!the!same!advice.!By!listening!to!the!landC!and!waterCscapes!with!empathy,!learners!may!come!to!know!their!rivered!home!community!in!new!ways.!!Such!a!practice!does!not!impose!human!characteristics!onto!the!river!but!cultivates!an!orientation!by!which!we!become!sensitive!and!aware!of!how!our!emotions!are!reflected!and!reflective!of!our!relational!ecologies.!!The!goal!of!the!fourth!Teaching!Theme:!River-(Water)-as-our-Response+ability,!is!for!community!members!become!more!sensitive!to!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!and!develop!a!sense!of!responsibility!and!responseCability.!Our!river!is!not!disposable.!Our!water!is!not!meaningless.!!In!revitalizing!our!responseCability!in!the!care!and!protection!of!our!ancestral!waters,!we!simultaneously!attend!to!the!care!and!protection!of!our!community,!our!relational!ecology,!and!future.!!8.3$ Summary$In!this!chapter,!I!described!the!process!for!building!the!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!from!the!testimonios!of!our!community!elders.!!I!described!the!!222!purpose!of!restorying!the!river,!drawing!on!the!idea!of!a!confluence,!as!an!invitation!to!keep!multiple,!simultaneous!meanings!of!the!river!in!conversation!with!each!other.!!I!gave!shape!to!the!Pedagogy!of!Water!by!elaborating!the!four!Elements!of!Pedagogy,!including!the!Identity!of!the!Students,!Identity!of!the!Educators,!Land/WaterCbased!Curriculum,!and!LifeCbased!Learning!Communities.!!I!described!the!characteristics!of!embodying!and!inspiriting!the!Pedagogy!as!a!praxis,!so!that!water!is!not!simply!content,!but!also!informs!a!holistic!and!culturallyCcentric!teaching!praxis.!!!In!the!last!part!of!the!chapter,!I!developed!four!major!Teaching!Themes!that!will!explicitly!revitalize!Water!Thinking!for!future!generations:!River!as!Known,!River!as!Respected,!River!(Water)!as!Spirit,!and!River!(Water)!as!our!ResponseCability.!In!creating!an!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water,!I!have!demonstrated!my!own!learning!process!and!synthesized!new!knowledge!in!the!form!of!a!creative!intervention,!in!response!to!my!community's!needs.!!In!the!last!chapter,!the!Conclusion!chapter,!I!will!offer!some!reflections!and!closing!thoughts.!!!223!Chapter$9:$Conclusion$Most-of-us-were-still-very-much-attached-to-the-river.-They-even-have-a-saying-that-goes-'if-you-ever-drink-water-from-the-Rio-Grande,-you-will-have-to-come-back-to-take-another-drink'.-But-that’s-what-the-old-people-said...-like-grandparents,-great+-grandparents,-your-tias-and-everybody-else.-We-all-go-back-to-Laredo.-For-some,-it’s-something-that’s-within-us,-something-that-makes-you-say-‘I-belong-there.’--(J.-A.-Treviño,-oral-communication-Nov.-21,-2014)--Mr.!Treviño's!words!echo!what!many!of!the!community!knowledge!keepers!shared!throughout!the!research!process.!As!an!intergenerational!local,!I!understand!that!when!we!drink!from!the!river,!it!reinvigorates!a!deep!part!of!us,!and!draws!us!back!to!the!place!where!we!belong.!This!is!a!most!appropriate!metaphor!for!a!conclusion.!!In!this!chapter,!I!circle!back!to!the!beginning!of!the!project!and!offer!a!synopsis!of!its!major!concepts!and!approaches.!!I!then!discuss!how!the!project’s!major!findings!coalesced!into!a!direct!intervention,!recovering!the!traditional!ecological!knowledge!of!my!Indigenous!frontera!community!that!is!deeply!rooted!to!each!side!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!9.1$ Overview$of$the$Problem$Water!is!life.!On!a!global!scale,!more!and!more!communities!face!crises!related!to!access!to!healthy!clean!drinking!water.!In!response,!there!has!been!increased!rhetoric!around!water,!including!discussions!in!areas!such!as!policy,!droughtCmanagement,!human!rights,!corporate!ownership,!fracking/extraction,!climate!change,!and!humanitarian!aid.!Each!context!offers!different!ways!of!understanding!the!complex,!multilayered!challenges!of!providing!water!for!the!people.!The!only!hope!for!a!global!solution!will!require!multiple!simultaneous!interventions!to!dramatically!change!how!we!understand!our!collective!dependence!on!water!and!shift!to!more!sustainable!approaches.!!224!The!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!is!the!major!water!source!for!millions!of!people!who!live!along!the!US!Mexico!border.!In!the!last!40!years,!the!meaning!of!the!river!has!shifted!dramatically!as!the!functions!of!the!international!border!have!eclipsed!the!functions!of!the!river!as!the!sole!source!of!water!for!frontera!communities.!For!many!in!the!US,!the!river!marks!the!division!between!us!versus!them,!American!versus!Mexican,!firstCworld!versus!thirdCworld,!without!any!reference!to!the!dynamic!confluence!that!is!fundamental!to!life!on/in/with/of!borderland!communities.!In!response,!this!project!worked!to!uncover!the!meanings!of!water!on/in/with/of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!from!the!specific!perspective!and!positionality!of!lifeClong!fronterizxs!living!in!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo.!!My!inquiry!was!specific:!what!does!the!river!mean!to!the!community!in!their/our!own!words,!from!our!frontera!perspectives,!framed!by!the!contradictory!contexts!of!surviving!traditional!ecological!knowledge!and!ongoing!military!occupation?!To!understand!the!complexity!of!life!along!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!I!approached!the!river!holistically!in!order!to!recognize!the!traditional!knowledge!that!emerges!from!relationships!between!beings!in!particular!places!and!at!particular!times.!Indigenous!cultural!traditions!based!in!knowledge!of!the!land!and!river!have!survived!through!many!generations!of!colonization.!Stories,!practices,!songs,!testimonies,!and!languages!connect!to!the!collective!memories!of!landCbased!cultures!that!predate!settler!occupation!and!colonial!borders.!!9.2$ Purpose$Statement$The!purpose!of!the!project!was!to!document!the!life!stories!of!community!elders,!through!oral!history!and!testimonios,!focusing!on!their!understandings!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!and!how!the!river!has!changed!in!their!lifetimes.!The!very!act!of!!225!listening!resists!the!multiple!and!ongoing!sites!of!colonial!displacement!and!erasure!of!the!original!Indigenous!peoples!from!the!borderland/frontera!of!the!US!and!Mexico!!I!listened,!facilitated,!and!translated!these!river!teachings!and!traditional!ecological!knowledges!into!a!pedagogical!framework!for!both!educators!and!scholars!that!recognizes!Mesoamerican!intellectual!traditions!as!Indigenous!pedagogies.!!Furthermore,!the!timeliness!of!the!project!attended!to!community!needs!as!our!elders,!our!archives,!are!advancing!in!age,!and!as!new!regulations!centered!around!homeland!security!continue!to!restrict!access!to!our!river.!Within!one!more!generation!of!normalized!military!occupation!and!carceral!wall!structures,!our!community!may!not!fully!remember!when!our!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!held!Laredo!and!Nuevo!Laredo!together!as!deeply!connected!and!interdependent!sister!cities.!Future!generations!may!never!swim,!fish,!play,!or!enjoy!the!public!spaces!along!the!banks!of!their!own!ancestral!waters!because!of!the!normalization!of!Border!Thinking.!In!response,!this!project!creates!an!intervention!by!refusing!to!forget!Water!Thinking,!restoring!and!restorying!the!relationship!between!the!community!and!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!The!purpose!of!the!project!was!to!remember,!revitalize,!and!restory!the!relationships!and!responseCabilities!as!a!community!to!the!river,!so!that!our!youth!may!understand!what!our!elders!have!always!known:!that!water!is!life.!Our!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!is!our!collective!lives.!!Looking!forward,!I!hope!that!this!work!will!seed!many!future!iterations!of!coClearning,!as!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogies!of!Water!are!shared,!replicated,!and!grown!in!neighboring!communities!up!and!down!river!from!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo,!in!the!service!of!frontera!communities.!!!226!9.3$ Review$of$Methodology$Before!we!could!understand!the!teachings!from!community!knowledge!keepers,!I!had!to!create!a!space!for!the!Indigenous,!holistic,!polyCvocal,!and!culturallyCcentric!ways!of!knowing!and!being!that!reflect!life!in!my!frontera!community.!!Our!stories!and!collective!memory!cannot!be!understood!with!Eurocentric!ears,!or!frames!of!reference,!so!I!created!the!appropriate!frames!and!research!approaches!for!understanding.!The!theoretical!framework,!called!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Cosmographies,!outlines!a!specific!perspective!and!positionality,!mindful!of!the!many!layers!and!confluences!of!culture!that!shape!life!in/on/of/with!life!along!the!riverCasCborder.!This!framework!included!Indigenous!Ways!of!Knowing,!Xicanx!Ways!of!Being,!and!Borderland!Positionalities!to!provide!the!contexts!and!history!impacting!Indigenous!peoples!of!Mexican!American!descent!who!live!along!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!When!aligned!with!the!Fronterawork!methodological!approach,!this!research!project!was!able!to!respond!to!the!multiClevel!systemic!erasure!of!frontera!perspective,!voice,!and!agency.!!The!communityCcentric!research!process!created!different!entry!points!for!the!various!voices!found!in!the!communities!along!the!river,!making!space!for!nuance!and!difference,!practicing!research!as!a!nonCdominating!conversation!that!can!respond!to!the!needs!of!the!community.!Similarly,!the!specific!method!of!oral!histories,!testimonios,!and!holistic!listening!was!designed!to!be!inclusive!and!responsive,!moving!according!to!the!engagement!of!the!community!knowledge!keepers.!Although!I!had!originally!made!preparations!for!a!mapCmaking!workshop!and!series!of!interviews,!and!after!much!discussion,!I!found!the!oral!history!interviews!to!be!a!much!more!effective!and!inclusive!approach!to!restorying!!227!the!river!and!land.!!In!retrospect,!rather!than!make!visual!maps!of!our!community!represented!through!drawings,!I!now!recognize!our!storying!process!to!be!oral!maps,!following!the!precedent!of!our!Indigenous!oral!intellectual!traditions.!Each!testimonio!revives!ancestral!knowledges!and!makes!meaning!to/with/through!the!river!landscape!through!emplaced!and!embodied!accounts.!This!shift!in!method!provided!an!important!learning!moment!for!me!as!a!researcher,!disrupting!my!own!ocularCcentric!expectations!that!maps!should!be!visual.!!Once!I!began!interviewing!community!elders,!the!snowball!approach!to!recruitment!more!than!doubled!the!number!of!expected!participants.!In!exchange!for!their!willingness!to!share!their!stories,!community!elders!were!gifted!small!gifts,!as!a!token!of!appreciation!and!respectful!cultural!protocol.!I!listened!to!the!oral!histories!and!testimonios!of!28!local!knowledge!keepers!and!elders,!transcribed!and!verified!their!stories,!and!produced!25!transcripts!that!speak!to!the!emplaced!and!embodied!river!and!water!teachings!of!life!in!our!community.!!In!practice,!the!testimonios!of!our!community!elders!and!knowledgeCkeepers!formed!the!foundational!sources!of!knowledge,!restorying!the!relationships!between!the!people,!the!river,!and!the!land,!out!of!which!the!rest!of!the!project!could!emerge!and!unfold.!!As!a!practice!of!my!own!responseCability,!I!chose!to!synthesize!what!I!learned!from!the!teachings!of!collective!memory!into!an!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!to!teach!our!youth!the!relational!and!ancestral!knowledges!of!the!Rio!Grande/!Rio!Bravo.!In!doing!so,!I!demonstrated!my!understanding!of!Indigenous!research!practices!that!repurpose!education!for!the!regeneration!of!ancestral!knowledges.!The!effectiveness!of!holistic!storytelling!and!holistic!storylistening!reminded!me!of!the!vital!skills!necessary!to!!228!the!successful!implementation!of!intergenerational!pedagogies.!!I!had!to!remember!how-to-listen!and!be!receptive!to!the!Water!Teachings,!as!my!own!default!orientations!tend!to!be!the!teacherCcentric!models!of!Eurocentric!classrooms.!!Thus,!foundational!to!the!Pedagogy!of!Water!is!the!gentle!reminder!that!we!are!holistic!learning!beings,!capable!of!many!modes!of!teaching,!of!learning,!and!communicating!what!we!know.!!Our!youth!need!the!Water!Teachings!content,!but!also!need!the!skills!to!listen!holistically!and!be!receptive!to,!and!understand!the!value!of!community!knowledge.!In!effect,!the!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!reconceptualizes!the!purpose!and!practices!of!education!based!on!our!shared!ancestral!knowledges!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!toward!community!revitalization!and!healing!in!the!face!of!ongoing!colonization.!The!completed!project!will!presented!to!a!Council!of!Grandmothers!as!a!step!to!ensure!that!I!upheld!my!responsibilities!to!protect!sacred!knowledge,!and!will!also!presented!to!my!south!Texas!community!at!a!public!presentation.!!Whereas!the!original!plan!included!the!compilation!of!an!anthology!of!maps!and!firsthand!accounts!to!serve!as!curricular!materials,!the!outcome!evolved!into!an!intergenerational!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water,!in!the!service!of!my!community!on!the!frontera.!The!anthology!of!stories!and!oral!histories!is!forthcoming,!and!will!(hopefully)!serve!as!a!foundation!in!support!of!future!Mexican!American!Studies!curricula!projects.!!9.4$ Fronterizx$Understandings$of$the$Rio$Grande/Rio$Bravo$In!listening!to!25!oral!histories!shared!by!community!elders!and!knowledgeCkeepers!that!offered!firstChand!accounts!of!lifeClong!relationships!in/of/near/in/with!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!two!specific!themes!emerged:!RiverCasCWater!Thinking,!and!RiverCasCBorder!Thinking.!!Many!of!the!lifeClong!fronterizxs!seemed!quite!comfortable!!229!switching!between!the!two!very!different!understandings,!depending!on!topic,!audience,!and!context.!A!conceptual!map!of!my!findings!is!summarized!by!Figure!37:!Conceptual!Map!of!Findings.!While!some!conversations!moved!from!RiverCasCWater!into!RiverCasCBorder,!which!is!similar!to!the!chronological!reality!of!life!with/near/of/in/alongside!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!the!reverse!was!not!observed.!!Within!the!stream!of!Water!Thinking,!community!elders’!stories!tended!to!address!more!than!one!tributaryf!they!spoke!of!Life,!the!Land,!and/or!Identity.!In!contrast,!stories!that!were!characterized!as!the!Border!Thinking!included!River!as!a!Marker!of!Power,!Place,!Thing,!and!as!Arbitrary.!!Interestingly,!it!was!not!just!the!content!that!shifted,!but!also!the!different!ways!in!which!elders!conveyed!their!emotions!within!each!tributary.!Stories!tended!to!be!warm,!personal,!and!somewhat!nostalgic!when!referencing!the!RiverCasCWaterf!whereas,!when!referring!to!the!RiverCasCBorder,!the!languaging!tended!to!be!less!personal!and!more!distant.!Another!difference!between!the!two!streams!is!how!Water!Thinking!stories!tended!to!include!events!experienced!on!both!sides!of!the!river,!moving!back!and!forth!geographically,!as!well!as!linguistically!between!English!and!Spanish.!When!the!river!was!discussed!as!the!border!(Border!Thinking),!the!perspective!was!often!bound!by!the!border!to!the!U.S.!side,!narrating!events!from!a!US!perspective.!!In!other!words,!Border!Thinking!often!limited!how!we!related!to!our!relatives!on!the!other!side!of!the!river,!both!physically!and!conceptually,!reinforcing!the!divide,!and!privileging!the!U.S.!side.!!!230!!Figure$37:$Conceptual$Map$of$Findingslife!!231!$I!drew!the!findings!as!an!metacognitive!conceptual!map,!seen!in!Figure!37:!Conceptual!Map!of!Findings,!to!illustrate!the!nature!of!confluence!and!privilege!water!waysCofCunderstanding!the!research!process.!!Doing!so!made!space!for!multiple!perspectives!and!the!coCexistence!of!difficult!contradictions,!which!accurately!captures!the!nature!of!life!on/of/with/in!the!frontera,!and!life!on/of/with/in!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!$Figure!38:!Two!Major!Areas!of!Thought,!offers!a!different!arrangement!of!the!same!ideas,!but!also!allowed!me!to!represent!the!chronological!directionality!that!illustrates!the!way!that!our!community!historically!understood!the!RiverCasCWater!as!the!primary!mode!for!understanding!the!river.!Over!time,!as!represented!by!the!arrow,!Border!Thinking!has!taken!prominence!over!Water!Thinking.!To!be!clear,!both!coexist!in!a!turbulent!confluence,!such!that!Water!Thinking!is!still!present,!but!has!become!hidden!from!our!daily!awareness.!When!community!members!were!asked!to!describe!the!changes!over!the!course!of!their!lifetimes,!many!of!their!stories!pointed!to!the!relationship!between!the!river!and!the!community!as!responsive!to!each!other.!!Specifically,!as!the!river!became!more!militarized,!functioning!more!as!a!border!than!as!a!water!supply,!the!understandings!of!the!people!with!regard!to!the!river!also!shifted.!!As!depicted$in!Figure!39:!Changes!to!the!River,!Changes!to!our!Thinking,!elders!described!the!changes!in!the!way!we!think!of!the!river!in!four!ways:!River!as!Unknown,!River!as!Dangerous,!River!(Water)!as!a!commodity,!and!River!(Water)!as!Dirty.!!!232!!Figure$38:$Two$Major$Areas$of$Thought$! !Figure$39:$Changes$to$the$River,$Changes$to$our$Thinking!233!Some!community!elders!spoke!directly!to!the!changes!in!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!while!others!described!changes!in!how!we!regard!the!river,!describing!the!changes!in!the!culture!of!the!community.!All!of!the!stories!indicated!the!predominance!of!Border!Thinking!over!time,!indicating!a!clear!directionality!in!how!fronterizxs!think!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!I!understand!the!silencing!of!Water!Thinking!by!Border!Thinking!to!reflect!the!ongoing!active!silencing!of!the!Indigenous!fronterizxs,!the!ancestral!river,!and!the!cultural!traditions!that!unite!them.!!Which!is!to!say:!that!the!same!colonial!mechanisms!that!have!historically!been!used!to!declare!the!territory!empty!and!unused!is!also!being!used!to!displace!Indigenous!fronterizxs!from!their!ancestral!territories!in!the!name!of!national!security!today.!!When!I!asked!elders,!"What!do!future!generations!of!Laredoans!need!to!know!about!life!with!the!river?,"!most!elders!urged!me,!personally,!to!teach!young!people!about!the!ways!things!used!to!be,!back!when!we!could!cross!freely,!when!everyone!respected!the!river!both!as!our!relative!and!primary!source!of!water,!and!as!a!sacred!place.!Some!hoped!that!political!conditions!would!shift!so!that!someday,!young!people!might!be!allowed!to!experience!the!river!as!a!recreational!area,!as!a!community!meeting!space,!and!as!a!unifying!force!in!the!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo!communities,!while!others!were!content!to!merely!share!their!stories!so!that!the!cultural!aspects!of!who!we!were!and!who!we!are!would!not!be!lost.!The!synthesis!of!teachings!can!be!seen!in!Figure!40:!Water!Teachings.!!234!!Figure$40:$Water$Teachings$9.5$ Discussion$of$Findings$The!concept!of!serpentine!conocimiento!(Lara,!2014),!suggests!that!all!life!is!connected!to!both!earthly!and!spiritual!realms,!in!which!wisdom!is!characterized!by!dualities,!intuition,!and!fluidity.!There!were!many!moments!during!data!collection!when!I!had!to!practice!being!more!intuitive,!more!responsive,!and!more!fluid!about!role!and!expectations!as!an!academic!researcher.!!As!the!testimonios!were!shared,!many!of!the!teachings!of!my!community!elders!reassured!me!that!I!was!on!a!good!path.!In!this!section,!I!will!discuss!a!few!of!the!indicators!that!reaffirmed!the!project!as!relevant!and!!235!aligned!with!the!perspectives!of!my!community.!In!each!of!the!following!discussion!sections,!I!describe!some!of!the!teachings,!some!of!what!I!have!learned!along!the!way,!as!well!as!the!future!work.!9.5.1$ On$collective$remembering$In!the!oral!history!interview,!Mr.!Montoya!revealed!that!he!did!not!know!when!to!be!explicit!in!teaching!his!own!children!about!the!land!and!the!river,!because!he!just!assumed!they!must!know!what!he!knows.!I!couldn't!help!but!wonder!if!there!were!other!details!of!the!land!and!river!that!Mr.!Montoya!assumed!I!must!know!as!well!as!he!does.!!The!whole!conversation!seemed!to!point!to!the!importance!of!collective!memory!in!recovering!traditional!knowledge,!specifically,!how!we!remember!together,!and!value!our!collective!knowledge!as!a!community116.!!!When!I!conducted!the!interview!with!Mr.!Montoya,!his!wife!of!over!35!years,!Mrs.!Montoya,!was!in!the!room,!still!undecided!about!whether!or!not!she!would!like!to!participate!in!the!project.!!She!listened!as!we!conducted!his!interview,!careful!not!to!participate!or!influence!his!answers!by!sitting!out!of!his!view.!As!we!were!wrapping!up,!Mrs.!Montoya!came!to!join!us,!and!asked!if!she!could!also!do!an!interview.!!Before!we!formally!began!her!oral!history,!she!shared!that!hearing!his!stories!reminded!her!of!details!she!wanted!me!to!record,!both!in!her!own!life!story,!and!also!in!his.!!Indeed,!there!were!details!about!stories!her!husband!shared!that!she!thought!were!important!to!build!upon!and!clarify!in!a!constructive,!finishCeachCother'sCsentences!kind!of!way.!Although!not!a!formal!question!of!our!interview!process,!Mrs.!Montoya!was!speaking!to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!116!Future!work!may!include!small!discussion!groups,!using!historic!photos!or!other!realia!to!collectively!remember.!!!236!the!importance!of!remembering!together117,!helping!each!other!fill!in!the!details!for!a!more!accurate!depiction!of!how!we!remember.!!From!my!own!researcher!perspective,!it!was!interesting!to!notice!that!each!time!we!conducted!the!interview!process,!the!very!process!of!storyCsharing!and!focused!storyClistening!seemed!to!invite!others!to!do!so!also.!!Perhaps!this!is!similar!to!the!cohesive!nature!of!water,!in!which!we!are!deeply!drawn!to!participate!in!particular!cultural!practices!as!a!collective!community.!The!location!dictated!who!the!additional!listeners!were.!!In!personal!homes,!family!members!would!often!move!closer,!so!as!to!listen!in!without!disrupting!the!process.!!In!public!spaces,!such!as!the!public!library,!we!had!a!library!patron,!whom!neither!of!us!knew,!linger!and!eavesdrop!through!the!stacks!of!books.!!Similarly,!one!interview,!conducted!in!the!breakfast!nook!of!a!hotel,!piqued!the!interest!of!a!hotel!guest!who!wrote!a!pageClong!letter!of!appreciation!to!the!elder!I!was!interviewing,!in!response!to!some!of!his!stories.!!Each!time!was!a!reminder!of!the!power!of!stories!to!bring!people!to!together,!and!the!intrinsic!practice!of!listening!when!our!elders!speak.!When!other!listeners!did!add!details,!or!ask!questions,!the!process!of!collective!remembering!became!a!process!of!fineCtuning,!some!details!calling!forward!other!details.!While!much!of!the!academic!literature!suggests!interviewing!only!a!single!person!for!the!purpose!of!accuracy!and!also!ease!of!transcription,!future!work!will!include!adjusting!the!interview!process!to!invite!families!to!share!stories.!I!recognize!my!own!purposes!would!be!better!served!by!developing!a!process!of!inclusive!and!respectful!collective!remembering.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!117!Future!work!will!plan!to!explore!this!suggestion!of!collective!testimonio,!as!a!way!of!engaging!conversations!about!specific!events.!!!237!9.5.2$ Language$considerations$Most!fronterizxs!are!bicultural!and!bilingual,!able!to!move!freely!between!English!and!Spanish.!Each!language!encodes!different!metaphors!and!ways!of!thinking.!!To!demonstrate!how!important!it!is!to!recognize!the!influence!of!language,!consider!the!following!exchange:!Maybe-it's-because-I-learned-the-river-with-my-father-as-a-child,-and-it-was-in-Spanish.-But-I-see-that-the-river-con-cariño118.-In-Spanish.-And-in-English,-it-was-just-a-body-of-water.-It's-just-the-river-as-an-international-boundary,-there's-an-International-Water-Boundary-Commission-and-it's-all…-yada-yada-yada.-But-the-affection-for-the-river-comes-from-my-native-tongue.-English-is-my-second-language,-so,-the-affection-to-the-river-comes-from-my-Native-tongue-of-Spanish.--You-know,-it-is-startling.--I-don't-have-any-affection-in-English.-I-can't-say-I'm-endeared-to-the-river-in-English.--I-don't-even-think-of-it-in-those-terms,-in-this-language,-as-in-the-other-language.--It's-tied-to-my-father,-tied-in-my-childhood,-but-it's-also-tied-to-the-rituals-of-seeing-the-river-as-an-important-part-of-our-entertainment,-our-life,-in-Spanish.-(M.-E.-Calderón-Porter,-oral-communication,-June-13,-2014)-Mrs.!Calderón!Porter!was!thinking!as!she!was!speaking,!metaCcognitively!sorting!which!language!carried!which!particular!meanings.!For!her,!River!Thinking!happens!in!Spanish!and!is!tied!to!her!youth!with!her!father!on!the!banks!of!the!river.!Border!Thinking!and,!by!extension,!Border!Speaking,!tends!to!happen!in!English.!!Personally,!I!had!similar!challenges!around!language.!!Conducting!the!interviews!in!Spanish!was!challenging!for!me,!as!a!few!key!concepts!do!not!translate!(word!to!word)!or!transliterate!(concept!to!concept)!very!well.!I!thought!all!parts!of!the!project!in!English,!and!translated!it!to!Spanish,!whereas,!if!I!had!originally!thought!the!project!in!Spanish,!and!tried!to!translate!it!to!English,!it!would!not!be!the!same!project!we!have!today.!!Some!ideas!simply!do!not!translate.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!118!with!tenderness!!238!For!example,!in!English,!the!research!questions!asked!about!the!relationship!of!the!community!to!the!river.!!In!a!direct!translation,!the!word!relación!implies!a!sexual!intimacy,!which!is!not!what!I!wanted!to!communicate.!!The!nearest!best!transliteration!is!conexión,!which!directly!translates!to!connection,!but!implies!a!flat,!less!complex,!less!reciprocal!association.!While!some!words!and!concepts!could!be!worked!around!to!still!convey!the!accurate!intention,!there!were!a!few!questions!that!were!rendered!nonsensical!in!Spanish.!Some!turned!into!a!discussion!in!order!to!clarify!the!meaning!of!the!question,!and!a!few!times,!if!the!question!did!not!make!sense,!the!community!member!exercised!their!right!to!pass,!so!that!we'd!skip!to!the!next!question.!Four!of!the!community!participants!spoke!to!the!ways!that!they!personally!used!each!language,!explaining!that!Spanish!was!their!first!language,!or!home!language,!while!English!was!what!they!spoke!away!from!home,!in!the!workplace!and!world.!!A!few!times,!participants!indicated!with!which!language!they!were!thinking!while!being!interviewed.!Interestingly,!for!folks!who!are!fluent!in!both!languages,!the!language!that!they!thought!in!was!not!necessarily!the!same!language!that!they!spoke!in!on!any!given!subject119.!This!points!to!the!cultural!and!metacognitive!awareness!of!code!switching120!that!happens!in!the!frontera!community,!depending!on!context,!speaker,!timing,!content,!and/or!audience.!!One!participant!discussed!at!length!about!how!he!could!tell!when!someone!was!from!Laredo!based!on!how!they!crisscrossed!between!the!languages.!In!jest,!he!used!the!phrase!"their!Laredo!is!showing,"!recognizing!communication!nuances!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!119!Future!work!may!consider!asking!questions!to!double!check!that!the!findings!related!to!language!specify!thinking!language!versus!spoken!language.!!120!In!this!case,!the!phrase!"code!switching"!being!used!to!indicate!how!participants!respond!to!particular!contexts!with!the!appropriate!language!and!patterns!of!speech.!!239!that!are!culturally!tied!to!this!particular!community.!In!that!similar!line!of!reasoning,!I!wonder!if!my!own!Laredo!has!worn!off,!as!I!have!lived!away!from!my!community!long!enough!that!my!habits!of!speech!no!longer!reflect!the!particularities!of!my!hometown.!!I!wonder!what!difference!could!be!understood!if!the!project!had!been!imagined,!written,!and!conducted!in!Spanish.!The!interview!questions!would!have!been!very!different,!as!would!the!thematic!and!metaphorical!implications.!It!would!reason!that!the!themes!and!results!would!also!be!quite!different!if!the!language!was!switched!from!English!to!Spanish,!even!if!all!other!factors!were!to!stay!the!same.!!Metacognitively,!I!can!describe!some!of!the!nuances!of!frontera!codeCswitching,!while!other!details!may!be!invisible!and!normalized!within!my!own!frame!of!reference.!!Within!the!bigger!project!of!establishing!an!Indigenous!Fronterx!Cosmography!that!maps!our!collective!memories!onto!the!rivered!landscape,!frontera!codeCswitching!serves!as!a!compass!to!help!orient!oneself!to!the!local!ways!of!thinking!and!knowing,!to!the!local!landmarks,!local!metaphors,!and!longitudinal!river!orientations.121!!9.5.3$ Fraught$contexts$of$self<Identification$Although!none!of!the!questions!directly!addressed!the!topic!of!the!increased!security!and!scrutiny!of!the!border,!one!of!the!community!participants!spoke!at!length!about!what!they!had!"destroyed!our!communities."!Rather!than!focus!on!the!changes!to!the!river,!she!described!the!changes!to!her!neighborhood,!located!on!the!river's!edge,!and!how!it!changed!from!a!safe,!familiar,!friendly!network!of!families,!to!a!closed,!private,!unfamiliar,!highly!scrutinized!place!where!people!live.!!The!neighborhood!was!simply!a!place,!seemingly!devoid!of!relationships!between!the!people,!the!land,!and!the!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!121!Future!work!will!further!develop!this!particular!metaphor!of!frontera!codeCswitching!as!compass.!!!240!waters,!and!no!longer!a!community!of!supportive!and!interrelated!families.!Her!stories!pointed!to!the!possibility!of!a!parallel!project!focused!on!the!same!research!questions,!but!from!the!perspective!of!a!single!neighborhood!community,!and!how!it!has!changed!over!time122.!This!shift!in!scale!would!speak!to!collective!concepts!of!identity.!!Similarly,!the!reality!of!our!frontera!is!that!our!youth!may!never!fully!connect!to!the!river!as!our!source!of!drinking!water,!much!less!understand!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!as!ancestral!creation!waters.!As!security!increases!and!apartheid!walls!are!erected,!RiverCasCWater!Thinking!may!become!limited!to!conceptual!understandings,!rather!than!embodied!and!emplaced!knowledge.!In!such!dangerous!contexts,!and!without!a!sense!of!our!ancestral!intellectual!traditions!and!collective!memories,!how!is!our!sense!of!identity!evolving?!How!do!Indigenous!fronterizxs!self+actualize!without!the!pressure!of!being!reactionary!to!the!colonial!apparatus!of!imposed!identities?!!Who!do!we!revitalize!our!intraCdependence!on!the!sacred!waters!and!ancestral!landscape?!!In!many!ways,!the!ongoing,!current!colonization!has!caused!a!generational!disruption!in!how!community!members!relate!to!the!river,!and!understand!individual!and!collective!identity.!As!Border!Thinking!has!become!normalized,!so,!too!are!the!Hispanicized!aspects!of!identity!that!are!considered!safe!and!assimilated!within!the!frontera!consciousness.!However,!this!project!demonstrates!that!there!is!still!interest!to!collectively!remember!the!traditional!knowledge!of!the!frontera,!and!that!our!identities!and!future(s)!do!not!have!to!be!predetermined!by!settler!colonialisms.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!122!Future!work!could!include!community!members!visualizing!these!changes,!using!photos!or!making!maps!to!illustrate!how!their!community!has!changed!over!time.!!!241!Although!fronterizxs!can!intellectually!engage!with!Border!Thinking,!a!Water!Thinking!orientation!remains!the!primary!framework!for!almost!all!of!our!community!elders.!Border!Thinking!tends!to!exist!solely!as!an!intellectual!understanding!of!the!river,!whereas!Water!Thinking!tends!to!incorporate!holistic!understandings!including!intellectual,!emotional,!physical,!and!spiritual!ways!of!knowing!the!river.!Furthermore,!Frontera!Positionality!is!embodied,!and!emplaced,!inclusive!of!the!physical!landscape,!material!realities,!and!collective!memories!of!life!connected!through!deepCtime!relationships!to!the!banks!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!Thus,!in!spite!of!the!border,!and!in!spite!of!the!increased!military!presence,!community!elders!still!read!the!landscape!as!sister!cities!held!together!by!an!ancient,!lifeCgiving!river.!!An!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!approaches!identity!collectively,!through!the!revitalization!of!ancestral!knowledge!and!community!relationships!through!time.!I!understand!this!as!a!proleptic123!understanding!of!selfCidentification,!in!which!we!simultaneously!reflect!our!ancestors!and!our!children!yet!to!come,!connected!through!the!waters!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!9.6$ Contributions$$After!many!generations!of!the!assimilation!model!of!education,!many!Indigenous!communities!have!begun!to!reconceptualize!culturallyCrelevant!and!culturallyCcentric!educational!practices!“to!support!learners!on!their!journey!to!the!discovery!or!reclamation!of!their!learning!spirits.”!(Anuik,!Battiste,!&!George,!2010,!p.!65).!Over!time,!these!practices!have!evolved!to!reflect!current!contexts,!current!languaging,!and!current!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!123!Prolepsis!describes!an!understanding!of!time!in!which!past,!present,!and!future!are!collapsed!into!every!a!single!moment,!existing!simultaneously.!!!!242!pedagogies!of!traditional!Indigenous!Knowledge,!recognizing!learners!as!cultural!beings!engaged!in!a!constant!negotiation!of!multiple!epistemologies.!There!are!no!easy!solutions!for!recovering!cultural!traditions,!yet!education!offers!hope!for!healing!learners!and!communities!through!the!revitalization!of!Indigenous!Knowledges.!!!As!discussed!in!earlier!chapters,!in!the!frontera,!the!Original!Peoples!of!Texas!have!survived!multiple!and!ongoing!eras!of!colonial!occupation,!multiple!and!ongoing!violent!displacements/erasures,!and!multiple!and!ongoing!assimilation!models!of!Whitestream!education.!The!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!contributes!to!the!conversation!in!a!few!significant!ways.!Figure!41:!Frontera!Displacements!(Castillo!&!TabuencaCCórdoba,!2002),!Reviewed,!provides!a!framework!for!discussing!the!contributions!of!this!study.!!243!!Figure$41:$Frontera$Displacements$(Castillo$&$Tabuenca<Córdoba,$2002),$Reviewed$I!used!these!four!concentric!circles!of!context,!but!reformatted!them!as!a!chart,!as!seen!in!!Figure!42:!Interventions!Created!by!the!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water.!!In!the!center!column,!we!see!the!same!contexts!addressing!each!site!of!violent!displacement/erasure:!historical,!placeCbased,!material!reality,!and!identity.!!On!the!left!side!of!the!chart,!we!can!see!the!specific!ways!that!frontera!communities!and!knowledges!are!displaced!at!each!site!of!erasure!(paraphrased!from!Castillo!&!Tabuenca!Cordoba,!2002).!!On!the!right,!is!a!column!called!Restor(y)ing,!in!which!I!describe!the!specific!interventions!created!by!the!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!at!each!level!of!erasure.!!In!this!next!section,!I!will!elaborate!how!each!of!the!four!!244!sites!including!Historical,!PlaceCBased,!Material!Reality,!and!Identity,!can!be!restored!and!restoried!as!sites!of!transformation.!!$Figure$42:$Interventions$Created$by$the$Indigenous$Fronterizx$Pedagogy$of$Water$(Adapted!from!Castillo!&!TabuencaCCórdoba,!2002)!245!9.6.1$ Restorying$Histories/Cosmographies$$Indigenous!peoples!and!knowledges!have!survived!each!successive!wave!of!violence!by!survivance:!adapting,!using!silence,!and!relying!on!oral!intellectual!traditions.!!Elders!are!our!living!archives.!The!land!remains!as!it!always!has,!and!it!is!the!peoples!who!have!to!remember!and!reCmember!themselves/ourselves!back!into!the!relational!ecologies!of!the!landC!and!waterCscapes!where!we!live,!drawing!from!our!ancestral!and!collective!memories!to!do!so.!Thus,!remebering!is!an!act!of!survival.!The!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!accomplishes!this!by!honoring!the!oral!histories!and!testimonios!of!our!community!elders!as!the!archives!from!which!to!recover!our!traditional!relationships,!heal,!and!grow.!!The!processes!of!storytelling!and!storylistening!disrupt!the!colonial!narratives!of!our!frontera!community,!prioritizing!firstChand!accounts!of!the!specific!places!and!experiences!of!our!community,!for!the!benefit!of!our!community.!Revitalization!of!our!Indigenous,!landCbased,!deepCtime!knowledge!restores!and!restories!our!history,!our!land,!our!river,!and!ultimately,!reclaims!our!historical!relationships!of!our!ancestral!territories.!!9.6.2$ Restorying$Local$Place<Based$Knowledges$Everything!starts!with,!and!returns!to,!the!land/water.!!The!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!drew!from!Indigenous!Ways!of!Knowing,!Xicanx!Ways!of!Being,!and!Frontera!Positionalities!as!a!specific!framework!for!understanding!the!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo!community.!This!foundation!was!then!used!to!create!a!research!process!that!honored!local!cultural!protocols,!frontera!ethics,!and!oral!traditions!to!respond!to!the!needs!of!the!community.!My!own!personal!belonging!in/with/to!the!community!of!Laredo,!Texas,!invited!a!particular!insider!perspective,!ensuring!that!stories!are!not!!246!misrepresented!with!regard!to!local!linguistic!quirks,!cultural!dynamics,!or!specific!landmarks!that!may!or!may!not!exist!any!longer.!!Themes!were!generated!from!the!testimonios!of!our!elders!to!design!a!pedagogy!that!teaches!community!members!from!the!collective!memory!of!life!of/with/near/in!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo!specific!to!our!sister!cities!of!Laredo/Nuevo!Laredo!as!communitiesCinCrelation.!In!this!way,!the!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!captures!a!specific!local,!land/waterCbased!Indigenous!knowledge,!through!a!diverse!cacophony!of!frontera!voices!for!the!survival,!healing,!and!revitalization!of!our!community.!!!!!9.6.3$ Restorying$Material$Realities$$Border!Thinking!is!a!colonial!construction,!a!recent!arrival!to!the!landscape.!Beneath!every!rhetorical!cliché!emphasizing!the!RiverCasCBorder!exists!the!undeniable!material!reality!of!the!multiCgenerational!fronterizx!families!who!make!a!life!in!the!frontera!communities.!!In!this!project,!the!frontera!was!reconceptualized!based!on!the!oral!histories!and!testimonios!of!the!community!elders!who!have!lived!their!whole!lives!in/with/crossing!our!river/border.!Each!story!demonstrates!how!deeply!connected!community!residents!are!to!the!land!and!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo,!often!reaching!back!through!several!generations,!to!roots!that!span!both!sides!of!the!river.!!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!grows!out!of!our!collective!material!realities!to!revitalize!landCbased!traditions,!such!as!river!fluency!and!plant!knowledges,!as!a!way!to!better!adapt!and!heal!from!the!damage!caused!by!ongoing!occupation!of!the!land,!water,!and!community.!The!research!process!was!organic,!openCended,!intuitive,!and!emerged!by!beingCinCrelation!to!my!community,!grown!out!of!the!material!realities!of!life!in/near/with!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!The!project!not!only!serves!to!!247!witness!frontera!histories!as!embodied!and!emplaced!experiences,!but!also!engages!community!in!a!process!of!imagining!frontera!futurities!based!on!what!it!is!to!make!a!life!here.!In!terms!of!decolonization/Indigenization,!a!Pedagogy!of!Water!moves!to!revitalize!Indigenous!knowledge!and!peoples!in!spite!of,!and!in!the!face!of,!Border!Thinking.!!The!purpose!of!our!pedagogyCmaking!is!not!to!operate!within!colonial!frameworks!to!convince!the!colonizers!not!to!occupy,!displace,!and!disappear!us.!!Our!purpose!is!to!imagine!a!future!that!is!selfCdetermined,!inspirited!by!Water!Thinking,!free!of!walls!and!occupying!military!forces.!What!kind!of!community!could!we!be!if!we!were!free,!if!our!river!was!recognized!as!sacred!ancestral!waters,!and!if!our!landscape!was!not!occupied!by!settler!colonial!entities?!!9.6.4$ Restorying$Identity$$This!project!intentionally!sidestepped!the!colonial!frames,!categories,!and!definitions!of!Indigenous!Identity!by!focusing!on!how!traditional!ecological!knowledge!roots!us!to!our!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!The!criteria!for!participation!was!not!a!tribal!identity,!but!a!deepCtime!relationship!to!our!community!and!to!our!river.!!The!research!project!was!designed!this!way!to!be!inclusive!of!the!many!ways!that!people!selfCidentify,!aware!of!the!history!of!segregation,!detribalization,!generations!of!Indian!removal,!lynching!by!the!Texas!Rangers!and!white!settlers,!and!assimilation!by!school!and!religious!institutions.!The!long!tradition!of!antiCMexican!racism!in!the!US!and!antiCIndigenous!racism!in!Mexico!further!complicates!the!historical/genealogical!research!to!recover!our!Mexican!Indigenous!ancestry,!as!often!records!were!destroyed!or!altered!to!frame!a!particular!narrative.!!!248!In!this!project,!Indigenous!identity!is!understood!to!grow!from!the!ancestral!knowledge!of!the!land!nurtured!through!deepCtime!relationships!with!the!ecologies!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!In!this!way,!Indigeneity!is!understanding!the!Indigenous!knowledge!that!has!survived!in!the!stories,!cultural!practices,!and!collective!memories!of!our!community.!!It!digs!deeper!than!the!shame!of!uncertainty!that!haunts!Indigenous!peoples!lacking!federal!status,!and!recognizes!Indigeneity!by!the!knowing!of!one's!ancestral!ties!to!the!land!and!river.!!I've!heard!a!local!elder124!say!it!this!way:!"My!DNA!is!in!this!soil."!In!other!words,!federal!recognition/nonCrecognition!will!never!change!the!deep!truth!of!my!belonging!to!this!land!nourished!by!this!river.!Furthermore,!Indigeneity!is!an!understanding!of!prolepsis,!namely,!that!I!am/we!are!simultaneously!my/our!ancestors!and!descendants!yet!to!come.!!Knowing!this,!we!are!moved!to!heal!ourselves!and!our!relationships!with!the!land!and!water!of!our!ancestral!territories.!9.6.5$ Restorying$Water$$Globally,!there!is!a!growing!awareness!that!water!is!life.!Yet,!not!much!has!been!written!around!critical!Indigenous!and!decolonizing!understandings!of!the!Rio!Grande/Rio!Bravo.!!In!response,!the!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!models!a!process!of!landCbased!pedagogy!that!explicitly!reorients!our!relationship!to/with!water,!by!embodying!the!characteristics!of!water!so!that!we!recognize!how!connected!we!are!to/by/with!the!waters!in!the!relational!ecologies!where!we!live.!!Similarly,!by!approaching!water!relationally,!we!remember!that!we!are!also!responseCable!and!responsible!to/for!the!care!of!water,!not!as!an!inanimate!substance,!but!as!the!most!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!124!I!do!not!know!this!person!by!name,!but!I!wish!to!attribute!what!I!learned!from!him.!!The!words!are!not!mine.!!249!precious!life!of!which!we!are!a!part.!Restorying!water!also!restories!life,!challenging!capitalistic!values!in!favor!of!life!values.!In!this!way,!education!can!drive!communityCled!transformation,!toward!a!protection!of!water!as!life,!addressing!the!global!crisis!through!many!simultaneous!and!diverse!local!interventions.!!9.6.6$ Restorying$Border$Politics$$Over!the!last!few!years,!the!changes!to!our!US!Mexico!borderlands!have!been!profound.!Politicians!and!other!powerful!decisionCmakers!seem!to!only!focus!on!their!own!(profitCmotivated)!intentions,!rather!than!understand!the!dramatic!outcomes!of!their!policies!in!the!lives!of!the!people!who!make!a!life!in!the!frontera.!The!American!Civil!Liberties!Union!describes!the!100!mile!radius!reaching!into!the!US!a!"ConstitutionCfree!zone",!not!by!law!that!governs!but!based!on!how!the!border!territory!functions!for!those!folks!who!live!within!that!wide!path!(American!Civil!Liberties!Unionf!n.d).!!While!there!are!many!scholars!who!think!about,!write!about,!publish!work!establishing!their!expertise!in/on!the!borderlands,!relatively!few!folks!ask!fronterizxs!for!their!opinions!and!perspectives.!Fronterizxs!are!also!erased!by!some!of!the!organizations!working!to!oppose!the!construction!of!the!border!wall,!who!cite!wildlife!as!their!primary!concern.!Such!ideological!stances!further!displace,!erase,!and!dehumanize!frontera!residents,!who!aren't!worth!discussion!with!the!same!intense!preservation!mindset!as!the!wild!ocelot.!!The!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!models!resistance!to!these!forms!of!intellectual!colonization!of!borderland!rhetorics!by!reframing!the!conversation!to!prioritize!fronterizx!voices,!sharing!fronterizx!experiences,!ideas,!and!perspectives.!!!!250!9.6.7$ Restorying$Education$While!many!studies!in!the!United!States!are!framed!as!either!Indigenous!Studies!or!Mexican!American!Studies,!the!examination!of!Mesoamerican!intellectual!traditions!using!Indigenous!methodologies!unsettles!established!academic!territories.!The!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!connects!a!specific!constellation!of!existing!Indigenous!scholarship!(Anzaldua,!1999f!Cajete,!2000f!Calderón,!2014f!Grande,!2004f!Kovach,!2009f!Maestas,!2003)!to!focus!a!decolonizing!and!Indigenizing!gaze!on!the!literal!and!rhetorical!field!of!Border!Studies,!and!transforms!the!findings!into!a!landC!and!riverCbased!pedagogy!in!support!of!intergenerational!fronterizxs.!This!particular!perspective!is!crucial!to!the!field!of!education,!as!the!legal!battles!over!what!we!call!ethnic-studies!(but!which!specifically!debates!the!implementation!of!Mexican!American!studies)!have!gained!both!national!and!international!attention.!!As!the!state!of!Texas!considers!texts!to!adopt,!which!in!turn,!establishes!a!precedent!for!the!entire!country,!it!is!important!also!to!create!our!own!strategies!and!teaching!materials!that!honor!our!community!strengths.!!The!Indigenous!Fronterizx!Pedagogy!of!Water!demonstrates!the!ways!that!the!stories!of!our!living!archiv