Apache Land: Indigenous Colonialism on North America’s Borderlands
Challenging the idea of colonialism as a European monopoly, this article uses a colonial and settler-colonial lens to frame a discussion of eighteenth-century North American borderland histories involving Apaches, Comanches and the Spanish. It centres on the idea of a shifting and contested colonial zone – Apache land – as a mosaic of competing colonial projects and intricate networks of friendship and enmity. In this zone, the Apaches, Comanches and the Spanish engaged in expansionist projects and invidious distinction, as well as elimination, replacement and assimilation. The Apaches were expansionists whose homelands enlarged, contracted and fragmented over time as a result of rival expansionist projects and the Apache’s own designs. Consequently, Apache land was a space being constantly remade by colonial projects that were not dictated or dominated by Euro-Americans.