Reclaiming Fossil Ghosts

Indigenous Resistance to Resource Extraction in Works by Warren Cariou, Cherie Dimaline, and Nathan Adler


  • Moritz Ingwersen University of Konstanz



Against the backdrop of recent Anthropocene critiques, this article offers a discussion of Indigenous resistance to resource extraction in Warren Cariou’s “An Athabasca Story” (2012), Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves (2017), and Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler’s Wrist (2016). Employing elements of gothic, horror, and science fiction, all three works invoke modes of human-geologic enmeshment to imagine Indigenous resistance to settler-colonial fossil fuel industries via the resurgence of fossils who refuse to be commodified. Building on the theoretical work of Kathryn Yusoff and others, I examine their mobilization of fossil metaphors as emancipatory expressions of a type of geologic subjectivity that generates a dislocation of Eurocentric demarcations between the human and the inhuman. Reclaiming fossils, I argue, implies a material-discursive dimension of decolonization that complements the physical repatriation of looted ancestral bones and Indigenous artifacts with the production of self-determined Indigenous narratives of geologic corporeality.