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Race, Ethnicity, Indigenous Peoples and Politics

L19 - Workshop: Socially Engaged Research and Indigenous Politics

Date: Jun 6 | Time: 01:30pm to 03:00pm | Location: SWING 105

Chair/Président/Présidente : Karl Gardner (York University)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Karl Gardner (York University)

Coerced Consent and the Space to Say No: Rebecca Hall (Queen's University)
Abstract: As a result of sustained and determined Indigenous activism, extractive projects in Canada can no longer proceed without some form of consultation with Indigenous communities. However, the scope of consultation is constrained by Canada’s free-mining regime. As such, while Indigenous communities may negotiate some of the terms of extraction, there is little space to outright reject extractive development. Within these constraints, Indigenous rights are often reframed as the right to participate in the extractive regime, or the right to work, an impoverished framing that is antithetical to decolonizing demands for rights to self-determination. Thus, this paper is premised on a critique of a form of consent that occludes the response, “No”, and explores two questions emerging from that critique. First, how can community-engaged scholarship be informed by historical and contemporary examples of Indigenous organizing that expands the scope of consultation beyond coerced consent? Thinking through this question is a means of avoiding the very real potential of research about settler/Indigenous consultation reproducing the same constraints enacted in State or industry-led development. Rather, this paper asks, how can research methodologies support and express the community imagination of post-extractive futures? In this way, this paper contributes to the rich body of Canadian literature that critically examines settler/Indigenous consultation on resource development; it does so by extending analysis from the historical and contemporaneous to mapping future, proactive, and, potentially, post-extractive Indigenous community development.


Archiving to Resist Exclusion: Kiera Ladner (University of Manitoba), Marcus Closen (University of Manitoba)
Abstract: Archives are often perceived to be concerned only with the minutia of the past, as a means to preserve an accurate and fulsome record of daily life. But what happens when the state exercises its (self-proclaimed) monopoly to control which voices are privileged in the official dialogue or when media perpetually enact violence against Indigenous women? This presentation describes efforts to support the inclusion of counter-narratives, through the creation of anti-violence, anti-colonial Indigenist digital archives and/or record keeping and archival design. This presentation will draw upon my comparative Constitutional Law and Indigenous Politics project (CLIP) and the Digital Archives in Marginalized Communities (DAMC) project to address questions posed by the workshop conveners.


From the Salish Sea to Secwepemcul’ecw: Engaging with Indigenous Scholarship through a Settler Solidarity Action on Campus: Stacie Swain (University of Victoria)
Abstract: In October 2018, the green space next to the Student Union Building at the University of Victoria (UVic) in Coast Salish territory became a temporary site for the construction of a tiny house on a trailer, which was afterward transferred to the Tiny House Warriors. The Tiny House Warriors: Our Land is Home project is led by Secwepemc people who are reclaiming territory and resisting the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion within interior British Columbia. Approximately eighty student volunteers participated in the eight-day build itself, with many more contributing to the fundraising and outreach aspects of the project. As a Political Science PhD student enrolled in the Indigenous Nationhood Program I was one of six core organizers of the build, which we described as a settler action undertaken in solidarity with Indigenous peoples. In this paper, I use the UVic Tiny House Warriors build project as a case study to ask how scholarship, specifically Indigenous political theory, can inform settler solidarity action in settler colonial contexts. More specifically, I draw on the concepts of relationality, mobility, and self-determination to discuss the politics of settler solidarity with Indigenous movements. While the case study in question took place within a university setting, it can be used to raise broader questions about the relationship between scholarship, activism, and Indigenous resurgence.