Date: Jun 5 | Time: 02:00pm to 03:30pm | Location: EOSM 135
Chair/Président/Présidente : Anna Jurkevics (University of British Columbia)
Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Anna Jurkevics (University of British Columbia)
A Framework for Understanding the Epistemic Dimension of the (Re)distribution of Group Rights: Lev Marder (Queen's University) Abstract: The dynamic between majority and minority rights is complicated by the fact that there is no justified rigid distinction between the claimants. Indigenous groups are generally on the accommodation rights track, which is supposed to lead to rights over territory and protection of the way of life akin to those enjoyed by the national majority group. In contrast, national minority groups are too often—and without a strong justification—assigned to the integration rights track, which emphasizes non-discrimination and equality, but without the broader rights to control their own affairs.
It is too simplistic to label as deceitful attempts by some national minority groups to claim to be indigenous in international organizations in order to gain similar forms of inter/national protections of rights as indigenous peoples. It is likewise incorrect to see as cruel the rejection of such claims by indigenous groups, which have in principle gained some rights similar to those of the national majority group.
This paper develops a framework to better understand the phenomenon by focusing on its epistemic dimension. Drawing on insights from the field of epistemologies of ignorance, the paper offers an account for how: (1) absent strong epistemic grounds for differentiating between rights claims, some majority national groups accept ignorance and outsource the adjudication of epistemic claims to indigenous groups; (2) national minority groups’ claims to being indigenous exemplify practices of ignorance intended to generate equality rather than deceive; and (3) to be responsible to our ignorance, it must be exposed and openly addressed.
Canadian Citizenship, Settler Colonialism and the Crown: An Appeal to Re-Frame Indigenous-Settler Relations Around Responsibility and a Post-Crown Relationship: Deanne Leblanc (University of British Columbia) Abstract: Contemporary non-Indigenous approaches to reconciliation and decolonization within Canada remain focused on liberal-democratic citizenship extension and recognition, which ultimately serve to sustain settler colonial structures and processes thereby leading to no meaningful or substantive change in Indigenous-settler relations. If settlers are interested in meaningfully responding to Indigenous peoples’ calls for change, there is a need to move beyond such approaches and for non-Indigenous peoples to broaden their conceptions around what it means to belong and to, specifically, question the primary of rights over responsibilities as presented within the liberal-democratic literature. As part of a broader project, rooted within critical colonial theory and focused on encouraging a paradigm shift amongst settler Canadians (that calls for the privileging of responsibilities over rights and the need for invitation onto Indigenous lands), I re-visit the development of the Canadian citizenship regime (as premised on rights) and its dependence on the incremental subordination of Indigenous peoples through analyzing key moments and documents (in citizenship and colonization) from 1763 to 1982. Liberal citizenship theory and critical colonial theory provide the discursive lenses through which this study is approached. Ultimately, this analysis enables me to situate the argument for placing responsibilities above rights in Indigenous-settler relations at the same time that it leads me to argue for the removal the Crown-in-right-of-Canada as arbiter between Indigenous and settler peoples.
Global Luck Egalitarianism and the Problem of Traditional Citizenship: James Nguyen (University of California, Irvine) Abstract: In this paper, I examine the three prevailing theories and practices of obtaining citizenship. Citizenship as we know it today operates under the jus soli, jus sanguinis or naturalization principle. Much less has been done by way of critiquing the normative and empirical underpinnings of citizenship, specifically in conceptualizing the probability or possibility of one’s chance of obtaining a particular nationality, and is in many cases, a condition born of good or poor fortune. On the one hand, citizens of a given polity are recognized and afforded certain rights and protections by their respective sovereign. On the other hand, it is up to the discretion of the sovereign to determine whether or not an individual is eligible for citizenship. The question still remains, why is it that states determine one's membership within a given polity? What are the identifiable criteria for granting citizenship to an individual, but refusing it to another? This paper offers an alternate conception of citizenship that moves away from citizenship as a legal category of political community and towards citizenship as a practice-based social category of political community. The impetus for such a conception is that lack of citizenship or legal status typically has detrimental effects on individuals that would otherwise be extremely productive and beneficial member to society. I argue that citizenship today is primarily granted on the basis of fortune, and that a close examination of the literature on luck egalitarianism will reveal alternate conceptions of citizenship as being practice based.