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Lecture 1

FNIS 210 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Georges Erasmus, Heteropatriarchy, Indian Act


Department
First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program
Course Code
FNIS 210
Professor
david
Lecture
1

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FNIS 210:
What is Colonialism? Colonization can be defined as some form of invasion., dispossession and
subjugation of a peoples. The invasion need not be military; it can begin-or continue – as
geographical intrusion in the form of agricultural, urban or industrial encroachments. The result
of such incursion is the dispossession of vast amounts of lands from the original inhabitants.
- Colonialism denies human rights to human beings whom it has subdued by violence, and
keeps them by force in a state of misery and ignorance that Marx would rightly call a
subhuman condition.
The Colonizer and the Colonized:
- Published in French in 1957 in English in 1965.
- Contexts: height of National Liberation Movements, Algerian War, French
Intellectualism and Marxism.
How does Albert Memmi position himself? “I was sort of a half-breed of colonialization”
- Born in French Tunisia to Tunisian Jewish Mother and Tunisian Italian Father.
Preface: Touchstones
- Colonialism as relationality
- Colonialism as economics and more than economics
- Colonialism is dehumanizing
- There are neither good nor bad colonists: there are colonists.
Part one: Colonizer
- Colonial (small colonizer)
- Colonizer
- Colonialist
- Colonized
- Sub proletariat
*all colonials have privilege (pg.11)
- There is a sort of hierarchy established, more aligned with the Christian values
Privilege: A set of unearned benefits given to people who fit into a specific social group. It’s
a detriment to the colonized.
- 2 sides of the same coin:
the colonizer who refuses:
the colonizer who accepts:
Settler Colonialism:
- Settler Colonial Studies does not, should not, and cannot replace Indigenous Studies.”
- Franchise Colonialism: resources, and labour (subproletariat)
- Settler Colonialism: Land, elimination of the Native (assimilation, appropriation,
genocide)
- Lorenzo Veracini: Circle vs. Line
- Settler colonialism is different from other forms of colonialism in that settlers come with
the intention of making a new home on the land, a homemaking that insists on settler
sovereignty.
- Most important concern is land/ water/ air/ subterranean earth.
- Excess labour and primitive accumulation.
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Post colonialism:
- Academic study that dresses the legacies of colonialism and imperialism.
- Homi Bhabha, Franz Fanon, Edward Said.
- Africa, India.
Decolonization:
- World War II
- Removal of colonizers
- Decolonizing the Mind
- It is not a metaphor
Settler moves to innocence:
1. Settler Nativism
2. Settler Adoption Fantasies
3. Colonial Equivocation
4. Free Your Mind and the Rest Will Follow
5. Reoccupation
Thomas King:
- Born in Roseville, California.
- Got a PhD in literature.
- Moved to Canada in 1980 to teach creative writing and literature
Violence of Borders:
- Travel Ban
- The US has an absolute sovereign right to determine who can and cannot enter the
country
Interpellation:
- Louis Althusser
- Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs)
- Interpellation: how ISAs transform individuals into subjects of the state
Audra Simpson:
- Kahnawake Mohawk
- Professor of Anthropology
- Columbia University
Interpellation: The process by which ISA’s bring into being, or give identity to, political
subjects. (Althusser)
Simpson: Politics of Refusal
- “No”
- Affirms sovereignty and self determination
- Interrupts politics of recognition
- Consent
Where do we see refusal manifest?
- Direct action: sit ins, strikes, hacktivism, occupations, blockades, etc.
- Idle no more.
- Interrupts the smooth flow of settler capitalism.
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Refusal in “Borders, Cigarettes and Sovereignty.”
- First Nations Status: percentage, blood, your parents.
- Citizenship
- State sovereignty
- Settler law
- Settler determinations of indigenous identity
- Sovereignty: settler sovereignty: “as dominion over a place and a people, more
specifically… (as) applied extraterritorially through... revenue” (141)
Jay Treaty (1795)
- The right to traverse the boundaries of the US- British divide freely and without levy
guaranteed for Indian people who were operating in what has been defined as their
cultural tradition ‘nexus’ of “trade” (133)
- Does not give rights to indigenous peoples
- Confirms and gives constitutional protection to those rights
- U.S and Canada have power to determine identity
- United States: blood quantum (139)
- Canada: “cultural practices that were in place prior to settlement” (31)
- Contemporary Contexts: November 2, 1998 Federal Court of Appeal holds that there was
an existing Aboriginal right for the Mohawks of Akwesasne, when crossing the
international border.
- Akwesasne: At Akwesasne, by reason of its geographical location on both sides of the
U.S. Canada boundary, border crossing is an essential every day event for the 13,000
Mohawks that reside here today.
The Indian Act:
- Canadian federal law governing matters pertaining to Indian status.
- John A MacDonald: “The great aim of our legislation has been to do away with the tribal
system and assimilate the Indian people in all respects with the other inhabitants of the
Dominion as speedily as they are fit to change.” – Matters of gender discrimination and
misogyny
- Winona Stevenson: “A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the
ground.”
- European ideals of womanhood (pg.46); public vs. private
- Commodification of Indigenous women’s labour
- Drudge/ Princess (pg. 47)
- “Righteousness of the patriarchy” (p. 48); woman as victim
- Indian Act; patrilineal system
- Gender Discrimination: way to address the legislation, gives status back: Bill C-31
(1985): 6 (1) or 6 (2), Bill C-3.
- Dory Nason paper: Notion of decolonial love, love can be a politic
- Residential Schools: Gave girls and boys distinct jobs to erase the gray area
Ethics: Indigenous Contexts
- Consent Prejudice
- Power Landscapes
- Privacy
- Respect
- Agency
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