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Lecture 4

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GGR246– Lecture 4 Continuing dispossessions: Geographies of the colonial present in Canada • In 2008 Harper gave formal apology for treatment of aboriginal children in residential schools • A year later, Harper claimed Canada has no history of colonialism • Trying to give the notion that Canada’s history has no wrong doing, it is a ‘good nation’ Main point today: colonialism continues to structure geographies of Canada today Haunts and shapes lives of aboriginal people in Canada 1. Legal geographies of colonialism • Laws governing colonial relations in Canada -ones tied to governance of aboriginal people -how laws produce spaces in which colonialism exists • Reserves 2. Post-colonialism and the spaces of continuing colonialism -‘post’ meaning after, but colonialism still exists -where the continuing colonialism occurs 3. Geographies of anti-colonial resistance • Uses of public spacefor anti-colonial struggle Law, nation-building and colonialism • Law – has been important instrument of colonialism in Canada: • 1-gives legal legitimization to ideas of landscapes and spaces as envisioned by settler colonists -land is not occupied or not being used in the best way possible, and can thus be taken example***Renisimawami peace – parks*** - conception of nature as something you visit and enjoy -it sanctioned the removal or other understandings of that space (as a territory, as a space where aboriginal people LIVE not just visit, as a sacred space where some aboriginals are buried, etc.) -all of these ideas were legally erased and ignored example ** setting up of residential schools -legally sanctioned certain gender imaginary geographies of settler colonies -spatial separation of aboriginal girls and boys within the schools -certain geographical imaginations produced LEGALLY under colonialism -gender geography of labour that was taught in school (girls taught domestic work in the kitchen, boys taught manual labour like agriculture) • 2-authorizes agents of the state to enforce these colonial geographies onto colonized people -in the case of residential schools, teachers, church ministers etc, became authorized to enforce the gender geographies on the school -laws also enable officials in removing aboriginal children from their homes and communities GGR246– Lecture 4 -certain laws prohibited practice of certain aboriginal rituals, prison was a threat/consequence • 3-produces ‘Canadian citizenship’ through legal proclamations of who and what counts as ‘Canadian’ -they are central to articulating WHAT being a Canadian is • Law is really not exceptional, it is every day • Instruments that set out how people should live in the world -not only criminal law that prohibits behaviours, but also legal documents (charter of rights, multiculturalism act, immigration act, etc) that outline what you cando Four Underpinnings of Colonialism Per Cole Harris (2004) 1. Violence:first, technological armoury and paramilitary formations, then British military • Violence with use of weapons • In the BC fur trade –settles who were attempting to make fur trade economies, when faced with resistance from aboriginal people, the response was violence • In the 1900s British military entered the picture (when Canada became British colony) • The military gave ammunition and legitimization through empire in the taking of land, displacement of aboriginal people 2. Imperial State:government regimes and agents that legitimized colonialism • Relationship between British colonial government in Canada and imperial government in London • Propaganda was circulated in order to support the military 3. Culture:racism and Orientalist proclamations about ‘savage’ and ‘civilized’ populations • The way both aboriginal people and settlers were produced through the discourse of ‘savage VS civilized’ • Orientalism racialized conception of certain people as civilized and oths as savage 4. self-interest:settlers’ desire for land and resources *Law was a common factor in all of these • Law sanctioned violence, was set up through imperial state Coercive Tutelage Noel Dyck (1991) • “ a form of restraint or care exercised by one party over another, condition of being subjected to such protection or guardianship” (24) • Canadian government was the ‘tutor’ aboriginals were the ‘students’ -assigns one party as needing guardianship and protection In the context of Canadian colonialism: • “based … upon the power of one side to regulate the behaviour of the other in accordance with set of unilaterally selected purposes” (24) GGR246– Lecture 4 -one side determines the ‘best interests’ of the other side -in order for this to happen an uneven power relationship has to exist • “not merely a temporary stage in the life cycle but a permanent condition” -temporary in the relationship of parent and child –the child will grow up -permanent in the sense it is always needing change in how the tutelage is set up Tutelageas ‘rescue’ Coercive tutelage was made possible not only by Orientalist attitudes. • Typically framed as a ‘gift’ or as ‘charitable benevolence’ • Based on the premise that aboriginal people are ‘incapable of knowing what is in their best interest or how to achieve it’ • The ‘white man’s burden’ is to civilize savage people, create conditions that improve other people (aka be like white people) -missionaries believed it was their God given mission to improve these people, while others had sel-f interest of course • Tutelage agents embody and perform the civilizing missions of tutelage –created aboriginal people as WARDS of the state ~Orientalism in tutelage produces 2 things • -production of the orient for the purpose of actually defining the west • coercive f tutelage produced native ppl as those in need of rescue, but the flip side is that it also produced settlers as the rescuers Gradual Civilization Act (1857) Also known as ‘Enfranchisement’ - for aboriginal people: the termination of Indian status and the granting of Canadian citizenship • shift in definition and approach to assimilationfrom religious conversion (as per earlier missionary colonialism) to norms of citizenship • “Indians who were judged to be literate, free of debt, and of good moral characters would be entitled to become members of Euro-Canadian society” -tutelage agents define what “good moral character” is • The idea is that aborigin
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