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Lecture 5

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GGR246– Lecture 5 Post–colonialism • Concerned with the impact of colonialism and its contestation • Colonizers as well as colonized are effected by colonialism • Orientalism is a process by which Europeans came to know themselves as civilized -by encountering the orient / racialized / colonized people • Both colonized and colonizer are produced in relationship with each other • ‘post’ is a kind of desire to move forward from colonialism Canada’s colonial present 1. Colonial histories, relations, structures and spatiality continue to affect the lives of aboriginal people in Canada • Although most are finished -last residential school closed in 1996 • Residential school survivors are still alive 2. Spaces of colonialism in Canada are still sites of anti-colonial struggle • Spaces of colonialism (many spaces in Canada, not just reserves but also the city, etc.) still continue as sites for anti-colonial struggle Continuing Colonialisms • Example: missing and murdered Aboriginal women • Over 500 cases have been documented by Native Women’s Association of Canada • Aboriginal women are 5-7 times more likely to die from violence • The representation of the women (look like mug shots) already give off a feeling of how aboriginal women are perceived (as criminals) • Many of the women are associated withcertain spaces -downtown Vancouver east side -highway in northern BC (highway of tears) because of the experiences that missing women had there State inaction as colonialism • For many years police said they had not been killed • Police and public officials have been aware of a pattern of racist, sexist violence against First Nations, Inuit and Métiswomen in their homes and on the streets • Government response has been shockingly out of step with the scale and severity of this tragdy • Many of these women were in the streets and involved in sex work, drugs, alcohol, drug trade • Amnesty International “No More Stolen Sisters” report on police inaction • Women began to go missing from downtown eastside Vancouver in 1978 -media and police were oddly inattentive -it was not until 1998 –roughly 69 murders later –that they began to pay attention • Legalized abandonment normalized as racialized and gendered • There was a $5000 incentive to get the women to ‘call home’ – stating that police didn’t believe they were missing GGR246– Lecture 5 • Missing people are separate from a list of missing sex workers –suggesting sex workers aren’t people Abandoned Spaces • Spaces where aboriginal women go missing are rendered ‘abandoned’ partly because of the Orientalist and sexist constructionsof aboriginal women in media and by the government as poor, prostitutes, drug users and nomads, and therefore disposable • The assumption of transience is tied to colonial geography • Assumption is that these women are probably just on their way travelling between the city and the reserve • “The women’s claims to rights are compromised by the fact that they embody particular racialized historical geographies... that locate them at the limits of the Canadian nat”on -Pratt 1057 • Media coverage locates missing and murdered women in spaces deemed abandon-able -spatial tropes linking missing and murdered women to the DTES include: ‘Canada’s worst neighbourhood’ and beyond ‘the boundary into hell’ (Sommers and Blomley) • “simply being in this space istaken as evidence of the women’s degeneracy” (Pratt 1062) Power and Resistance • Aboriginal people have practiced resistance to laws that are exclusion related • The banning of pot latches -they held underground ones instead -one way of declaring their ownsovereignty Geographies of anti-colonial resistance 1. protest and collective organization 2. creation of memorial landscapes 3. blockades and other forms of direct action Tied by a common use ofpublic space as a site for anti-colonial resistance -streets, parks, other spaces that have high visibility -outside of government spaces Valentine’s Day March • Women’s memorial march held all over cities to honour the memory of women who have died due to physical mental and emotional violence • Lead by aboriginal women in particular and their allies,take up public space to convey a political message • (in Vancouver) The claim to the space in which women go missing -taking it back in away • Tactics of commemorating the women, and stating legal abandonment and ineffectv ieness of the state GGR246– Lecture 5 Idle No More • Calls on people to join in a peaceful revolution, to honour Indigenous sovereignty and protect the land and water • Response to bill C45 introduced by the federal government -laws governing water –affected many water ways (most located in Aboriginal land and territoriy) -if these waters were to be contaminate, aboriginals would be most affected • Also a demand for visibility, recognition, and accountability -a demand to respect aboriginal quality of life and land and territory • The fact that anything happening to those environmental spaces need to be run by aboriginalsand taken into consideration by them • March on highway –lots of visibility Memorial Landscapes • Oftenpermanent interventions in public space • Rock in BC – in honour of people murdered in the downtown eastside • Permanent presence is there to remind people • Remembering is an important political act Blockades • **READ BLOCKADES ARTICLE • Another form of anti-colonial resistance • An important tactic of the Idle No More movement • 2 week blockade from December 2012 – first nations blockading railway line in Sarnia • Often a declaration of sovereignty and defiance of actions of Canadian government • They are disruptive (which is the point) Anti-Colonial articulations • Demands on the public and government
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