Understanding settler-Indigenous negotiations: how Indigenous decolonization movements provoke political change in Canada.

01 November 2021 → 31 October 2023
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Area studies
    • Political and legal anthropology
    • Postcolonial studies
    • Social movements and collective action
Canada Settler Colonialism Decolonization Indigenous sovereignty Indigenous knowledge
Project description

The goal of this project is to provide an understanding of the negotiation that takes place between Indigenous forms of political agency and settler state structures in Canada. Indigenous decolonial activists often perceive themselves as largely antithetical to and operating independently from the settler state structures they challenge. This project, however, starts from the assumption that Indigenous activists and settler state structures continuously influence and (re-)constitute each other within a continuously changing context of the global economy. A closer study of how this negotiation takes place, will offer a better understanding of 1) the causes, forms and strategies of decolonial movements within a broader (global) conceptualization of settler colonialism; 2) the hybrid character of the categories of ‘settler’ and ‘Indigenous’; 3) the productive capacities of Indigenous decolonial movements in terms of solutions to the (global) challenges they face. Since the Idle No More movement (2012), Canada’s Indigenous decolonization movement has grown significantly. This project looks at political-economic change in the settler colonial context of Canada, not so much as a state-centered (top-down) process but more accurately as a contingent and continuous process of struggle and negotiation with the decolonization movement at its center. As such, the project contributes to the existing debates in settler colonial studies, decolonial studies and Indigenous studies.