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Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada

by Adam J. Barker; Emma Battell Lowman

Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada October 2015“In Canada, we like to think of ourselves as having a fairly inclusive society; we pride ourselves on being open and accepting of difference. We talk about being polite and respectful and peace loving. And we lie by omission, because we do not talk about our country being built on the attempted destruction of many other nations.” So write Emma Battell Lowman and Adam J. Barker at the outset of their examination of the historical, cultural, and political relationships between Canada’s indigenous populations and the settlers who colonized the country. The authors’ premise turns traditional notions of societal relationships – treaties, compromises, and other attempts to confine and constrict our indigenous peoples – on their heads. The word “settler,” the authors argue, may be uncomfortable, but can also serve as a “tool we can use to confront the fundamental problems and injustices in Canada today.”