Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (Indigenous Americas)
Glen Sean Coulthard
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Over the past forty years, recognition has become the dominant mode of negotiation and decolonization between the nation-state and Indigenous nations in North America. The term “recognition” shapes debates over Indigenous cultural distinctiveness, Indigenous rights to land and self-government, and Indigenous peoples’ right to benefit from the development of their lands and resources.
In a work of critically engaged political theory, Glen Sean Coulthard challenges recognition as a method of organizing difference and identity in liberal politics, questioning the assumption that contemporary difference and past histories of destructive colonialism between the state and Indigenous peoples can be reconciled through a process of acknowledgment. Beyond this, Coulthard examines an alternative politics—one that seeks to revalue, reconstruct, and redeploy Indigenous cultural practices based on self-recognition rather than on seeking appreciation from the very agents of colonialism.
Coulthard demonstrates how a “place-based” modification of Karl Marx’s theory of “primitive accumulation” throws light on Indigenous–state relations in settler-colonial contexts and how Frantz Fanon’s critique of colonial recognition shows that this relationship reproduces itself over time. This framework strengthens his exploration of the ways that the politics of recognition has come to serve the interests of settler-colonial power.
In addressing the core tenets of Indigenous resistance movements, like Red Power and Idle No More, Coulthard offers fresh insights into the politics of active decolonization.
Combined with the previously mentioned concern of cooptation, the failure to invite the governor-general resulted in a boycott of the meeting by a number of prominent leaders within the Assembly of First Nations, including the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, which represents sixty-four First Nations in the province of Manitoba. 42 Chief Spence also declined to attend the meeting as well as break with her hunger strike. 164 Conclusion Native anger and frustration in the immediate lead-up to the January 11 gathering resulted in a call among some Idle No More supporters for an escalation in land-based direct action, including by Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs: “The Idle No More movement has the people,” warned Nepinak at a January 10 press conference, “it has the people and the numbers that can bring the Canadian economy to its knees.
Oxford University Press, 1995); Kymlicka, Finding Our Way: Rethinking Ethnocultural Relations in Canada (Don Mills, Ont. : Oxford University Press, 1998); Kymlicka, Politics in the Vernacular: Nationalism, Multiculturalism, and Citizenship (Don Mills, Ont. : Oxford University Press, 2001); Kymlicka, Multicultural Odyssey; Tully, Strange Multiplicity; Patrick Macklem, Indigenous Difference and the Constitution of Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001); RCAP, Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples; Keith Banting, Thomas Courchene, and F.
The longer the projected lifespan of a proposed project—that is, the longer period that a project proposes to exploit a community’s land, resources, and labor, the more “sustainable” it is said to be. The second involves Fanon’s concern regarding the ways in which the field of recognition politics can modify the subject positions of Indigenous people and communities over time. Aside from the inevitable debt trap that land claims lock many First Nations into, which can in turn compel these communities to open up their settlement lands to exploitation as an economic solution,124 it 78 For the Land appears that the land-claims process itself has also served to subtly shape how Indigenous peoples now think and act in relation to the land.
20 Although Sartre’s portrait of the inauthentic Jew is not meant to cast “moral blame” on the Jew for his or her evasive actions, Sartre is nonetheless quick to suggest that these actions serve to double back and reinforce the anti-Semitic propaganda that prompted the evasive conduct in the first place. 21 In short, the inauthentic Jew “has allowed himself to be persuaded by the anti-Semites; he is the first victim of their propaganda. He admits with them that, if there is a Jew, he must have the characteristics with which popular malevolence endows him.
One of the most profound statements of this sort was delivered by Philip Blake, a Dene from Fort McPherson. Notice the three interrelated meanings of “land” at play in his narrative: land-as-resource central to our material survival; land-as-identity, as constitutive of who we are as a people; and land-as-relationship: If our Indian nation is being destroyed so that poor people of the world might get a chance to share this world’s riches, then as Indian people, I am sure that we For the Land 63 would seriously consider giving up our resources.