Presentation Title

Stolen Lands and Broken Promises: Settler Colonialism and the Making of British Columbia

Format of Presentation

15-minute lecture to be presented the Saturday of the conference

Abstract

British Columbia finds itself in a unique position relative to other provinces in Canada regarding Indigenous land rights. Due to a lack of Treaties (with the exception of the Douglas Treaties on the island and the overlap of Treaty 8 in the North-East) and a rushed reserve system, BC finds itself at a particular confluence of land rights, resource extraction industries, and capitalist economic development initiatives. With the territory being unceded and increasing pressure from the UN to improve the treatment of Indigenous peoples, moving forward Indigenous-Settler relations are at the forefront of provincial and national concern. In this presentation I will examine settler colonialism as a fundamentally land-based process rooted in the continuous dispossession of Indigenous peoples from land. This project will review the history of Indigenous-Settler relations in BC as it relates to land by exploring the history of settlement, the creation and persistence of legislation including Treaties, and the Indian Act and Reserves, all as technologies of power and tools of cultural oppression and erasure. Understanding the complex history of Indigenous-Settler relations in BC is key in developing successful approaches to meaningful and impactful strides in reconciliation as well as developing a political climate of equality, trust, and respect. Utilizing shared Indigenous perspectives, I aim to present potential means by which such strides may be achieved with special consideration of how we as a province, and ultimately a nation, may move forward together, improving and ultimately strengthening Settler-Indigenous relations.

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

Faculty Advisor

Lisa Cooke

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Stolen Lands and Broken Promises: Settler Colonialism and the Making of British Columbia

British Columbia finds itself in a unique position relative to other provinces in Canada regarding Indigenous land rights. Due to a lack of Treaties (with the exception of the Douglas Treaties on the island and the overlap of Treaty 8 in the North-East) and a rushed reserve system, BC finds itself at a particular confluence of land rights, resource extraction industries, and capitalist economic development initiatives. With the territory being unceded and increasing pressure from the UN to improve the treatment of Indigenous peoples, moving forward Indigenous-Settler relations are at the forefront of provincial and national concern. In this presentation I will examine settler colonialism as a fundamentally land-based process rooted in the continuous dispossession of Indigenous peoples from land. This project will review the history of Indigenous-Settler relations in BC as it relates to land by exploring the history of settlement, the creation and persistence of legislation including Treaties, and the Indian Act and Reserves, all as technologies of power and tools of cultural oppression and erasure. Understanding the complex history of Indigenous-Settler relations in BC is key in developing successful approaches to meaningful and impactful strides in reconciliation as well as developing a political climate of equality, trust, and respect. Utilizing shared Indigenous perspectives, I aim to present potential means by which such strides may be achieved with special consideration of how we as a province, and ultimately a nation, may move forward together, improving and ultimately strengthening Settler-Indigenous relations.