Settler colonial genocide as seen from indigenous eyes: Matthew Wildcat, ‘Fearing social and cultural death: genocide and elimination in settler colonial Canada—an Indigenous perspective’, Journal of Genocide Research, 17, 4, 2015, pp. 391-409
Abstract: This article reviews recent works on Indigenous politics and history in the Canadian context to produce insights about genocide in the Canadian context. The article is situated primarily in the field of Indigenous studies while also drawing on the field of settler colonial studies. It begins with contemplation of the concept of genocide and related terms in the Canadian context. The author suggests that it is useful to apply the concept of elimination developed by Patrick Wolfe to studies of genocide. The article then turns to Mohawk Interruptus with significant emphasis placed on how author Audra Simpson theorizes the concept of ‘refusal’ and the ‘fear of social and political death’. The last part of the article focuses on two books that examine the late nineteenth-century northern plains: Metis and the Medicine Line by Michel Hogue and Clearing the Plains by James Daschuk. These books succeed in detailing the great changes that occurred as the fur trade era fell away and a settler colonial regime emerged on the Canadian plains. For Indigenous peoples, these changes had, and continue to have, devastating consequences. Drawing heavily on the insights of Simpson, the second half of the article argues that studying the late nineteenth-century northern plains produces important methodological insights about the study of genocide in Canada.
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