You cannot buy reconciliation but you should invest in it: Robyn Green, ‘The economics of reconciliation: tracing investment in Indigenous–settler relations’, Journal of Genocide Research, 17, 4, 2015, pp. 473-493
Abstract: The relationship between Indigenous peoples and the settler state remains fraught due to ongoing violence and mistrust. Numerous attempts have been made to ‘reconcile’ this beleaguered relationship over the past three decades. Indigenous peoples have advocated for the decolonization of the settler state and a suitable land base using the language of public investment. In response, settler governments reframe these requests as opportunities for economic investment that is guaranteed to produce self-esteem and social inclusion for Indigenous peoples. This article documents and problematizes an ideological shift whereby holistic decolonial approaches to reconciliation give way to an investment rationale that is used to bypass demands for Indigenous peoples’ jurisdiction and self-determination. The ramifications of this shift are examined in three ‘eras of reconciliation’ (Section 37 Constitutional Talks, Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, reparations for Indian residential school [IRS] Survivors) that also coincide with three types of investment: a) national; b) social; and c) therapeutic.
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