It is about the land and its waters: Maura Hanrahan, ‘Water (in)security in Canada: national identity and the exclusion of Indigenous peoples’, British Journal of Canadian Studies, 30, 1, 2017
Abstract: With the exception of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people, most Canadians enjoy water security. Indigenous people are ninety times more likely than other Canadians to lack piped water. These disparities result from and maintain the colonial relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples. As displaced people with values often in opposition to neo-liberalism, Indigenous people present an existential threat to Canadian identity, this identity having been created around possession of a vast land that extends to the North Pole, and subsequent heavy resource extraction throughout this land. To maintain Canada’s national identity and the activities that support it, Indigenous people have to be pushed to the figurative and literal fringes and rendered invisible. Five short case studies of water insecurity demonstrate how neo-liberalism props up and legitimises decentralised water governance in Canada, which in turn promotes and maintains environmental inequality, Indigenous marginalisation and, ultimately, the Canadian identity.
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