Settler Colonialism and the Consolidation of Canada in the Twentieth Century

Authored by: Adam J. Barker , Toby Rollo , Emma Battell Lowman

The Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415742160
eBook ISBN: 9781315544816
Adobe ISBN: 9781134828470


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From the mid-nineteenth century to the present, settler colonialism in Canada has been characterized by the ongoing consolidation of state sovereignty around its assertion of radical underlying title to Indigenous lands. Accordingly, Indigenous resistance to settler colonialism has focused to a significant extent on the state as the central apparatus of colonial imposition and dispossession. From court cases that have challenged the legal basis of Canada’s definitions of and justifications for territorial sovereignty to iconic struggles over land between Indigenous people and state policing and military forces, the institutions and apparatus of the state have been a major focus of resistance and negotiation. Most Indigenous peoples understand state governments to be a primary source of colonial suffering, giving rise to the question, ‘Is the Crown at war with us?’. 1 Likewise, in the face of Indigenous resistance, settler Canadians have traditionally looked to governments to ‘fix’ what has come to be known as the ‘Indian problem’.

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