Category Politics

Gift Theory and the Settler State

French Anthropologist Marcel Mauss put gift theory into circulation long ago in 1923, but his ideas continue to make important contributions to contemporary studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Anthropology and, as I argue, Reconciliation Theory. Of special importance in Mauss’s work was his identification of “hau,” a “spiritual mechanism … which obliges us to make […]

RECONCILIAITON ≠ TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE (Part II)

The relation of transitional justice to contemporary reconciliation studies is an issue that requires much more attention. Some of the most recent examples of reconciliation (Australia and Canada) have not taken place inside of a transitional justice paradigm, but are the consequence of previously democratic states coming to terms with past crimes. Inasmuch as reconciliation […]

Reconciliation Does Not Equal Transitional Justice (and other truths)

In tracing the legacy of reconciliation across Nuremberg, Yugoslavia, South Africa, Australia and Canada, there is at least one major difference in the latter two examples that demands explicit attention. Specifically, Nuremberg principles have traditionally been used to enforce measures of transitional justice for states beset by violence–the primary examples being El Salvador, Argentina, Chile […]

Andy Everson: Idle No More

The Unseemly Underbelly of Reconciliation

The following is excerpted from my current book project: Settler Reconciliation: Locating Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in “the new international morality”. Feedback and suggestions are welcome in the comments section below. Thanks for reading. This book is an examination and critique of reconciliation as it populates the post-Cold War landscape as an idealist politic. According to […]

sehtoskakew: “Aboriginal Principles of Witnessing” in the Canadian TRC

Witnessing and testimony are an essential component of every Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Canadian TRC is no exception. However, these key terms are ideologically loaded and have historically excluded Indigenous knowledge systems (for instance Delgamuukw v. British Columbia). While “Schedule ‘N’” (which contains the Canadian TRC mandate) gestures towards “Aboriginal principles of witnessing,” there […]

Teaching is not a Gift: Surfacing Labour and increasing Value by Changing how we Talk about Teaching

I just finished reading yet another piece, by a teacher, that argues “teaching is a gift, not a job.” I am a teacher. Both my parents were teachers. My mother-in-law was a teacher. And let me tell you, teaching is a job. A hard one. I understand the sentiment in the story. It is, of […]

Apology’s Worth It: How Canada Profits from Apology

We live in an “Age of Apology“. In a way that was unimaginable during the Cold War, “sorry” is now a primary element of intra-state politics. Some label the post-Cold War shift out of realpolitik as an indication of “the new international morality,” but apology is also a means for Nation States to recuperate and monetize “sorry”. The […]

Colonial Kettle Logic: Settler Colonialism as Wish Fulfillment

Nice Claim Bro “It is useless to seek this consistency anywhere except in the colonizer himself” (Albert Memmi, The Colonizer and the Colonized). As Daniel Justice has pointed out, settlers have opinions about Indigenous peoples. Many of those opinions are ill-informed, hateful, and, grounded in an unwavering certainty about identity, rights & responsibilities, authenticity, and the […]