Category Reconciliation

Notes: Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

In the spirit of the TRC Reading Challenge (#ReadTheTRCReport) the following are my notes on the the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada’s Final Report: Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. The goal is to incite more people to read the report and to generate productive, ongoing conversation. Obviously, these notes are not comprehensive and they […]

The Theatre of Regret: Establishing the Politics of Reconciliation after World War II

An immense wave of anti-colonial and anti-imperial activity, thought, and revision has overtaken the massive edifice of Western empire, challenging it, to use Gramsci’s vivid metaphor, in a mutual siege. For the first time Westerners have been required to confront themselves not simply as the Raj but as representatives of a culture and even a […]

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 […]

The Deconstructive Apology: The Ethics of Apology in the Postmodern Era

At this present moment it must be recognized that “apology” has been reformulated in Canada’s political discourse as a means to control narrative and protect the interests of the status quo. In this post, I would like to offer a brief critique of what might be called the “deconstructive” or “postmodern” approach to apology, which […]

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 […]