Wednesday, June 2, 2021
An Althusserian (2014) approach to education posits that the Scholastic Apparatus exists to replicate the ideologies and norms of the nation-state. Looking to Wolfe (1999, 2006, 2013), we know that the invasion of what is currently called Canada was a structure and not an event; thus, systems of education, as part of the overall settler colonial structure of the nation-state, are used to defend Indigenous removal, elimination, and assimilation (Tuck & Yang, 2012). In other words, education in Canada serves to rationalize (a) the theft of Indigenous lands and (b) the right of settler occupation on Indigenous lands. Federal and provincial/territorial governments, school boards, as well as higher education institutions continue their attempts to engage with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action (2015); however, structural concerns such as anti-Indigenous racism, as well as the ongoing nature of settler colonial processes (Carrillo Rowe & Tuck, 2017; Jafri, 2017; Kauanui, 2016; Lawrence 2004; Lawrence & Dua, 2005; Razack, 2002) are often ignored. As Tuck and Yang (2012) cautioned, “decolonization is not a metaphor,” and yet how can state institutions claim to be engaging in reconciliatory and/or decolonial processes when settler colonialism facilitated the formation of the Canadian nation-state? This session aims to confront the ways settler colonialism exists always-already within state governance structures and accordingly inside mainstream systems of education, both K-12 and post-secondary. More specifically, this panel aims to disrupt the ways education is viewed as “value neutral” and instead to interrogate the ways it is and has always been settler colonial.