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3.3.2: Indigenous Struggles and Futures
Wednesday, 02/June/2021:
2:30pm - 4:00pm

Session Chair: Alisa Greenwood Nguyen
Session Chair: Clothilde Parent-Chartier
Location: Room 2


Indigenous Peoples’ right to consent to resource extraction in Canada and South Africa: What is the role of law in struggles to decolonize development?

Daniel L Huizenga

University of Toronto, Canada

In 2020 two struggles against imposed extractive development were unfolding in parallel: the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in Northern British Columbia, Canada, and the Xolobeni community in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Both communities had previously celebrated significant legal victories in their respective struggles for their right to self-determination and self-determined development. The Wet’suwet’en First Nation were successful in the landmark 1997 Delgamuukw Supreme Court judgment, while the Xolobeni community won the ‘right to say no’ in the Pretoria High Court in 2018. Yet both communities continue to document the forms of colonial violence they are subjected to. What is the role of law in the struggle to decolonize development? Can litigation be used to elevate local visions of development futures? What kinds of legal and colonial violence are reproduced in these struggles? This paper draws on a research project documenting the role of local struggles in the emergence of the ‘right to consent’ to resource extraction. This cross-contextual comparison is based on empirical research conducted in South Africa and desk-based research in Canada.

A Failure to Respond: National Sport Organizations and the TRC

Yasmin Rajwani1, Audrey R. Giles2, Shawn Forde2

1School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa; 2School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 2015 Calls to Action identified societal measures necessary for a successful reconciliation process between Indigenous peoples and settlers in Canada, five of which were specific to sport. Half a decade after the Calls to Action were published, the response by national sport organizations (NSOs) in Canada has escaped scholarly attention. Through a lens informed by settler colonial studies, we employed summative content analysis to examine the ways in which – if at all – NSOs in Canada have implemented relevant Calls to Action. Our results indicate a lack of response, which we argue is settler silence, by most NSOs.

Le développement du tourisme atikamekw : vers un processus d’autochtonisation au Québec ?

Alexandre Veilleux1, Julie McClatchie2

1Université de Montréal, Canada; 2Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

Les traces du colonialisme au Québec laissent actuellement les peuples autochtones aux prises avec des enjeux socio-économiques et territoriaux imposant des limitations face à l’autodétermination et la reprise identitaire. La Commission des droits de la personne du Québec souligne ce retard économique important, un sous-financement accru du gouvernement et une prédominance des enjeux territoriaux de dépossession des ressources par des acteurs allochtones. Face à ces enjeux, les acteurs autochtones développent des stratégies s'inscrivant dans un processus d’autochtonisation de l’État québécois. Celui-ci « exige de procéder à la transformation des structures institutionnelles existantes, des processus économiques et politiques dominants » (Salée, 2005, p.71) et d’assurer que ceux-ci « soient directement impliqué dans cette dynamique de transformation » (Bacon, 2020, p.7). L’une des stratégies employées par la communauté atikamekw est le développement touristique dû à son potentiel de freiner le retard de développement économique tout en permettant une prise en charge territoriale caractérisée par une protection accrue du territoire.

En s’intéressant au lien entre les stratégies de développement touristiques autochtones et le processus d’autochtonisation de l’État québécois, nous démontrons la pertinence de la production d’un capitalisme autochtone caractérisé par une forte représentativité économique ainsi qu’une conservation des valeurs propres menant à une réappropriation de la dimension économique par les peuples autochtones (Bunten, 2010). Ceux-ci s’assurent d’une autodétermination accrue dans le tourisme, d’une légitimation des identités et de la possession d’un espace protégé, tout en diminuant les écarts socio-économiques entre autochtones et allochtones. En tant que chercheurs allochtones, cet article se positionne à la jonction des courants postcoloniaux et décoloniaux, et relève de savoirs situés autochtones et québécois. La méthodologie est basée sur une revue de la littérature secondaire et grise s’intéressant au processus d’autochtonisation et au concept de capitalisme autochtone, et y combine une analyse de documents primaires des plans d’autogestion atikamekw.

Remoteness Myth and Power in Energy Extraction Frontiers

Ana Watson, Conny Davidsen

University of Calgary, Canada

Extractive frontiers are routinely situated in, or constructed as, ‘remote’ and ‘underdeveloped’ areas. From a political ecology perspective, this paper examines ‘remoteness’ as strategic concepts of land and access control. Past research has already examined how environmental impact assessments have contributed to colonization and the roll-out of capitalism in indigenous territories, producing a passive acquiescence of extraction projects. However, narratives of remote environments –and pristine nature-- also have ambivalent roles as they simultaneously enable extraction and contestation of traditional central elites and colonial practices. Peru’s Camisea project in the Upper Amazon is the oldest, largest and most influential liquid natural gas project in the country and has turned Peru into one of Latin America’s top LNG exporters. For decades, local indigenous communities in Camisea have been facing corporate, territorial, and institutional shifts of power in favor of transnational energy companies and national revenue interests. Camisea has been praised as exemplary for its environmental and social strategy to keep the extraction area ‘remote’ through an off-shore inland extraction approach that aims to minimize its local infrastructural footprint in the rainforest. However, the designed remoteness has propelled the Camisea company into an exclusive gatekeeper position for its remote Amazon logistics, exacerbating local asymmetries of power. Isolated from outside road systems, Camisea industry operations hold exclusive ownership and control over the infrastructures that connect indigenous communities to the outside world, under a narrative of avoiding environmental and social impacts. Drawing on qualitive analysis and an extensive document analysis, this paper scrutinizes Camisea as a case study to better understand how remoteness narratives can simultaneously enable and constrain natural gas extraction vis-à-vis indigenous rights in Amazonia.