Abstract: Emergencies are an element of perception. Far from a private and personal affair, perception is social, structured by a process of “inculcation.” Perception has a material-political infrastructure in the sense that it is underlain by cultural and economic conditions that refract the colonial, White supremacist, and heteropatriarchal inscriptions of “dominant” society into the quotidian understanding of events, crystalizing intentional modes in subjects, bodies, and communities. These infrastructures are dynamic and multifaceted, but their alloyed effect regulates phenomena of emergency always to the advantage of the settler colonial state and capitalist interests. Infrastructures of settler perception obfuscate the ways in which Native communities experience environmental emergencies as cycles of settler colonial violence and ecocide. Emergencies such as global warming are described as “human-caused” rather than directly linked to settler colonialism, capitalism, and White supremacy. Many uncritical deployments of the term “Anthropocene” commit a similar fallacy, implicating people who have had little or nothing to do with the planetary ecological collapse. In a White logic of death, or “necropolitics,” the structures of colonialism, genocide, war, and slavery represent not the beginning of crisis, but rather the end of violence and disorder. This strategy of obfuscation is employed in a variety of contexts and seen explicitly in the context of Indian education systems that form a political project of spiritual and physical domination. In response, a politics of refusal has emerged in Native communities to form incommensurable collective experiences of emergencies, attending to the ways in which emergencies reveal the relationships between us and how these indicate differential and yet interconnected responsibilities and moral duties that implicate some of us more than others and call incommensurable communities forth to action each in their own way.

Abstract: This article explores the intersecting of liberal internationalism and settler colonialism by tracing the Canadian governmental response to the emergence of International Labour Organisation (ilo) Convention 107 (1957) and Recommendation 104 (1957), the first international treaties regarding the rights of Indigenous Peoples in independent states. Drawing upon the archives of the ilo, Canada’s Department of External Affairs and Department of Citizenship and Immigration, notably the latter’s Indian Affairs Branch, the article investigates the convergence of mid-twentieth-century notions of Indigenous rights and the global phenomenon of “development”. It also explores how, amid anti-colonial resistance, decolonization, and an emerging international human rights regime, settler states responded, not least by seeking to blunt if not defeat the ilo initiative. In addition to yielding greater understanding of the origins and emergence of the ilo instruments, this analysis contributes to critical interrogations of Canadian liberal internationalism by revealing how Canadian settler preoccupations were projected abroad and shaped the international system’s evolving treatment of Indigenous Peoples. It also offers a different perspective on Canadian Indian policy by revealing the “global” dimension of an allegedly “domestic” question. Finally, the article highlights a parallel history of Indigenous internationalism speaking back to a world order constructed on Indigenous displacement and dispossession.


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