bruno cornellier on settler colonialism in quebec

18Apr12

In their influential work on settler colonialism, Patrick Wolfe and Lorenzo Veracini explained that settler societies are not only predicated upon the structural elimination of Indigenous societies, but also on a historical trajectory culminating in settler colonialism’s own self-suppression. This accounts for recent scholarly efforts to deconstruct rhetorical and discursive attempts to represent our multicultural, settler societies as not colonial anymore. In Québec, the situation is even more complex because the francophone majority, on account of its declared state of minorityhood on a continental level, has not only disassociate itself from settler colonialism per se, but its own claims over identity, home, and nationhood appear not to require the rhetorical suppression of a colonial legacy. It is in such context that Gérard Bouchard and Charles Taylor, in their publicly commissioned Report on cultural difference and accommodation practices, defined interculturalism as an alternative to official forms of multiculturalism. In this paper, I argue that, by attempting to theorize the acquired status of a racially neutral concept of ‘Nativeness’, such an understanding of interculturalism completes the political erasure of the settler colonial specificity of Québec’s claim to nationhood and minorityhood.

And find an interview between Robert-Falcon Ouellette and Bruno Cornellier here.



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