Excluding indigenous peoples today (transfer and repressive authenticity today): Andrea Procter, ‘Elsewhere and otherwise: Indigeneity and the politics of exclusion in Labrador’s extractive resource governance’, The Extractive Industries and Society, 2020

23Jun20

Abstract: Indigenous peoples have fought for recognition and inclusion in state-driven resource governance in Labrador for generations. At the same time, the settler state has tried to limit their inclusion by restricting the boundaries of indigeneity. By arguing that Indigenous peoples are not present in the project area or are not doing “traditional” activities, it aims to exclude some groups from the decision-making, monitoring, and benefits of extractivist projects. In rendering indigeneity as spatially and economically contained, government and industry pursue settler colonial fantasies of Indigenous erasure and absence.

This paper uses a recent public inquiry into the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project as a mechanism to trace how indigeneity has been mobilized in resource conflicts between the state, industry, and numerous Indigenous peoples of the Labrador peninsula since the 18th century. Linking hydroelectric developments with examples of mining, logging, and commercial fishing, the paper explores the dynamic between government efforts to facilitate extractive industry by containing indigeneity and Indigenous assertions of a more flexible and dynamic reality. Instead of abiding to the state’s limiting version of indigeneity, the Indigenous peoples of the Labrador peninsula are challenging and reforming environmental governance by demonstrating that they are, in fact, elsewhere and otherwise.



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