‘Reconciliation is Dead’: Unist’ot’en Camp, Land Back and How the Movements can Inform Settler Responsibilities and Indigenous-Settler Relationships Going Forward

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  • This capstone research paper discusses the contemporary ‘Reconciliation is Dead’ movement, which appears to have gained traction during the 2020 raids at the Unist’ot’en Camp on unceded Wet’suwet’en lands in what is now known as Canada. I argue that the colonial government continues to utilize empty reconciliatory politics and gestures that have led many Indigenous peoples and settler accomplices to proclaim that reconciliation is ‘dead’. This paper will unpack colonial state forms of reconciliation, as well as discuss Land Back and how actions towards Indigenous sovereignty must include a returning of land and Indigenous self-determining authority over land. Some of my questions include: how can the Reconciliation is Dead movement inform us on current Indigenous-settler relations? How can the movement encourage people to think critically about ‘reconciliation’ and the government’s lack of material changes? I also discuss the Unist’ot’en Camp as a site of Indigenous resistance and resurgence, and how differently situated settlers need to engage in ongoing self-reflection on their positionalities, as well as their responsibilities to and with the Indigenous peoples and nations on whose lands they live. Finally, I share personal experiences as a white settler and how it is crucial to embrace the discomfort and to actively work to build relationships across difference that challenge settler colonialism, capitalism, empire and the state.

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    Article (Draft / Submitted)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International