Exploring the Intersectionality of Settler-Ally, Reconciliation, and Indigenous Resurgence

  • Author / Creator
    Shortt, Rebecca
  • For the past 400 years Indigenous peoples in Canada have actively resisted colonial impositions on their way of life (Simpson, 2011). The impact of the relationship that non-Indigenous people have had with Indigenous people during these times of resistance has been both positive and negative. The commencement of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2008 prompted the wider conversation of Canada’s difficult relationship with Indigenous peoples and an exploration of how to begin the process of reconciliation. However, the final report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission left many, particularly non-Indigenous people, struggling with their roles and responsibilities to achieving reconciliation, or what steps they could take to become a settler-ally. At the same time, many scholars began to critique the concept of reconciliation, calling instead for Indigenous resurgence (Simpson, 2011). As well, the term settler-ally has been idealized and taken up by many who do not embody the necessary shift in thinking to respectfully stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples. There is a lack of literature that explores how these three concepts are interconnected and can be used as tools to foster healthy Indigenous/non-Indigenous relationships.
    Drawing on Indigenous research methodologies, the goal of the research was to explore how individuals understand and build their capacity to participate in the continually evolving relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people with specific objectives to 1) move into and understand the role of settler-ally in solidarity with reconciliation, 2) continue to work and live in relationships that promote reconciliation and resurgence; and 3) center Indigenous values and voices in the conversation through the use of Indigenous methodologies within academic work.
    Interviews and a sharing circle with Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, educators, service providers, and activists created a space where individuals shared multiple perspectives. Emerging from the stories that participants shared was that importance of understanding individual and collective responses and responsibilities to reconciliation. Working through feelings of anger, fear, shame, and guilt that act as barriers allows individuals to engage collectively in the ethical space and begin to achieve resurgence and reconciliation.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2018
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
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