An Althusserian (2014) approach to education posits that the Scholastic Apparatus exists to replicate the ideologies and norms of the nation-state. Looking to Wolfe (1999, 2006, 2013), we know that the invasion of what is currently called Canada was a structure and not an event; thus, systems of education, as part of the overall settler colonial structure of the nation-state, are used to defend Indigenous removal, elimination, and assimilation (Tuck & Yang, 2012). In other words, education in Canada serves to rationalize (a) the theft of Indigenous lands and (b) the right of settler occupation on Indigenous lands. Federal and provincial/territorial governments, school boards, as well as higher education institutions continue their attempts to engage with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action (2015); however, structural concerns such as anti-Indigenous racism, as well as the ongoing nature of settler colonial processes (Carrillo Rowe & Tuck, 2017; Jafri, 2017; Kauanui, 2016; Lawrence 2004; Lawrence & Dua, 2005; Razack, 2002) are often ignored. As Tuck and Yang (2012) cautioned, “decolonization is not a metaphor,” and yet how can state institutions claim to be engaging in reconciliatory and/or decolonial processes when settler colonialism facilitated the formation of the Canadian nation-state?
This co-sponsored panel session with the Comparative and International Education Society of Canada —one of the Associations within the Canadian Society for Studies in Education—features proposals for papers that aim to confront the ways settler colonialism exists always-already within state governance structures and accordingly inside mainstream systems of education, both K-12 and post-secondary. More specifically, this panel aims to disrupt the ways education is viewed as “value neutral” and instead to interrogate the ways it is and has always been settler colonial.
Organizer: Danielle Lorenz, University of Alberta