Ambiguity And Irreconcilability: A Critical Look At Reconciliation Discourse In Federal Land Claims And Self-Government Political Communications
thesisposted on 21.09.2021, 20:16 by Rebecca Katherine Hume
Can reconciliation be meaningful when it is at once a journey, a path, a milestone, a framework, a tool of economic development, a spirit, and a process? In this thesis, I use a multimethod approach to problematize how reconciliation discourse is employed ambiguously in both policy and practice in order to maintain settler colonial occupation of stolen Indigenous lands. I first conduct a policy review of federal land claims and self-government frameworks before turning to a Critical Discourse Analysis of public communications to illustrate the limitations of these state-led processes of reconciliation. My analysis elucidates the ways in which these processes are instantiations of settler governmentality that continue to exist as common sense (Rifkin, 2013) within a discursive framework of state-led reconciliation politics. As such, my work demonstrates that in order to work towards the bigger project of decolonization and resurgence, reconciliation must move from purely aspirational terms to substantive, treaty-based responsibilities with the repatriation of Indigenous land as its overarching, incommensurable purpose.
Keywords: reconciliation politics; settler colonialism; Crown-Indigenous relations; critical policy studies; critical discourse analysis.