JurisTalk | Northern Enclosure: Indian Law and the Centrality of Indigenous Lands in Canadian Confederation

JurisTalk | Northern Enclosure: Indian Law and the Centrality of Indigenous Lands in Canadian Confederation

Categories: CU75, Lectures and Seminars | Intended for

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

9:30 AM - 11:30 AM | Add to calendar

D492 Loeb Building

1125 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON

Contact Information

Prof. Umut Ozsu, x. 3682, Umut.Ozsu@carleton.ca

Registration

No registration required.

Cost

Free

About this Event

Host Organization: Department of Law and Legal Studies, Jurisprudence Centre

with Daniel Rück, Assistant Professor of History, University of Ottawa

When asked the question “What do Indians Want?” writer Thomas King critiqued that question as ahistorical. He proposed a better question: “What do Whites want?” The answer to that question is simple, writes King: “It’s been in plain sight all along. Land. Whites want Land.” This paper examines the role of the Department of Indian Affairs in justifying the massive territorial expansion of the Canadian state. Prof. Rück discusses the role of bureaucrats, Indian agents, land surveyors, treaty-negotiators, and law-makers in appropriating Indigenous lands, largely for the benefit of White settlers. Between 1860 and 1880 Indian Affairs was an active participant or interested observer in a whole series of major land developments including the merging of provinces into Confederation, railroad construction, land sales and transfers, the massive extension of the reserve system, and new treaties and laws, including the Indian Act. Although Indian Affairs was mandated to protect Indigenous lands, Prof. Rück argues that it played a central role in valorizing and enabling state and settler land-lust while promoting Indigenous dehumanization and dispossession.

This event takes place in association with CU75 Celebrations and FPA Research Month.