White Settler Racial Caucusing: Exploring How and to What Extent Racial Caucusing Motivates White Settlers to Address Indigenous-specific Racism




Devereaux, Fiona

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This mixed-method study involving white settler staff in the Faculty of Human and Social Development at the University of Victoria explored how and to what extent racial caucusing motivates white settlers to address Indigenous-specific racism within post-secondary institutions. Educational institutions have long-standing colonial practices that perpetuate racism while denying and disrespecting Indigenous human rights. This research responded to legislation and documentation calling for settler societies to be held accountable and to take actions on Indigenous-specific racism. White settlers can play a critical role in disrupting Indigenous-specific racism. Through a six-session intervention to address Indigenous-specific racism, this study showed that white settler caucusing transforms white settler racial identity and supports changes in colonial thoughts and behaviours. Three themes emerged: critical reflexivity, relational accountability, and responsibility. Outcomes included racial caucusing curriculum was new and limited time had been spent exploring settler colonialism and whiteness previously. Participants shared they had increased understanding that the burden of responsibility to address Indigenous-specific racism should be on white settlers’ shoulders and that Indigenous-specific racism is created by systems and structures of whiteness that privilege white settlers and erase and silence Indigenous peoples. As a result of this intervention, participants developed a deeper connection to their identity as a white settler in that who they are has provided them with social, political, and economic meaning and benefits. This research has the potential to provide a possible pathway for targeted, focused, and accountable learning for white settlers as a part of their scaffolded Indigenous anti-racism learning journey.



Indigenous-specific racism, Indigenous anti-racism, settler colonialism, whiteness, critical whiteness/race theory, decolonizing and transformational pedagogy, racial caucusing, systemic racism