On Living in Reconciliation: Hannah Arendt, Agonism, and the Transformation of Indigenous-non-Indigenous Relations in Canada




Wyile, Hannah Katalin Schwenke

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This thesis considers the limitations of redress measures for injustices against Indigenous peoples in Canada and seeks to provide an alternative account of reconciliation that aims towards addressing these limitations. Current reconciliation and treaty processes designed to address Indigenous claims have resulted in a disconnect between material and symbolic or affective harms and are insufficiently reciprocal and receptive to the multiplicity of conflicting accounts of history to meaningfully effect a transformation of Indigenous-non-Indigenous relations. Furthermore, current processes aim towards closure with respect to past injustices instead of establishing lasting political relationships through grappling with diverse perspectives on those injustices. This thesis engages with these challenges by exploring Indigenous-non-Indigenous relations in Canada through the lens of Hannah Arendt’s relational, non-instrumental account of politics and recent literature on agonistic reconciliation in order to propose an alternative account of living in reconciliation through treaty relations.



political reconciliation, Hannah Arendt, agonism, treaties, Indigenous-non-Indigenous relations