Dispossession politics: mapping the contours of reconciliatory colonialism in Canada through industry-funded think tanks




Yunker, Zoë

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Amidst recent mobilizations of Indigenous land-based resistance and the hypocrisy inherent in the state’s implementation of UNDRIP they render visible, resource-extractive corporate capital is uniquely invested in the state’s continued ability to dispossess land from Indigenous peoples. This paper suggests that growing emphasis on Indigenous-state relations within industry-funded think tanks offers corporate capital an unprecedented avenue to participate in the evolution of federal policy discourse on state-Indigenous reconciliation. It draws on a content analysis of policy materials from four of these institutions ranging from far-right groups such as the Fraser Institute to the more moderate Institute on Governance, contextualizing findings in recent and substantive shifts in federal policy development in this area. Findings suggest that the groups’ relative diversity is underscored by common discursive themes infused by neoliberal governing rationalities that invoke a diffuse, flexible and agile policy landscape that erases the question of land—and Indigenous jurisdiction over land—which many Indigenous peoples identify as critical to meaningful reconciliation efforts.



Indigenous politics, Resource development, Think tanks, Neoliberalism, Aboriginal economic development, State-Indigenous policy