Settler Colonialism

Settler colonialism is colonization by replacement. This replacement occurs at different levels, including politics, the law, culture, economics, technology, demographics, and ecology. Since Europe initiated its invasion of the Americas, settler colonialism has spread across the earth, becoming a primary vehicle of imperialism (Byrd 2011). In North America, a long Indigenous feminist tradition has analyzed the particular kinds of relationships that settler colonialism produces, which result in isolation, scarcity, and mass death. Indigenous feminists have emphasized the kinds of relationships that have been necessary to survive settler colonialism (Byrd 2019b; LaDuke 2015; A. Simpson 2018; TallBear 2019). Joanne Barker has theorized the “polity of the Indigenous,” which she defines as “the unique governance, territory, and culture of Indigenous peoples in unique and related systems of (non)-human relationships and responsibilities to one another” (2017, 7). Indigenous feminist critiques of settler colonialism prioritize relationships and relatedness, drawing attention to ongoing processes of transformation (processes, in turn, that manifest through relationship and relatedness).

This essay may be found on page 197 of the printed volume.

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