Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada

2015, 145 pp
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Canada has never had an "Indian problem"-- but it does have a Settler problem. But what does it mean to be Settler? And why does it matter?

Through an engaging, and sometimes enraging, look at the relationships between Canada and Indigenous nations, Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada explains what it means to be Settler and argues that accepting this identity is an important first step towards changing those relationships. Being Settler means understanding that Canada is deeply entangled in the violence of colonialism, and that this colonialism and pervasive violence continue to define contemporary political, economic and cultural life in Canada. It also means accepting our responsibility to struggle for change.

Settler offers important ways forward -- ways to decolonize relationships between Settler Canadians and Indigenous peoples -- so that we can find new ways of being on the land, together.

This book presents a serious challenge. It offers no easy road, and lets no one off the hook. It will unsettle, but only to help Settler people find a pathway for transformative change, one that prepares us to imagine and move towards just and beneficial relationships with Indigenous nations. And this way forward may mean leaving much of what we know as Canada behind.

Read the review in Anabaptist Witness.

"Turning our gaze from the supposed "Indian problem," Lowman and Barker get us to focus on the very real "Settler problem." They explore what it means to be a Settler, how that identity has been shaped by past and present settler colonialism, and what the many possibilities are for Settlers to live into right relationship with host peoples. It is a slim volume that is serious and practical." - Steve Heinrichs, Director, Mennonite Church Canada Indigenous Relations

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