6 questions each 200 words and 2 questions each around 400 words

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  • Select 6 questions to answer, out of the 8 short answer questions listed below. Short answers should be around 200 words in length. Each answer is worth 10 points.
  • Select 2 questions out of the 3 long answer questions below to answer. Long answers should be around 400 words in length. Each answer is worth 20 points.
  • If you are over / under in your answers by more than around 20 words, you will be docked points.


  • Map out your answer to each question to make sure you are answering exactly what is asked of you and that you are familiar with and understanding the terms and concepts in the question.


Show your understanding of the concepts and terms used in the questions, either by definition or by use in your answer. Make sure you provide examples or specific information to show your understanding of the answer. No need for formal APA citations. But it you are citing specific ideas or theories (e.g. Coulthard’s definition of “grounded normativity” or Wolfe’s definition of settler colonialism, Borrow’s understanding of Canadian constitutionalism…), then name the authors. If you’re unsure of when to source information, it never hurts to include a reference. Please do not cite lectures.

  1. Treaty making is a form of relationship making and political negotiation that long predates European colonization. What are some examples of these pre-contact treaties, and what can they teach us about Indigenous worldviews and governance?
  1. What are non-Indigenous treaty obligations? What does it mean to honour treaties in “good faith”?
  1. According to Canada, on what basis is its sovereignty claimed? Or, put another way: what legal arguments have been made to justify colonization in Canada? In contrast, according to Indigenous peoples, on what basis and through what kinds of negotiations were settlers allowed to stay? Finally, on what grounds are Indigenous peoples asserting their jurisdiction in the face of settler claims to sovereignty over their lands?
  1. Patrick Wolfe describes settler colonialism as a form of power that operates through a logic of elimination. His definition is cited in a number of course readings. How is the Indian Act an expression of this logic? Give at least 4 examples.
  1. How has gender discrimination been embedded in the Indian Act? Analyze how gender discrimination in the Indian Act has also acted as a form of racialization.
  1. Explain the relationship between the “over-incarceration” rates of Indigenous peoples in Canada and the role of the penitentiary in the process of colonization.
  1. Define “epistemic violence.” Then, describe 3 different mechanisms of colonization throughout Canadian history and how they constitute forms of epistemic violence.
  1. The Land Back movement in Canada is one that seeks to repair the damage of colonization by restoring Indigenous ownership and jurisdiction over their lands and waters. Name 2 structural barriers to the Land Back movement that we have discussed at any point during the course (readings, lectures, live discussions), and 2 examples of Indigenous movements that have overcome these barriers.


Long answers give you a chance to engage in deeper analysis of the course material and objectives. Use your time and space to write a short essay answer to 2 of the following questions. You will be graded on analysis, content, and your ability to synthesize course content into broader implications and ideas about settler colonialism in Canada today.

  1. How would you describe to someone – who hasn’t taken this course and isn’t well-informed on Indigenous issues – that colonialism in Canada is not a historical event, but part of everyday life in this country for Indigenous peoples?
  1. What are “colonial logics” and how do they work through contemporary institutions, like the media, law courts, the criminal justice system, and social work? Feel free to reference the Finding Cleo podcast in your answer.
  1. As we write this test, there is a militarized conflict unfolding in Wet’suwet’en territory in northwest British Columbia. The province has granted permits to Coastal GasLink to drill under the Wedzin Kwah – a freshwater river – where the CGL pipeline is proposed to cross. Wet’suwet’en hereditary leadership since 2014 have told CGL that they did not consent to construction. When CGL and the province still went ahead with the project, and the Wet’suwet’en tried to stop them, the company obtained an injunction to remove the Wet’suwet’en from the path of the pipeline on Wet’suwet’en lands. The Wet’suwet’en have never signed treaties with the Crown.

Pretend you are writing a letter to the editor of a major newspaper, offering your opinion / expertise on this matter. Apply the course curriculum (reading, lectures, concepts, historical events, theories) to this unfolding situation and consider addressing some of the following questions:

  • Since the Wet’suwet’en never signed treaties, what early political agreements protect their lands?
  • What does this invasion mean for settler rights to be here?
  • How can we as Canadians (or as Indigenous peoples, as the case may be) reconcile / address the conflicts of law that are unfolding through this conflict? What models exist for such a negotiation?
  • What are some of the principles at stake here for the Wet’suwet’en? Can we put to work our discussions and readings on Indigenous law? On settler colonialism?
  • What about the criminalization of land defenders here? What is the role of the RCMP here? What has it meant historically, and to this day, in the context of settler colonialism?
  • What about the role of the injunction in particular? What role does it play in these conflicts?
  • What does this conflict tell us more generally about Indigenous governance and justice in Canada? About where we are and where we have to go? What does it tell us about the project of reconciliation?


You may answer only 1 of the following 2 bonus questions:

  • Structures of Indifference: According to the analysis of the book, why did Brian Sinclair die?
  • Red New Deal: What is the relationship between gender-based violence and resource extraction and why is addressing this issue so critical to climate justice?

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