Elsipogtog and Foundational Colonial Violence

Decolonization

by Eric Ritskes

Change demands moments of crisis and conflict. In these moments of crisis, there are two options: to embrace the change and recognize the necessity of it, or to fight against it, to try and frantically batten down the hatches of the status quo. In light of the recent conflict in Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick, Rex Murphy in his recent article, pulls out the dullest, bluntest hammer to flail wildly away in protection of the settler colonial status quo.

In Murphy’s article he lays out the foundations of violence inherent in the settler colonial state (while simultaneously and willfully ignoring that same violence), where he highlights the only two choices afforded Indigenous people in settler society. Each choice is as violent and potentially deadly as the other. On one side, by evoking the ‘Canadian citizenry’, Murphy is highlighting the delineation between citizens and Indigenous peoples…

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