University of Hertfordshire

Settler colonialism and the consolidation of Canada in the twentieth century

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  • Emma Battell Lowman
  • Adam J. Barker
  • Toby Rollo
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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism
EditorsLorenzo Veracini, Edward Cavanagh
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages168
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-54481-6
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-74216-0
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2016


From the mid-nineteenth century to the present, settler colonialism in Canada has been characterized by the ongoing consolidation of state sovereignty around its assertion of radical underlying title to Indigenous lands. Accordingly, Indigenous resistance to settler colonialism has focused to a significant extent on the state as the central apparatus of colonial imposition and dispossession. From court cases that have challenged the legal basis of Canada’s definitions and justifications of territorial sovereignty to iconic struggles over land between Indigenous people and state policing and military forces, the institutions and apparatus of the state have been a major focus of resistance and negotiation. Most Indigenous peoples understand state governments to be a primary source of colonial suffering, giving rise to the question, ‘Is the Crown at war with us?’ 1
Likewise, in the face of resistance, settler Canadians have traditionally looked to governments to ‘fix’ what has come to be known as the ‘Indian problem’.


Emma Battell Lowman, Adam J. Barker, Toby Rollo, ‘Settler colonialism and the consolidation of Canada in the twentieth century’, in Lorenzo Veracini, Edward Cavanagh, eds., The Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism, (New York: Routledge, 2016), ISBN 978-0-415-74216-0, eISBN 978-1-315-54481-6.

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