Race, ethnicité, peuples autochtones et politique



L12(a) - Equity and Reconciliation in Institutions

Date: Jun 13 | Heure: 12:00pm to 01:30pm | Salle:

Chair/Président/Présidente : Seon Yuzyck (University of Alberta)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Tobin Leblanc Haley (University of New Brunswick)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Leah Levac (University of Guelph)

Decolonizing the University: Indigenization, Agency, and Reconciliation: Lorna Stefanick (Athabasca University), Lorna Stefanick (Athabasca University)
Abstract: Universities across Canada have committed themselves to Indigenization as a part of the reconciliation process to right the wrongs of colonization. But as Arvin, Tuck and Merrill argue, “the consideration of Indigenous peoples remains rooted in understanding colonialism as an historical point in time away from which our society as progressed” (2013, 9). This view understands colonialism in Canada as producing the most discriminatory (and now rescinded) provisions of the Indian Act and the decommissioned residential school system. Others understand colonization as an ongoing process embedded in institutions and world views. For educators, decolonization for some involves including Indigenous readings in curriculum, while others seek structural change that fosters inclusion and equity. Using participant observation methodology, this paper examines a two-year project to decolonize three credential producing university programs. The project involved hiring two Indigenous professors, creating a shared vision, overhauling regulations, and rewriting courses between 2019-2021. The author of this paper is the settler ally who conceived the project, achieved “buy-in” from university administrators, and provided the leadership for operationalizing the project’s decolonization goals. The paper asks the critical question of whether decolonization of universities is possible within the constraints of the post-secondary school system, and if so, what are the requirements to make decolonization projects a success? Arvin, Maile, Eve Tuck, Angie Morrill. 2013. Decolonizing Feminism: Challenging Connections between Settler Colonialism and Heteropatriarchy. Feminist Formations. 25, no. 1 (Spring): 8-34.


The Labour of Social Justice: how Canadian unions are advancing anti-racism and reconciliation: Karl Gardner (University of Toronto)
Abstract: Historically, organized labour in Canada has had a fraught relationship with Black, Indigenous, and racialized workers. Specifically, unions have often been complicit, or actively participated, in the exclusion and marginalization of these workers, reinforcing rather than challenging the injustices of colonial racial capitalism. In recent decades, however, there has been a notable shift in union discourse and action with respect to anti-racism and reconciliation. Especially following landmark events such as the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRCC) Final Report and Calls to Action in 2015 or the rise to prominence of the Movement for Black Lives, unions and labour organizations across Canada have become increasingly interested in defending and advancing the rights of Black, Indigenous, and racialized workers within and even beyond the workplace. This paper draws from a scoping review of the range of discursive and material actions taken by unions to engage in what I call the labour of social justice. Specifically, I assess the value and efficacy of four common iterations of this labour: public statements, internal political education, collective bargaining strategies, and material acts of solidarity. Thinking alongside feminist, anti-racist, and Indigenous studies of organized labour, I offer a critical discussion of the limits and potentials of the dominant approaches unions are taking to advance anti-racism and reconciliation in Canada.


Operationalizing Intersectionality in Canada: Equality policy and NGOs: Ashlee Christoffersen (York University)
Abstract: Canada is near unique internationally in recent high-level political commitments to operationalizing intersectionality, which is timely because amidst increased visibility of movements for racial, and Indigenous, justice, the Canadian government faces competing justice claims. Yet an intersectional approach is antithetical to how inequalities are currently understood and prioritized around gender in Canada (Christoffersen & Hankivsky 2021). This paper shares preliminary findings of multi-method research, including interviews and document analysis, exploring the influence of recent public discourse about racial and Indigenous injustice on the opportunities and challenges for operationalizing intersectionality in Canada, with a unique focus on equity-seeking non-governmental organizations (NGOs). NGOs play a key role in the policy process, and in knowledge production. They set the agenda and frame policy problems to advance particular solutions while silencing others. Moreover, as unelected representatives they are political actors that play a critical, underexplored role in the political representation of intersectionally marginalized groups. NGOs play an ambivalent role in applying intersectionality requiring critical interrogation (Christoffersen 2021): they have the potential to both further and hamper efforts for intersectional justice. What policy responses to racial and Indigenous injustice do NGOs advocate for, and how do these compare and interact? How do equity-seeking NGOs conceptualize and operationalize intersectionality? To forge a path through a politically contested landscape, these questions represent pressing avenues of inquiry in Canada and internationally.


Dependency Work as Witnessing: Able-Nationalism and the Limits of Labour Justice in Canadian Healthcare: Sarah Munawar (University of Houston)
Abstract: Hospitals, ICUs, long-term care homes, are not just transitory places, or death-worlds, within colonial systems; for families like mine, in the netherworld of dependency care, and for care-workers, they are a critical setting for our most intimate struggles for labour, gender, racial and disability justice. Through critical auto-ethnography, I outline three anecdotal interactions between my family and healthcare workers, during my father’s hospitalization, in which discourses on labour rights are weaponized by healthcare administration to shut down the complaints, and demands of, racialized, disabled, and elderly patients. Families like mine situated within the netherworld of dependency care, challenge the notion that caring labor in carceral healthcare settings, and the harm and neglect justified in care’s name to racialized and disabled elders, cannot be accounted for. The impact of medical violence done in care’s name is written off as a constitutive feature, or natural consequence, of the racialized, disabled, and elderly patient’s body—as a body that is chronically risk-prone, unpredictable, damaged, frail and in decay. Healthcare workers have names, faces and institutional and legal roles and responsibilities. Healthcare systems are regulated; there are policies, laws and codes of accountability; yet, medicalized violence remains highly invisible, impersonal and untraceable to a name and face, to specific healthcare workers who perform caring labour in a harmful way. In this paper, I emphasize that a constitutive labour of dependency work is naming, and documenting, policies, practices, actors, systems, and discourses that are used to enact and justify medical violence and carceral practices of care in Canada to create what Sara Ahmed calls, a phenomenology of an institution. Dependency work is knowledge keeping. I explore how institutional hierarchies of labor within settler-colonial healthcare settings are white-orientated and serve as, what Sara Ahmed calls, the postal system by which the complaints of racialized, disabled elders are dismissed, buried and delegitimized. There is power in naming practices of medical violence, mapping institutional hierarchies, using policy levers, and evoking rights-based legislation in the claims-making process. Black, Indigenous, racialized, disabled and queer scholars, however, have taught us that settler-colonial healthcare systems not only endanger the health and safety of Black, Indigenous and racialized patients and healthcare workers but are also built on theft and appropriation of their caring labour; in this paper, I argue that when Black, Indigenous and racialized patients, and healthcare workers, often work together and mobilize caring labour to create phenomenologies of healthcare institutions for the sake of harm reduction, health equity, and labour justice, they are often punished and disciplined. Such punishment , for example, could mean more medical violence and neglect for patients and, termination of employment and a toxic working environment for healthcare workers. Conversations on accessibility complaints, especially between patients and healthcare workers, are interpreted as hostile and burdensome demands for more labour and resources to make healthcare service delivery and spaces more accessible. In the context of a pandemic, then, where Canada’s healthcare system is collapsing, understaffed and underfunded, what is first to be cut are the demands of disabled, racialized and elderly patients. I argue that demanding just ecologies of labour within settler-colonial healthcare systems requires Black, Indigenous and racialized healthworkers and patients to forge, build and deepen relational affinities, homeplaces, and dissident friendships by resisting anti-relational and white-orientated practices of settler governance within healthcare settings.


Accessible Canada Act(ing):: Aaron J. Service (Carleton University)
Abstract: Passing into law the Accessible Canada Act (ACA) in 2019, the Canadian federal government committed to eradicating ableism within the public service by 2040. Addressing hiring biases and representational asymmetries related to peoples with disabilities in governance, the ACA was to erase barriers for those traditionally excluded from the public service based on their “disability.” Roughly five years after the ACA was put into law, it is worth asking how does the Canadian federal government understand the problem of ableism in the federal public service? Traditionally this question was difficult to answer in anything but the abstract. However, with the first “Accessibility Plans” following the ACA now being published, it has become possible to assess this understanding empirically. This paper mobilizes Carol Bacchi’s “What’s the Problem Represented to be?” (WPR) method of qualitative post-structural policy analysis, to establish discursive trends in the classification of “ableism,” interpretation of “disability,” and remedy of ableism through “accessibility” across federal departments’ “Accessibility Plans.” This paper argues two things based on the evidence: 1) despite de-centralization in addressing the ACA, there are a great deal of similarities among departments’ representations of problems related to “disability” and “accessibility”; and 2) despite rhetoric to the contrary, these discursive trends indicate continuity in ableist presumptions traditionally associated with the ableist “biomedical model” of disability. Little has been written about the ACA by political scientists, thus the proposed paper contributes to this literature, while also adding to existing discourses regarding ableism in Canada, and studies of Canadian public policy.