Unsettling the Settler Within: Why History and Pedagogy are at the Heart of Healing in Canada
Thursday, February 16th, 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Allard Hall Forum
1822 East Mall
Admission is free and there is no need to rsvp.
Join the UBC Program on Dispute Resolution for the third lecture in the “Creative Approaches to Conflict” Speaker Series, with Paulette Regan, PhD (Indigenous Governance, University of Victoria). Regan is currently Senior Researcher, Historical Memory and Reconciliation Project, for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and a Research Fellow at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at UBC.
Recent research indicates that how people learn about historical injustices and human rights violations is as important as learning the truth about what happened. Although Indian residential schools existed for well over a century in Canada, most Canadians say they know little or nothing about them. Perhaps we, as non-Indigenous people, as settlers on these lands, must ask ourselves some troubling questions. How is it that we know nothing about this history? What does the persistence of such invisibility in the face of the living presence of survivors tell us about our relationship with Indigenous peoples?
As the work of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission proceeds, how will Canadians who have so selectively forgotten this “sad chapter in our history” now undertake to remember it? Will such remembering be decolonizing and transformative or simply perpetuate colonial relations? What is the role and responsibility of non-Indigenous people in the truth and reconciliation process? Learning how to confront the colonial past in unsettling ways is at the heart of reconciliation in Canada today.
Regan’s most recent publication, Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth-telling and Reconciliation in Canada (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010) explores the pedagogical potential of truth and reconciliation processes as “unsettling,” decolonizing, transformative, and liberatory sites of truth, resistance and critical hope. She argues that in order to truly participate in the transformative possibilities of reconciliation, non-Indigenous Canadians must undergo their own process of decolonization. Situated within a global context of reparations, apology and reconciliation politics, and based on her experiences as a former IRS claims resolution manager, the book is a call to action for all Canadians.
Visit the Program on Dispute Resolution for more information on the 2011-12 Speaker Series.