Seminar: Separating Indigenous Peoples From Their Lands: The Ethnocidal Effects of Recent Canadian Land Claims Agreements


The Essex Sustainability Institute’s Seminar Series,Sustainability Contested, continues in 2013 at the Wivenhoe Park campus. The seminars are open to staff, students and members of the public. All are welcome, and attendance is free! Please spread the word!


Our next seminar is on the 23rd of January 2013, at 16:00 in Room 5N.7.23. Please note that the event will be free but prior registration is required. To register, please click here.

Separating Indigenous Peoples From Their Lands: The Ethnocidal Effects of Recent Canadian Land Claims Agreements 

This presentation examines Canadian land claims policy and interprets it as a means to diminish the cultural distinctiveness and social cohesion of Aboriginal peoples by requiring that they release most of their land to Canada and participate in resource extraction joint ventures. The recent Innu Nation land claims agreement called Tshash Petapen (‘New Dawn’)  will be analyzed in terms of (1) the social and political conditions in which the Innu negotiate, especially high rates of social dysfunction, alcoholism, and substance abuse (2) the provisos in agreements aimed at cultivating acquisitive individualism within a neoliberal economic framework, (3) the effects on Aboriginal social cohesion and relationships to the land, and (4) the legal result of such agreements, which is to extinguish indigenous ownership of lands and abolish any claims Aboriginal peoples can make against Canada for the violation of their rights.

Professor Colin Samson is a member of International Fact Finding Mission on land rights of Innu of Matimekush, Quebec, a delegate to the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations for the Innu Council of Nitassinan, Geneva, 19-23 July 2004 and a founding member of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples, an organization seeking to link hunting and pastoralist peoples, Arusha, Tanzania. He is also the author of A Way of Life That Does Not Exist: Canada and the Extinguishment of the Innu.

If you would like to meet the speaker on the day, please email Bryony Pound, at balpou (at)