Decolonization in Canada

In the new PRIF Working Paper, Rita Theresa Kopp and Sabine Mannitz analyze approaches to coming to terms with colonial violence.

[Translate to English:] Image shows UBC's reconciliation pole, a wooden totem pole showing images of children

Canada is one of the states built on settler colo­nialism that have been con­fronting this past for a number of years. Among other things, a Truth and Recon­ciliation Commiss­ion conducted research and docu­mentation and developed concrete re­commen­dations for action for politics and society. But how can the de­coloni­zation of a country work, whose struc­tures are pro­foundly and las­tingly shaped by its history of vio­lence? And how can the im­plications of the colonial intrusion, which still persist today, be dealt with in a sus­tain­able way?

This working paper by Rita Theresa Kopp and Sabine Mannitz exa­mines approaches to de­coloni­zation in Canadian uni­versities and museums. These insti­tutions play a key role in dissemi­nating narratives and images of the violent past for the present and future. The findings reveal a spectrum of diffe­rent approaches that demon­strates how con­tentious and how complex the concern for de­coloni­zation is.

Rita Theresa Kopp is a student of po­liti­cal science at the Friedrich-Schiller-Uni­versity in Jena in the final phase of ob­tain­ing her Master’s de­gree. She com­pleted a three-months-intern­ship at the PRIF under super­vision of Sabine Mannitz in 2022.

The working paper is avai­lable for download here.