Separation Versus Relationality: Settler Policies, Indigenous Storytelling and their Ways of Being in the World

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Closed Access

Degree Name

MA in Women's History


Women’s History Graduate Program


This thesis explores the ideological basis of Canada’s settler colonial project and the ways that stories held in Indigenous film speak back to or refute it. Using a framework that looks to their philosophical representations, I trace the ways of being in the world represented in Canada’s tactics and policies of settler dominion and compare them to those held in the Indigenous stories I regard. Such an exploration demonstrates how Canada’s colonial project is rooted in and buttressed by a Cartesian separation of human life from the world that surrounds it. By contrast the films that I regard represent worlds premised not on separation, but a radical form of ultimate relationality. Ultimately, I argue that the relational worlds represented in the films inherently contest and destabilize settler dominion and in doing so provide instructive ways to bring about Indigenous resurgence and decolonization.

This document is currently not available here.