Canada’s Indians (sic): (Re)racializing Canadian Sovereign Contours Through Juridical Constructions of Indianness in McIvor v. Canada

Author/s: Jessica Kolopenuk, MA
Availability: Open Access
Type: Thesis
Year: 2012
Category: Law of Canada
Institution: University of Alberta

Abstract: While scholarship has recognized the role that sex discrimination has played in the naming of “Indians” in Canada, one aspect of this depiction has been minimized. In addition to the gendering of Indigenous subjectivities, Canada has consistently racialized us/them through practices of juridical categorization. The latest court case dealing with Indian registration, McIvor v. Canada, (re)produced this practice. This thesis explores McIvor to understand the relational struggles, limitations, and authority the courts engender when existing constructions of Indigenous legal recognition are challenged. I use Bourdieu’s (1987) juridical field to position “law” as a dynamic arena whereby hierarchical struggles generate social realities. I also utilize Moreton-Robinson’s (2000, 2001, 2004a) theory of patriarchal white sovereignty to understand the ways in which, through its juridical system, Canada is a racialized and racializing state. I seek to demonstrate how Canadian sovereignty is (re)produced through racialized constructions of Indigenous legal recognition in McIvor.

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