A Note on Decolonization, Poststructuralism, and Method in Indigenous Critical Theory

Thumbnail Image
Maton, Timothy
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Journal of Multidisciplinary Research at Trent
The meaning of the word 'decolonization' is rapidly changing in Canada. Today, the word has re-penetrated the psychology of mainstream Canadians. And, with mainstream society now finding the term effective and useful for advertising products the synonymity of the term with 'anti-colonial' is becoming a problem. Decolonization appears to be a decolonial term, but when I carefully critique its ideological usage by settler colonials, I find it's almost guaranteed that the contemporary usage of the term will come full circle. As it enters the mainstream market economy, the term gets structured primarily by profit motives rather than community values. Very soon, popular usage of decolonization will once again refer to a matrix of settler colonial values, rather than the independent community-based processes which grassroots Indigenous and anti-colonial peoples have used. As decolonization terminology becomes popular in Canada's mainstream, it will methodologically contradict the grassroots’ anti-colonial aspirations. In this paper, I've tried to understand how Indigenous people might be influenced by the structuralist patterns of thought in anti-Indigenous or modernist knowledge frameworks, I have looked at how bureaucratic institutions reinventing decolonization use the ideology of profit to assimilate Indigenous peoples using old progress ideologies that drive the historical master-narrative of settler colonial nations like Canada. The final section looks at how those ideologies produce categories of identity that promote a progress narrative that is continuing to seek the assimilation of Indigenous peoples into the settler colonial system's public market economy. Here I've advocated for a post-structuralist method for comprehending Indigenous decolonization movement.
critical theory, decolonization, indigenous critical theory, native criticism, post-colonial studies