The Possibilities of Transforming Settler Consciousness: Community Spaces and White Settler Responsibility

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Whattam, Jesse Lynn




In Settler Colonial Theory, there is a growing body of work that looks at the ways settler colonization is being challenged. The understanding of how settlers are engaging with these potential transformations remains unclear. I build on Davis et. al's (2017) idea of "transforming settler consciousness" to consider what conditions, spaces, and practices are facilitating white settlers to challenge settler coloniality. Working with five white settlers in community groups, I use a narrative inquiry methodology to ask what about these initiatives did, or did not, catalyze transformed settler consciousness? Through a political ontology framework, the stories shared reveal the paradoxes, challenges and complexities about what facilitates a politics of recognition (Coulthard 2014) and what facilitates spaces of ontological negotiation. While the former does not demand a transformation in settler consciousness, the later does and with that transformation, settlers have the potential to contribute to a radical transformation of settler coloniality.


Political Science
Ethnic and Racial Studies
Canadian History




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Political Economy

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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