Toward a political economy of on-reserve Indigenous education in Canada: Problematizing Bill C-33

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Koller, Katalin




In 2008, the federal government began a reform process for on-reserve Indigenous education that culminated in approximately ten months of consultation with Indigenous and public stakeholders and the drafting of federal legislation. Bill C-33 was placed on hold in 2014 after opposition from Indigenous groups across Canada. This thesis examines the consultation process and the corresponding government discourse for evidence of the reproduction of colonial power relations and the subjectification of Indigenous rationalities to free-market ideology. Analysis is informed by a conceptual framework linking David Harvey’s accumulation by dispossession, Wendy Larner’s neoliberalism as policy, ideology, and governmentality, and an original interpretation of the logics of settler-colonialism operating in Canada based upon Andrea Smith’s logics of White supremacy. Through a Foucauldian discourse analysis of consultation documents and government public relations messaging, the ways in which Indigenous sovereignty is suppressed by state paternalism and Indigenous Peoples commodified by economic rhetoric are revealed.


Native American Studies




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Political Economy

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Theses and Dissertations

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