Canadian Sociological Association (Congress 2017)

Date: May 29 Time: 10:30 AM- 12:00 PM Location: Ryerson KHE-127


“Of course, there are conflicting theories among us, but we do theorize. But it appears that we may still be considered more as storytelling peoples or cultural or victim/trauma informants, not contemporary theorists and intellectuals'” (p.165). – Emma LaRocque (2010) When the Other is Me.

Here, LaRocque insists on a place for Indigenous persons as scholarly theorists. Of course, diverse Indigenous peoples across lands claimed by Canada have always made their own place as theorists, making sense of the world and their own and others’ place in it. But historical and contemporary colonial relationships, institutions and politics have deliberately suppressed these insights, not least in the university. Although Indigenous persons have been in the academy since the 1960s, Indigenous theorizing continues to be marginalized, including because of institutional divisions of intellectual labour. This is a loss for sociology. Moreover, excluding Indigenous theorizing has political repercussions, reproducing the Indigenous person as the ‘object’ of colonial research rather than as knowledgeable actor capable of theorizing her own experiences and relationship with the world.

Organizer and Chair: Elaine Coburn, Department of International Studies, Glendon Campus, York University

Discussant: Eve Tuck, Associate Professor of Critical Race and Indigenous Studies, Social Justice Education OISE, University of Toronto

Panel participants:

• Hayden King, School of Public Policy, Carleton University
• Rauna Kuokkanen, Department of Political Science and Aboriginal Studies Programme, the University of Toronto
• Julie Tomiak, Ryerson University
Vanessa Watts, McMaster University