Constructing Whiteness: Regulating Aboriginal identity

Constructing Whiteness: Regulating Aboriginal identity

University of Toronto
93 pages
Publication Number: AAT MR59722
ISBN: 9780494597224

Rebecca Boock

A thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts Graduate Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education Ontario Institute for Studies in Education University of Toronto

Curricula in classrooms facilitate a national amnesia of colonialism that renders inconceivable the possibility of Aboriginal heritage or mixed-blood presence in national subjects. This thesis examines my own family history alongside the Indian Act and discourses of multiculturalism. I provide a personal account for the ways in which Aboriginal identities are regulated in Canada. I examine how glorified white settler narratives—reproduced through both formal and informal schooling—work to displace Aboriginal peoples as the original inhabitants of the land. I argue that this facilitates ongoing Canadian colonialism that continues to circumvent the possibility of particular mixed-blood Aboriginal identities within the confines of national belonging. Citizenship education in the Toronto District School Board is situated as a mechanism of formal schooling that continues to negate the ongoing colonization of Aboriginal people so that mixed-race Aboriginal students may continue to assume themselves as white subjects within the nation.

Table of Contents

  • Title Page
  • Abstract
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: Rendering Whiteness: Making National Belonging White
  • Chapter Two: National Benevolence and the Erasure of Canadian Colonialism
  • Chapter Three” Citizenship Education: Reinscribing Whiteness
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography

Read the entire thesis here.

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