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A Vulture is Not a Dove: The Politics of Indigeneity and Resistance to Canadian Extractivism in the Americas

Steven Schnoor


Canadian mining activities have exploded throughout Latin America over the past 15-20 years, bringing a host of problems and leading to burgeoning resistance movements. This paper argues that a growing strategy deployed by Canadian mining companies, and the regimes that support them, in their engagements with Indigenous communities in the Global South who are resisting extractive activities on their territories, entails cultivating Indigenous subjectivities in ways that co-opt their aspirations for decolonization, self-determination, and demands for the recognition of Indigenous rights. That energy is then channelled into supporting, indeed demanding, the very model of extractive capitalism that Canadian mining regimes wish to develop in the region. Drawing upon theories of governmentality and the work of Canadian Indigenous scholars Glen Coulthard and Taiaiake Alfred on the politics of recognition and decolonization, this paper chronicles struggles over Indigeneity as a political subjectivity through three ongoing extractive-related conflicts in Guatemala, Chile, and Panama.


Indigeneity; Indigenous peoples; mining; resource extraction; extractivism; resistance; governmentality; politics of recognition; Latin America; Guatemala; Panama; Chile; Canada

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