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Settler Colonialism and Urban Schools

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Eve Tuck

on 7 November 2013

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Transcript of Settler Colonialism and Urban Schools

The Settler Colonial Triad
"Chattel" Slaves
Chattel means property of the owner

Slaves were not allowed to own land

Labored on stolen Indigenous land

Bodies were valuable, but not the person

The person was seen as in excess of the body

The person was ownable, punishable, murderable

Prison industrial complex as extension of chattel slavery

Urban schools as sites of dispossession
Indigenous Peoples
Settler colonialism wants Indigenous land, not Indigenous people

Indigenous people are cleared out of the way of colonial progress

Indigenous people made into savages

Story is that Indigenous people are extinct, disappeared, made into ghosts

Indigenous people are erased from valuable land
The Settlers
Settlers live on stolen land and make it their home

Implement their own laws and understandings of the world onto stolen land (not immigrants)

Make slaves and Indigenous peoples inhuman to get their labor and land

Settlers are not a particular group, are defined by their actions

Settler supremacy as the context for the invention of race
How does settler colonialism get what it wants?
It is a system, not an event in history
It denies the existence of Indigenous peoples and the legitimacy of claims to land
It denies the long lasting impacts of slavery
It continues to dispossess Indigenous peoples and Black peoples
It promotes white supremacy
It requires arrivants to participate as settlers
It "covers its tracks," (Verancini, 2011)

Understanding settler colonialism helps us to see that racism is not human nature; it was invented to explain stealing land and stealing people for labor
Urban spaces are important sites of racism and settler colonialism
The US Constitution guarantees rights to property owners

The notion of property is at the heart of law and recognition

Property and property owners are protected, not people
But there are so many other ways to have relationships with land
For Indigenous peoples...
Land is curriculum

Land is relationship

Land is ancestor

Land is life
It is about the land, who belongs, and who deserves to be here
"Settler colonialism destroys to replace" (Wolfe, 2006)
Settler colonialism wants Indigenous land

Settler colonialism turns Indigenous land into property by destroying Indigenous peoples

It turns chattel slaves into property by destroying the humanity of slaves

What does settler
colonialism want?

The settler colonial triad can help us analyze what happens in urban public schools

It helps us to see that urban land is valuable, but the people who live on it are seen as excess.

It can bring insight to the following questions:
Why are so many youth of color pushed out of urban schools?

Why are youth of color the target of stop and frisk policies?

Why are Native people and Indigenous people talked about only in the past, as extinct, when there are so many contemporary thriving Indigenous communities?

Why is settler colonialism not taught about in school?

Why are urban schools under-funded and under-resourced?
Settler Colonialism and Urban Schools
Eve Tuck, State University of New York at New Paltz
New York Collective of Radical Educators Conference, New York City
March 16, 2013
Referenced works
Much of what is described in this discussion of the settler colonial triad is introduced in an interview between Patrick Wolfe and J. Kehaulani Kauanui on Indigenous Politics: From Native New England and Beyond

copy and paste this link to listen http://www.indigenouspolitics.org/audiofiles/2010/Wolfe%20Settler%20Colonialism%202010.mp3

Wolfe, P. (2006). Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native, Journal of Genocide Research, 8:4, 387 - 409.

copy and paste this link to read

Veracini, L. (2011). Introducing settler colonial studies. Settler Colonial Studies, 1, 1-12.

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See also Tuck, E. & Yang, K.W. (2012). Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education and Society, 1(1), 1-40.

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Full transcript