CJ presents: Dr. Andrew Woolford

Thu. Feb. 4 11:30 AM - Thu. Feb. 4 12:30 PM
Contact: Professor Kevin Walby 204-786-9105
Location: 2M70

The Department of Criminal Justice is pleased to present Dr. Andrew Woolford: ‘This Benevolent Experiment’: Indigenous Boarding Schools and Genocide in Canada and the United States.

By conceptualizing an overarching “settler colonial mesh” comprised of striated networks of fields, institutions, organizations, and actors, this presentation charts patterns of destruction in the U.S. and Canada, as well as each nation’s distinct pathway toward redress. Beginning with analysis of the formulation of the “Indian problem” as a policy concern in the U.S. and Canada, it examines how this strategy was implemented in Manitoba and New Mexico through complex chains that included multiple government offices, staff, Indigenous peoples, and even non-human actors such as space, disease, and time.

At the end of the 19th century, Indigenous boarding schools were touted as a solution to the “Indian problem.” In the U.S. and Canada, these schools were to permanently transform Indigenous young people into Europeanized colonial subjects, thereby removing Indigenous communities as obstacles to land acquisition, resource extraction, and nation building. But the project of boarding schools did not unfold without adaptation, resistance, and unintended consequences in either nation. “This Benevolent Experiment” offers a multi-layered, comparative analysis of Indigenous boarding schools as a genocidal project.

Dr. Andrew Woolford is professor of Sociology at the University of Manitoba. His recent book ‘This Benevolent Experiment’: Indigenous Boarding Schools, Genocide and Redress in the United States and Canada is co-published by University of Nebraska Press and University of Manitoba Press. He is author of The Politics of Restorative Justice: A Critical Introduction (2009, Fernwood) and Between Justice and Certainty: Treaty-Making in British Columbia (2005, UBC Press). He is also co-author of Informal Reckonings: Conflict Resolution in Mediation, Restorative Justice and Reparations (2007, Routledge, with R.S. Ratner). He is co-editor of Colonial Genocide in Indigenous North America (2014, Duke University Press, with Jeff Benvenuto and Alexander Hinton) and The Idea of a Human Rights Museum (University of Manitoba Press, with Adam Muller and Karen Busby, 2015).