This paper examines an application of epistemic injustice not fully explored in the literature. How does epistemic injustice function in broader contexts of relationships within countries between colonizers and colonized? More specifically, what can be learned about the ongoing structural aspects of hermeneutical injustice in Canada’s settler history of the forced assimilation of Indigenous peoples and the resultant erasing and marginalizing of Indigenous histories, languages, laws, traditions, and practices? In this paper, I use insights from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission report to challenge dominant understandings of reconciliation, reciprocity, respect for agency, and the rule of law in settler nations. In its retrieval of the richness and diversity of Indigenous collective interpretive resources, both past and present, Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission draws on a broad and full account of relationships that have shaped Indigenous lives and communities, non-Indigenous lives and communities, the interactions of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and communities, and the relationships of all of these to and through the state.

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Journal of Global Ethics
Department of Philosophy

Koggel, C. (2018). Epistemic injustice in a settler nation: Canada’s history of erasing, silencing, marginalizing. Journal of Global Ethics, 14(2), 240–251. doi:10.1080/17449626.2018.1506996