Prairie Rising: Indigenous Youth, Decolonization, and the Politics of Intervention
In 2016, Canada’s newly elected federal government publically committed to reconciling the social and material deprivation of Indigenous communities across the country. Does this outward shift in the Canadian state’s approach to longstanding injustices facing Indigenous peoples reflect a "transformation with teeth," or is it merely a reconstructed attempt at colonial Indigenous-settler relations?
Prairie Rising provides a series of critical reflections about the changing face of settler colonialism in Canada through an ethnographic investigation of Indigenous-state relations in the city of Saskatoon. Jaskiran Dhillon uncovers how various groups including state agents, youth workers, and community organizations utilize participatory politics in order to intervene in the lives of Indigenous youth living under conditions of colonial occupation and marginality. In doing so, this accessibly written book sheds light on the changing forms of settler governance and the interlocking systems of education, child welfare, and criminal justice that sustain it. Dhillon’s nuanced and fine-grained analysis exposes how the push for inclusionary governance ultimately reinstates colonial settler authority and raises startling questions about the federal government’s commitment to justice and political empowerment for Indigenous Nations, particularly within the context of the everyday realities facing Indigenous youth.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 320 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
‘Through narratives and images conveyed in the stories of provocative characters, Dhillon makes rich theoretical arguments accessible to readers. Indeed, it is Dhillon’s candid, engaging, and imaginative language that makes this book a pleasure to read.’
The Journal of Native Studies, vol 37:01:2017
‘This book is extremely rich… It makes a number of contributions to fields such as anthropology, sociology, political science, youth studies, and the like. It is moreover a model of how to bridge academic scholarship and responsible community advocacy.’
Theory and Event vol20:04:2017
"By offering a politics of materiality derived from the lived experiences of urban Indigenous youth caught in the teeth of colonial violence, Prairie Rising offers a productive ground for an effective decolonial praxis."
Melanie K. Yazzie
NAIS, vol 5 no 2
"Prairie Rising is an ambitious first book, and makes helpful contributions to the areas of youth studies, the anthropology of the modern state, discourses and institutional practices of neoliberalism, as well as Indigenous resistance and survivance under settler colonial conditions on Turtle Island. Prairie Rising is a useful and thorough reminder that our neighbours to the north themselves have a long way to go before they can speak of true reconciliation, much less justice."
Critical Ethnic Studies
"In Prairie Rising, Jaskiran Dhillon completely unmasks the discourse of ‘participation’ as a neoliberal, multicultural, and settler-colonial governmental ruse."
Audra Simpson, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University
"Demonstrating how Indigenous youth on the prairies bear the brunt of ongoing structural and symbolic colonial violence, Jaskiran Dhillon’s Prairie Rising makes a compelling case for the urgent need to historicize and politicize present day Indigenous social conditions by calling for critical changes in curriculum, hiring and public programming. If we are truly committed to reconciliation, the political analysis offered in this accessible ethnographic book must become the foundation of decolonizing education in psychology, educational studies, criminal justice, and child welfare."
Verna St. Denis, Department of Educational Foundations, University of Saskatchewan
"Prairie Rising offers an incisive critique of how the state facilitates regimes of intervention through a discourse of participation. Jaskiran Dhillon’s beautifully written, deeply engaging, and well-argued critique of inclusion is truly a pleasure to read."
Sherene H. Razack, Penney Kanner Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
Jaskiran Dhillon is an assistant professor of global studies and anthropology at The New School in New York City.
Table of contents
List of Figures
Preface and Appreciations
Introduction: Urban Indigenous Youth and Participatory Politics in the Paris of the Prairies
Part 1: A World of Invisible Things: History and Politics in the Context of Settler Colonial Encounters
Chapter 1: Breakage: Settler Colonization, Violence, and the Possibility (Still) of Self-Determined Destiny
Chapter 2: The Making of Crisis Stories
Part 2: The Space that Lies in Between: Ethnographic Encounters with the Land of Living Skies
Chapter 3: Seductive Change: They Say the Best is Yet to Come
Chapter 4: Policing the Boundaries and Debates over What’s “Real”
Part 3: Pushback on the Plains: Tensions and Trials of Participation
Chapter 5: Justice in a Binder: Cultural Currency and Urban Indigenous Youth
Chapter 6: The Dislocation of Self
Conclusion: Red Rising
Subjects and Courses