Canada, Empire and Indigenous People in the Americas


  • Todd Gordon York University



This article argues that Canada is an imperial power in the global order, and that more traditional notions of Canada as a rich dependency or arguments that call for a project to defend Canadian sovereignty fail to properly account for this. Central to the Canadian state project, both in its historical and contemporary manifestations, is an agenda of accumulation by dispossession, in which Indigenous nations are a central target. In the period of neoliberalism, Canadian capital, facilitated by the state, is searching out new spaces of accumulation in Canada and abroad, particularly in Latin America, and Indigenous land and labour are crucial to its success. Instead of defending Canadian sovereignty, the Left must respond by developing a sharp anti-imperialist analysis of Canada’s role in the global economy. This article will draw on the policies and strategies of Canada’s mining industry, which is a powerful actor at home and abroad, as one important example of the imperialist dynamics it is tracing.