"Bridging Divides: Confronting Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism," Western University, June 3-5, 2020 - Cancelled
The 2020 annual meeting of the Canadian Law and Society Association, which was planned for 3-5 June 2020, was cancelled because of COVID-19. It was to have been held at Western University on the lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak, and Attawandaron nations. This location has a complex history of Indigenous-non-Indigenous relations and is not far from where some of the earliest Black refugees arrived after fleeing slavery in the United States. The Canadian Law and Society Association joined with Congress in adopting as its theme, “Bridging Divides: Confronting Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism.” Congress described the theme as follows:
The river’s Forks downstream from the Western University campus are a traditional meeting place where two tributaries converge, a place to come together to listen to the land and water, to build resilience as we confront what divides us. Congress 2020 will encourage multidisciplinary engagement under the broad concept of bridging divides, while specifically emphasizing the dispossession of Indigenous peoples and the enslavement of Africans in the [so-called] new world. Settler colonialism, as part of a broader imperial project, erases Indigenous peoples by appropriating land and delegitimizing traditional knowledge, and dehumanizes Black people, subjecting them to the tropes of everyday anti-Black racism. As we come together to confront white privilege and white supremacy, and examine experiences shared by Indigenous peoples and African Canadians, we also invite our community to reflect critically on social, ethnic, political and epistemological divisions more broadly, forming a future vision that bridges divides between divergent ways of knowing and navigating our world.
The CLSA regretted as well the loss of the opportunity to meet jointly with the Canadian Association of Law Teachers on June 3, on our day of overlap.