People

Professor Colin Samson

Professor
Department of Sociology
Professor Colin Samson
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872662

  • Location

    5A.310, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Tuesdays 12-1 Fridays 2-3

Profile

Biography

I studied and taught at the University of Califoirnia at Berkeley, the University of Arizona, and the University of Wyoming. Over two decades, I have been working with the indigenous Innu peoples of the Labrador-Quebec peninsula. The early phases of this work involved a human rights campaign with Survival International, resulting in the publication of the widely-cited report Canada's Tibet: the killing of the Innu in 1999. In addition to several journal articles and book chapters on the Innu, his book on the effects of forced assimilation, A Way of Life that Does Not Exist: Canada and the Extinguishment of the Innu was published by Verso Press in 2003. In 2013 a sequel to these works was published, entitled A World You Do Not Know: Settler Societies, Indigenous Peoples and the Attack on Human Diversity (School of Advanced Studies Press). This covers the intellectual and political architecture by which settler societies justified the suppression of the culturally diverse ideas and practices of indigenous peoples. Based partly on ethnographic fieldwork in Innu hunting camps in Northern Canada, the book also looks at contemporary efforts by indigenous groups to reverse some of the more damaging aspects of colonialism through cultural revitalisation projects. Most recently, I teamed up with Carlos Gigoux and punblished Indigenous Peoples and Colonialism: Globval Perspectives (Polity Press, 2016), a work devoted to puncturing national vanities and situating indigenous peoples struggles with ongoing colonialism in global perspectives. During the Autumn 2015 and 2016 I was Eminent Visiting Professor at the American Indian Studies Center, University of Wyoming, USA.. While there I travelled with indigenous students and faculty to help the water protectors resisting the oil pipeline traversing Sioux territory at Standing Rock. I wrote a short essay on this experience which has even more relevance now that the Trump administration is dedicated to fossil fuel production and the denial of climate change:http://theconversation.com/civil-liberties-of-indigenous-people-have-long-been-suppressed-at-standing-rock-69817

Qualifications

  • BA (University of Arizona)

  • MSc (London School of Economics)

  • PhD (University of California , Berkeley)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Indigenous Peoples

Human Rights

Ethnic Studies

Colonialism

American Studies

Environmental Issues

Arts and Literature

Current research

I recently completed a jointly authored book with Carlos Gigoux entitled Indigenous Peoples and Colonialism: Global Perspectives (Polity). The book analyses the many common colonial processes which indigenous peoples continue to experience under the dominion of states. It attempts to show that similar processes of dispossesion and violation of rights occur in First and Third World countries.

In 2016, I published 'A State Strategy of Dispossession' in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society. Itlooks at land claims processes as dispossession involving land theft, extortion and the termination of indigenous rights.

Currently, I am writing abouut the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project encamped on Innu lands in Labrador, Canada, and completing a study on the experiences of American Indian students at the University of Wyoming.

Colonialism and Human Rights: The Ongoing Hypocrisies of Western Liberalism

Book contract signed with Polity Press in January 2017. The book will consist of six chapters on different dimensions of ongoing colonialism as the context for current human rights conflicts.

Standing Rock and the State of Exception

article in preparation for the International Journal of Human Rights. It is about the denial of Constitutional guarantees, treaty rights and civil rights during the conflict between the Energy Transfer partners corporation and the water protectors at Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Hence, I argue that the state has violated its own laws and this amounts to a state of exception. The article is based on participate observation at the Oceti Sakowin camp in 2016.

The Forced relocation of the Mushuau Innu in 1948: The Dangers of Singular Stories

The abstract for the article I am in the midst of writing is: In a largely clandestine operation in August 1948, 100 Mushuau Innu were loaded onto a military ship and relocated 300 km north to the island of Nutak, Labrador. Government and missionary sources indicate that the purpose of this forced relocation was to help Innu avoid starvation, induct them into wage labour, assist with commercial cod fishing, and enable them to avail themselves of plentiful wild foods. Although there were predictions of adverse humanitarian consequences of this risky relocation, with one Newfoundland politician indicating that the move was a "monstrous but necessary" act, little thought seems to have been given to any Innu perspectives. This article describes the making of the documentary 'Nutak: Memories of Resettlement' for which 14 Innu elders who are survivors of the relocation were interviewed. It explores what Chimanda Ngozi Adichie calls the problems of the single story by allowing Innu stories of survival to be countered to Euro-Canadian depictions of the Innu as pitiable and in need of transformation.

Conferences and presentations

The Forced Relocation of the Mushuau Innu in 1948: The dangers of singular stories

Invited presentation, Dublin, Ireland, Dublin, Ireland, 30/4/2017

“The Contexts of Indigenous Non-Consent to Megaprojects in Canada: A Study in Contemporary Disposession”

Invited presentation, International Association of Inter-American Studies, Santa Barbara, United States, 3/10/2016

Indigenous Peoples and the Idea of Progress: Contemporary Legacies of Enduring Racial and Ethnic Prophesies University of Pennsylvania, Anthropology Department, 7 November 2016.

2016

Reversing the Nutrition Transition among Native North Americans, Institute for Science and Global Policy conference, Vancouver, 1-4 May, 2016.

2016

The Idea of Progress and Indigenous peoples: Contemporary legacies of an enduring Eurocentric prophesy Plenary at the British Sociologicial Association Conference, 15-17 April 2015

2015

Nutak: The Filming of Memories of Aboriginal Relocation talk and film screening at Joseph Myers Center for the Study of Native American Issues at the University of California at Berkeley, 30 April 2014

2014

Residency with two presentations and film screening at the University of Wyoming's Center for the Humanities and American Indian Center, 16-20 September 2014

2014

Social Transformation for Indigenous Peoples and 'Release' for Canada: An Essay on the Ethnocidal effects of the Innu Nation Land Claims Agreement to be presented at SSHRC workshop on Colonial Genocide in Indigenous North America, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, 20-22 September 2012

2012

The Effects of the Idea of Progress on Indigenous Peoples: Resistance and Prospects for Cultural Revitalization University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA, 19 February, 2010

2010

Globalization, Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples University of Tromsø, Norway, 3 September 2008, and at University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece, 5 November, 2008

2008

Terra Nullius: The Hidden Justifications for Environmental Destruction of Indigenous Territories in Canada and the US British Association of Canadian Studies, University of Warwick, 8 April 2008

2008

What is hardship to a free man? The Impact of Cultural Continuity and Discontinuity among Northern Indigenous Peoples, invited presentation, Saitama University, Tokyo, Japan, 10 January 2008, same presentation also given at Hakodate Future University, Japan, 11 January 2008

2008

The involved observer: reflections on ethnography and the question of methodology Saitama University, Tokyo, Japan, 14 January 2008

2008

The Health Benefits of Moving Forward to an Indigenous Hunting Lifestyle: The Quest of the Innu to Combat Assimilation Plenary Address, British Association For Canadian Studies, Italian Association For Canadian Studies, Centre De Recherche En Etudes Canadiennes Et Sur L'epoque De L'expansion Europeenne & Centro Di Ricerca Sui Sitemi Costituzionali Comparati, Università di Genova, Genova, Italia, 27-28 October 2006

2006

The Contexts of Indigenous Non-Consent to Megaprojects in Canada: A Study in Contemporary Disposession at the International Association of Inter-American Studies conference, Santa Barbara, CA, 2-4 October.

Publications

Journal articles (6)

Samson, CJ., The Idea of Progress, Industrialization and the Replacement of Indigenous Peoples: The Muskrat Falls Megadam Boondoggle. Social Justice

Samson, C., (2017). The Idea of Progress, Industrialisation and the Replacement of Indigenous Peoples: The Muskrat Falls Megadam Boondoggle. Social Justcie. 44 (4), 1-25

Samson, C., (2016). Canada's Strategy of Dispossession: Aboriginal Land and Rights Cessions in Comprehensive Land Claims. Canadian Journal of Law and Society. 31 (1), 87-110

Samson, C. and Cassell, E., (2013). The long reach of frontier justice: Canadian land claims ?negotiation? strategies as human rights violations. The International Journal of Human Rights. 17 (1), 35-55

Books (5)

Samson, C. and Gigoux, C., (2016). Indigenous Peoples and Colonialism: Global Perspectives. Polity Press. 9780745672526

Samson, C., (2013). A world you do not know: settler societies, indigenous peoples and the attack on cultural diversity. Institute of Commonwealth Studies, Human Rights Consortium. 9780957521001

Samson, C., (2003). A Way of Life That Does Not Exist: Canada and the Extinguishment of the Innu. Verso. 9781859845257

Samson, C., (1999). Health Studies: A Critical and Cross-Cultural Reader. Blackwell Publishers. 978-0-631-20189-2

Book chapters (16)

Samson, CJ., (2018). Indigenous and Western Views of Happiness: An Essay on the Politics of Contentment. In: Regimes of Happiness: Comparative and Historical Studies. Editors: Turner, B., Contreras-Vejar, Y. and Tice, J., . Anthem Press

Cassell, E. and Samson, C., (2016). The Long Reach of Frontier Justice. In: Handbook of Indigenous Peoples' Rights. Editors: Lennox, C. and Short, D., . Routledge

Samson, C. and Gigoux, C., (2015). Globalization and Indigenous Peoples: New Old Patterns. In: Routledge International Handbook of Globalization Studies (Second edition). Editors: Turner, BS. and Holton, RJ., . Routledge. 272- 297. 0415718813

Samson, C., (2014). Dispossession and Canadian Land Claims: Genocidal Implications of the Innu Nation Land Claim. In: Colonial Genocide in Indigenous North America. Editors: Hinton, A., Woolford, A. and Benvenuto, J., . Duke University Press. 246- 272. 978-0-8223-5763-6

Samson, C., (2011). Teaching Lies: The Innu Experience of Schooling. In: Ethnographic Methods in Education. Editors: Delamont, S., . Sage. 175- 190

Pilgrim, S., Samson, C. and Pretty, JN., (2010). EcoCultural Revitalisation: Replenishing Community Connections to the Land. In: Nature and Culture: Rebuilding Lost Connections. Editors: Pilgrim, S. and Pretty, JN., . Earthscan. 235- 256. 9781844078219

Samson, C. and Gigoux, C., (2009). Globalization and Indigenous Peoples: New Old Patterns. In: Routledge International Handbook of Globalization Studies. Editors: Turner, BS., . Routledge. 287- 311. 9780415458085

Samson, C., (2009). Indigenous Peoples Rights: Anthropology and the Right to Culture. In: Interpreting Human Rights: Social Science Perspectives. Editors: Morgan, R. and Turner, BS., . Routledge. 68- 86. 9780415486156

Samson, C., (2008). A Colonial Double-Bind: Social and Historical Contexts of Innu Mental Health. In: Healing Traditions The Mental Health of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Editors: Kirmayer, LJ. and Guthrie Valaskakis, G., . University of British Columbia Press. 195- 244. 9780774815239

Samson, C., (2006). Alexis de Tocqueville. In: Fifty Key Sociologists: The Formative Theorists. Editors: Scott, J., . Routledge. 177- 182. 9780203117279

Samson, C. and Short, D., (2006). Sociology and the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In: Rights: Sociological Perspectives. Editors: Morris, L., . Routledge. 168- 186. 9780415355223

Samson, C., (1999). Biomedicine and the Body. In: Health Studies: A Critical and Cross-Cultural Reader. Editors: Samson, C., . Wiley-Blackwell. 978-0-631-20189-2

Samson, C., (1999). Creating Sickness. In: Health Studies: A Critical and Cross-Cultural Reader. Editors: Samson, C., . Wiley-Blackwell. 978-0-631-20189-2

Samson, C., (1999). Disease and the Self. In: Health Studies: A Critical and Cross-Cultural Reader. Editors: Samson, C., . Wiley-Blackwell. 978-0-631-20189-2

Samson, C., (1999). The Physician and the Patient. In: Health Studies: A Critical and Cross-Cultural Reader. Editors: Samson, C., . Wiley-Blackwell. 978-0-631-20189-2

Samson, C. and South, N., (1996). Introduction: Social Policy Isn't What it Used to Be: The Social Construction of Social Policy in the 1980s and 1990s. In: The Social Construction of Social Policy: Methodologies, Racism, Citizenship and the Environment. Editors: Samson, C. and South, N., . Macmillan. 1- 16

Grants and funding

2008

The Innu "Trail Of Tears": A Social Documentary

The British Academy

Contact

samsc@essex.ac.uk
+44 (0) 1206 872662

Location:

5A.310, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Tuesdays 12-1 Fridays 2-3