Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA)
Association for Political and Legal Anthropology
Cosponsored - Oral Presentation Session
The historical-political construction of the relationship between the State and indigenous peoples in Brazil and Canada, based on official practices of land exploitation and subjugation of cultural diversity, has converged to the current scenario of vulnerability of native populations, situating indigenes of both countries at the basis of almost all existing socio-economic indicators. In one point, however, the treatment of indigenous people by Canadian and Brazilian states radically differs: while Canada deals with the aboriginal overrepresentation in its prison system, Brazilian indigenes are invisible, making up virtually 0% of the country's prison population. The necropower/necropolitics binomial proposed by Achille Mbembe, associated with critical criminology and studies of interethnic relations, can articulate possible factors to explain this discrepancy. In this sense, the analysis of the history of colonization and assimilation policies, the current legal status of indigenous peoples in the national legislations, and the evaluation of judicial misuse of legal provisions contained in Article 56 of the Brazilian Indian Statute and Section 718.2(e) of the Canadian Criminal Code, allows to conclude that the indigenous incarceration in Brazil and Canada, although presented in diametrically opposing versions, can be both characterized as neocolonial mechanisms for the elimination of indigenous identities.