2. A More Subtle Violence: The Footnoting of "the Aboriginal Principle of Witnessing" by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Constructing Data in Religious Studies - Examining the Architecture of the Academy - Leslie Dorrough Smith
Adam Stewart [+]
The author argues that—despite its manifest objective of contributing to the decolonization of Indigenous-Settler relations in Canada—the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was guided by a latent taxonomy of Indigenous religion that essentialized inconvenient differences surrounding Indigenous practices of witnessing and perpetuated the colonial violence of homogenization. Adam Stewart recommends Annette Yoshiko Reed’s method of narrativization as an alternative strategy for use by scholars, bureaucrats, and politicians when studying, or developing or implementing public policy involving, religious data that similarly fails to neatly fit into existing scholarly taxonomies of religion. The author proposes that this methodology can help prevent the same kinds of totalizing mistakes as those made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.