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Vol 24 No 11 Nov/Dec 2019

Book of the Month

Cover of Nowaks CCPR Commentary: U.N. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Nowaks CCPR Commentary: U.N. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

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North American Genocides: Indigenous Nations, Settler Colonialism, and International Law

ISBN13: 9781108425506
Published: August 2019
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £85.00

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When and how might the term genocide appropriately be ascribed to the experience of North American Indigenous Nations under settler colonialism? Laurelyn Whitt and Alan W. Clarke contend that were certain events which occurred during the colonization of North America to take place today they could be prosecuted as genocide. The legal methodology they develop to establish this draws upon the definition of genocide as presented in the United Nations Genocide Convention and enhanced by subsequent decisions in international legal fora. Focusing on early British colonization, they apply this methodology to two historical cases: that of the Beothuk Nation from 1500-1830, and of the Powhatan Tsenacommacah from 1607-1677. North American Genocides concludes with a critique of the Conventional account of genocide, suggesting how it might evolve beyond its limitations to embrace the role of cultural destruction in undermining the viability of human groups.

  • Offers specific and detailed historical case studies of genocides of Indigenous Peoples, using the Conventional account of genocide
  • Considers both the strengths and limitations of the Conventional account of genocide, as well as the need for a socio-historical, systemic account of genocide
  • Demonstrates that the forcible transfer of Indigenous children in the context of residential/boarding schools can be regarded as an act of genocide

1. North American Genocide Denial
2. The Legal Case for Historical Genocides: A Retrospective Methodology
3. Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Nations
4. A Legal Primer for Settler Colonial Genocides
5. The Beothuk (1500-1830)
6. The Powhatan Tsenacommacah (1607-1677)
7. The Conventional Account of Genocide: From a Restrictive to an Expansive Interpretation
8. Toward an Account of Systemic Genocide
Appendix A. Secretariat's Draft Convention
Appendix B. Ad Hoc Committee Draft Convention
Appendix C. United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide