Andrew Woolford


The impact of colonialism on Aboriginal groups in Canada is often described as ‘‘cultural genocide’’ or ‘‘ethnocide.’’ In contrast, this article offers a re-reading of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948) that is sensitive to Aboriginal understandings and experiences of group life and group destruction. Through this re-reading, it is argued that genocide must be understood in a culturally contextualized manner so as to avoid modernist and Eurocentric biases. Only by opening up the conception of genocide will we be able to contend adequately with Canadian Aboriginal experiences of colonialism.