Seeing Whiteness/ The Settler’s Guide to the Universe


  1. check the one’s that you think are part of the national common sense (they seem normal & true to you) 


  1. 1,5,6, 8, 11, 13, 16, 20, 23, 24, 37 Although on second thought I can establish the problems with holding these values, these seem to always be at the surface of my mind as to what is important to our settler society


  1. go through the list again, why didn’t you check those ones?

I didn’t check the others in the list because I was taught otherwise throughout my life differently than those values. With my family spending a lot of time outdoors, I have learned to respect nature not just as a commodity. Despite this, it has taken someone teaching me about the wrongdoings of a settler society for me to believe against the normative narrative.

  1. star the ones that make you mad, or feel something (in your body) in particular – why? Can you counter these? 1, 10, 11, 12, 14, 21, 25, 27, 28, 29, 32, 38

These statements made me upset because they either directly came into contact with my values or are statements I hear often and feel I can do nothing about. As of yet, I cannot counter these statements as all I have yet against these ideas is emotional opinion as to why they are wrong. In order to counter these things I will need to do more research as to why they are illegitimate.

  1. add one or two to the list
  2. – The only kind of legitimate learning is that done in a classroom, on paper and with route memorization.
  3. – Everything is about consumption. It is better to “use up” than to “use”.



Look for these discourses in magazines, etc. or in daily conversations and interactions. Which ones do you notice (often as hidden normative narratives)? How do they demonstrate particular forms of hegemony?

These settler’s rules are an integral discourse to white supremacy and the holding of power by the white settler majority. Although times are now changing, I recently read a national geographic article in which the journal highlighted it’s own failures in the past as it delighted in the “primitiveness” of African and Asian cultures. I also see this in our Canadian culture, when our highest praise goes to immigrants who can easily assimilate to not only our language, but our style of dress and capitalist mentality.


Here is our “Seeing Whiteness” group activity:

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