What is settler colonialism?


Definition of Settler Colonialism

1.         First, settler colonizers come to stay. Settlers intend to permanently occupy and assert sovereignty over indigenous lands.

2.         Settler colonialism is a distinct type of colonialism that functions through the replacement of indigenous populations with an invasive settler society. Settler colonialism “destroys to replace,”

3.         It is a structural system, not an event in history. In this sense, settler colonialism does not really ever “end”.

4.         It denies the existence of indigenous peoples and the legitimacy to claims to land

5.         It aims to vanish Indigenous peoples and replace them with settlers

6.         It’s logic of elimination requires the removal of Indigenous peoples of a territory, by any means necessary (homicide, child abduction, religious conversion, reprogramming (via missions or boarding schools), and myriad forms of assimilation; again “settler colonialism destroys to replace” (p. 388).

7.         It continues to dispossess Indigenous peoples

8.         It promotes white supremacy

9.         It requires arrivants to participate as settlers


Tuck, E. (2013) Curriculum, replacement and settler futurity, Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, Vol 29, No 1.

Wolfe, P. (2006). Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native, Journal of Genocide Research, 8:4, 387 - 409.