Indigenous Peoples in Canadian Migration Narratives: A Story of Marginalization

  • Hélène Pellerin University of Ottawa


An increasing number of migration scholars have been critical of the narrative of Canada’s successful immigration history, because of its neglect of colonial and discriminatory practices against Indigenous peoples and racialized minorities. This paper seeks to engage critically with this scholarship by insisting on the distinct places Indigenous peoples have in Canada’s immigration history and migration narratives. By comparing various administrative programs and policies on immigration, the paper identifies the continuous marginalization and invisibility of Indigenous peoples over time. A closer look at the contemporary employment conditions of both groups highlights the administrative process of making Indigenous peoples invisible and disconnected from the wage economy, unlike migrants who are explicitly constructed as connected to it. The paper concludes with a call for further critical migration scholarship, with the examination of the history of Indigenous-settler-immigrant entanglements over time.

Author Biography

Hélène Pellerin, University of Ottawa


School of Political Studies