What is a Guest? What is a Settler?


  • Ruth Koleszar-Green York University




This article gathers together some Traditional Knowledge keepers’ understandings concerning the roles and responsibilities of Guests and Hosts. The responsibilities are mapped upon Wampum Belts and in this article include my understanding, as a Haudenosaunee woman. Through discussions with some Knowledge Keepers, examination of the relevant literature, and my own understandings of the issues, I look carefully, at the work of Tuck and Yang (2010) and Lawrence and Dua (2005). I continue with a synthesis of contemporary debates concerning, the underlying complexities of Guests/Settlers roles and responsibilities. I offer differentiations between the descriptive labels in conventional use. My intent is to engage and push non-Onkwehonweh people to challenge their ‘taken-for-granted’ understandings of their ‘rights’, and to encourage them to look with fresh eyes at their understandings of their attendant responsibilities.

Author Biography

Ruth Koleszar-Green, York University

Ruth Koleszar-Green is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at York University. She is a citizen of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. She is from the Mohawk Nation and is a member of the Turtle Clan. She has a PhD from OISE in Adult Education and Community Development, an MSW and a BSW from Ryerson.






Postcolonial Responses