Contemporary Settler Colonialism: Media framing of Indigenous collective action in Elsipogtog, Mi’kma’ki
McLellan, L. Hudson
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Contemporary settler colonialism depends on resource development, and is supported by the socially reproductive structure, media. I analyze a particular event that took place in Elsipogtog in the summer of 2013, where anti-fracking protests were enacted against Southwestern Resource Canada, an industrial corporation conducting exploratory hydraulic fracturing in Elsipogtog, Mi’kma’ki. Analyzing media focused on the protests, I gathered, read, and coded 372 articles from 28 sources across Atlantic Canada and Canada to qualitatively and quantitatively describe frequencies of five grand frames: framing of the collective action as (1) violent, (2) a threat to race relations, (3) as expensive and costly, (4) as a means for achieving social justice, and (5) as a threat to industry. I find that that media played a substantial role in a processes of reproducing notions of good and bad Canadian citizenship in regards to the protests in Elsipogtog. Through describing elements of “criminal” resistance and “radical” public dissent, we know who the good Canadian citizens are: those who do not impose resistance to the goals of the Canadian neoliberal state in colludes with industrial development, those who do not threaten, harass, intimidate, or enact violence upon the “general public”, and those who do not resist the oligarchic state through the recent resurgent Indigenous movement in coalition with environmental groups.