Dialogic Potential in the Shadow of Canada's Indian Residential School System

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Canada's 2008 apology to Indigenous peoples addressed a history of institutionalized racism and aggressive assimilation. Grounded in an ongoing experiment in multinational compromise, the event serves as a case study for the capacities of public argument to motivate productive inter-community exchange in contexts animated by power asymmetries and historical injustice. Acknowledging the limits of an education-based approach to reconciliation, I offer a twofold argument. First, the apology was a crucial (albeit partial) step towards fostering conditions amenable to dialogic (but still strategic) negotiations regarding a common future. Second, such negotiations may be productively conceptualized through the theory of coalescent argumentation.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalArgumentation and Advocacy
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • coalescent argumentation
  • public memory
  • colonialism. Native studies
  • reconciliation
  • political apology
  • dialogue


  • Law
  • Sociology

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