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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Invested Indifference

How Violence Persists in Settler Colonial Society

 A divergent perspective on the contemporary disappearance and murder of Indigenous women and girls in Canada. 

In 2004, Amnesty International characterized Canadian society as “indifferent” to the high rates of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls. When the Canadian government took another twelve years to launch a national inquiry, that indictment seemed true.

Invested Indifference offers a divergent perspective on the contemporary disappearance and murder of Indigenous women and girls in Canada. It does so by examining practices at three different historical moments in the same location, the place we now call Edmonton, juxtaposing late-nineteenth-century texts, documents concerning the former Charles Camsell Indian Hospital, and contemporary online police materials. Through a critical analysis of the seemingly disparate discourses circulating through these materials, Kara Granzow makes the claim that what we see as societal indifference does not come from an absence of feeling but from a deep-rooted and affective investment in framing specific lives as disposable. Granzow demonstrates that through mechanisms such as the law, medicine, and control of land and space, gendered and racialized everyday violence against Indigenous people has become symbolically and politically entrenched as a central practice in the social construction of Canadian nationhood. Invested Indifference exposes the thread of violence not as past, but as running through our settler-colonial present.

256 pages | 5 2/4 x 8 2/4


Invested Indifference is a much-needed political intervention for an urgent social problem.

Margot Francis, Brock University

Kara Granzow’s book raises vital questions about how ‘missing and murdered Indigenous women’ are represented and deconstructs taken-for-granted understandings of societal indifference.

Victoria Freeman, author of Distant Relations: How My Ancestors Colonized North America

Table of Contents

1 A History of the Present: Methodology
2 “This in no way protects you”: Contemporary Policing and Remaking the City
3 “All they could do”: Imaging, Diagnosing, and Transforming Indian Tuberculosis and the City
4 “Terra nullius,” the Savage, and the Civilized: Fictioning and Controlling Land and Life
5 “Relics of settlement” and the Problem of the Undead: Managing Affect and Producing the Past
Notes; Bibliography; Index

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