Animal Studies Journal


In his Indigenous critique of the field of animal studies, Billy-Ray Belcourt (Driftpile Cree Nation) describes it as having an analytic blind spot when it comes to settler-colonialism, a blind spot that manifests through universalising claims and clumsy arguments about ‘shared’ oppressions, through assumptions that settler colonial political institutions can be a neutral part of the solution, and through a failure to engage with ‘Indigenous studies of other than human life’ (20). In the same article, he calls on decolonial projects to do more to include animality within their purview, to include critiques of animal agriculture and to incorporate critiques of anthropocentrism as ‘a key logic of white supremacy’. Belcourt’s critique of both Animal studies and decolonial projects on the basis of an unequal but mutual marginalisation is an important starting point for research projects like ours that hope to bring Animal studies and Indigenous studies approaches into dialogue about the cultural impacts of introduced animals. Our approach sets out to be ‘triadic’, always involving at least three sides; Settler- Coloniser, Indigene and Animal.