In 2010, Nigerian criminologist, Biko Agozino, argued that the discipline of criminology is a “control freak” that’s epistemological and theoretical foundations were established in the colonial context. It should be no surprise then, that the discipline has long approached Indigenous peoples as a problem populations in need of significant levels of social management, preferably through targeted, well-resourced surveillance, geographical containment and isolation, in reservations and boarding schools to begin with, and contemporarily through the prison industrial complex of late modernity. We are also targeted for ‘correction’ and adjustment through psycho-therapeutic programmes and other similar interventions through which the discipline of criminology, as a contributor to colonial projects of the settler colonial state, continues to impact the lives of Indigenous peoples. This paper is offered as a contribution to the growing Indigenous challenge to mainstream, Eurocentric criminology, most especially to the position many of its adherents have given to themselves, as the experts on the Indigenous experience of criminal justice. We further argue that in order for this challenge to bring meaningful change for Indigenous peoples, we need to develop an Indigenous criminology. Regardless of whether we choose to become part of the mainstream discipline, or stand apart from it, either way it is necessary to ensure that the control freaks of mainstream criminology can longer claim to be the authoritative voices on Indigenous experiences of crime control and social harm in the settler colonial context.
Recommended CitationTauri, Juan M., The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House: An Indigenous Critique of Criminology, Journal of Global Indigeneity, 3(1), 2018.