Abolition in So-Called Canada Syllabus 2022

August 9, 2022
August 9, 2022

The Abolition in so-called Canada Syllabus was first launched in 2019. It is hoped that this syllabus will help abolition-minded instructors, students, community organizers, and advocates alike learn from and honour the vital organizing, research, resource development, and community building that both prisoners and their advocates have been doing since the inception of prisons. We were inspired to create the syllabus following the 2018 release of the AAIHS Abolition Syllabus 2.0, which focuses mainly on the carceral landscape of the United States in the context of the theories and origins of punishment more generally. Recognizing the need for a resource specific to the Canadian context, we aspire for the present syllabus to support the work of abolitionists in Canada as well as elsewhere, recognizing that our struggles are interconnected with others throughout the globe, and yet specific to the lands and settler colonial states in which we live.

The resources collected here were suggested by members of the Abolition in Canada Network listserv, an online forum for people engaged in prisoners’ struggles and penal/carceral abolition across the land colonized as Canada and elsewhere. To join the network, send an email to abolition@lists.ubishops.ca with “Subscribe Your Name” in the subject heading. More information about the network can be found here.

To add to this syllabus, please contact the listserv at abolition@lists.ubishops.ca, and it will be updated and republished each year on August 10.

Featured Artwork:
The Soul of Colonialism
Tim Felfoldi

This drawing was inspired by colonialism in Canada and its effects on the Indigenous People. Major actions of colonialism enforced upon the first Nations People of Canada by the European settlers can be generally slotted into:

1. land occupation for European expansion (shown as the Canadian flag)

2. residential schools for Native conformity to European traditions and standards (shown as the books)

3. death or imprisonment for defiance to change (shown as the skull and the handcuffs)

The Canadian flag is to state the land in which the Europeans claimed for conquest and expansion, bringing with them death and destruction. This started with diseases and virus foreign to the Indigenous People. They brought weapons (guns), but that stand against the dream catcher used by the Natives to ward off evil spirit and dreams. The dream catcher outer ring is a cuffing to state to the actions the Europeans brought to the Indigenous People plague their dreams effecting their lives. This is also to state the dreams of their futures are in distress by the shackles and chains of the prison system of Canada. The “soul” purposes of the European colonies, was to expand, colonize and exploit the new lands as well as the people of it, for the European greed.