Critical scholarship on the carceral reifies two main pillars of critical thought—phenomenology and governmentality. In this study of shifting carceral logics and experiences concerning Indigenous peoples in Canada, we borrow from these traditions and also challenge their centrality in prison studies. We argue that the prison is the new reserve, and use that argument as a vehicle to illustrate the influence of less recognized forms of thought within critical prison studies—especially post-colonial and Indigenous scholarship. It is through these varied lenses that we show the paradox of Indigenizing punishment that at once disavows the further incarceration of Indigenous peoples and sets out deliberate strategies to Indigenize the carceral.

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