Document Type

Honors Project


How do Mapuche families engage with and resist settler colonialism in order to move toward decolonization? I argue that Mapuche families, especially youth, who are subjected to settler colonialism, envision and fight for a decolonized world. Grounded in the dispossession of indigenous land, settler colonialism permeates Chilean institutions including the child protection system, SENAME. SENAME targets indigenous families with tactics such as child removal, confinement, and criminalization, and its attempts at intercultural reform further assimilate families into settler culture. Yet, Mapuche people sustain their indigenous world. Youth promote Mapuche autonomy and knowledge through their discourse. Their vision might serve to decolonize Chilean child welfare. Recognizing Chile as a settler colonial state reveals that decolonization may require the restoration of ancestral Mapuche territory.



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