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Settler Colonialism K

The Settler Colonialism K (more commonly known as Set Col) is a K that focuses on indigeneous populations and settler colonialism. Settler colonialism is “an ongoing system of power that perpetuates the genocide and repression of indigenous peoples and cultures.” 2 The K argues that we must do everything in our power to struggle against settler colonialism and prioritize indigenous scholarship and identity. This K is great against policy and other K positions because it calls into question who has the right to call the shots in the first place. As debaters, especially if you reside in a place like the United States, you are debating on occupied Native land. As governments, nations pass legislation and push for political stances while standing on land that was stolen. This K argues that the foundation is bankrupt and that it is crucial to upend this process before anything else is possible. This K might be read with an alternative about decolonization or giving back the land. Decolonization is, as articulated by Tuck and Yang, focused on “Indigenous sovereignty and futurity.” 3 In other words, we must take actions that protect and legitimize indigeneity—whether that is through changes in policy, educational focuses, or any other method the debater chooses to do this. 

Here’s an example of what the focal points of a debate involving the Afropess K on the negative could look like:

(Reminder: Link, impact, and alternative will be labeled in the examples with the following colors: link, impact, alternative.)

    1. Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its restrictions on legal immigration to the United States.
    2. K’s Main Argument: Questions of immigration and the belief that the United States should have any jurisdiction over deciding who is or is not a citizen is a form of settler colonialism. This is stolen land and they have no right to determine who is legitimate. Ignoring this allows for violence against indigenous groups and an erasure of their legitimate claims to land that was stolen from them. We must constantly reject any claims to legitimate ownership the United States Federal Government has over indigenous land.
    3. Potential Affirmative Response: Even if that history is the case, there are vulnerable groups (refugees, victims of cartel violence, etc.) who need immediate access to the United States. Focusing on resolving that material harm is more important.

² Cox, Alicia. “Settler Colonialism.” Oxford Bibliographies, 26 July 2017,

³ Tuck, E., and K. W. Yang. “Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, education & society, 1 (1), 1-40.” (2012).