Colin Samson studied and taught at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Arizona, and the University of Wyoming. Over two decades, he has been working with the indigenous Innu peoples of the Labrador-Quebec peninsula. The early phases of this work involved a human rights campaign with Survival International, resulting in the publication of the widely-cited report Canada’s Tibet: the killing of the Innu in 1999. In addition to several journal articles and book chapters on the Innu, his book on the effects of forced assimilation, A Way of Life that Does Not Exist: Canada and the Extinguishment of the Innu was published by Verso Press in 2003. In 2013 a sequel to these works was published, entitled A World You Do Not Know: Settler Societies, Indigenous Peoples and the Attack on Human Diversity (School of Advanced Studies Press). Most recently, he teamed up with Carlos Gigoux and published Indigenous Peoples and Colonialism: Global Perspectives (Polity Press, 2016).
During the Autumn 2015 and 2016 he was Eminent Visiting Professor at the American Indian Studies Center, University of Wyoming, USA. While there he travelled with indigenous students and faculty to help the water protectors resisting the oil pipeline traversing Sioux territory at Standing Rock. He wrote a short essay on this experience which has even more relevance now that the Trump administration is dedicated to fossil fuel production and the denial of climate change:
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