The Politics of Allyship with Indigenous Peoples in the Canadian Refugee Serving Sector


  • Chizuru Nobe-Ghelani York University
  • Mbalu Lumor Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture



Indigenous-refugee relations, allyship, settler colonial Canada, refugee-serving sector


What does it mean for the refugee-serving sector to be an ally to Indigenous Peoples? This is the entry point to our reflexive journey on Indigenous–refugee relations. In this conceptually orientated article, the authors seek to consider decolonizing in the refugee-serving sector in the context of settler colonial Canada. The article examines the politics of the refugee-serving sector and argue that for it to meaningfully establish with Indigenous people, we must continue to the whiteness that has constructed and organized our sector. The authors highlight the tensions that exist in between Indigenous and refugee communities and discuss ways to work with those tensions. Three concrete approaches are suggested that may lead to decolonizing in the refugee-serving sector: critical reflexivity, settler responsibility, and renewing relationships with local Indigenous communities and lands.


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Author Biographies

Chizuru Nobe-Ghelani, York University

Chizuru Nobe-Ghelani is a Sessional Instructor at the School of Social Work at York University. She can be reached at

Mbalu Lumor, Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture

Mbalu Lumor is a Senior Manager Programs and Newcomers Services at the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture. She can be reached at


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How to Cite

Nobe-Ghelani, C., & Lumor, M. (2022). The Politics of Allyship with Indigenous Peoples in the Canadian Refugee Serving Sector. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 38(1), 111–125.

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