Hypothesis, Experiment, Results, and Conclusions

Stephen Bau
4 min readJun 25, 2021
LAND BACK — Decolonization is the complete calling in question of the colonial situation… the putting into practice of this well known sentence: “The last shall be first and the first last.” — Franz Fanon

I offer you my official letter of resignation as Chair of Web Communications for the BC Chapter of the Graphic Designers of Canada, and the reasons for withdrawing my membership in the organization.

Let me frame the design problem that leads me to conclude that my hypothesis is correct.


My hypothesis was that the country’s talk of reconciliation and land acknowledgements are performative rather than sincere. Canada is a corporation that rebranded itself as a nation to kill the original inhabitants of the land, steal the land, and extract the resources of the land for the profit of the British Crown and its corporations. It has always been about the land. The nation and its citizens have no intention or credible actions to indicate that there will be any substantial change to the status quo and business as usual. The citizens of Canada are not about to give up the power of the violence of the state or to give up any claims to the land or recognize Indigenous sovereignty over their unceded territories.


I have been engaged in a design research project for several years, to learn about the roots and history of the Canadian genocide, since I realized that the country had declared a climate emergency one day, and the following day purchased a pipeline from a Texas oil and gas company. In that same month, the report on the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls was released, concluding that Canada is engaged in a genocide that has been ongoing for centuries. The report focuses on the most recent failures of the Canadian people to understand the connections between land theft, resource extraction, and economic production with the rape, murder, and disappearance of Indigenous women and girls.


The design concept integrated the work of Kent Monkman into an adaptation of the new corporate brand design for the Design Professionals of Canada. The intent was to encourage a public dialogue on the complicity of design in the Canadian genocide. If the social experiment succeeded, it might uncover weaknesses in the social architecture of the country that might possibly lead to structural failure — the ongoing marginalization, abuse, violence, hostage-taking, incarceration, and murder of Indigenous people. By localizing the experiment to a national accreditation organization for the Canadian design industry, we could measure the responses of a small group of people who represent a microcosm of Canadian civil society.

I proposed a design solution for a country to reckon with its criminal motivations, behaviours, and actions, both past and ongoing, that amount to a Canadian genocide and systemic racism.


The organization collectively chose to invoke a patriarchal, authoritarian, colonial, and white supremacist law that protects the intellectual property of the organization, a non-profit corporation of the Dominion of Canada.

The experiment was successful and the conclusion is that the patriarchal, authoritarian, colonial, and white supremacist system is reacting in fear of losing power and authority over the population and ultimately over the land that it has assumed as the property of the Crown and responded in silence, conspiracy, accusations, threats of censure, immediate removal from a position of leadership, revocation of membership in the community, and legal prosecution with the potential of economic penalties.

This is, of course, the position of the Dominion of Canada in relation to the original inhabitants of the land.


In conclusion, the experiment was to test the integrity of the organization, to uncover any potential problems or weaknesses that might lead to structural failure. The organization chose to protect its property rather than reckon with the Canadian genocide.

And for that reason, I am out.

Fair Use

According to the laws of Canada, I do not need permission as an artist, writer, and educator to use intellectual property, trademarks, and copyrighted works for research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review, and news reporting.

Crimes Against Humanity

I also cannot destroy legal evidence that might be involved in the perpetration of crimes against humanity.

Legal Exposure

If you would like to take this matter to the court of public opinion, I believe I have a strong case.



Stephen Bau

Designer, educator, social architect, founder, Builders Collective. We are exploring how we imagine, design, and build the future together. https://bldrs.co