In this paper, I argue that Indian Residential School (IRS) litigation, and the emphasis on “cultural loss” or genocide, threatened to expose the illegitimacy of Canada’s claim to sovereignty and the settler collective’s occupancy of Indigenous lands today. When settler illegitimacy is brought into view, settler collectives typically respond with violence. In IRS case law, this violence consists of the dehumanization of the Indigenous collective as property. I trace this violence on the part of Canada (government and law) in Blackwater v Plint (1996–2005). I suggest that Canada’s “disturbing defence strategy” in Blackwater likely contributed to Canada’s signing of the 2006–2007 IRS settlement agreement that brought Baxter v Canada to a close. I conclude that settler illegitimacy, genocide, and law’s racialized violence in the present ought to trouble the settler collective’s vision of both decolonization and the role of settler law in decolonization.