Rupturing Colonialscapes: politicizing the relational sites and scales of Indigenous resurgence

Friday 5 February
3 to 5 pm

in Sidney Smith Hall, Room 2125 (2nd Floor)
100 St. George Street, University of Toronto

In recent years, the cultural, political and legal resurgence of Indigenous nations has taken shape through the actions of Indigenous people whose political consciousness arise from an orientation toward Indigenous, rather than colonial, law. These diverse expressions of Indigenous resurgence cannot be contained within colonially-delineated Indian reserves, but instead enact a network of territorial relations which together cover all of what is now known as Canada. Yet realities of gendered violence serve as a stark reminder of the urgent need to challenge colonially imposed divisions between public and private space, which continue to depoliticize and deprioritize much of the intimate work of decolonization. In this talk, I will discuss the relational nature of strategies of resurgence across diverse sites of decolonial thought/action and their potential to actively rupture what I call colonialscapes – the interrelated spatial rationales of terra nullius, the frontier and Indian reserves. Through a series of recent examples, I will explore the potential for multi-scalar activations of Indigenous territorial relations to create ruptures in colonialscape relations, actively resisting the closure of settlement.

sarah.huntSarah Hunt is a Kwagiulth scholar whose work in Indigenous and legal geographies critically takes up questions of violence, justice, resistance, self-determination and resurgence. She was awarded a Governor General’s Gold Medal for her doctoral research which investigated the relationship between law and violence in ongoing neocolonial relations in BC, asking how violence gains visibility through Indigenous and Canadian socio-legal discourse and action. Sarah is assistant professor in First Nations and Indigenous Studies and the Department of Geography at UBC. Her recent publications can be accessed at

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