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Politicizing the ongoing construction of settler colonial landscapes in North America

Authors: Nicholas Crane*, University of Wyoming, Guillaume Proulx, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Topics: Political Geography, Cultural and Political Ecology, Cultural Geography
Keywords: Settler colonialism, Landscape, Hegemony, Extraction, Politics, North America
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Settler colonialism actively transforms places through a process of hegemonic struggle around what we name settler colonial landscapes (the ways of seeing and representing places that facilitate the dispossession of Indigenous people from their territory, as well as the tangible forms given to places by agents of Indigenous dispossession to facilitate the construction of a settler-dominated society). In this paper, we identify political opportunities in the ongoing construction of settler colonial landscapes through attention to oil and gas infrastructure projects across North America (the Trans Mountain Extension project in Canada, the Dakota Access Pipeline in the US, and the Tula-Tuxpan Pipeline in Mexico). These cases show that settler colonial landscapes are being constructed and given shape only ever in relation to collective contestation, at multiple scales, by people whose lives are entangled with extractive industry. Our analysis is also suggestive of emerging transnational solidarities that challenge the national-territorial frame of authoritarian governance in the region.

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